As I write this last message for 2016,the words of Dag Hammarskjold, come to my mind, For all that has been, Thanks, for all that will be, Yes! There is so much for which to be thankful. 2016 has been a very significant year in the life of the national Council of Churches in Australia. Our forum took place giving us a new President, a new constitution, a new Board of Directors, and a new Assembly. Our commissions and networks continue to commit to ensuring our churches work together and grow in understanding of each other. The NCCA staff is beavering along – with generosity and commitment. Act for peace are completing the requirements for accreditation. These few sentences completely understate what we are doing together. To each person who is involved, who has gone the extra mile, Thank you.
As I look back on the life of NCCA, I think of our member churches. I’m guessing that many churches when they look back on the past year, thoughts may be less positive. I appreciate that churches have faced a number of troubling issues. Perhaps the issue that continues to distress us most is the situation of people suffering persecution for their faith, people seeking refuge and asylum. Our hearts ache for them. Our hearts grieve for our nation. I give thanks for the many people who are giving voice to many people whose voices are not heard who are striving to enable people be at home.
People seeking asylum and refuge especially speak to me of hope. as the situation of so many comes to mind, I think of the hope that must enable each to leave all they know, to leave home, to move into the unknown, facing innumerable difficulties, so that they may have a home that is safe.
As God’s people we are called to make Christ’s message of hope real for them. WE are God’s hands, feet, heart. May we have the courage to be a reason for hope for many.
As we live Christ’s message each day – living it in the reality of our homes and communities, saying ‘Yes’ to God in the ordinary and the extraordinary – may we know Christ in our lives in ever new ways.
May we be at home in Christ as he makes his home in us.
Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs