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

Hurry up and wait!

An AS350BA Squirrel helicopter from 723 Squadron (CREDIT: Royal Australian Navy)

An AS350BA Squirrel helicopter from 723 Squadron (CREDIT: Royal Australian Navy)

When I was in the Navy I learnt an important lesson: the ‘hurry up and wait’.

It usually occurred when we’d be told without much notice to be in the next place, that’s usually not very close to where you are, in less time then it really takes you to get there. This is called the hurry up.

Typically what would happen once we had arrived is that the hierarchy would then take another 30 minutes to figure out exactly what it was that they wanted us to do. We did plenty of waiting like this.

As Christians, we’re actually in the ‘hurry up and wait’ business, too. 

In the Bible, Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but the Bible also tells us that the ‘time is near’ for Jesus’ return. (Revelation 1:3).

This time could even be today or tomorrow.

I want to challenge you to hurry up. Share your faith in Jesus with friends and family, the ones you’ve wanted to share the good news of Jesus with but haven’t quite gotten around to it.

I want to challenge you because, as the Bible tells us, the time is indeed near.

If you don’t trust Jesus, hurry up and investigate Jesus because without trusting in him there is no hope of the ‘wait’.

This is because Christians wait in hope of Jesus’ glorious return.

Whether he returns today, tomorrow or not until more generations have come and gone, Christians await his glorious return knowing we will finally be at home with Jesus when he comes.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up!

Mitch Herps (Moore Theological College student)

Isn’t it time to come back to church?

Back to ChurchIsn’t it time you came back to church?

At 5pm this Saturday 21st May we’re hosting a FREE chops, chips and chocolate night at the church. Join us for a free BBQ meal, with salads, hot chips, and a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and fruit, followed by free espresso coffee. It’s a great contemporary church service for people of all ages, and includes a special kids’ program.

If you’d prefer a more traditional service then come along at 8am on Sunday morning for a prayer book service with great hymns and time for reflection.

This weekend at both services we’re welcoming a group of young trainee ministers who will share with us the heart of the Christian faith.

This is the perfect weekend to come back to church. We’d love you to join us!

Back to church week

Back to Church“Why don’t you come back to church this week?”

This is the question that we’re planning to ask hundreds of people this week as we connect with our village and valley in a big push to welcome people back into church.

Some people will respond by saying, “I’ve never been to church before… so why should I come this weekend?” This will create the perfect opportunity for us to share that people should come to church to come alive with Christ.

For others, they’ll say that they don’t feel the need to come to church. This should naturally lead to a great chat about how God created every person and longs for us all to know him and come alive with Christ.

Some might also respond to this challenge by saying that they don’t feel they’d fit in to church. This should lead us to talk about the many different kinds of people who are part of our church, from all ages and walks of life.

Finally, they might feel that it wouldn’t be right for them to come to church because of the bad things they’ve done. This will create a wonderful opportunity to talk about the rich message of grace that comes through the death of Jesus on their behalf.

It’s my prayer that over this week we’ll have lots of different opportunities to share the good news that ‘Jesus is Lord’ so that many people will hear his call to repent and believe, and then be saved.

That’s a great reason to come back to church! What about you?

From CHAOS to Refuge

Refuge LogoFor many years our church youth group has been known by the name ‘CHAOS’, which stands for ‘Christ Honoured and Others Served’.

As a tagline or mission statement, it’s a terrific summary of what we want to happen in our youth group.

The problem is that the idea of ‘chaos’ in the Bible is generally a bad thing.

After all, God’s work in the world generally brings order where there used to be chaos, especially in the lives of those who have been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Now it’s true that youth often find a grungy, anti-establishment kind of identity to be one that is strangely attractive as they navigate the challenging journey from childhood to adulthood.

But, the problem with the name ‘CHAOS’ is that it doesn’t really communicate that we long for our youth group to attract people by the delight that comes from knowing Jesus and being transformed by his Holy Spirit.

So that’s why we’ve switched our name to ‘Refuge’, which seeks to sum up the security that comes from knowing God, and the safety we can experience as we gather together for youth group in the name of Jesus.

For as we know from the Bible, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46 verse 1).

Jodie.

PS: Refuge is for high-school aged people and it meets at Oak Flats Anglican each Friday from 7pm to 9.30pm during school terms.

Anglicare and ARV Better Together

Anglicare and ARV TogetherThe parliament of our church voted unanimously this week to merge Anglicare and Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) to better meet the need for their services in the future.

Archbishop Glenn Davies told a special synod called to consider a merger that the landscape of aged care in Australia has dramatically changed.

“The future will see constraints placed on government funding of aged care services and development of the practice of consumer directed care. Users of aged care services will be required to pay more and will be given greater say in the way their services are delivered.” Dr Davies said.

“This is a dramatic shift in social policy by the Commonwealth Government, which has significant ramifications for both organisations. New players are entering the field of aged care services. These are large, international, for-profit organisations who are growing at a rapid rate. Scale will be vital for growth: scale is the new criterion for survival.”

Dr Davies said he was thankful for the strength of both Anglicare and ARV. “Strong financially, strong in reputation and strong in the foundation of their work on the love of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that we are able to look with confidence to the future and are able to plan that future from a position of strength.”

The Archbishop paid tribute to the 4,000 staff who work at Anglicare and ARV and the thousands of volunteers who he said ‘contribute greatly to our mission’. “I am excited about the prospect of one formidable agency working alongside our parishes to share the gospel by word and deed.” the Archbishop said.

Report from sydneyanglicans.net

We must never glorify death

Anzac memorial (CREDIT: Nadia Morgan via Flickr)

Anzac memorial (CREDIT: Nadia Morgan via Flickr)

As we come to Anzac Day, it’s impossible to avoid speaking of death.

As we remember the heroism of those who served, we never forget the many who gave their lives to protect our way of life.

Yet even as we honour their sacrifice, we must never glorify death.

Death is our greatest enemy, no matter how much we try to conquer it ourselves.

It brings us sadness and pain, even when it comes with valour.

Even Jesus wept as he stood at the grave of his friend.

And this is why Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life in order to conquer death.

And because of Jesus’ death for us, the Bible cries out,  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1Corinthians 15:55)

As we remember those who gave their life for our nation, let us pray to the man who gave his life for the world. 

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Lest we forget.

Enough to make Jesus cry

Jerusalem (CREDIT: Cycling man via Flickr)

Jerusalem (CREDIT: Cycling man via Flickr)

It’s remarkable to think that the person who created the entire universe would weep in anguish at the state of his people.

Yet, this is exactly what we saw of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem, as recorded in Luke chapter 19.

Of all the people who should have embraced Jesus as Lord, they instead chose to reject him and kill him.

And as Jesus reflected on this, it led him to weep tears of sadness.

As he cried for Jerusalem, Jesus also spoke of the coming judgement that the city, and in turn, the people would face.

When Jesus finally returns to judge the living and the dead, it will be a time when we will see more weeping as many people’s rejection of Jesus is exposed and punished.

Whilst Christians should long for the day when the universe will acknowledge him as true Lord, we should also long that more people might confess their sins and follow Jesus before that day.

This is one of the reasons we are eager to share the good news of Jesus to our community.

And, it’s why we’re focusing on a whole week of intense mission to our region from the 14th to 22nd May this year, in partnership with two dozen Moore Theological College students.

We pray that as the message of Jesus rings out in the region that people would come to him and accept him as Lord and Saviour.

Please pray with us, and get ready to see God do powerful things as his word goes out to the people of Oak Flats and Jamberoo!

Are you paying too much tax?

Income Tax (CREDIT TaxRebate.org.uk)

Income Tax (CREDIT TaxRebate.org.uk)

This week a major leak of documents in Panama showed how much effort people can make to try and pay less tax.

Whether it’s tax avoidance, tax evasion, or even downright money laundering, it’s clear that everyone involved in these schemes has been keen to reduce the amount of money they pay to the government so that they can increase the amount of money they keep for themselves.

Some would say that this kind of behaviour is acceptable because it is legal. Yet, there are many activities that are also legal yet are not morally desirable (such as prostitution).

The Bible is clear that we should pay to the Government the amount for which we are legally obliged. We should obey the tax laws as much as we should obey any other laws of our land.

Yet, is there a place to volunteer to pay more taxes than we owe? Should we try to maximise our tax rather than minimise it?

Well, given that a reasonable amount of our taxation goes towards providing universal access to healthcare, education and welfare, it might be a good thing for us all to volunteer to pay a bit more to help those valuable causes.

Or alternatively, maybe we Christians might consider paying come of the tax we ‘save’ in our refund directly into a charity that provides additional care for the more needy in our world, such as Anglicare and Anglican Aid?

Imagine if the money that was saved by the Panama tax avoiders was invested in helping support the resettling of Syrian refugees, or providing relief for those affected by the Ethiopian Famine?

Countdown to Mission Week

Dorothy at Moore Mission

Dorothy and friends at the last Moore Mission held in 2013 at our partner church Oak Flats Anglican

There are only six weeks until we welcome 20 students from Moore Theological College to join our church for over a week of mission to the communities of Oak Flats and Jamberoo.

Under the leadership of Moore College lecturer, Lionel Windsor, we will be engaging in a number of initiatives to bring the gospel of Jesus to our local region.

Over the two weekends of 14-15 and 21-22 May, we will be having guest preachers at all our church services, along with opportunities to hear about the way that knowing Jesus has changed the lives of the team members.

We’re also going to be doing ministry in the local schools, shops, as well as events on our own church grounds.

Please be praying that many of the people of our region who don’t know Jesus would hear of his love and follow his lead as Lord.

Pray that the Mission week would bring a great burst of evangelistic energy into our churches, as well as provide encouragement and training to the students of Moore College who are preparing for ministry.

Start thinking about who you might be able to bring along to one of the many outreach events over that week… and pray that God’s Spirit would do awesome things as people hear the word of God.