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News from Long Gully

August 2018

Manna Matters August 2018


I am very happy to announce that Matt and Ashley Anslow (with a little help from their friends) will be hosting a Home Economy weekend in NSW (Coming Back to Earth Retreat) in October, on their farm at the back of the Blue Mountains. It is a stunning location and they have an enormous amount to offer.

Back in Bendigo, the mid-winter crops of garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and beetroot are well on their way, along with a full flush of weeds. It is a season for waiting, maintaining and wood-chopping!

The first half of 2018 was both an encouraging and difficult time. Encouraging, because we had a good response to our annual financial appeal, which, for the time being at least, allows Manna Gum to still pay me a wage. We continue to be humbled, blessed and challenged by the support for Manna Gum's work; it has given us a concrete insight into the way that the people of God are part of the answer to our prayer, 'Give us this day our daily bread'.

But it was also a difficult start to the year, as I had a bad recurrence of a back injury which had a severe impact on my ability to work. Many things had to be pushed back or abandoned altogether, which is always a spiritually chastening experience.

In March, Kim was more than able to compensate for my absence at the Surrender Conference and ran a workshop on ‘A Christian Practice of Household Economy’. In late April, I was able to get to Melbourne to speak to a class at Eastern College on Biblical economics and then to Canberra to speak at a Fair Trade Conference. Although it was a little challenging with my back, it was nonetheless an inspiring time to be around a bunch of people who have taken significant risks and steps of faith to expand Fair Trade networks.

More recently (July), Kim coordinated an Arts of Home Economy Weekend for the NEXT course from Whitley, with a lot of input from the St Matthew's Church community here in Long Gully, with workshops including gardening, bottling and preserving, cheese making, bread making, pasta making, smoking and curing, soap making and more ... It was a great time and a good example of the way Manna Gum's work and message is rooted in a community and neighbourhood.

Jonathan Cornford