As you might have heard, this year marks the 500th anniversary of The Reformation.
This really is an important event in the Christian calendar, but its importance lies not in the nice round number of 500, nor in the fond feelings it might arouse.
The significance of this anniversary is not so much about looking back, but it’s about a call to continue what was begun.
It is in the nature of man to take the loftiest of things and turn them around for the worst.
This is perhaps most true of religion.
There is no higher or loftier subject than that of God, and yet given enough time all religions seem to displace God from the centre and replace Him with man.
We shape God in our own image… we speak of what man can discover about God… we create the works that man must do to reach the God we have invented.
When the Incarnate Son became man He exposed the corrupt nature of man-centred religion.
This was God become flesh, revealing God to us.
Man, a finite sinful creature, has no hope to reach up to God and take hold of Him.
But in Jesus, God reaches down to us: in his Word he reveals himself to us.
What’s more, we have no ability to work our way up, as if somehow we could erase the debt of our sin.
And yet it is grace, all of grace, that Jesus pays our debt for us. We simply accept this gift by faith.
The Reformation exposed what the church had become: man-centred religion… and it sought to take us back to God.
The five “Solas”, (which just mean ‘alone’ in Latin), are the the catch-cry of the Reformation.
And these five statement capture this so well: ‘Scripture Alone,’ ‘Faith Alone,’ ‘Grace Alone’, ‘In Christ Alone’, ‘To the Glory of God Alone.’
And the call of the Reformation continues today, to turn from man-centred religion to Christ alone.
This weekend we’re kicking off a new five-week series looking at the five Solas of the Reformation called ‘Five Foundations’. Jodie will be speaking on the topic ‘Scripture alone’.
Two hundred years ago, people knew that reading the Bible before and after the day’s labours would change the feel of the day. It was widely accepted, unlike today, that the Bible contributed to the private and public good. This is why, as the Bible Society Australia marks its bicentenary (200 years) of sharing the Bible, that we will join in the celebrations this weekend during our services.
Our 8am Sunday service will be a Holy Communion Second Order AAPB service.
During our service, we’ll have our weekly question and answer time, and Jodie will be answering these questions:
If you’re wanting to check out our church we’d really love you to visit us on Saturday at 5pm for a contemporary service with kids’ program and dinner afterwards, or come along on Sunday at 8am for a Prayer Book service.
If you can’t make it in person, you’re welcome to jump online to watch the service (with the same sermon and many other items) at www.oakflats.tv.
This weekend we welcome Bishop Peter Hayward who will be speaking on the topic ‘A Building that lasts’ from 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 5 to 23.
Next weekend we’re kicking off a new five-week series looking at the five Solas of the Reformation. The series is called ‘Five Foundations’.
Anglicare is our mission of the month. Support this ministry through the ‘Mission Table’ in the Hall.
Starting next Saturday, 25th February, 4.00 – 4.45pm (before 5pm church), meeting in the Church Hall. Hearing the Bible, learning in community – you ask your questions, make your comments, praying and caring, reading and prayer guide for personal use at home. Contact Mark on 0438 342 042, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger and Amanda Kyngdon are over here from Western Australia, and will be joining us for a coffee and dessert night to share about their ministry with BCA (The Bush Church Aid). Thursday 23rd February 7.30pm at Oak Flats Anglican.
You are invited to join the ladies of Oak Flats and beyond this Tuesday 21st February to hear Cassie Sharp. 7pm in the church, cost $7. No need to RSVP, just turn up!
The Ladies Guild are meeting this Wednesday 22nd February in the church hall at 2pm for their Annual General Meeting.
Saturday, 25th February is our next Combined Leadership meeting at Oak Flats Anglican Church, starting at 8.00am.
Don’t miss out on our awesome church retreat on the weekend of the 31st March – 2nd April. Our guest speaker is Peter Jensen, former Archbishop of Sydney. It’s time to register!
Each week we need to receive $2650.00 in order to meet our commitments. In the last calendar month, our average weekly giving was $2223.00, leaving a gap of $427.00.
Up to the end of the last calendar month we needed to have received $21,200. Compared to that total we received $16,940, leaving a gap of $4,260.
Electronic giving is a great way to give! It helps us prayerfully plan our giving, and then the bank will help us keep that commitment, even when we may be unable to attend. To give by direct transfer then these are the details. Account name: Church of England Jamberoo. Account number: 10081274. BSB: 062562 .
This weekend we give thanks to God for 150 years of ministry in our building at Jamberoo Anglican Church.
This milestone reminds us that this building has had a special place in our hearts for we who have regularly gathered here since 1867.
It is the place where we have baptised babies and new believers, married new couples, and said farewell to our loved ones.
This makes this building very significant to many generations of Jamberoo Anglicans.
Yet despite the fond memories of our church, the Bible makes it clear that this building does not perform a special religious function beyond helping us gather together in comfort and safety.
Before Jesus’ time, God’s Temple was the place at which God chose to be especially present, and his people gathered there to have priests make sacrifices with special rituals.
But when Jesus came, he transformed the way that we were to meet with God.
Instead of needing a physical building, we now meet with Christ, by his Spirit, as we hear his word in the Bible.
And because of Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice on the first Good Friday, we no longer need to offer sacrifices at an altar in a temple.
What’s more, we no longer need to have a special priest to stand between us and God, because Jesus is that high priest who constantly brings our requests to our heavenly Father.
This means that the reason we meet together in a building like ours is to hear God’s word, pray to him, and to encourage one another through love and good deeds.
When we do this, it will create rich and warm memories that should prompt us to bring thanksgiving to God for all that he’s done in our special building.
And we should be energised to work together to extend the reach of our church to include more and more people in our village and valley.
Happy Birthday, Church of the Resurrection!
This weekend we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of the church building with two events:
Saturday 18th February
Join us from 3pm for devonshire tea and an historical display, whilst the kids enjoy a jumping castle and ice creams. Then we’d love you to join us for the official celebration at our 5pm contemporary church service, which will be followed by a sausage sizzle and lamingtons, and a fun night of all-age bush dancing.
Sunday 19th February
Join us at the special time of 9.30am for a traditional Anglican service of praise and thanksgiving for the 150 years of ministry in our historical building. This will be followed by a delicious morning tea and a hearty lunch for all.
The Bishop of Wollongong, the Right Reverend Peter Hayward will be our preacher at both church services as we join together to give thanks to God for his faithfulness. The Bishop will be speaking on the topic ‘A Building that lasts’ from 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 5 to 23.
Everyone is welcome for this special celebration, and we look forward to you joining us to renew old friends, and start some new ones!