See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” So writes Isaiah in chapter 43. It is a reminder to us that our God is the God of the unexpected. The angel’s announcement to Mary that she, though a virgin, will be the mother of the Son of God and his birth in such humble circumstances in the stable in Bethlehem all speak to us of a god whose ways are so different from our assumptions and anticipations.

This season our Christmas theme is the simple word, “surprise!” God’s surprises are not held at a comfortable distance in the Christmas tableau. He continues to surprise us, and the more closely we choose to follow him the more frequent will be our surprise at the way he works and the things he does in and through us. Our process of corporate discernment through November and our looking to all manner of fresh initiatives in 2018 are all about being alert to the Lord who says, “See, I am doing a new thing!”

I am convinced that what the Lord has in store for us next year goes well beyond changes in our office staff structure and personnel, but that is part of it, so let me inform you of our plans and something of the timeline associated with them. Firstly, we will be seconding Annie to the More Than Peace initiative to enable her to pursue a ministry of peace-bringing, mediation, and pursuit of justice in all sorts of situations of conflict and abuse of power in our society. Annie has championed this element in our shared call to be a missional people and we retain links with her and commitment to the goals she is pursuing in this pioneering ministry.

When Annie came one of the roles she assumed was that of co-ordinating the outreach ministry area which had previously been looked after by Erin Jegels. I have asked Mark Russell to assume this responsibility and he will fill the position of Outreach Ministry Leader on an interim basis through 2018, at the end of which we will consider a formal appointment to the post. Mark will take up this new responsibility after his return from the early January Ambies camp.

This leaves a gap in the position of Youth Pastor. My intention is to once more combine responsibility for Ambies with pastoral leadership of the Young Adults. For the opening three or four months of next year, Cath Baytopp will be undertaking this role while we set up and embark on a search process with a view to a permanent appointment being made by the beginning of April.

Bushy is leaving his role on our staff at the end of March to pursue a calling to pioneering ministry around the formation and support of missional communities with something of a focus on student ministry. Bushy will be telling us more about his vision and its exciting implications in the New Year.

Barbara is also feeling a call to develop the focus of her ministry into a broader involvement in congregational ministry. This is in keeping with the position of shared leadership she is already exercising alongside me, Annie, John McPetrie and Charlotte. In this new role Barbara will still have oversight of Children’s Ministry and the Emerging Generation Ministry, but in a less hands-on fashion. We are happy to let this transition evolve over the first half of the year, and it will go hand-in-hand with a search to find a person (or persons) to work alongside Laurie Parsons in the Children’s Church Ministry.

Please support us in prayer as we seek the Lord’s wisdom in the staff changes and appointments we are envisaging. Obviously we would welcome and questions or suggestions regarding this process.

As we approach Christmas, Sue and I extend our warmest greetings to everyone in Christ Church, and our prayer that, as we enter this coming year with its theme of “Deeper in and Further out – the Call to Adventure”, the Lord would surprise us all with growth and blessing in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Much love

Taryn Galloway, 21/12/2017


Christ Church Kenilworth  |  Cnr Summerley & Richmond Road  |  Tel: +27 (021) 797 6332  | E-mail:
Service Times: Sunday Worship  8.00am, 10.00am & 6.30pm  |  Wednesday Service: 10am   | Tuesday Quiet Service: 6.30pm (fortnightly)

Taryn Galloway, 06/05/2015