After almost 15 years as Assembly General Secretary today is my last day.
It has been my great privilege to serve the Uniting Church in this national role for such a long time.
When I led worship at the Assembly office earlier this week, I had my chance to reflect on the Lectionary Gospel reading from Mark 13:1-8 – The Destruction of the Temple Foretold.
Jesus’ sobering advice to his disciples that “Not one stone will be left…” of the great buildings and “…all will be thrown down” is an important reminder to us to value the things that we do in the service of God but to also recognise that they will, hopefully having served God’s purposes, come to an end.
Change is one of the constants in life. However what matters above all else is that we live our lives in the knowledge that the presence, call and support of Christ are among the other constants.
Over the last 15 years I have felt God’s many blessings through the loving support of my wife Julie and the rest of my family, and the faithfulness and dedication of colleagues across the entire extended Uniting Church. God is indeed faithful and I give thanks for God’s grace.
I have felt the Spirit present with us at Assembly and other Church meetings, in the moments of grace and of challenge, at ecumenical, interfaith and international gatherings, and particularly in our relationships with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.
To the many people who have given me guidance and walked alongside me on this journey, I humbly say thank you. Being part of a body of believers united by mutual submission in the service of the Gospel means I have no fears for the future for the Uniting Church whatever of Mark’s “birth pangs” still await us.
I pray that God will bless Colleen Geyer in her service as incoming General Secretary. Please make her very welcome in the role. She will need your continued support as she steers the national Church and its agencies in the years ahead. UnitingWorld National Director Rob Floyd will be Acting Assembly General Secretary until Colleen comes on board in mid-January.
All that remains for me is a final blessing that the grace of Christ attend you, the love of God surround you and the Holy Spirit keep you, this day and forever.
Peace be with you always.