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During my time so far I have visited out west including Cunnamulla and St George as well as going north, visiting Townsville, Cairns and the Tablelands. I am encouraged and excited to experience people’s passion to deliver exceptional care and sometimes unique activities such as the street chaplains in Cairns supporting locals and tourists. In a number of locations I have visited such as Maryborough, Bribie Island and Townsville I heard about the men’s sheds ministry reaching people who would not normally come to church. It was great to see the innovation in our services such as Blackall, where the residential aged care service is building a garden for dementia residents so they can enjoy the outdoors.
In my role as Chief Executive Officer, people have asked what is the vision for the future?
The question is a good one and I would respond by asking, “What is God wanting to do today?”
I think the purpose of the church has not changed. First, it is for his people to be transformed to be like Jesus. Second, in being transformed it is for church to be a body and not a collection of individuals working together to serve others. In being transformed individually and collectively we seek to be “salt” and “light” to the world. I think of great saints of the past like William Booth, John and Charles Wesley, Florence Nightingale and many more whose purpose was to serve others sacrificially and with compassion. In doing so they transformed their generation.
When I think of the people I have meet in the last months I see transformed people wanting to transform their workplace and communities, this is what God wants us to do today. It means getting out of our comfort zone and taking a risk sometimes because we care for others more than we care for ourselves.
I would like to thank David Swain, the Executive Team and the Council and Board for their guidance over the first months in helping me gain a renewed understanding of the Churches of Christ in Queensland.
It is a privilege to serve as the Chief Executive Officer and collectively I pray we can continue to touch the lives of people in Queensland, Victoria and Vanuatu with the hope of Christ and demonstrate His love in our service to others.
I look forward to meeting more of you in November either at the Ministers Forum or the Annual General Meeting.
Dr Paul Scully
Chief Executive Officer
Regular readers will be aware that Dean Phelan stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Churches of Christ in Queensland, and Chair of Churches of Christ in Australia earlier this year, after a number of months of hospitalisation for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Dean has undergone intensive chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant. A series of tests is conducted 100 days after transplant, and Dean and Janette received great news this week that total remission had been achieved with no signs of cancer and 100% engraftment of the new stem cells donated by his sister.
Dean will continue to be monitored and supported with medication for another year or two. He goes forward with faith and immense thankfulness to everyone for their prayers, encouragement and support on what has been a difficult journey.
Dean‘s strength is returning and he is currently co-authoring a book with Dr Andrew Menzies, Principal of Stirling, Churches of Christ’s national theological college – working title: Communities of the Kingdom – A Blueprint for Mission due out early next year.