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In 2011 the girls and I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Port Douglas. I know—a tough gig, right?

One of the many highlights was visiting the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda. It was there we learned that when butterflies are in the stage of metamorphosis they are referred to as a chrysalis. We also learned some rather gruesome details about what takes place during this stage. Basically, enzymes are released that digest most of the caterpillar’s cells such that it turns into a kind of caterpillar soup. Then the undigested cells – cells that are like stem cells or building blocks – grow into the various parts of the the future butterfly.

When you think about caterpillars and butterflies it kind of makes sense. Caterpillars are soft and squishy and spend their whole lives eating leaves, while butterflies could almost be a different species altogether as they dine on nectar and flutter around using wings of exquisite beauty. Such a dramatic change requires a dramatic transformation. 

I was reminded of this while at the zoo earlier this week. Usually we like to wander through the Butterfly House where you can see caterpillars and butterflies in various stages of growth. But this time, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Butterfly House was closed.

This was the same day that the Victorian Government announced that we would be going back to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions for six weeks in metropolitan Melbourne.

It may well feel like we are about to become a chrysalis for the next six weeks, and everything that we value is going to collapse into some kind of mushy soup. But within that soup we need to cling to the elements that remain and will strengthen to become the building blocks of who we will be when we emerge.

In 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul tells us that there are three things that last forever: faith, hope and love. Throughout the next Stay at Home season I pray that these will be your building blocks. Faith in a God who is all-present and all-knowing, hope in a future where His kingdom will come and an unending love that is both given and received in abundance.

– Kirrily

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Additional Note
What We Believe

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God and inerrant in the original writings. We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that the lost and sinful man must be saved, and that man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We believe in and practice the holy ordinance of water baptism, which signifies the believer’s death, burial, and resurrection into new life with Christ Jesus, and the regular celebration of Holy Communion as commanded by our Lord.

We believe in the present ministry and baptism of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; those that are saved into the resurrection of life and those that are unsaved into the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our History

In recognition of the tremendous growth forecast for the Plenty Valley, Bishop Stephen Hale set up a Taskforce in 2007 to investigate the possibility of establishing a new Anglican community in the area. With representation from local churches and Ivanhoe Grammar School, this Taskforce developed a plan that included the need for a point person to further the work. In response to this, two years ago St John’s Diamond Creek took a great step of faith by employing a staff member to not only serve its own congregation but to focus on establishing a new parish for Mernda. Craig spent his first year getting to know the area, building relationships and discerning what God was already up to in His mission of reaching residents and retailers with His love. Throughout the following year a core team began to form around a vision that arose again and again through prayer, of a red gum taking root in the heart of Mernda and growing while the roots reached out to every corner of the community. This vision of being organic church integrally connected to local community found a means of expression through the “Sheffield Model”, which was first developed by St Thomas’s in Sheffield (UK) nearly 15 years ago.

With a focus on “missional communities” the Sheffield model emphasises the need for Christians to meet with people in their own world rather than expecting them to enter ours. After spending time with the staff of St Thomas’s, Craig and the team began work on adapting the model for our own local context and subsequently launched two playgroups in the second half of 2010. A missional community has also begun forming around crafts and the creative arts which runs a stall at the Laurimar market to raise money for various causes. Three preview services were also held as God continued to draw people into the Plentylife community.

We now launch with a much clearer vision of who God wants us to be, a five-strong leadership team with responsibilities for missional communities, youth, families, and administration, and leadership for three missional communities focused on families, crafts and the creative arts and the outdoor life. And it’s true that we wouldn’t be at this point today if it wasn’t for the generous support of the Diocese, St Johns and other supporting churches! So now together we look forward to what else God might have in store for us according to His grace.