21 November 2010

Many of you will know Marj Day – who died just a over a week ago. Many of you will not.    For health reasons, Marj wasn’t able to attend here at Kippax all that often for years. But just about everyone will have benefited from the way Marj lived.

Marj was passionate about helping young people Marj was passionate about information Marj was determined to make sure her life had an impact.

Just about every book in the reference library down the hall was donated by Marj. People who have been in youth groups, or trained in youth leadership courses were supported by the Marj Day Youth Fund – which she set up some years back. Children across the ACT were better protected and better cared for because Marj would pour through every draft piece of child protection legislation and then comment – often directly to the Minister. In fact a few years back when a major piece of legislation was being written the Minister’s office sent a draft copy to Marj and specifically asked for her comments. (Maybe the Minister knew that the comments would be coming anyway!)

Marj knew what she was passionate about, what values she lived by. Marj had specific skills and abilities. Marj was not at all wealthy, but she was generous.   Talk about a widow’s mite! And Marj combined them all to make sure her life had an impact. Marj lived out her mission, her call in life.   And we are all better off because of it.

Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples— when they see the love you have for each other

I had a phone call not so long ago from a community service organisation. She rang us and asked to speak to me  specifically because we were both church and community services. It was about a complex situation, involving mental health, financial difficulties,  family relationships, and a history where previous church contact had been very unhelpful. And the worker on the other end of the phone said to me “Rev Gordon, I rang you because I know that you care for people and you do not judge why people are in the situation they are in and I know that you can care for Susan just as she is at the moment.

Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples— when they see the love you have for each other

The purpose of the church is to continue the mission of God in the world.  We know this is not always easy. We will be pushed outside of our comfort zones.  We will be confronted with people that we find really hard to love.  We will have differences of opinion on how we should respond  and whether we have done the right thing.  People will rip us off when we try to help just because they are so hurt  they don’t know how to accept love which is unconditional, it scares them.  We will only be able to maintain and sustain this mission  IF we love one another as Jesus loves us.  We can only put ourselves out there and survive if we know  that we are loved in tangible ways by the community of God’s people.  This week in your study groups you will be looking at each of our mission.   Sometimes we struggle to know what that ministry or mission is.  We think that it has to be revealed to us by some kind of divine intervention  and we have to be particularly special to have one.  But our ministry and mission most often grows out of •    Things we enjoy doing with people we care about •    Finding someone else who enjoys the same things and joining up with them in making a difference for others Frederick Buchner has the wonderful quote: “There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work . . .  (and) the place God calls you to  is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  Marj Day lived that out and we are all recipients of her generosity. Wendy Blissett and Ivan King, whom we are farewelling today have both lived that out, and we are all recipients of their generosity.

Can I encourage you, right know,  to spend some time thinking about our six core values here at Kippax our four main goals here at Kippax  and what it is that you are good at and enjoy doing.

Do you sense there may be a way of living our your calling Your mission?

Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples— when they see the love you have for each other

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