I do not know where God wants me to serve next or what I will be doing. What’s more, I am giving myself permission not to think about it too hard. Life often has a habit of turning out in ways we cannot imagine. If you had told me in January 2006 that I would lead the Pride parade in Newcastle, or pastor a church where we had a thriving ministry to families with young children, or that we would run a joint project to support LGBT folk seeking asylum that was mostly funded through donations from the local LGBT community and our allies, I could not have imagined those things, even if I sat still for a really long time. Of course, these are ministries and opportunities that have happened in my time at NLMCC, and are part of our vision to be ‘the church for our community.’ In January 2006, when I was beginning to think about my next steps in ministry, none of those ideas were in my head at all and I certainly wasn’t thinking about moving to Newcastle. Yet God blessed me with the call to come here and serve you. And it has been a great blessing.
Now I will soon be leaping off into the air again, trusting that God is already waiting to catch me on the other side of the canyon. Some people have said that I am brave. I don’t think I am really. In CLM, someone once said that you have to feel fear in order to be brave. I am not afraid. Today, parents will be making the decision to put their children on boats and send them to another country, in the hope that they will be safe. Today, someone will speak out for truth, knowing that they will be imprisoned or silenced a brutal way. Today, a woman will finally make a phone call that will help her to escape from a life of domestic violence. Today, people will get back on the metro in Brussels and reclaim their ordinary lives, against the threat of hatefilled acts of terror. These are acts of bravery. I am simply trusting in the God who made me and who loves me. As we know, there is no fear in love.