Monday, January 4, 2016

Changes and Gratitude by Nola Passmore




The beginning of each new year is a time to reflect and a time for change.  I’d like to do both of those things in this post, but let me start by announcing a change.  I’ve been the coordinator of Christian Writers Downunder for almost two years and it’s been a wonderful experience.  However, I’ve felt for awhile that God was directing me to take up some other opportunities and that it might be time to hand over the leadership.  I’m thrilled to announce that Jeanette O’Hagan (aka Jenny) has agreed to take over the reins.

Jenny will be familiar to you already, as she is the one who posts the blog links up every Monday and Thursday and has also been the driving force behind our first CWD anthology ‘Glimpses of Light’.  It’s been a blessing having her on the committee and I know she’ll bring a lot of energy, compassion, faith, wisdom and creativity to the coordinator role. One of the main tasks Jenny will be taking over is the coordination of the blog calendar.  I’d like to thank her for the tremendous help she’s been behind the scenes.  I’ve benefitted greatly from her expertise and friendship and I know she’ll do a brilliant job as coordinator.

I’d also like to thank our other committee member Anusha Atukorala for her incredible support and wisdom during the last couple of years.  Although CWD runs fairly smoothly, there has been the odd occasion where tricky issues were bubbling behind the scenes.  Anusha is a tremendous encourager and prayer warrior and I value all of the input she’s given.  One of her new tasks will be to introduce the blog posts on the Facebook page on Mondays and Thursdays.




I’ll still be on the committee, but we’ll be looking at adding another two or three people to the team. We’d appreciate your prayers as we think and pray about that.

I’ve learned such a lot in the last two years and it’s been a privilege to play a small part in facilitating a group involving such a wonderful bunch of writers, editors, illustrators, publishers and readers.

One of the things we did during my watch was to develop a mission statement for the group.  We decided that the main aims of the group were to:

  • Glorify God in our writing
  • Develop our God-given creative gifts
  • Encourage other Christian writers and those in related fields

You can read a longer post about those aims here.

I think we’ve come a long way in working towards those goals.  I am continually blown away by the faith, talent, creativity and encouragement evident in the group.  We don’t always agree with each other, but I love the way we are able to discuss issues in a loving and respectful manner.  Each member is an important part of the whole and I appreciate all of your contributions. I’ve also valued the way in which we’ve been able to develop stronger links with the other Christian writers groups, particularly Omega Writers, Australasian Christian Writers and FaithWriters.  Thank you to the leaders of all of those groups for your enthusiasm and support.  We are truly stronger together than apart and I appreciate all of you so much.

I’d like to thank our previous coordinator Lee Franklin for entrusting me with the leadership and showing me the ropes. We wouldn’t have CWD if not for her initial vision.  I’d also like to thank our amazing bloggers.  I’ve really appreciated your willingness to step up and share your hearts and knowledge with us.  If you have some free time during the coming weeks, why not scroll back through some of the posts? We’ve had over 500 posts since CWD started in 2011, covering a wide variety of topics.  I am truly blessed by all of the amazing insights that have been shared and I look forward to that continuing for many years to come.

So what will I be doing?  I’ll be spending more time in face-to-face mentoring and workshopping opportunities, particularly with the Toowoomba branch of Omega Writers which I co-lead with Adele Jones.  I’ll also be putting more time into the freelance writing and editing business I run with my husband Tim (The Write Flourish) and I’ll be endeavouring to finish my novel.  I’m also currently enrolled in the Queensland Writers’ Centre online course ‘Year of the Edit’, so that will keep me busy.




I’m sure you’ll join me in welcoming Jenny as the new coordinator.  I know that the CWD ship will be in very good hands under her leadership.  You’ll hear more about her hopes and dreams for the group in Thursday’s blog post.


In concluding this season for me, I’d like to give the biggest vote of thanks to God.  He has guided us every step of the way and any good that has flowed from the group has come through Him.  There have been times when I felt I didn’t have the energy or ability to continue as the coordinator, but His strength and calm assurance has always been there.  Let’s keep Him first in our writing journeys and see what amazing things he has in store for us.
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Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 150 short pieces published, including devotions, true stories, magazine articles, academic papers, poetry and short fiction.  She loves sharing what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same.  She and her husband Tim have their own freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish.  You can find her writing tips blog at their website:  http://www.thewriteflourish.com.au  

40 comments:

  1. Thanks for all your hard work, Nola. I'm sure Jenny will keep everything going nicely. :-)

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    1. Thanks for your support Lynne. And yes, Jenny will do a fanastic job. Bless you.

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  2. Thanks Nola for all your efforts on our behalf. As you said, these roles become very interesting at times. May God bless you in every endeavor. Big thanks to Jenny for stepping up. This group is such a great support to me and many others.

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    1. Thanks Jo. Yes there have been some interesting issues at times, but it's all part of the learning curve :) Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it. Blessings :)

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  3. Thanks from me too, Nola, for all your excellent work with CWD. Your plans for 2016 sound as if they will take up quite enough of your time so that's so good Jenny can take over the coordinating role. God bless you both as you take on new challenges this year--and I hope you get a lot more of your own writing done, Nola!

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    1. Thanks Jo. Yes, it will be a busy year, but I'm looking forward to those new challenges. Thank you for your encouragement. God Bless.

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  4. Thanks for letting us know about the changes. We all appreciate the hard, behind the scenes work very much, as Christian Writers Downunder is such a blessing to all. Those of us who used to just do our own thing without knowing where to turn for input can attest to the difference it's made.
    Thanks for stepping up, Jenny. And thanks for your supporting role, Anusha. And Nola, thanks for all your hard work holding the reins for the last few years. You're all a great example of good teamwork.

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    1. Thanks Paula. I have to say that I think we made a great team! :) Of course it was all thanks to Nola's awesome leadership! And thank you too Paula, for your encouragement and support over the years.

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    2. Thanks Paula. I've been so fortunate to have Jenny and Anusha on the team and of course all the wonderful bloggers like you. Thanks so much for your support. God Bless.

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  5. Great blog Nola and a huge THANK YOU from me for all you have done for CWD during the past few years. I know it has been a lot of work and you've had plenty of other important things to deal with in your life too. You've done a fantastic job and we applaud you. May God bless you abundantly as you reach your God given goals and dreams in 2016. We are very grateful to you my friend.

    A warm welcome Jenny. Great to have you leading us and I know you too will do a terrific job. Thanks for all you've done via the Glimpses of Light Anthology. That was awesome. Looking forward to a New Year at CWD—may God use all of us writers and our writing to glorify Him.

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    1. Thanks Anusha. We couldn't have done it without your incredible support. Looking forward to this new era :) God bless.

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  6. Thanks for everything you've done, Nola. I'm sure Jenny and whoever will do an excellent job. Thanks for everyone's input. It has been a 'different' year for me and I've learned a lot about online writing activities. Thank you all.

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    1. Thanks Jeanette. It's been great having you on board and I've really enjoyed getting to know you better through the GOL anthology too. Blessings.

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  7. It is such a blessing to have a smooth leadership change. What generous ladies you are to give so much time and of course your talents to guiding and encouraging other Christian writers! Au revoir, Nola, even though we're happy you'll remain on the committee. Welcome Jenny for stepping into this responsible role. And cyber hugs to Anusha for all her invaluable help when needed.

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    1. Special thanks for those cyber hugs dear Rita and sending several back to you at lightning speed! :)

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    2. Thanks Rita. Have really appreciated your support and encouragement and the words of wisdom we've had through your blogs. And I'm very grateful to God that there was a smooth transition of leadership. God Bless.

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  8. Yes, thank Nola for your wisdom and contributions over the last couple of years. You've done a great job. I love what you are doing for Omegas - especially with the workshops and retreats, and can't wait to read your novel :) And thanks Anusha for your prayer and support.

    Thanks everyone for your welcome. I love CWD - it has made a huge impact on my writing life over the last few years. I love the friendliness and openness in the group, and the way we encourage and pray for each other. Looking forward to a great 2016.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. Couldn't have done it without you. Really looking forward to seeing how the group will continue to develop under your leadership. And thank you so much for taking on the role. May God bless you beyond measure :)

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  9. Great job, Nola. And all the very best, Jenny & Anusha.

    Here's to a great 2016 on CWD.

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    1. Thanks Ian. Really appreciate your support. God Bless

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    2. Thanks very much Ian and every blessing on your writing journey in 2016! :)

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  10. Thanks Nola for all your hard work. The CWD blog has provided opportunities for networking between writers and a means for us to support each other. It has also provided information on a wide range of interesting topics, each relevant to our work. Thank you for your hard work and may the Lord bless you mightily in this next chapter of your life. Welcome to Jenny and thank you to Anusha for tirelessly working in the background. x

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    1. Thanks Susanne. We really appreciate your comments. I've been blessed too by all of the people who've contributed to blogs and discussions. God bless.

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    2. Many thanks Susanne. CWD has been a great support in my life and I thank God for Lee who started it and for Nola who continued the good work. Thanking God too for Jenny who I know will do a great job. Blessings to you Susanne on your own writing journey in 2016. xo

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  11. So much gratitude for all your hard work, Nola. (And Jenny and Anusha. :) ) You've worked together to build a safe, encouraging connection point for writers at all stages of their journey. I'm so very appreciative of the generosity and graciousness of this group, and this has been consistently modelled by you and the committee members. May you see every success as you focus your time on other ventures. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Adele. We've tried really hard to build a good atmosphere in the group, so I'm glad that's come across. Have appreciated everyone's input so much. Now about that next workshop ,,, God Bless :)

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    2. Thanks Adele. Yes, as Nola said, we do appreciate everyone's input and it's great that the good atmosphere we've strived to build in this group has been evident. All praise to our God who is of course the Number 1. God bless you Adele and thanks for being a part of us! :)

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  12. Oh Nola, this post did my heart so much good. I love new seasons, don't you? This will be your best one yet (well, except for MOP when we (you, Jenny and me) met. And I mean that for me. Meeting you and Jen has been so good for my soul. I am praying for you, Nola. God wants me to. And I have a feeling that the world is going to be thankful for you. You get out there and do His will. Everything will fall into place. LOVE YOU, WOMAN!

    P.S. You've left it in VERY capable hands. :-) LOVE the pics. Good luck, Jenny and Anusha. Love you both.

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    1. Thanks so much for those comments Robyn. Really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I love MOPs because it's where we met you. Sorry I'm not taking part this year (except for my Sat challenge) but I definitely won't give up on the poetry and hope to be back in the mix this year. Take care Robyn. You rock!

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    2. Thanks dear Robyn and very glad you've come into CWD. Yes, I love new seasons too and am very excited to see what He will do in 2016 with all of us writers. Bless you dear Robyn for all your encouragement and a fulfilling writing year to you! :)

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  13. Tanks Nola, and all the very best for the year/s ahead! And thankyou to Jenny and the other admin behind the CWD group, what an amazing blessing you all are! <3

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    1. Thanks Helen. Really appreciate your support. Have really loved your blogs and other input. God Bless.

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  14. Thanks for all you have done Nola. Sounds like you will still be plenty busy. Welcome to the new role Jeanette. I'm sure you will also do a great job.

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    1. Thanks Dale. It was an interesting journey and I'm so glad for all of the people I met along the way, such as you. God bless.

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  15. Thanks for all your hard work, Nola and the team, and to Jeanette for stepping up. I'm amazed at the energy and ideas generated by these blogs.

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    1. Thanks Ruth. We're so glad you've join the blogging ranks to bring yet another perspective. It's an amazingly gifted and generous group. Blessings :)

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  16. Thanks Nola.. and indeed, everyone who has done their bit to make this a great Blogspot to support and encourage christian writers. It definitely has been a wonderful oasis for me. All the best Nola in your future plans and goals and thanks again for all your hard work.

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  18. Thank you so much for your hard work and the effort you put into administrating this blog site. I really appreciate that not only you, but Anusha and Jenny have taken the time, and have continued the vision that Lee started. All the best, Jenny, as you take on the responsibility, and I hope we can continue to encourage writers here and around the world with ideas, thoughts and opportunities. Many blessings

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    1. Many thanks Meredith for your support and prayers and for being part of this encouraging group over the years. Yes, may we be a beacon of hope to writers and may the Holy Spirit use all our offerings for His glory.

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