Remember a time when you seemed to suddenly grow in who you were? When your idea of God began to deepen and sense of God’s presence become more real? What was going on for you at that point in time?

Those moments of growth nearly always come with being stretched in our experience of life. Something more is asked of us than we thought was possible. I have had several people share with me stories of when they found themselves in situations where they had to ‘step up the plate’. They didn’t think they had it within them, but somehow they became aware of God holding them into the new challenges.

As a 17 year old I had been asked if I might consider being an elder with our local congregation. I didn’t think I had anything to contribute, had no idea what it was even about except that I knew it had something to do with visiting, and handing out the communion elements. As a quiet shy 17 year old, I was suddenly growing into the new challenge.

Our faith and sense of self grows as we lean into the opportunity to serve, to rise to new challenges and to discover in faithfulness who God calls us to be. As a presbytery and in our congregations and faith communities, we are being stretched as we discover ways of being church differently. We have many around the place who can offer ideas and insights that we haven’t thought of yet. God is at work. People who are challenged to think through God’s call, who lean into the challenge, who discern and offer themselves are often surprised at how God uses them, at where God invites them to discover new things about themselves. The Uniting Church holds a value and belief lifted from Scripture about the Holy Spirit equipping the people of God as needed. That the church has places where the people can use their gifts as equipped by the Spirit. I remember when I was being ordained that much of what lay ahead seemed daunting. Yet to hold to the knowing of God’s Spirit equipping me, enabled me to lean into the call with faithfulness. That I would have what I needed, when it was needed. So far this has proven to be so.

Where is God leading you? Where are you being challenged for service in the life of the church, or in the wider community? Where does the challenge for stretching lie for you? Perhaps it might be in considering a role of leadership within the life of the church – to help others grow in their faith, and create spaces where that might be possible. Perhaps it is to serve the local community in a particular way with an area of passion you have for other people. I wonder where God is calling you into new challenges in life . . . . .

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