Well, the day arrived and if you can believe it, almost a week has passed since. I am so thankful to God and grateful to His people who have taken this opportunity and run with it.

The Drumming Up Support-a-thon event was an opportunity to raise awareness and do some community education about 3 childhood diseases that don’t get much if any press and of course it was a neighbourhood level fund raiser designed to add a few more dollars to help researchers and Chloe, Beau & Michael’s families move forward with a greater confidence in the ‘village’ of support they have around them.

However, from our perspective at CCC, it was also an opportunity to represent and demonstrate the unconditional love of Christ to those who live, work and play around us;   to people who are in our locational and relational spheres of daily activity. We are desperate to see God’s kingdom rule replace the rule of the kingdom of this world and as such give people we come in contact with a glimpse (and hopefully more) of what Jesus was actually sent to do ‘ON earth as it IS in heaven’.

I was so energized by our church family who put their hand up (or in some cases just searched) for jobs that needed to be done and without fuss or drawing attention to themselves, completed task after task that undergirded the success of the event.

It isn’t often that people are presented with something that on the surface is probably bigger than the number of people and resources we have in the ‘world’s view’ BUT this is where the view from heaven is far superior and can look at a couple of loaves and a dozen small fish and can make them feed a crowd of thousands to satisfaction and still have left overs.

All I was doing was providing a quirky point of context (doing something I can do) around which to build a community serving and neighbour blessing opportunity. Whilst I was drumming, people were welcoming a stream of visitors and supporters, cooking, preparing and feeding those present, checking we were secure and not causing anyone any disturbance, monitoring and doing first aid, making coffee, making endless treats to eat with coffee, painting kids’ faces, keeping children safe whilst providing a variety of entertainments, receiving and processing donations, keeping a silent auction going effectively on site and on line, consistently providing updates to all forms of media, cleaning up, wiping down surfaces, talking with visitors and helping them feel a part of what was happening, supporting, encouraging and praying …

Do you know that on the 3 occasions I was struggling, people just sensed it, walked up to me (in one case texted me) laid hands on me and prayed specifically for the thing I needed (without knowing), giving me a word from the Father if it was required, and as history will show, I was able to play on. Others just brought physical therapy or ensured there was enough water.

Then there were musicians (and other team members) who gave up their sleep, time and even paid work opportunities to ensure I had support or something to play along to for 24 hours; some even travelled 3 hours to add to the offering. All the while people were checking and re-checking that things were operating well and smoothly with care and love. Achieving a strong connection with Chloe and her family because she was present at the event is one thing but making 2 other families who don’t even live in our State feel like they were part of what was happening is another level of engagement effort altogether.

And this is just during the 24 or 25 hours, it says nothing of the effort that went in for the days and weeks before and is still going on days after.

This is what heaven is supposed to look like – a safe place where people are cared for, engaged, energized, healed and given purpose and an opportunity to express that purpose in service. i.e. with the heart and purpose of God. We prayed and continue to pray that people who engaged with the event (in any of the ways) have and will see MORE of Jesus and be drawn to the transforming power of His good news for their lives and for all their loved ones and connections.

A much more comprehensive summary will follow on social media via @24HrDrumMadness and on Pulse 941 FM (with thanks to Aaron & the Team) and other external media conduits. But for now, here are a couple of things to thank God for and reflect on.

Firstly, we are still steadily receiving monies from auction purchases and donations but as at LAST Wednesday evening the 1st August we had reached close to $4.7K funds raised, our biggest individual event tally, more than the Table Tennis Marathon and Backwards walk combined.

Secondly, and just for your trivia pleasure, during the 24 hours and taking into consideration his 3 to 5 minute break each hour and the fact that he mostly played songs with either a 4/4 or 6/8 time signature, Graeme hit the kick drum around about 120 000 times and the snare drum over 100 000 times.

To quote Sandi who said, ‘roll on the 48 hour Table Tennis Drum-a-thon whilst walking backwards.’

We thank everyone involved on behalf of Chloe, Beau, Michael and their families from the bottom of our hearts and, we thank our Lord Jesus Christ for showing us the way, loving us through it and inspiring us with a deeper understanding of what it means to love without expecting any response at all.

THIS Sunday 5th, as a part of our morning meeting from 10am, I will share some further key observations & revelations from the effort AFTER we give thanks for Murray Wynn’s life.    

Peace at Last is our Hope IN Christ for Muzza (24 July 1963 – 26 July 2018)

We trust God with our mate Murray Wynn who sadly passed away last week after a heart attack left him stranded for some time before he was discovered and revived for a few days. It’s been a tough week or so, particularly for his Mum Val who wanted to spend some time with her son before medical staff at Wollongong’s ICU turned the life support machines off about 9pm last Thursday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Val and her daughter, Murray’s sister Tonia and her family.

There are plenty of people who could say more about Murray’s life and I’m hoping they will in a few days’ time, but for me through the relatively short time I’ve known him, Muzza was a larger than life character who had a big heart but struggled (as too many do) to overcome the addictions that ensnared his life. It was not his everyday demeanour but the mind and personality altering challenges that brought out the worst at times, making it hard for people close to him to stay deeply connected.

A terrific artist with indigenous flair, Murray loved to give humble everyday things like garden rocks a particular language; a sort of voice. He was a gifted gardener who had a way with simple landscaping, a skill that has blessed us as a church family over the years.

He loved to grow his own food, domesticate animals and seemed to have a beyond usual patience with people and things that might otherwise slip by unnoticed. On good days he would naturally think of giving something he had found or caught or grown to someone more in need than himself, or just to bless anyone in his vicinity. It was the bad days that robbed him of his potential, his gifts and eventually his young life.  We will miss you Murray.

Shaping the Future – A Proposed Way Forward in the Aftermath of the Think Tank  

We hope you have had a chance to read through the document emailed to most of you via ‘mailchimp’ mid last week. There are a few hard copies available in the journal tower in the foyer. We will talk more about the continuing process as these next few weeks unfold. We covet your prayer support during this key time in our church family’s journey.

We’ll Post a Summary of Glenn’s Message from last Sunday in next week’s edition.  

Here’s the Link to the home page for all that’s happening at the HUB