Penny Galbraith

Hi!  Thanks for reading my REAP articles.
I’m currently on holidays at the moment so thought I would do something slightly different.
There have been numerous people who have had a big impact on me this past year.  I once read a blog that said we should name the people who have influenced us as a way of saying 'thank you'.  I can't remember who that was, so I can't thank them specifically!  However, I would like to honour just five people who I do remember that have had a positive impact on me this year.

Penny Galbraith

There are so many words I would use to describe Penny.  I would start off with hilarious, intelligent, artistic, insightful, unco-ordinated, adventurous and opinionated.  And then I'd have to end with spiritual, creative, knowledgeable, tactless, energetic, encouraging and crazy. It's amazing that so many different words could sum up one powerful little package named Penny.

I had the privilege of meeting Penny and her friends about 10 years ago.  Back then they were the "popular group" within the young adults of our denomination.  The great thing was that popularity meant absolutely nothing to them and I think they would have laughed at the idea that people would have looked up to them in such a way. (I think that was partly what made them so appealing.)  I must admit that I was one of the plebs that stood back in awe. They were all so confident, creative and hilarious.  There was never a dull moment when Penny was around.

My first big break into this circle of friends was when I was invited to be a part of a drama for a big denominational worship service.  Penny was one of the actors and although the play was in the dramatic genre we ended up struggling to hold back our laughter even through all of the emotional scenes!  From that point on we only got closer and closer.  I ended up living with Penny and three other girls in a massive house we called 'The Cubby'.  We sung tunes for our answering machine messages, we skidded down the stairs on mattresses, we held parties, we watched lots of movies, we yelled at prank callers (and some innocent callers!) and created humorous liturgical dances. 

Throughout this time I started at Theological College, where Penny was employed as one of the lecturers.  She was a huge support to me as I struggled with all the questions that were arising around my faith.  Her dedication to local church ministry helped to bring a positive practical side to all the theory that was taught and kept a healthy balance between study and action. 

When 'The Cubby' dissolved we all went our separate ways however we still remain friends today.  A real highlight for my past year has been catching up with Penny to record our Foolishly Faithful podcasts.  Reverend Penny has continued to add fun and joy into my life.  She encourages the creative side of my brain to kick into gear and is always supportive and understanding of my journey in ministry. 

As I look back over the last 10 years I can see that my time in The Cubby was a really pivotal season for me.  Through Penny and our Cubby housemates I was encouraged and supported and my crushed self-esteem was finally given a much needed boost.  Penny has been a great example for me.  As a colleague, a friend and a fellow Cubby […]

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.