UAICC wishes us freedom from fear this Christmas
In our childhood, I and all my people were conditioned by society to ‘know your place’. It was as if two worlds occupied the same space but never connected; never made eye contact. Then, one day, I sensed God saying to me: ‘Diane, why not go and worship in a white fellas’ church.’
I was scared that first time, fearful, and the second, third and tenth times as well, slipping into the back seat, conscious of the eyes following me — even some with enmity. Yet I kept going.
Each Sunday I would slip out during the last hymn until one morning the minister beat me to the door and introduced himself. Then, gradually, others greeted me as well, even coming up to me when shopping in the street.
I was reminded of this difficult time in my life by our Christmas theme this year: ‘Perfect love drives out fear’ (1 John 4:18). I realised when we come to understand ourselves as loved and valued by God, then we are freed from the fears that undermine us. We can step out in faith and share our love
In Congress, our hope is that we all may put aside the fears that hold us back. As God’s children, may we work together for the well-being of all, trusting in the love of God revealed in Jesus who came and lived among us, so that all may have life.
I pray that as we face new challenges in the coming year, we will all be strengthened even more as Jesus’s disciples, with a strong sense of hope and courageous hearts.
Jesus is the reason for this season. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2017 from Congress!
Dianne Torrens is Chairperson of UAICC NSW/ACT