About three thousand years ago the author of Ecclesiastes wrote these famous words:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
2020 has given us all a great dose of perspective in ways we never welcomed or even thought possible.
This year has been difficult for many of us, and we all know people who have had to endure diminished wellbeing, or loss of work, or separation from loved ones – and yet the important work of WMQ has continued.
We have worked together, we have played together, we have prayed together, we have supported one another, and we have journeyed together to ensure that no one gets left behind. Our mission is a clarion call to walk alongside people in need - offering care and compassion, and promoting choice, independence and community wellbeing.
And of course, this year we are also saying farewell to our beloved CEO Geoff Batkin AM. Geoff has been the heart and soul of WMQ for 23 years. During this time Geoff has grown our organisation ten-fold and diversified our service delivery portfolio from a primary focus on residential aged care to expand into a variety of community services programmes supporting people in all age groups, and from all walks of life. But this will not be our enduring memory of Geoff. It will not be his long list of achievements that come to mind when we think of the legacy he leaves behind. Instead, we will remember his character.
1 John 2:6 reads – ‘whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus lived.’ Geoff Batkin AM has been a living example of Christ’s love – demonstrating the values and qualities of the Kingdom of God as an expression of his own discipleship. His humility and kindness, his courage and compassion and his leadership and servanthood have been a wonderful gift to Wesley Mission Queensland, and indeed the wider community. Thank you, Geoff, for leading us so well. May God bless you in your retirement.