Our new church with a new name

On February 1 this year I took up the position of lead pastor at Central Evangelical Church in Canberra. The previous pastor had resigned in September and the church was seeking a pastor with experience to lead them into the future. It was a big decision as to whether to take on this role. The state of my health loomed large in the equation, but so did the fact that I expected to have to work through many issues facing the church—and some of these weren’t likely to be easy.

Over two months have now past since taking on this role. I’ve moved my chemotherapy back to Mondays in order to maximise the likelihood of being able to make church every Sunday. So far, so good! I’ve just finishing preaching for nine consecutive weeks—something I hadn’t achieved since 2011, before cancer. In fact, I hadn’t done three weeks in a row since then.

We’ve been working through the book of 1 Peter, which has proved most helpful in focusing the church on the things of God. Last Sunday people shared together what they’d been learning from this New Testament letter and it was a great joy to see the impact of God’s word in people’s lives.

stromloLast Sunday we voted as a church to change our name to Stromlo Christian Church. We believed this will help us to engage better with our local community. While it may not have been the wisest thing to push for a name change so early in the transition, we recognised that much would flow from this—websites, advertising, signs, and the like. There was strong support for the new name and this helps us to proceed in unity together.

If you would like to see some of the things that are going on at Stromlo, then you can check out my new blog at jamesfourfifteen.com. I’m using this blog to facilitate communication with the church about issues we are facing, changes we are making, and to share a vision for gospel ministry as we move forward.

3 thoughts on “Our new church with a new name”

  1. Hi Dave today I attended my Art therapy class for cancer sufferers. It is the last get together before Easter so I took some baking as an Easter gift and some Matthias media evangelistic brochures along with a few copies of your book. Three in our group are terminal. The group always responds well to my little announcement of Easter being a Christian celebration and a few of them took some reading material. Your books were the first to go. I will get some more! Thank you again for writing it. I am excited to see God at work in this little group as He provides opportunities to point them to Him. Rom 8:28 was a promise that I clung to through my treatment time. I finished chemo/radiation July 2012. Still repairing on the inside but back at part time teaching at Tyndale Christian School Blacktown Sydney. I am pleased for you at the new pastoral appointment and the enabling strength of the Holy Spirit to preach weekly.
    God bless,
    Anna-Marie Waters

  2. Hi Dave We have been following your blog with interest over the years and join with you in praising God for the way you have proclaimed His name through your journey. Rather a random request here, but I know you also believe in divine appointments or God (not co) incidences. Each week some of the women of our church meet for fellowship and bible study called Women Alive here at Figtree Anglican Church. As cancer touches the lives of everyone in our community, we have often been able to share something from your blog to encourage our ladies. It has been especially relevant as 2 of our ladies are now with the Lord as their bodies were ravaged by this disease recently. Also every year we give a morning over to the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea. Which leads me to this random request. Would you be available on Thursday 22 May in the morning to speak at our annual morning tea? This is a no pressure request, but more if you happened to be around, perhaps visiting Sydney, that you might have time to drop in on us. If you could let me know if you are available or not, that would be very much appreciated Dave. Perhaps if you can’t make this date, you might consider us another time when you are in our area. Yours in Christ Karen Shaw

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