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Stories overflowing

IT is my great honour to embark on my first issue of Journey – done by way of a joyful plunge into the deep end of the Life Overflowing at the 13th Assembly.

In these pages, we bring you many of the inspiring moments and impressive people from that week in Adelaide, and, I hope, a feeling for some of the love, vitality, and justice we found in abundance there.

All those qualities were present daily in the respectful and inclusive debate and consensus processes for proposals.

And they were abundantly manifest in the move from words to action in expressing solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters over the injustices of Stronger Futures.

After a suggestion by Rev Niall Reid the prayer vigil at South Australian Parliament was organised overnight, predominantly by impressive young adult member Rads Sukumar, whose own appreciative take on Assembly is on page 9.

President-elect Stuart McMillan's long-standing engagement with Indigenous communities will further strengthen commitment to Indigenous Australians.

New President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney praised the church in his installation address (see page 7) for its diversity and the value members place on inclusiveness.

The 13th Assembly reaffirmed the commitment of the church to remote Australia, to Indigenous Australians, to multicultural and ecumenical ministry, and to multifaith relations.

It gave appreciation to the often unsung deacons, celebrated 120 years of Korean partnerships in mission, and welcomed a statement from young leaders.

As President Dutney said of the 13th Assembly at its conclusion: "I'd describe it as multilingual, intergenerational, crosscultural, ecumenical, international, prayerful."

Many impressive Queenslanders were in attendance, with Rev Stu Cameron, South Moreton Presbytery, and Rev Michelle Cook, Calvary Presbytery, chosen to sit on the Assembly Standing Committee.

Ms Cook will also serve as one of Prof Dutney's two chaplains.

Looking back over the week, I feel privileged to have been witness to such faith in action, and to the gifts of so many impressive and frankly wonderful people.

And turning my gaze ahead, there is the privilege of sharing stories in abundance with Journey readers, my new companions, to look forward too.