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3 August, 2020

I hope you enjoy reading some of the wonderful stories from our churches that will begin to drop over the coming days and weeks. We are using a new format to communicate how we are participating in God's mission. I am looking forward to receiving more stories from our churches to share across our movement, along with stories from our ministry partners Life Care, GMP and CareWorks.

In addition to sharing some good news from our churches we were keen to tie the look of the Newsletter in with the theme of this year’s convention; Participate: in life: in Christ”.

Participating in the life of Christ through union with Christ (Christ in me, I in Christ) is a New Testament theme that emerges throughout the apostle Paul’s writings, John’s writings and the New Testament more broadly. (Col. 1:27) We are invited in these New Testament writings to align ourselves with Jesus. We are to follow the lead of Jesus as we live out our lives and to seek to be in relationship with Jesus as our primary response to the call of the Gospel.

Our lives are full of participation; in our families, our workplaces, friendship groups and in society as a whole. We are also called to participate in the movement of the Churches of Christ and for these many reasons we see this theme as relevant for us at this time. Our hope is that our reflections at Convention will help us to think about how we participate in the Churches of Christ movement. We also hope it will help us to participate in life as a response to our participation in Christ.

Peter Barney 

State Minister

More From 'Latest News'

Christmas Message from our new Conference President

Introducing our new President:

Leanne Sanders has, for many years, been active in Churches of Christ in South Australia. Formerly a member of the Kilburn, Modbury and Mile End congregations, she is currently the Chair of Elders at the Western Communities Church and has been a State Board member for the past four years.

Family is of high importance to Leanne who is married to Geoff Payne, Mum to three adult children and their spouses, Nanni to seven grandchildren and friend to two grown step-children and their families. She is a deeply committed follower of Jesus and seeks to allow the grace of God to guide all her relationships.

Leanne worked, for many years, in leadership positions in State government departments (Health & Education) and, currently, in a not-for-profit organisation and her own Coaching business. She also worked for a number of years as an adult educator. Leanne brings to State Board:

· Long and broad Human Resource management expertise

· Experience in policy & procedure development and implementation

· Strong people skills – being highly relational, empathic and supportive

· Big picture visioning

· Experience in church governance at a local and state level.

Leanne identifies as central to her faith, a strong gratitude for the love and grace of Jesus Christ and seeks His will in decision making.

And a Christmas message from Leanne…..

With a late AGM this year I find myself writing this Christmas greeting when only just in the role of President! But, as you know, I am not new to State Board, and I therefore bring you a message on their behalf.

As Grant reminded us in his President’s report for this past year, the theme for the year ahead is Participate in Life – in Christ. Can there be a better version of life in which to participate? I think not.

I think too, that it is a message that we can take into Christmas. Life in Christ. Christ in Life.

The Christmas story speaks to me of one thing more than anything else.

Christ is with us. We need not look somewhere else. Christ is with us!

The Christmas story reassures us that Christ is with us – no matter the season. When times are hard – Christ is with us. When the sun shines brightly – Christ is with us. When trials come, or when joy abounds – Christ is with us. What reassurance to take that knowledge into our daily life!

May each one of you find, in the celebration of the Christmas story, wisdom that stays with you, bringing peace, comfort, joy and strength, as together we Participate in Life - in Christ throughout 2021.

Christmas blessings

Leanne and the members of State Board

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