The Activate team announce with sadness the death of one of our much-loved Dream Team Members, Julie McQuoid. Julie was a key part of all that we did: bringing her unique qualities of wisdom, sensitivity, patience, faith and love to build us as a team and move us forward as an organisation. Julie was a natural evangelist, telling everyone she met about Jesus in the most gentle and intriguing ways. She always brought a large group of neighbours, friends and colleagues with her to Activate Weekends away, just as she did to her own church in Forest Row, East Sussex. Julie was gifted in starting up new ministries, such as a ‘Family Matters’ Group, a ‘Tea Laughter and Cake’ Group for older people, a food bank and an Alpha course. She then encouraged others to join in helping and eventually give them the reins of leadership. She was an encourager who was great at identifying other people’s gifts. She would laugh at being called a “Dangerous Woman”, but she was indeed dangerous for Jesus.
Julie was a loyal friend, always ready to listen and invest time in people. She grounded the Activate team meetings by always thinking carefully and ensuring we move forward prayerfully, taking everyone’s needs into consideration. Like her aunt, Helen Cooke, Julie was often puzzled by Activate’s latest moves into different social media, but was positive as she listened to new ideas. She created beautiful prayer labyrinths for us and reminded us always to seek God’s will. She spoke alongside her sister Mandy Catto about bringing your unique personality to God as an evangelist, reminding us that you don’t need to be an extrovert to bring others to Jesus.
Please pray for her husband Gavin and her three children, Jade, Toby and Nathan. Julie was 47 and faced her cancer with courage and grace. When she knew that her diagnosis was terminal she wrote out this letter to leave behind-
I would like people to know that if I have a change of address to my permanent home, that they have just given me out of their arms straight into the loving, strong arms of Jesus. I have had the most incredible life. Just gently walking with God. What an honour. God has always given me his peace and hope, for a life lived to the full.
And if today I am celebrating with you from heaven, then please come and see me one day. All you need to do is accept God’s loving invitation that He gave when He poured out His heart on the cross through His perfect Son, Jesus. Say yes now. Please. I look forward to seeing every one of you again one day. The time is up to God. But we can be certain of it. And have no fear of death. Today if you are reading this I am partying, and madly dancing in heaven. Fully restored, accepted and loved.
All of our days are in His hands. God knows the day we are born, and the day we will die. What is important is what we do with the dash.
Julie McQuoid, September 1969 – May 2017