A Thank You Letter 23 Sept 2015


23 September 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you for your interest and prayerful support of our life and ministry in Tasmania over these past 15 years.

It has been a wonderful privilege to participate in God’s work in the islands of Tasmania.

With the Tasmanian Anglican Family, we have shared in joyful celebrations as well as worked through heartrending situations. And these have deepened our trust in God and our respect and affection for one another.

In all of this, we have co-laboured in the grace of God in Christ to build a healthy church … transforming life. So many have given generously of their time and talents to the mission of God in Tasmania. We are blessed to be a part of you.

We are thrilled that The Revd Meredith Campbell with her sister Mrs Alex Chittick are taking over the Anglican Church Donkey Ministry in Tasmania, and that Arthur and Jeanne Wherrett have offered to assist as required. Gayelene raised about $12,500 for mission with her British Giant Rabbit business and we praise God for these years of rural life. Our chooks found a family home, the ferrets are with us as are our two dogs. So we are now settling into life in Melbourne. In October I commence a half-time role as Bishop assisting the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia and we are connecting with our family and former parish of GWAC (St Barnabas Glen Waverley).

We have been greatly blessed to receive cards, letters and creative expressions of thanks. We have them in a beautiful folder prepared by the ever thoughtful and efficient EA Carolyn McGinn. Thank you one and all, and please accept our apology for not being able to reply to each of you personally.

The Farewell Services in Ulverstone, Launceston and St David’s Cathedral (7,9,12 September), will remain in our hearts and minds always. Special thanks go to our gracious brothers and sisters who gave generous speeches of appreciation and to all who attended, including Elvis! – Life is rarely dull in Tasmania! What joyful celebrations of God’s grace and goodness among us, and through us!

Thank you to all those who participated in the wonderfully generous Farewell Gift to us of $12,341.30 towards SparkLit’s mission* project to support the ministry of the Open theological Seminary in Lahore Pakistan. This is totally beyond anything we could ever have hoped or imagined. Your Farewell Gift has given us such joy as we know of the great encouragement this will be to our Pakistani brothers and sisters. Thank you!

Please be assured of Gayelene and my continuing prayers for the Anglican Family of Tasmania and for its mission to Tasmania and the world.

As Christ’s pilgrim people we are ever on the move as the Holy Spirit guides us into, and through, the seasons of life. We have every confidence because we trust in the God of Life. We join in the words of the Early Church’s great ‘Hymn of Christ’,

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

We thank God and we thank you for your part in these 15 years of being at mission with our wonderful Tasmanian Anglican Family.

In deep gratitude, Gayelene and I pray this blessing upon the people of these beautiful islands:

God of all Life,
Bless in abundance the lives of the people of Tasmania.
Enrich our society with relationships that deepen our common life.
Grant seasonal weather to our State,
And enable us, by your grace, to create life-enriching work for our unemployed.
God of all Life, bless Tasmania.

God of all Light,
Bless this State with leadership that is honest and caring.
Send the light of your wisdom on our work and our play.
Shine the light of your justice on all our dealings,
So that these islands may reflect your light in all the world.
God of all Light, bless Tasmania.

God of all Love,
Bless Tasmania with your love, in all we say and do.
Help us to love one another, as neighbours and friends.
Care for families whose young have left these shores.
And by your good Spirit, ignite our love for Christ.
God of all Love, bless Tasmania

In the Name of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

John and Gayelene 🙂  🙂 

A Blessing for Tasmania’ written by Bishop John Harrower on the occasion of his Ordination as 11th Bishop of Tasmania St David’s Cathedral Hobart 25 July 2000
*Sparklit’s mission, http://sparklit.org/2015/06/02/for-such-a-time-as-this/
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