February 2009 OVERPASS Connecting GFS Members across Australia Loving Lord Jesus Chairman’s Communiqué As the heavens are high above The 21st Australian Council was a successful 6 day event held at Janet Clarke Hall in the earth so are your ways Melbourne. Deb Wadeson and her team are to be congratulated for presenting 60+ GFS higher than our ways. members with a well balanced program of business, leadership workshop, worship, fun and Strengthen us as we build fellowship - thanks Melbourne GFS. bridges of love between GFS Communities. Council Business Be our source of kindness, Over the past 3 years of Deb Wadeson’s term “Walking in His Light”, the National gentleness and enthusiasm so Executive focused on the future of GFS Australia. The Dream Team which met in 2007 we may reflect You to those in recommended a change in the National body being a company and to do a survey to assess our ministry, and that Your the national GFS/Kids Plus situation. The survey conducted by Adam Low from E- truth and grace be evident in all Solutions a GFS member in Brisbane was completed in 2008. Adam came to council to we do. present his findings - a copy of which is being sent to your Diocese. The survey looked at We pray this in the name of the shape of our membership, branches and beyond (eg. Diocesan) involvement, branches, Jesus Christ Our Lord leadership and the shape of the National body. and Saviour. Amen Adam presented his findings at the commencement of Council and challenged us with statistics and focused our attention on the need to “act now” as there was only a small Prayer Points window of opportunity (within 12 months). He affirmed our ministry qualities and strong Natural disasters in Victoria networks but the aging membership and lack of new members being “trained up” was a and Queensland. For those concern in the 5 year “plan”! Left us with much to think about and how to promote this. who have lost family, friends, The carried motions later in the council reflected some of these discussions: neighbours, homes and communities 1. That GFS Australia no longer be a company but become and incorporated For Claire Reed who’s home association. has been flooded and has 2. An increased National role for our Junior Delegate. been able to keep positive 3. Our National Chaplain be an appointment by the National Chairman. For the emergency workers 4. Our past Australian Chairmen be honoured with a badge in recognition of their who are dealing with these services to GFS Australia. disasters For wise decisions to be made It is hoped with the increase role of our Australian Junior Delegate on the National for the rebuilding of those Executive that we may “harness the energy and creativity” of our younger members, communities effected thanks Karen Winsemius for promoting this. From the World Chairperson Worship Dear Friends, Our opening service was presided over by Bishop Stephen Hale at St John’s Diamond We have all been looking at the Creek. Our “outgoing” chaplain Di Nicolios was also in attendance and her support of our television and media coverage of ministry over the past 6 years has been greatly appreciated. Morning prayer by diocese the current devastation in Australia. were a blessing with music over council led by Helen Petering. I would ask you all to join with me in prayer thinking of everyone The new GFS National Executive especially our members in Victoria (from the left) Cheryl Russell - who have suffer any loss during treasurer, Julie Smith - vice this time. chairperson, Helen Petering - exec In darkness and in light, member, Bishop Barbara, Kate In trouble and in joy Brewer - chairperson, Rev’d Di Help us to trust your love, Nicolios, Rev’d Josie Steytler - To serve your purpose and to praise Chaplain, Noeleen Stewart - your name; secretary & Val Gribble - exec Through Jesus Christ our Lord. member Amen Yours in Christ Emila Page 2 February 2009 Thank you Helen for your wonderful commitment and gift you gave us. She was ably backed by Karen and Leanne in support. Closing Service and Commissioning This was presided over by Bishop Barbara Darling, Di Nicolios and Josie Steytler (our new National Chaplain) and it was held in Trinity College Chapel. Small groups A relevant study for us as Christians and GFS Leaders in ministry around 1 Thessalonians “How to Please God” prepared by Evonne Paddison, was undertaken daily in groups of 8 to read, discuss and pray about. Fun and Fellowship Highlights were: “Around the Bay in a day” including a trip on the Sorrento ferry across to have lunch at the Rye Hotel and then onto the Strawberry farm or the Beach whatever “tickled our fancy” A walk to Lygon Street, time to play cards, socialise, enjoy the challenge of the jigsaw! Our times over meals and our social activities gave us good opportunity to talk and exchange creative ideas and build relationships across Australia GFS. The next newsletter will focus on our Australian and World Projects and information from around the Diocese. Chaplain’s Chat PRAISE & PRAYERS Below is the moving story that Josie shared during the Are extended to our GFS Members: Commissioning Service for the new Executive - many asked for The ordination of Judy Frost from Melbourne on the 7th of a copy so here it is! February. Cheryl Salvage and Adam Low from Queensland for their ordination on the 21st of February. Pray for God to “Once upon a time two brothers shared adjoining farms. For over enable them on the next part of their journey with Christ. 40 years they worked side-by-side, sharing equipment and helping each other out whenever needed. Then one day a rift developed. It To Kate for the birth of her beautiful granddaughter Daisy began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major Louise on Australia Day 8 pounds 5 ounces - all doing very difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words well. followed by months of angry silence. One day the eldest brother, Pete, was out in his fields when a Ute pulled up. Out jumped a man who approached Pete carrying a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work” he said. “Perhaps you’d have a few small jobs I could do for you?” “Well, yes I do,” said Peter. “See that creek down there. It’s the We also pray for Cyrilla & Karl awaiting the birth of their first border between my brother’s farm and mine. My brother keeps it child early in March and for grandparents Marj & Rhyse. nice and deep to stop me from setting one foot on his beloved farm. Well I’ll oblige him. I want you to take that timber over there by the darn and build me a new fence, a really tall one, so I don’t For Catherine & Glenn on the baptism of their baby Jackson in have to look over at my stinkin’ brother and his farm no more.” Gippsland and for the proud grandparents Mary & Graham. The carpenter was glad to have the work, “No worries mate. I For the next National Executive meeting to be held in understand. Just point me to your post-hole digger and I’ll get the Melbourne 6-8th March for safe travel and wise deliberations. job done.” So the carpenter set about working. Meanwhile farmer Pete drove into town to the local cattle auction. When he returned at sunset he was shocked to see what the carpenter had done. There was no fence. Instead the carpenter had built a bridge and walking across it was Pete’s younger brother. He held out his Anything to add..... hand and spoke to his brother, “Mate after all I’ve done to you We want these newsletters to contain things you want to know, see these past months I can’t believe you’d still reach out to me. and share with others around Australia. It will be published bi- You’re right. It’s time to bury the hatchet.” monthly and any items you wish to add can be sent at ANY TIME to: The two brothers met in the middle of the bridge and embraced. Noeleen Stewart 203 Ravenscar Street Doubleview WA 6018 They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. Ph: 08 9244 3938 Mobile: 0414 505 064 “No wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org said farmer Pete. We are starting a new database for the newsletter, this has been distributed to all who attended council and the diocesan chair. If “I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have more bridges you know anybody who would be interested in receiving it please to build.” let me know and they will be added to the list.