On Sunday morning I was just making the last few photocopies of worksheets for our Youth bible study that runs during our morning 10am service. Our Vicar, Paul Barker (aka Senior Minister) walked into the office to ask me if I could bring the youth back into church after the sermon (we normally stay out for the whole service). So anyway, I'm thinking to myself, why? But I don't have to think long because Paul tells me it is because he is going to announce that he is leaving Holy Trinity Doncaster after just over 13 years of faithful service. He is going to be a missionary as a semi-itinerant theological lecturer in Asia, based in Malaysia. This has been something he's been doing for the last few years whilst also been Vicar here. It is a great gain for Asian theological education, and a great loss for the Melbourne Anglican Church.

Anyway, when he announced it at the 10am service, the mood was stunned, shocked and very sad. Many people were in tears. A testament to Paul's leadership I think. Testament to the fact that under his leadership this church has grown from around 200 people to 500, that over 300 people have been baptised through our Mandarin Ministry alone, and many of them are now back in China spreading the Gospel. He will be leaving our church on November 8. Big news!

So I guess this post is to say that there will probably be a lot of posts now as I reflect on what it is like to be at, and work for a church in transition from one leader to another. What are the difficulties, the joys, the frustrations... Apart from Paul who has been at Holy Trinity for 13 years, the rest of the staff are pretty fresh. Myself and Jono are in our second year here, Wayne is possibly into his 4th year.

It would be great if you could pray for us and the mandarin staff as we work extra hard in this time of transition.