It’s Father Dave, and I am feeling weary as I pen this week’s update. Energy levels ebb and flow for all of us – I know. I’m at a low energy point today.
Coming to terms with the fact that this may be my last year in parish ministry is something I’m struggling with today. It tends to be par for the course when clergy lose their family that they lose their job and home as well. That might sound rough, but this is my second time round. I’m just thankful that I had a stay of execution after my first marriage broke down in 1991.
I’d been at Dulwich Hill for less than six months when that happened. I remember praying fervently back then that I might be given just a bit more time in the parish. I’d spent the previous ten years preparing for the opportunity and my heart’s desire was just to pour myself into the work. Well … that was almost 30 years ago, and it’s been an amazing ride. I wouldn’t swap it for anything in the world.
Where to from here? I am trusting that the Lord God has something planned for me – something that will allow me to contribute my remaining energies where they can do the most good and where I can generate enough income to support myself and my dear little one.
Of course, it’s only right that us preachers should be put to the test. We are always telling others to ‘have faith’ and ‘God will provide’. It’s one thing to say that very eloquently from the pulpit though and another thing to step forward in faith yourself. Having said that, I’ve never hesitated to step forward when it’s only my own life that’s at risk. I’ve put my body on the line plenty of times in Syria, Manus Island, in the backstreets of Sydney and in the boxing ring. Risking me is not an issue. It’s when I’m pulling others that I love along with me that it gets scary.
So, pray for me and Fran please. Pray for Ange and Soren too, and pray for our adult children – Imogen and Veronica. We need your prayer. We probably don’t need your good advice, and we definitely don’t need your judgement, but we do need your prayer. If you’re up to giving us the one without the others, thank you. And if you didn’t see last week’s letter to the parish and you’d like to see it, it’s here.
I preached last Sunday on the letter to the Hebrews, chapter eleven. Hebrews is not one of the church’s most loved letters and I don’t deal with it often. Even so, the great list of the heroes of the faith that the author gives us there caught my imagination, though perhaps not in the way you might have expected. Listen below or click here if you’d prefer my thoughts in writing.
Back to the bush
The timing may not be ideal but I’ve committed myself to running another ‘Warrior Weekend’ before the end of winter. That means we’re looking at August 30th to September 1st.
Are you ready to gird up your loins and head with me into the middle of nowhere for a weekend of running, fighting, immersion in icy-cold water and prayer? Who wouldn’t jump at such an opportunity?
All the details are on this flyer. Just print it off, fill it out and get it back to me. That can be as simple as taking a photo with your phone and texting it to me, and the cost for the weekend is negotiable, according to your means. Getting there is the easy part. Getting through the experience is the challenge, perhaps especially for me at the moment. Even so, I have two weeks to prepare for this mentally and physically and, in truth, I’d really enjoy your company if you can make it.
I’ll leave it there for today. May the Lord bless you and strengthen you for the work for which you have been called.
Yours in the Good Fight