Greetings to my friends in rural congregations and faith communities across the Synod and the whole church and community!

I have had the privilege of spending time in the Riverina recently, as well as engaging in conversations about Saltbush at a gathering in Tamworth. I am thankful for the friendships I have made and the ones I have renewed in the last few months. I continue to celebrate the faithfulness and good humour throughout our rural church.

The season has not improved, and many folk are facing a difficult summer ahead, if the forecasts are any indication. We are called, as we follow Jesus, to be there for each other – weeping and laughing and caring together – as Paul reminds us in Romans 12. Our hope is located in Jesus, and we live out that hope, even in the driest times.

I am really grateful for the generosity of our church and community, with people giving more than $100,000 to my Moderator’s Drought Appeal, so that we can let people who are struggling know that many, many others are remembering them and offering what support we can to them and their communities.

As I drive around our Synod, I am passed constantly by hay trucks and am reminded of people’s goodness and generosity to others because they have received generosity in the past. Our lives are frequently parables of the mercy and generosity of God.

Be assured of my prayers for our rural church, of my thankfulness for your witness, and of my hope in Christ for the days ahead.

May God’s Spirit bless, inspire and renew you, always.