I am constantly inspired by God’s grace shining through the work of members of our Lutheran family in service to his kingdom.

So many of you lovingly serve God, his church and the communities in which he has placed you, whether as volunteers, paid lay workers or pastors, or as ministry supporters. You give unstintingly and almost inexhaustibly of yourselves by sharing your God-given time, talents and resources, and by your prayers.

Isn’t it wonderful (and mind-boggling) that he works through us in this way, according to our giftings and vocations, and despite our human failings? 2 Corinthians 12:9 springs to mind – ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. Thank God that this is the case throughout our lives. (If not, there would be some months The Lutheran wouldn’t be finished on time!)

What’s even more remarkable is that no matter how we serve – formally or informally, part-time or full-time, voluntarily or employed, in our congregations or the wider church – or where we’ve come from workwise or vocationally, God uses our life’s experiences to prepare us to bless others and grow his kingdom.

In this edition, we are privileged to share life-journey stories of LCANZ members who serve as pastors, lay workers and volunteers. Their backgrounds are incredibly diverse, and I have been amazed to learn of the many ways God has led these people to his service. I hope you, too, will find encouragement in these testimonies.

Of course, had this been an ‘ordinary’ year, this edition would have been completely different – themed around our upcoming LCANZ Convention of General Synod. But with the triennial meeting now to be held in two parts, including a two-day online meeting on 1–2 October and much of its business deferred until 2022 (see www.generalsynod.lca.org.au for more details) due to the extraordinary circumstances relating to COVID-19, we felt this was a great opportunity to share some personal good-news stories. With many in our two countries in lockdown as I write, I’m sure we can all do with more of those!

And, with our sisters and brothers in New South Wales suffering more than much of Australia and New Zealand, most of our prayer calendar this month is focused on the people and ministries of the LCANZ’s NSW District. Of course, as usual, there are devotions and a themed Bible study to foster our home faith life, too.

And you can read about some wonderful new resources from our church departments, agencies and congregations, including an encouragement to all congregations to recognise, bless and give thanks for those engaged in care in their communities through the Christian Care Sunday project (see page 13).

God bless your reading,


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