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

Find Life This Summer

The summer holidays are generally a good time for some R&R: get-togethers with friends and family, time at the beach, backyard cricket and time off work are just some of the reasons we love summer. 

But the summer break is also a time for a third R: Reflection. 

As we look toward the year ahead, we also reflect on the year that’s been, with all its ups and downs.

We reflect on life’s big questions: what we’re doing with our lives, and who or what we are living for. 

Each summer, thousands of tourists come to the Kiama area for a holiday and together with locals, they pack out the cafes and beaches in town, as well as the surrounding area. 

And each summer, a few dozen Christians from Sydney come to our area to talk to people about Jesus, as part of the ‘Summerlife’ (Kiama Beach Mission) team from the 28th December to the 5th January. 

The goal is to get people to spend time chatting and reflecting on who Jesus is, and what he’s done for them, and we look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit works amongst these chats. 

For us at Jamberoo, there are two things we can do to support this mission.

Firstly, we can pray for the team as they seek to lead people to Christ through conversations.

Secondly, as the team members encourage contacts to head along to a local church, then you could be the local person who they can connect with.

So, be praying, and also head down to Surf Beach and support the team each day at either 1pm or 6pm.

It would be such a great encouragement to the team to see you, and it would be a terrific way for Jamberoo Anglican to be amongst our community. 


Rejoice With All Your Heart

Christmas is a time of the year when we love to sing carols about the good news of Jesus and the wonder of God becoming human to save us.

Even people who don’t normally sing in public will give singing a ‘go’ each Christmas, and because these carols have been a part of so many of our lives since birth, they create a comfortable familiarity in this festive season.

But did you know that God, himself, also sings?

In Zephaniah chapter 3 verse 17, we hear that The Lord our God, “will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

It’s an Old Testament reference, and it’s looking forward to a time when that singing will happen.

But for us who live after the first Christmas, this is divine singing has already happened… and it’s still happening!

For, Zephaniah was forward to a time when God’s people would sing with God: “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!” (Zephaniah 3:14)

But why would they sing? Why would they be glad and rejoice?

They sing because of their stunning salvation: “For the LORD will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the LORD himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. (Zephaniah 3:15)

So, it turns out that singing at Christmas is the perfect response to the amazing salvation that came when Jesus came.

For as was promised to Mary, “she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

Let’s sing to that!


Join us for Christmas – even if it’s raining!

This Christmas we’d love you to join us at our special events open to everyone in Jamberoo and beyond.

At 5pm on Christmas Eve grab a FREE Sausage Sizzle and drink and then sit on your rug or chairs and join us for a special one-hour carols service at 6pm on the lawn, which is then followed at 7pm for a summer supper and all-age games.

If it’s raining then come along anyway! Sausages will be served under cover in the hall, and then we’ll meet in the church for a cosy and dry Churchill Carols with a twist!

At 9am on Christmas Day join us for a memorable all-age service in our classic church building as we sing well-known carols and hear a fresh insight into the remarkable birth of Jesus.

If it’s a long time since you’ve visited a church, then this is the perfect time to make new friends and discover real hope at Christmas.

Happy Happy Day?

One of our favourite songs at Christmas time is the modern carol, ‘Happy Happy Day’ by Colin Buchanan, which rejoices at the coming of Jesus.

It’s right to sing for joy at Christmas because to us a Son is given, who leaves his throne in heaven—God with us, Emmanuel.

Yet Christmas often brings sadness, or even grief, as we’re reminded of the reality of our broken world, where we lament damaged relationships with loved ones, or the painful reality of distance and death.

What’s more, there will be many who live in places of war and natural disaster, and as we see their lives crumble, we’ll get sad, and we wonder why there’s so much pain, and why we let the same mistakes happen over and over again.

That’s why at the Jamberoo Community Carols on Tuesday night I sang another song by Colin that offers a fresh reminder that even when we’re worrying about the world, we can put our trust in God alone, for he’s still sitting on his mighty throne.

King Jesus came to us at the first Christmas, was placed on his throne at the first Easter, and he continues to rule from Heaven as he prepares to return.

That’s why we sing that, the Lord is king, he’s gonna look after everything, ‘cos this is his world, he rules the world.”

This is why Christmas is still a time to rejoice, even though it’s a time we might experience sadness.

For as the first song reminds us, Christ is the Lord, the light of men, and that he was born to die and rise again, and because of that, he broke the curse of death and saved us from our sin.

That’s why we can sing ‘Happy, Happy Day’ at Christmas, especially when our own experiences might not always be filled with joy right now.


Dying To Depart

Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) is now legal in New South Wales, and as Christians, this is something that challenges us on many fronts, as we seek to offer wise pastoral care to others, and also to obey and honour God and his word.

Some people encourage VAD because they say it avoids the pain of terminal illness, despite advancements in medicine that provide excellent pain relief and palliative care.

Others seek VAD because they don’t want others burdened as they go through a difficult illness, even though this can easily lead to other older people pursuing early death to help relieve others from the need to provide them with care.

Whilst those who have prepared the legislation say VAD is different to suicide, God says in the Bible that taking any life is wrong, even when a person is already close to death.

Yet, the greatest problem with voluntary assisted dying is that it leads a person to take their life into their own hands, rather than waiting for God to act.

This is sad for many others, especially family members and other professionals who feel the confusion and pain of being asked to help a person hasten their death, even though their conscience may be against this.

Despite having the responsibility to protect vulnerable people from feeling pressure to take their lives, this new law will impact our society in ways that will weaken trust, and lead to the deaths of the very people we’re called by God to protect.

Yet, in all of this, we know that there is hope in the Lord Jesus, and that no matter what the sufferings people might be experiencing, they are nothing compared with the glory God will reveal to us later (Romans 8:18.)


Redeeming Grace

Over the past week we’ve seen many images of hostages and prisoners being released in Gaza and Israel, and we’ve witnessed great joy as those who were bound up are now set free.

In the midst of this tragic conflict in the Middle East, we can catch a glimpse of what it means to be redeemed and set free by Jesus.

After all, the idea of redemption is one that has always been connected with slavery and captivity, and it speaks of someone paying a price to allow a person to be set free.

The price of the freedom of the hostages in Gaza was the release of Palestinian prisoners and a short cease fire.

Freedom came at a cost… and that purchased redemption from captivity.

So, when we hear about this release from captivity, it should remind us of the redemption by Jesus through his death on the cross.

This is expressed so wonderfully by the Apostle Peter in his first letter:

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:18-20)

We needed freedom from the empty life that was unable to save us from captivity to sin.

And so Jesus bought that redemption by the most valuable thing in the universe: his own, precious blood.

As we see the tears of relief and joy on the faces of released captives, let us reflect afresh on our own redemption, and the extraordinary cost that made it possible.


Message of the King

We get messages all the time, especially via SMS, iMessage, WhatsApp or even the good-old fashioned paper and pen!

Most messages are short, simple, and not very special, like “I’ll be 5 mins late,” or “How are you going?,” or perhaps a string of letters like “LOL,” or “IDK.”

But if you received a message from someone really famous and important, then that text would certainly catch your attention.

In the very last book of the Old Testament, there is a special message from the king of the universe, as Malachi, (which means ‘messenger’,) delivers a special word from God.

It’s a pretty hard-hitting message, and even though it was written in a time and a place that was a long way away, it still brings a current kick to all of us who now follow the Lord Jesus Christ as king.

Over the next four weeks we’re going to look at the whole message of Malachi in the following four parts: 1: Fear the King (1:1-14); 2: Be Faithful to the King (2:1-16); 3: Return to the King (2:17-3:15); and 4: Prepare for the King (3:16-4:6).

When you bring these four messages together, we hear God the King telling us to fear him, be faithful to him, to return to him, and to prepare for him.

We’ll be challenged to follow the king, especially as we’re so easily tempted and distracted by the things of the world, which subtly lead us to drift away from the true and living God.

Above all, it’s a message that originally prepared God’s people for the coming of the true king, Jesus Christ, who came to bring judgement and mercy, and to bring healing in his wings.

As we explore this message, we’ll see more about why Christmas is such good news.


Welcome to Rachel!

I’m stoked to announce that at the beginning of next year I will be joining Jamberoo Anglican as your children’s minister!

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved being a part of anything that has been about kids and Jesus, and when the two go hand in hand, that’s even better! 

My first opportunity came when working in OOSH (Out Of School Hours Childcare), where I loved working with kids and families and found real joy and God-given skills when working through their celebrations and challenges. 

After ten years I was keen to understand ministry with kids a little more and ended up working for Scripture Union NSW as their regional school worker for SUPA and ISCF lunchtime groups. 

This saw me on the road most days heading out to different schools and meeting the beautiful volunteers who wanted to share about Jesus in the kids’ lunchtime space.

This helped me understand the behind-the-scenes work of what is entailed in a ministry role. In parts, this made me nervous, but there was a greater part of me that was so excited to have a job teaching kids and encouraging households about Jesus every day! 

This brought me to my last stepping stone, as I undertook a three-year Associate Degree in Ministry at Youthworks College so that I could become a qualified kids minister!

I’m really excited for this new adventure to be a part of a church where kids and families come out knowing Jesus bigger and better than before!

I’m eager to get to know each and every one of you.

Please pray for me as I finish up my year, church, and community groups so that I can end well, and please pray for all the logistics of moving in the new year

Praise God for what he will be doing next year amongst us!


Starting at Square One

What do guitars, kids, water slides, the Bible, and transformers all have in common? Square One!

Square One is a weekend camp for children in Years 3 to 6 and their church leaders. 

Last weekend, seven of us went to Youthworks Port Hacking Conference Centre to spend a weekend together and discipline each other with God’s word.

There were around 300 kids and leaders that met together, and we all had a blast.

We laughed, danced and sang together in the main sessions. We prayed together. We played games during meals and with other churches. We spent time alone with God in his word. We listened to engaging Bible talks and electric guitar solos. We ate lots of pancakes. And we studied the Bible together. 

But the best thing about Square One was that we got to spend quality time with our church crew.

There were so many great discipleship moments and so many other hilarious moments!

Over the weekend, we spent some time thinking about how God’s Spirit transforms us so we can say NO! to sin.

And we tried to wrap our heads around the exciting thought that we will dwell with God in the new heaven and earth. 

Being with God is the best.

Please pray that God will continue to use Square One to grow people’s love and knowledge of him.

And thank God for food, kids, fun and Square One!


Dying to Pray

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to live in a country where simply going to church is a life-threatening activity.

Yet for millions of Christians, it is dangerous and often even illegal to gather to read the Bible, to sing, and to pray with others.

Earlier this year, Mandy, Barbara and I caught a glimpse of this at the GAFCON Conference in Rwanda, as we heard first-hand the stories of people who have faced death from militant Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa.

We will never forget the story of one woman who experienced death in her own family, and who now goes through life seeing Christians in her region of Northern Nigeria killed for following Christ.

Her joy in knowing Jesus was overwhelming, and though she experienced such trauma, she had a powerful hope in the life that is to come, and a rich passion to know Christ and make him known in such challenging circumstances.

As we gather for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us pause to remember the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world who risk their lives to gather and minister in the name of Christ.

Pray that the Lord would strengthen them to persevere, and that he would provide their needs as they face genuine hardship and pain because of their commitment to following the true and risen Lord Jesus Christ.

May their example move us to grow in our passion to serve Jesus as we work together to see each person in our village, valley and region know how to follow Jesus and why it matters.

May the Lord raise up in us a renewed zeal to pray for and to give to our brothers and sisters, and may the Lord restrain the evil of those who seek to harm them.