Today I head off to UnitingCare Queensland’s head office in the City.
A worship service to commission Nigel Alexander, member at The Gap Uniting Church, as Chair of the UnitingCare Queensland Board, and to spend time with the board and the executive on discerning directions for UnitingCare Queensland for the 2020–2030 years.
The gospel for this week has captured my imagination for a long time. It’s the story of the two daughters: one on the outer, perpetually, ritually unclean—who is invisible to the disciples; the other one is the daughter of the leader of the local synagogue. The disciples recognise the leader, and gets up front, straight access to Jesus, and the opportunity to ask Jesus for what he and his daughter need. The other woman has to sneak and hide, and realistically take from Jesus what she needs.
Yet in the end, Jesus names them both as daughter, includes both in the scope of being named as children of God.
That’s our work as the church: to not be blinded, to see all as named as son, daughter.
Assembly starts next week, and there’s anxieties about its agenda. Yet, I want to give you another picture: an elder from Arnhem land, a young aboriginal woman from South Australia, a farmer from The Downs, a businessman from Brisbane, sitting together, talking about life as the church in this land, about faith, and what it means.
I saw that last Assembly. I hold it strongly as a vision of our church. I ask, where else in this land do those folk get to gather and speak about matters of life? This is a great gift to us as the church; this is a great gift to us as the people of Australia.
I encourage you to pray for us all as we do the discerning we need to do to be the people of God.