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The Christian faith calls us to love God and put Him first in their lives. To love one another and care for the poor, frail and vulnerable and t live the richest and most fulfilling life they can. Religion in the wider society is often seen as irrelevant and even harmful. But the religion God calls us to is one of loving God with all our being and to love others. It is interesting to read James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
As mentioned in the previous edition, I will be focusing on our values in each issue. Modelling unconditional love is one way to demonstrate God's love toward others. In our strategic plan, modelling unconditional love is outlined as:
With this in mind, I encourage each of you to open your hearts with acceptance and understanding, no matter your role, relationship, position or engagement with Churches of Christ. It is something each of us, every day, can benefit from embodying. Consider Jesus who was criticised because he engaged with people considered the social outcastes of his day. The people didn't have to come to a standard so they were socially acceptable before Jesus engaged with them.
The Board and Strategic Management Group have worked with the stakeholder feedback, looked at emerging trends in the sectors Churches of Christ in Queensland operates in as well as broader Australian trends and have developed a draft three year strategic ‘plan on a page’ which they are refining and will share in due course.
Centrifuge 2018 on 17 July, I hope you will join us at our annual Centrifuge event. Churches of Christ was founded around a dream for unity. A dream to follow Jesus’ example and to work together with all Christians to love, serve and give of ourselves for the sake of others. We will be celebrating our diversity and remembering that we are ONE community, with the theme ‘ONE story, ONE moment and ONE mission’. As with every Centrifuge event, we hope you will find it enlightening and awakening as we celebrate being ONE together.
I wish to welcome Bryan Mason as the Executive Director Services. This role oversees each of our frontline service areas, including Children, Youth and Families, Housing Services, and Seniors and Supported Living, as well as Medical Santo, and the Sales and Customer Services area. Bryan has served as the Director for Seniors and Supported Living for several years and brings a rich work history bringing a depth of experience necessary for this challenging role.
Based on feedback from Council and Pastors, the Board have recommended the change of name of the ‘Mission Team’ to ‘Church and Community Engagement’. We are also pleased to advise after some consideration and prayer the Board
has confirmed the appointment of Tim McMenamin to the Executive Group in his position as General Manager of the Church and Community Engagement team.
This will ensure the interests of the church ministry is maintained on the Executive and across our churches and services.
The rationale for changing the name of the Mission team is due to the focus and oversight of our “mission”, that is,
its purpose is the responsibility of the Council, Board and senior leadership of the organisation.
We have also considered feedback from Indigenous communities that ‘mission’ is a reminder of trauma experienced in history and in communities. This is important as we are seeking to work with communities all over Queensland.
Tim McMenamin’s appointment to the Executive continues to highlight the importance of the work of the church within Churches of Christ in Queensland and is recognition of the good work that Tim has been doing.
Desley Millwood, currently in the role of Executive Officer Communications, has decided to retire and will finish up on Friday 29 June. Desley has spent the last 14 years serving Churches of Christ in Queensland with great dedication and loyalty and before that served the community sector for many years. Desley’s contribution has been considerable, she has established and built the Communications, Media and Marketing function to support our organisation, which has grown substantially in that time. Desley has been a valuable part of our Executive Group. Many would not be aware of the full extent of the contribution Desley has made, she has worked tirelessly and with utmost commitment, providing advice, sharing her knowledge and experience always with the highest regard for Churches of Christ in Queensland. As editor of this publication, she has shared the stories, and in some ways brought to life, who we are as Churches of Christ in Queensland, and contributed to us delivering our mission to the broader community. Desley’s support of the Board, Council and executive team over many years will be sadly missed. I wish her the very best and many blessings as she embarks on the next chapter in her life.
The role of Executive Officer Communications has been advertised and we are hopeful this position will be filled in the coming weeks.
Dr Paul Scully
Chief Executive Officer