As I move about and work with various communities and individuals, I am deeply encouraged by the rising stories of God at work in small and ordinary ways. The faithfulness of those who seek to serve is great.  We have much to celebrate about who we are and the way in which we engage with those in need the world.

I recently received a story from Rev Jim Colville about what happened with the young people from Claremont’s Sunday School, and has given permission for this story to be shared. Jim wrote saying,

“At Claremont Uniting Church is a small Sunday School. The children wanted to help people in need to have a happy Christmas. Two wonderful teachers, some Church members, friends, parent and families donated nearly 50 presents.

The children assisted by the teachers wrapped all the presents and decided to give them to Colony 47 to distribute within Colony’s many services and to those attending the Christmas Day lunch.

It is pleasing to see children discovering the real essence of Christmas is love, thinking of others, generous sharing, and the birth of baby of Jesus.”

This may have been a small action, a moment in time. However, it is these collective actions of love and service that grow as seeds of God’s Kingdom in our world.  Bringing transformative love to hearts and minds of many who are in need.  It is this kind of engagement that we are challenged to time and again as faithful followers of Christ.  Children and young people grow in their faith when they are given service opportunities that cost them something.  It deepens meaning and purpose.  It invites them to see the world through different eyes, through the eyes of Jesus.  It invites them to think of a world outside of themselves.

Where does your congregation/faith community engage in service with local needs? How does it help you grow in your faith?  How does it help your community/faith community to grow in faith?  Is there something different to what you are doing now that God might be calling you to?  How might you begin to lean into that challenge?  Do you need to let go of something else in order to pick up a new thing?  What can you celebrate about where and how you and your faith community/congregation are already engaging with needs in the local community?

If you would like Denise to visit your congregation, to listen and share around leadership formation, contact us via the Presbytery Office 6331 9784 or Denise 0427 647 395 or