This is the latest blurb that is published on the front of our weekly bulletin

Jesus is our certainty

This week there’s been more bad news in the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he has tested a new design of nuclear weapons that cannot be intercepted, and that have a practically unlimited range.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says the likelihood of another financial crash like the GFC is a certainty, with some economists saying that we are close to seeing another economic bubble burst.

On top of this, our Facebook feeds keep reminding us of cancer and funerals and grief and trials.

In many ways, this flow of bad news is really, very normal.

Every week we hear about threats of war, economic instability, and personal sickness and death.

And none of us know if more of our own, personal trials are just around the corner.

In the end, the only certainty we have is that life is full of uncertainty.

Except for one thing: we can be certain about eternity if we put our trust in Jesus.

Jesus make it clear that we can have certainty about life after death if we follow him as our loving ruler and rescuer.

He said that his followers are his sheep, and that he is our shepherd.

And he gave this assurance:

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29)

In a time of uncertainty, we can find certainty in Jesus.

No matter what happens in the world or in our household, we can have certainty if we choose to have Jesus as our shepherd.

Since Jesus is certainty, it seems crazy to put your hope in anyone or anything else.

Jodie McNeill 

Church news for the week beginning 24th February 2018

Today’s Bible talk

Today we we continue the series ‘Jesus is___’ as Jodie preaches on the topic ‘Jesus is… believable’ from John chapter 20 verses 24 to 31, and 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 12 to 19.

Mission of the month

Nungalinya College, Darwin is our mission of the month. Support this ministry through the ‘Mission Table’ in the Hall.

Parish Council

Our Parish Council meets this Monday, 26th February at 7pm at the church. Please remember them in your prayers.

Elvanto training night

On Tuesday, 6th March, 7.30pm to 9pm, we are holding a special training night for our Church management system, Elvanto. This will be held at Oak Flats Anglican. Please RSVP via comment card or email

Floral Display

We will be hosting a floral display at the church on 17th March, 9am to 3.30pm. $10 includes viewing of display and refreshments. For information call Helen 4236 0158.

New roster coming soon

If you’re unavailable to serve on a roster from 19th March through 1st July please let us know via comment card, email or even better go to

‘Jesus is___’ prayer night

Special prayer night at the Shellharbour Civic Centre at 7pm on 13th March. Plan to join people from all the churches to pray for the mission events.

‘Jesus is___’ public meetings

Public meetings at the Shellharbour Civic Centre at both 11am and 7pm on 20th, 21st and 22nd of March 2018. Plan to attend, and plan to invite someone!


Giving update

Each week we need to receive $6300.00 in order to meet our commitments. In the last calendar month, our average weekly giving was $5112.00, leaving a gap of $1188.00.

Olimometer 2.52

Up to the end of the last calendar month we needed to have received $163,800. Compared to that total we received $144,998, leaving a gap of $18,802.

Olimometer 2.52

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 .

Billy Graham

We give thanks to God for the life of Billy Graham who died this Wednesday.

Many of you will know the impact of his ministry personally. It was through his preaching that God called you back. If not you personally, then you have seen his impact on your friends, on your spouse, indeed on a generation in Australia.

I am of a generation that came after his great crusades in Australia. And yet for us to understand the Australian Christian landscape we need to understand what God did through Billy Graham.

In any Christian gathering I have ever been in where the question is asked ‘who was converted at a Crusade?’, there has always been many hands that have gone up. And this legacy has had a multiplying effect on Christianity in Australia.

I’m sure each member of my generation has had at least one significant mentor or preacher who was converted through Billy Graham. For me it was one of my university leaders. He was the one who encouraged me into ministry through his passion for reaching the lost. And it was Billy Graham who spoke the Gospel to him. It wouldn’t take long for each one of us to find these connections with his ministry.

The clarity in which he preached was astounding – the way he could explain so clearly the tenets of the Gospel and call people to repentance. I was listening to the radio once where the presenter had one of his talks running in the background. He would fade him in and out at random.

The amazing thing is that each and every sentence of Billy Graham was a self contained piece of brilliance, it felt like the most compelling thing about Jesus you could hear.

While his preaching is what we remember him for, it was his personal integrity and godliness that has safeguarded his ministry.

He resisted the temptations of money and power that came with his position, and while the media made it a sport to uncover the scandals of American evangelists, there was never a hint of that in his ministry. His life and his words were all motivated by God’s love:

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Simon Chaplin.

What makes a disciple a disciple?

(CREDIT: airpix via

Becoming a disciple of Christ is more than just being a follower or imitator of Jesus.

As my Serve Team has been looking at the ‘Jesus Is’ studies, we saw in John chapter one the calling of two disciples, one of whom is Andrew. Andrew immediately follows Jesus (John 1:37).

But it is what happens next that has enlarged my picture of discipleship.

What is the first thing Andrew does after finding Jesus? We read from verse 41:

“He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:41-42)

A disciple is someone who makes other disciples.

This of course is abundantly clear in the Great Commission at the end of Matthew, where the disciples are told to go and make other disciples (Matthew 28:18)

But sometimes we might think of that as a special case, a certain extra task for these first disciples. After all, the instruction even gets its own name – the Great Commission.

But the Bible passage in John is right at the very start of the Gospel. It’s before any special instruction was given, and we find the exact same principal at work.

The instinctive response of someone who has found Jesus, and has become a disciple, should be that they will immediately find someone else to share Jesus with.

This is because of who Jesus is, the Messiah, the Son of God!

The rest of the book goes on to show how great this Son is, whom God sent to us that through him the world may be saved.

Once you meet him, this desire to make other disciples should be who we are as his disciples too.

Are you ready to share who Jesus Is with your friends, family, and others in your world?

Simon Chaplin.

It’s too costly to lose free speech

(CREDIT: RebeccaBarray via

When our nation debated the redefinition of marriage, there were moments when things were said that were difficult to hear.

Yet, it was vital that we felt the liberty to openly and honestly share our convictions and beliefs.

The mark of a healthy democratic society is the ability to speak freely about what we hold dearly, and as we consider the nature of freedom of speech and religion, it is vital that Australia maintains the liberty to say what we think, so that our society can work out what is right.

Many religious and ethical views are controversial, and they will inevitably cause some strong emotions.

When people say things about Jesus that we know are untrue or unkind, we can feel upset and even angry.

Yet, it would be tragic if people felt gagged to talk about things that might clash with what others believe.

For the sake of the truth, all Australians need to feel free to say what they believe, so that each of us can engage with those views, and allow healthy debate about what is right in heaven and on earth.

If you believe in the value of freedom of speech and religion, then I’d like you to consider making a submission to the ‘Religious Freedom Review’.

I’m told that the most valuable thoughts would be real-world examples of concern you might know of in Australia or other parts of the world.

Please pray for this ‘Ruddock Review’, and please consider visiting this link to make a brief submission before the 14th February:

Jesus is controversial, and his words will challenge people to their very heart.

Let’s pray and act so that our nation might continue to be open to hear the radical words of Christ, who created us, rules us, and gave his life for us.


What a beautiful name!

I was buzzing after Tuesday night’s combined prayer and training night for the ‘Jesus Is___’ campaign.

180 local Anglicans joined together to pray and sing, and to be pumped up and trained to talk about Jesus.

On the way home from the meeting, I stopped at the petrol station, and I realised I was still wearing my ‘Jesus Is___’ t-shirt.

Even though I’d been encouraging others to be courageous in speaking about Jesus, I suddenly felt a bit self-conscious.

Would the cashier ask me what the t-shirt meant? Or would the guy at the petrol pump pay me out?

And then I remembered what Sandy Grant taught us about the 12 words that help start the conversation:

“We’re interested in people’s opinions. (point at the logo). Jesus is… What goes in the blank?”

And then I relaxed, knowing that I was ready to have a chat with whoever I might encounter.

When it comes to March, I’m looking forward to regularly wearing the t-shirt, badge, or wristband, and using the coffee cup.

I’m expecting that it’s possible that I’ll have some awkward moments, but I’m also sure that I’ll have some terrific opportunities to chat with people about Jesus.

There’s no name that is more beautiful than the name of Jesus, and it will be an honour to wear his name, even if it sometimes gets a bit uncomfortable.

And we all need to remember that… “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. …praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:14, 16b).

Will you join me in displaying Jesus’ name by purchasing some merchandise? Orders close this Sunday, so now’s your last chance to let us know what you need!



Bridging the gap in our youth

CREDIT: Photo Vanova, via Flickr.

One of the most significant bridges for our young people is the gap between youth group and church.

Research presented by the Moore College’s CMD reports that there is a significant drop off in church involvement in the later teen years.

We all know that this is a fragile time, with all kinds of pressures.

So what do we do? Firstly, we pray. For what appears fragile from our perspective is not at all from God’s. Those he has hold of are secure in his vice-like grip.

Secondly, we work hard to develop the faith of our young people in ways which will help them bridge the gap to adulthood.

This will only be done through his word in their hearts in the fellowship of Christian community.

The fellowship we have as Christians is crucial, and helping our youth thrive in community is vital. That’s why we make our youth group, ‘Alive’, as good as possible.

But there’s also another factor that can help our youth stay connected to church: the time of the group.

We run ‘Alive’ on Saturday nights at 7.30 to 9.30pm because we want the youth of our church to first attend an intergenerational church at 5pm and then have an all-age dinner at 6.30pm with people young and old.

It means that it’s a big night for our teenagers, but it also means that there is a healthy integration between the generations.

Plus, we’re strengthening the discipleship that happens at times other than Saturday night, so that the youth can be further strengthened to go the distance.

Being part of church is being part of God’s family, with everybody of all ages. We are looking forward to helping our young people experience that as they grow into a lifelong of faith in Christ.

Simon Chaplin and Jodie McNeill

Is it Christian to take holidays?

Since Jesus is returning soon to judge the world, is it right for us to just sit around and enjoy a holiday?

Well, when we hold to the truth that God is sovereign over everything, then it means that it’s OK to stop and enjoy a break.

This is why God originally created a Sabbath day, so that his people might recognise that he runs the world, not us.

Plus, it’s worth reflecting that God designed us to spend a third of our lifetime sleeping, so that whilst our eyes are closed, we can show that we know that God is still ruling from his throne.

God also instructed his people to enjoy special holidays, when they would remember God’s actions in history.

With this in mind, we should demonstrate our dependence on God’s loving rule by enjoying holidays, and by taking a day off each week to remember that he is god, not us!

Even as we rest, we should naturally make the most of every opportunity to talk about the most important person in the universe.

In fact, holidays can be wonderful times to enjoy chatting with friends and family about the joy of knowing Jesus.

Plus, it can also be a great time to spend sharing your faith with others on a ‘Beach Mission’ or holiday camp.

God created this world to enjoy, and because we believe in his loving rule over every, single aspect of his universe, we can rest and relax in peace.

And as we rest and relax in his creation, we should naturally express our gratitude to God with the people we’re around.

And, God willing, he will use our words of genuine thankfulness to show the beauty of knowing Jesus to those we are with, so that they might be saved when he returns.


Imagine a world that knows Jesus

For as long as I can remember I’ve known about Jesus.

My grandparents were followers of Jesus, and they brought me up knowing that it was really important to know him personally.

When I was ten I decided to follow Jesus myself, and I am now more convinced than ever that this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

That’s why I want every person in the world to also know Jesus.

Over this past week, I attended a week-long conference run by CMS, the Church Missionary Society.

CMS prays that we might have a world that knows Jesus, and it works to recruit, send, and support people throughout the world to do this.

This week I have heard many stories of people who have heard about Jesus and now follow him as loving ruler and saviour.

It is both humbling and exciting to hear about the fruit of their labours, and to know that we partner with them in prayer and giving.

As we pray for our own partner missionaries, it will naturally inspire us to think about our own opportunities to help the people in our own neighbourhood know Jesus.

This year, we have a special opportunity to help locals know Jesus as we begin a focused campaign leading up to Easter.

Our ‘Jesus Is___’ mission seeks to bring the knowledge of Jesus to our neighbourhood through personal chats and combined events.

As we pray for a world that knows Jesus, we’re also praying for an Illawarra that knows Jesus.

For God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6)

Will 2018 be a Groundhog Year?

This week my kids joined me in watching the 1993 movie, ‘Groundhog Day.’

It was released a year after Mandy and I were married, and it’s probably been decades since we saw it.

The premise of the movie is that Phil (played by Bill Murray) gets trapped in the 2nd of February, where he lives that same day over and over again.

After his initial shock, he starts to experiment with different outcomes, based on how he conducts his life.

Initially he spends his ‘days’ seeking pleasure, but eventually his frustration leads him to take his life, which only returns him to the start of the same day.

Finally, he devotes his energy to improving his skills, and showing acts of love and kindness.

Over the countless repeats of this day, Phil grows as a person, and he shows how in one day, he can make a significant impact on the lives of many people through his good works.

If it wasn’t for Phil’s bizarre time loop, he may have continued through life, racing from day to day and year to year, without any reflection.

This is the trap we can all fall into as we naturally surrender to the recurring cycle of days and weeks and months and years.

It reminds me of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, which starkly recognises that “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;” (1:9)

Yet, its conclusion is that we should remember our creator (12:1), and that we should “fear God and keep his commandments,” (12:13.)

As 2018 has now dawned, “may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Jodie McNeill