It has been great to be back in Luke's gospel. As Jesus headed towards Jerusalem, the big question that our current sections raises was there in 13:23 - 'Will those who are saved be few'. On the one hand - the answer was 'yes' - the religious elite would largely find themselves excluded from the great banquet. And yet, many others would be welcomed in - from the north and south, east and west (13:29). With the key question from 13:23 still ringing in our ears, we find another challenge to kingdom growth in the passage this Sunday: 14:25-35. Please read it if you can before Sunday.
As we approach the crazy Christmas period of the year, I nervously ask you to ensure that the evening of November 14 is in your diary for our Thanksgiving Dinner. It really will be a highlight of the year, as look back with thanks and look forward with hope and launch 'Vision 2022'. To help us prepare, I ran a 30 minute session after each of our Sunday gatherings last Sunday which people found very helpful. I will run them again this Sunday at the same time if you weren't able to be there last week. It will just give you a heads up in terms of where things are up to and give you an opportunity to make any further comments. Again, it will be in the new creche room in the church vestry.
A couple of other things to note:
1. On the tear-off slips this week there will be an opportunity to RSVP for the thanksgiving dinner as well as indicate how you are able to help with the meal.
2. The evangelism training course that started after morning church last Sunday will continue this week in the Barnabas Centre at 11:30am. Even if you couldn't make it last week, you would be more than welcome this week.
3. On 11 November, we will have a working bee to tidy up the church grounds before our Christmas gatherings.
4. On 12 November, we will host a Chamber music concert to raise funds for the building restoration work in the church. You will receive a flyer with more information on Sunday.
Finally, please pray:
a. the follow-up evangelistic event this Saturday afternoon. About 20 women are meeting for afternoon tea to hear more of the difference that Jesus makes to life. It is a great encouragement to see our 'Food for Thought' evangelistic event bearing fruit in terms of ongoing opportunities for people to ask more questions about the Christian faith. Well done to the team for this!
b. Paul Grimmond as he recovers from surgery on Wednesday.
c. HSC students as they complete their exams over the next week
d. Chris and Mel Holding enjoying two weeks annual leave down the south coast (and for the solo pastor left standing!)
Grace and peace,
The report to the Parish re the present position of the Building Renewal program is attached.
In growth group this morning we looked at 2 Samuel 6... a most interesting chapter in the context of David's crowning as king and entry into Jerusalem. It is well worth reading through before Sunday. In particular, I think the question worth asking is why this chapter is necessary. ie Why not just go from chapter 5 to chapter 7?
This Sunday, Archie Poulos will host a gifts workshop. It will be a great help as we work together and encourage each other to use our gifts. Please plan to stick around after morning church or to come in early if you are normally at Night Church. 11:30am in the Barnabas Centre. I've attached the preparatory work to complete before Sunday.
We have had a request this morning for accommodation help for a local refugee. Here is the message: 'A refugee working in Paddington needs accommodation for 6 - 7 months from the end of June. He is 41, single, a people person, self-sufficient, with very good English. He has worked for UNSW on a casual basis. For more information please ring/text Jenny on 0404893374, or email email@example.com'.
Finally, please remember that we are having a food drive over the month of June. If you are able to bring some non-perishable items to church on Sunday to contribute, that would be great.
I'm heading to Jerusalem tomorrow - please pray for the GAFCON gathering over the next week. Many of the brothers and sisters are coming from contexts where there is terrible persecution from within and without the church. They have suffered beatings and killings in some countries, and been sued and lost property and ministry positions in other countries for holding to the truths of the gospel... even from their own denomination. Please pray that there would be encouragement and refreshing as we gather around God's great gospel and encourage each other to hold firm to the gospel that is such good news, even in times of turmoil and challenge.
Grace and peace,
World peace is something that everyone longs for. From beauty pageant queens to world leaders - all of us would love more peace! Why is so illusory? Why does any attempt to find it, or even get closer to it, fail so dismally? This Sunday, we’ll think about the peace negotiations that went pear-shaped at the pool party in Gibeon. Please read ahead for Sunday: 2 Samuel 2:12-32.
Over the month of June, we will be reviewing the progress of Vision 2022. We will produce a 100 day review summary document for your prayers and consideration. Each Sunday we will also profile some of the initiatives for 2018. These include:
REACH - 3rd June - Mark Drama Information Session - 11:30am - in the Barnabas Centre
CONNECT - 10th June - Connect Lunches on Sunday and Monday - last chance to sign up this Sunday.
BUILD - 17th June - ‘What are my gifts?’ a workshop with Archie Poulos - in the Barnabas Centre
EQUIP - 24th June - profile of training and equipping people at Matthias
A new ‘Care’ team has been formed under the Equip pillar. They have partnered with Anglicare and Paddington Public School for a Food Drive for the month of June. More details to come… but please support this great initiative.
Finally, Phil Cummins from morning church is looking for a new home for his dog - a lovely pug called Earl. Phil has moved house and the new property is unsuitable for dogs. Phil reports that Earl is desexed, vaccinated and microchipped; he also needs some love and exercise (ie the pug!). Phil’s details are on elvanto, or the office will be able to pass them on to you if you are interested. I’ll try to attach a cute photo as well!
I look forward forward to seeing you on Sunday,