Sunday 24th May, 2015

Welcome to everyone joining us for Tate Street Sunday at St Matt's today. As the name suggests, we will be focussing on our ministry to Tate Street Primary School where we have been teaching RE for over 70 years and more recently, have had amazing welcome & inclusion into school life. We give thanks to God for that - truly a miracle in today's anti-religious climate.

Last month's service was a major success on so many levels, what with the marimba band, the Bishop in excellent form and the marvellous hospitality by our church members and the response of our visitors. This truly is what church is about - finding ways of introducing people to Jesus who've never really encountered him before. We are each living "advertisements"; what we do and how we relate to other people at least as important as what we might say.

This last week I was in contact with Camp Wilkin, Anglesea, to see if we could use their facilities to help with the leadership development project I have "cooking" with the Principal and grade 4/5/6 teachers. They were keen to be involved and already had a suitable program which might save us a lot of work! I meet this week with the school staff concerned to discuss this proposal so I would value your prayers for wisdom and discernment; what should we adopt and what should we add, etc?

Meanwhile, I met with two representatives from a relatively new charity called "Ladder" which has been developed on behalf of the AFL Players Association to help young homeless people acquire the necessary life skills to find suitable accommodation and become self-sufficient. Jason Davenport (former Geelong  & Port Adelaide player) & Tegan Philip (current Commonwealth Netballer) came to see if they could use our kitchen for an 8 week course called "FoodMate" to teach 7-10 young people how to cook for themselves in a healthy way. It was pretty easy to say "yes" to them; what an amazing opportunity! This is just another tiny step forward on our way to transforming community. They will be commencing sometime in June on Wednesday evenings at dinner time.

And in some personal news, as some of you will have already heard, I am due to take some Long Service Leave which I will do commencing on Friday 5th June and returning on Friday 31st July. Julie has also got some LSL so will be joining me as we go to visit our long lost children! (And Gemma will be returning home in the middle of August). Most of our time will be spent in the UK visiting family and friends, sightseeing in London and also a couple of weeks in Paris. And hopefully avoiding the worst of the winter . . .

In my absence, The Rev Steve Brown will be the Locum Vicar and he will work Fridays and Sundays. He will introduce himself and his young family in this space in two weeks time - he is a great guy and you will enjoy his time with us. Another ardent Cats supporter but alas, Melissa is a Magpie fan; there's no saving some people . . .

God bless,   Ian.