Brad’s Foote-Notes 28th October 2012
It’s great to be sharing together in worship today. I’d like to welcome everyone, especially any visitors who are here. Our Congregation hopes that your experience of worship brings you closer to God and encourages you in your spiritual journey.
This week has been a very busy time for many of us. On Tuesday night we had the pleasure of hosting 35 people (plus 10 people from own church) from most of the Uniting Churches in the Gold Coast area. The evening was a regional gathering of one section of our Presbytery. The gathering was an opportunity for Ashmore Uniting Church to share hospitality, provide worship and for everyone to listen to the incredible ministry of the chaplains who serve in Blue Care across the State. Our guest speaker was Rev. Heather Den Houghting, who is the new Director of Mission for BlueCare. Blue Care is another arm of our Uniting Church in Queensland and comes under the umbrella of UnitingCare. UnitingCare has 12,000 staff and it is the second largest employer behind the Queensland Government. It’s gamut covers Hospitals, Prisons, disability Services and Aged care. Where you aware of the size of the church that you are a part of? It’s amazing when you know how broad and wide the ministry of The Uniting Church is, in Australia.
I’d like to thank all of the members of this congregation who contributed to the success of the Southern Area Gathering on Tuesday night. I’d like to pay tribute especially to Irene and Steven who took the responsibility of catering for us that night.
Our theme, Take Heart, comes from Mark 10:49 where we find Blind Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus, to have mercy on him. Those around him tell him to be quiet, but Jesus responds differently and asks him to come near. Someone close to Bartimaeus says; “Take heart, come on, Jesus is calling you”. The rest of the story produces a life-transforming outcome for Bartimaeus and then he followed Jesus down the road” (Mark 10:52).
The theme, Take Heart, is an expression of HOPE. I am aware that the desire to follow a path that leads to justice and freedom runs deep in many hearts. This is an expression of HOPE. Sometimes it dwells within the least expected people. Bartimaeus is one such person. Not only does he seek to be healed, he is eager to be part of a movement and a purpose. I’d like to challenge everyone in this congregation to have the same eagerness that is expressed in this gospel message from Mark 10:46-52.
This week we are invited to explore our own longing to follow the Jesus way and to acknowledge what holds us back. We are challenged to broaden our understanding of who God calls and welcomes.
Please note that we will have our final Vision and Values Workshop on Sunday 11th November from 10.30 to midday, followed by lunch for those who can stay. This will be your opportunity to make a contribution to the future mission of this congregation as we seek to be reaching out, changing lives.
Take Heart this week …. as Jesus hears your voice in the midst of the crowd.
Rev. Brad Foote