Since 1927 in Australia, a service has been conducted on the first day of March each year to recognise women’s involvement in mission at home and in other parts of the world. This year, St Bart’s hosted the event and about 140 people, mostly ladies, came together from all parts of Toowoomba. The theme was “Do you know what I have done to you” from John 13: 1-17, when Jesus becomes a servant and washed the disciple’s feet. Each year, a country is highlighted and this year it was the Bahamas, consisting of 700 islands and with a population of only 350,000. This was reflected in the colourful array of flowers, apparel and decorations which the ladies from St Barts provided. An excerpt from the WDOP website says:
Radical love is the theme that weaves together all the components of the worship resources. They eloquently tell us that Jesus is God’s presence of radical love in the world. Following Jesus’ example of washing his disciple’s feet, we are asked to continue the gesture of love in The Bahamas and in our own communities. That is how the spiral of informed prayer and prayerful action moves around the globe.
The Bahamas is a place of beauty. The beautiful colours gifted by nature are reflected in the worship service and the artwork. The islands give voice to the people of The Bahamas who invite the world to “come and be washed in God’s ever-flowing ocean of grace: to bask in the iridescent light of Christ’s love, and to be embraced by [God’s] Holy Spirit with the cooling trade-winds of transformation.”
However, in this perceived idyllic community there are still the cultural issues of domestic violence, spousal abandonment and women who blame themselves for their mistreatment among other health issues.
Thanks go to Elizabeth Dutton who was the St Barts co-ordinator and Kate Venables our keynote speaker in particular, but also to the many others who participated. A collection raised $845 to benefit a range of missions including the Bible Society and SU Qld.