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It’s been a while. I have some news to share. But more on that in a bit… 

Back in April 1995 our family moved to Tasmania where we would live for the next two years. Joel was 18 months old, and Sue was six months pregnant with Emily. We knew just one person in the state, the bloke who had employed me to coordinate a national youth conference. It was a big, big adventure. 

I will never forget stepping into our new Launceston house for the first time, our stuff yet to arrive from the mainland (‘big island’). We opened the fridge to discover it was laden with food, as was the pantry – much of it homemade. People we didn’t know but who would soon become life-long friends, people from the church we were yet to attend but which would become our adopted family, were showing, and would continue to show us hospitality that made our time in Tasmania one of the richest seasons of our lives. In that moment our big, still empty house became a home. 

One of the marks of the 1st century church was its radical hospitality. In a time where you kept to your family and tribe (ethnic or religious), Christians were known for the way they sacrificially opened up their lives and homes, not only to each other, but to strangers – and even their enemies. Time and again you read in the New Testament encouragement, indeed the commandment to offer and practice hospitality as a mark of true faith. Indeed, you could not be a leader in the early church unless you had a track record of being a good and generous host. 

None of this is surprising. Jesus was always welcoming people into his world – sinners and saints, friends and foes, the puffed up and the pushed aside. His life embodied inclusive, invitational and sacrificial generosity. Jesus’ mission demonstrated the radical hospitality of a God who invites everyone, without exception, to participate in the abundant life he offers. 

Wesley’s mission is to ‘continue the work of Jesus Christ in Word and deed’. As such, this work will always be marked by radical hospitality. I see it every day in the work our staff do and make possible. I see it in the case worker doing all they can to restore a child to their birth family, at Edward Eagar Centre when someone who’s been sleeping rough finds a warm bed and a warmer welcome, and in one of our Intensive Therapeutic Care homes.  

I see it in the Lifeline crisis responder listening with empathy, the counsellor responding to someone’s cry for help at 2am on the GambleAware helpline and the support worker empowering their client to live with dignity and safety in their own home. 

Every person we encounter today and this week – matters, matters to God and matters to us. 

Now, to my news ????. On September 20 our Emily and Andy welcomed their daughter, Rosie May Ghaiyed, into our world. Emily is our daughter and Rosie our first grandchild. I am today and forever from this point, ‘Papa Stu’!  

We are so grateful to God and completely, totally and head over heels smitten with Rosie. I think you can only agree with me that she’s gorgeous – perfect. I held Rosie for the first time two days after she was born, in that moment covering her with my tears of joy and prayers of gratitude. What a gift Rosie is. 

Every blessing,

Rev Stu Cameron
CEO and Superintendent, Wesley Mission

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