Belinda Groves – 11 February 2018

The arrival of a new minister – even if it is only for a short time and as an interim – is always a joyful and exciting occasion. Today we are celebrating the arrival of Nathan Lattimore to serve as interim minister here at Canberra Baptist until the end of the year and his wife, Kaya.

Nathan comes to us from Hobart Baptist Church where he was the Youth and Young Adults Pastor. He started off as a volunteer ‘intern’ there, while completing his Bachelor of Ministry, and Hobart is also the church where he grew up.

Moving to Canberra for this year is an opportunity for him to stretch his wings, ‘to experience life on the mainland’ as he put it, to continue ministering to youth and young adults, but also to expand his range of ministry skills, and to further develop his recognised preaching skills.

While she is here, Kaya, will continue to work on her double degree, and they will be living in the manse for the year.

The office is now a team of four; myself (Ministry Team Leader), Nathan Lattimore (Interim Minister), Rebecca Hilton (Office Manager) and Tryphena Watson (Community Development Worker). However, Baptists believe that the ministry of the church is shared by all its members. While Nathan, Rebecca, Tryphena and I have specific roles within the church, we are set alongside the whole of the church in ministry: every member has a role in our common life of following Christ, creating inclusive and caring community, and sharing God’s love and justice in our words and actions.

This morning we also want to acknowledge those who are teaching Sunday School this term (and throughout the year), those who lead small groups and other activities and our new Pastoral Care Group (Merilyn Carey, Paul Falconer, Gary Hilton, Roz Namgyal and Nathan and myself).

This morning’s service – as we pray and acknowledge those who enhance our community life – is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how we welcome new people and work to make this community more inclusive and more caring.