Is it just me, or have recent news headlines been full of a kind of anxious uncertainty? Concerns about the national and global economy are pretty hard to miss, especially if you’re buying anything from broccoli to petrol. Concerns about housing affordability are very real for both renters and mortgage payers. Superannuation funds are warning of increased costs and diminishing returns. The war in Ukraine has an uncertain trajectory, but it seems that it isn’t going to end any time soon. And recent events around Taiwan have further raised a sense of anxious uncertainty.
And I wonder whether some of that uncertainty is playing into our own church finances, which we spoke about last Sunday. The summary of that update is that our giving has remained steady through May, June and July. This is a reflection of God’s generous provision through his people, for which we can be very thankful. However, we haven’t seen the increase in giving that we had hoped for in light of the Partnership Survey we conducted in May. As a result, it is unlikely that we will be able to provide for Matt Winter to continue as a full-time Associate Pastor in 2023. This raises a lot of uncertainty for Matt and Annika as they make their plans for next year and beyond. For this reason, the Leadership Team has sought to give as much clarity as we can as soon as we can. It’s also understandable if you have questions about the implications for our church if we need to bid the Winters farewell. Please don’t hesitate to ask those questions – either with a reply to this email, or over the phone, or in person. And if you’d like to review your own giving, or perhaps action a change that you intended to make, you’ll find the information you need on our website: https://www.trinitybay.church/more/about/giving-information/
With all of this in mind, I am very thankful to God that we’re spending our Sunday’s in the book of Genesis. Isn’t it wonderful to know the great certainty that we have in God’s character, his presence, and his promises? I’ve been really enjoying the ways that God’s teaching us about Jesus from the very first book of the Bible – which is a reminder that God really is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Of course, that doesn’t reduce the uncertainty of our present circumstances, does it? One of the great themes of Genesis is that life this side of the fall is inherently uncertain. But the answer isn’t to constantly chase after certainty, or wrestle it off others, or try to lock it away in a bank vault – either literally or metaphorically. Instead, we look to the one who brings life from chaos, as Matt has so helpfully summarised. We look to the one who is himself the certainty at the centre of it all. Praise God for Jesus! We keep our eyes fixed on him. We take our bearings from him. We place our hope in him. And I look forward to doing that together again this Sunday!
See you then,
Trinity Church Brighton
0401 387 908