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I’m excited, and a little nervous, that a new Indiana Jones movie is about to hit our screens (Dial of Destiny). Excited because the first and third films of the original trilogy (Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade) are two of my all-time favorites. Nervous, because I don’t want to see such a rich cinematic legacy wrecked. It remains to be seen whether a geriatric Harrison Ford is a believable whip-toting, globe-trotting archaeological adventurer. (

My all-time favourite Indiana Jones scene comes right towards the end of the third movie – The Last Crusade. In the middle of a remote desert, our hero’s epic quest to locate the Holy Grail culminates with Indiana, chased by some Nazi bad guys, intently following an ancient map as he navigates a series of deadly traps to reach his prize. Legend has it the Holy Grail is the cup Jesus, and his disciples drank from at the Last Supper.  

The last challenge is the deadliest. An impossibly wide and seemingly bottomless chasm separates Indiana from the treasure chamber. The map simply shows a medieval knight stepping into the void. A leap of faith will be required to cross the chasm, something the skeptical archaeologist is perhaps incapable of. But he closes his eyes, and in one of those iconic movie moments, lifts his foot and steps into nothingness – only for a narrow, rocky path to miraculously appear in all its (1980’s) CGI brilliance. Our hero crosses the chasm, claims his prize and saves his father. Movie magic. (

The bible describes faith as ‘the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.’ (Hebrews 11:1) Martin Luther King Jr described walking by faith as ‘taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase’, while WW2 hero, Corrie Ten Boom, said faith is ‘trusting an unknown future to a known God.’ Christian faith isn’t simply subscribing to a set of beliefs, but daily walking by faith with the God in whom we believe. Which brings me to the story of Wesley Mission on the occasion of our 211th anniversary. 

Wesley Mission’s history is littered with stories of women and men who took big ‘leaps of faith’ in pioneering new services, communities and initiatives. This year we’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of Lifeline, a service that was conceived and birthed out of the hopeful assurance of Alan Walker and others that God was leading and going before them. Diving deeper into that story this year, I’ve been struck by the huge, calculated risks the Mission took to pioneer Lifeline, including fitting out a dilapidated building in Darlinghurst and recruiting staff and training volunteers – all at great cost.  

After the official opening that featured the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries, the phones were switched on. No one knew if anyone would call, if the phones would remain silent. It could have all been a giant waste of time and resources. But one minute after the phones were activated the first help seeker called. Another 100 or so called the same day. And in the 60 years since, tens of millions of Australians have called Lifeline, with countless thousands of lived undoubtedly saved. But it would never have happened without a ‘leap of faith’, without taking the first step of an otherwise unseen staircase. 

If our past is marked by stories of adventurous faith, so too must our future – that is if we are with open hands truly to extend our impact, as our new strategic plan calls us to. That’s the nature of being a pioneering movement. We don’t simply protect what is, we build on the legacy that has been established, a legacy only made possible by the women and men of faith who preceded us. 

Thank you for all you contribute to our story of faith-fueled impact. Thank you for coming to work today with a soft heart, a sharp mind, hard feet and open hands. 

Every blessing,

Rev Stu Cameron
CEO and Superintendent, Wesley Mission

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