Thank you firstly to you children for all you bring in our time together, thank you because I imagine sometimes you may get bored or fidgety, sometimes you may think I’d rather have a good run around and play and instead I have to listen for a bit. Thank you for the life you bring to us the creativity, fun and freedom you bring. I love your dancing and your laughter and the way you remind us we are all children of God.
Thank you parents for every time you struggled to church on a Sunday and then after trying to encourage and take good care of your children you feel like you haven’t heard a thing that’s gone on and leave wondering why you ever bothered. The truth is parenting is both an amazing privilege and the hardest thing in the world and you are doing such a great job, every sacrifice you have made with your children is a seed that will in time grow. You are creating Godly habits in your children that will last a life time even if you can’t see that now. Thank you for your perseverance and sacrifice.
Thank you all of you who are single, by choice or not, or through bereavement or divorce. I can imagine that there are times walking through the doors to church or other events is difficult by yourself and takes a lot of bravery. I am sorry for any time you have felt ignored, overlooked or alone. You are highly valued here and my heart is, as your church family, to learn how we can really express that value more. Thank you for your courage.
Thank you teenagers for being who you are, maybe sometimes feeling judged or misunderstood, as there’s always more going on under the surface than your outside may portray. Maybe the music feels a bit quiet and slow to you and not like Soul Survivor at all! Maybe we are not quite as up there with twitter and technology as I know you are. But I want you to know we need you… thank you for your passion, your love of justice, your dislike of hypocrisy and your open mindedness. We want to support you through those vast transitions of life, child to teenager, teenager to adult. I pray church will be a place you can run to with your struggles and questions.
Thank you to you who are older in years. You are so important. I know it’s sometimes too loud for some of you, maybe too quiet for others and the songs sometimes tricky to sing. You may have heard the talk many times before and wonder why the newsletter is changing yet again and why everything is now is online and feels less personal. Thank you for your support, love and prayers anyway. Thank you for sometimes biting your tongue. I thank you and honour you for all the sacrifices you have made and for releasing the future generations even when that costs you. Thank you for your wisdom, your encouragement… We need you, you are the home guard, fathers and mothers of a generation, highly valued and honoured.
Thank you everyone for the money you give. I know you could have so easily chosen to ease the pressure a bit on your family finances, go on holiday, get a new carpet as yours is threadbare, bought a new car, spent it on a new pair of boots. Thank you for your often unseen sacrifice. May God give you double for your trouble.
Thank you to the activists who wish we would just get on with it. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you to the contemplators who wish we would just slow and quiet down. Thank you for your patience. We need you both.
Thank you to the Lifepod leaders who gives their lives to serving people even after a long tiring day when you feel discouraged as only 2 people turned up.
Thank you to the children’s and youth workers who give their lives to serving people, even after a long a tiring day, and feel overwhelmed when masses of hungry loud young people turn up.
I am sorry for any time you have been overlooked or felt undervalued or that you don’t belong.
Thank you if you are new here for taking the step to walk through these doors.
Thank you to the set up teams, sound teams, AV teams, refreshment teams and musicians for continually getting up early and serving us. Sorry when we don’t say thank you and show our appreciation.
I love this church. I love everybody being together. It’s the body of Christ, we are the hands and feet of Jesus. Let us take care of that body, feed it, love it, watch it grow and thrive. We will never be a perfect church, there’s always something we can grow in. Thank you for being a church that loves the word of God, loves worship, loves the people around, pushes through in adversity, loves this community, sacrifices its time, money and energy, loves Jesus and the Holy Spirit and loves God with all our heart mind and strength.