As Kim and I enjoyed our weekly coffee-date this morning at Stillwater, she looked out ruminatively across the water at all of the development that has taken place over the past 200 years where the North and South Esks merge to form the Tamar River.
“I wonder if the settlers who came here two hundred years ago” she asked, “could have imagined the silos would have been built over there and then turned into a luxury hotel, or that two bridges would have been built here, or that their tiny village would grow into a large city?“
“What’s more interesting” I responded, “is if anyone today can envision what it will all look like in another two hundred years!“
And my response then got me thinking. Could it be possible to imagine what Launceston will end up looking like in another two hundred years—and, what about our church? What will our church will look like in two hundred years time? As I mused throughout the rest of the day on this question my thoughts went to the future. In 2222, Tasmania’s population on current trends will be 4.5 million. Hobart will have a population of 2 million. Launceston will have a population of 1.34 million. The Tamar River will have population centres on either side of it which will be connected by a series of bridges and tunnels. Tasmania will be connected to the mainland by a “strunnel“ similar to, but much larger than, England’s connection to France through their chunnel. Tasmania’s climate, soil conditions, and abundance of fresh water will lead to it becoming a major international food-bowl. In 200 years, after several periods of devastating natural disasters and military conflicts in various parts of the globe, Tasmania will have opened its heart wide to immigrants from all over the world. This will lead to tens of thousands of people who had also moved here after the collapse of the Islamic world a century earlier. Thousands of Indian families will have also made Tasmania their home. Added to this, there will have been a migration of thousands of Chinese families after the collapse of the formerly oppressive Communist regime. Historians will look back over this period and note that it was a series of spiritual revivals where tens of thousands of people converted to Christianity and churches all across Tasmania were burgeoning. It was the Tasmanian churches of the 23rd century that led many social and cultural reforms where prisons were largely emptied as a result of the change in the moral climate, marriage was once again considered the sacred covenant union of a man and his wife, the rate of violence against women almost unheard of, and wives who became mothers were highly honoured and supported.
Imagine the Friday Pastor’s Desk, written by Legana Christian Church’s 15th Senior Pastor, writing just before the church’s 205th Annual Thanksgiving Sunday…
Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.
As we prepare for our 205th Annual Thanksgiving Weekend, a tradition that dates back two centuries beginning in 2017, we again pause to give thanks for the goodness of God and the sacrifices and faithful service of our forefathers and those who pioneered our church. This is why, for this week’s Pastor’s Desk, I have decided to use the ancient technology of email and the ‘internet’ to send out my Pastor’s Desk as it would have been done by the pastor in 2017. It was just five years ago (2217) that we gathered to open our last building project, our multi-storey auditorium and ministry centre complex. We all remember that Thanksgiving Sunday when 15,000 of us gathered over our five services that Sunday as the Holy Spirit moved powerfully in each service. The Text by our guest speaker was-
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS
Not only will we be continuing the tradition of setting aside the second weekend in August to give thanks to God for all that He has done for us as a church, as all of my predecessors have done, this weekend will also mark the goodness of God as I retire and we install our next Senior Pastor. And as we look forward to the future we will, as is our tradition, commission our new pastor by reading the charge written by my predecessor 200 years ago. The text for Thanksgiving services this Sunday, as selected by our guest speaker, will be Psalm 95:2-3 –
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
Our next pastor will be our church’s 16th pastor in our two hundred and thirty-five year history. We have all had an opportunity to hear and meet him and his family. All two-hundred and eighty-three of our church’s staff have given their endorsement for his appointment, and our elders issued a statement a few weeks ago expressing their commendation of him as well noting that at the age of just 32 he has had extensive international leadership experience. We remember that the last time he shared with us, he talked about how the Lord had clearly called them to come to Tasmania and that he even had a historic connection with our church sharing that his great, great, great, great grandfather also pastored our church two centuries earlier! His grasp of being fluent in several languages will enable him to connect well with our Chinese, and Spanish congregations without the usual need for an interpreter. This was also reflected in his last message with us when he selected the text Revelation 7:9-10 –
¶ After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Please be praying for our guests and dignitaries who will be joining with us for Thanksgiving services this Sunday – especially our Prime Minister that she will be touched by the Holy Spirit, our State Governor, and our State Premier (even though both our Governor and Premier grew up in our church and coincidentally were baptised here as young teenagers in the same Baptism Service). Could each of our Service Attendant Teams meet 45 minutes before each of their rostered services on the fifth floor of our Ministry Centre (MC), and could our elders gather for prayer before each service in our Board Room located adjacent to my office on the sixth floor. To avoid congestion in the eastern multi-storey underground car park, please use the western multi-storey car park instead. Several dignitaries will be arriving by HV (hover vehicles) and be using the HV landing pads on the roof of the MC. Remember –
[We are] to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord!
See you Sunday,
August 9th, 2222
5 Things We Need To Do To Break Our Church’s 200 Barrier, Premium Audio
Apologetics Part 1 – Introduction To Apologetics, Premium Audio
Apologetics Part 2 – The Apologetic Arguments For God, Premium Audio
Apologetics Part 3 – The Apologetic Arguments For The Bible, Premium Audio