From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

What to Say When You Welcome Someone

Last month I wrote a blog post titled “Welcome One Another”. Reflecting on Romans 15:17, I encouraged us to step out on a Sunday and move beyond our usual social groups in order to welcome the guests and new people in our midst. And it is my hope and prayer that some of us have made a conscious effort in the last few weeks to do just that; to look out for new people among us and to make them feel welcome. I’d like to take it a step further this week and offer some practical help as to how we can actually do that. I believe that what stops many of us from walking across the room to greet or welcome someone is simply that we’re not sure know what to say or what to do (at least this is true in my experience). So, to that end, I’d like...
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What really matters this Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day… It’s all about flowers, breakfast in bed, sticky cuddles, and relaxing, right? Well, my Mother’s Day this year will see me getting up in the dark and taking part in a charity walk with my eldest daughter. The things we do for our kids, hey!   Let’s face it, parents do a lot for their children. And those things change over time. When my children were little I did a lot of practical things for them; I fed them, changed nappies, cleaned faces, wiped noses, carried them around, helped them sleep… I feel tired just remembering how long some of those days were when my children were babies and how physically tired I was.   Now that my children are a bit older what I do for them has changed quite a bit.  Now I go on crazy water slides with them (even though I really don’t want to!)....
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Have you heard about the Wise Convention?

It is the next national youth and young adults convention, which will be held in Victoria in January 2018. The national Conventions are held every two years, and are an awesome event. I know many people whose faith and lives have been changed through Conventions- including my own, I first decided to take responsibility for my faith and give my life to Christ at a convention in Tasmania. I’ve attended three Conventions so far, and each has been a very memorable and impacting experience. I am actually a part of the committee organising the 2018 Wise Convention, and can confirm that it is shaping up to be a particularly good one- we have been blessed with a great site, talented speakers, and our preparations have been running smoothly and ahead of schedule. What? The CRCA National Youth & Young Adults Convention is a bi-annual event held for young people aged 15-28...
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The Blessing of Baptism

At our 6PM service this Sunday our dear brother Ric Cottrell will be baptised. Ric started coming to BPCC in 2013, and since then he has become a much-loved member of our community and, more importantly, a member of God’s forever family. So, let me encourage you to come along and join with the angels in heaven (Luke 15:10) as we celebrate God’s grace and mercy to Ric through the death & resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In light of Ric’s baptism, I thought it might be timely to remind ourselves exactly what baptism is and why it is a blessing from God. The website of the Christian Reformed Churches of North America (https://www.crcna.org) tells us: “…this sacrament (baptism) is much more than a mere symbol of being united with Christ, or a testimony of one’s personal faith, or the dedication of a child to God. The sacrament of baptism...
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Welcome One Another

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)   A couple of weeks ago Pastor John gave us all a gentle reminder about the importance of welcoming one another—especially on a Sunday, and especially those who are visiting or new among us. You might think the Bible has nothing to say about something so seemingly small as greeting people. But you’d be wrong. The Bible has lots to say about the importance of hospitality (love for strangers) and greeting one another with love and concern.    Romans 15:7 (above) is just one example (see also Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9; 3 John 8). What stands out to me in this verse is that when we welcome one another, we glorify God. Normally when I think about activities that glorify God, I think of singing, or preaching, or prayer. Those are the...
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Easter demonstrates God’s love for you personally.

The weeks leading into Easter are known as Lent, and many followers of Jesus use this time to intentionally self-examine their lives. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom.5:8) The following short meditation from Max Lucado helps us focus on ways Jesus’ death and resurrection has given us new life. Saturated in Love Where God’s love is there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. (1Jn.4:18) We fear rejection, so we follow the crowd.  We fear not fitting in, so we take the drugs.  For fear of standing out, we wear what everyone else wears.  For fear of blending in, we wear what no one else wears.  For fear of sleeping alone, we sleep with anyone.  For fear of not being loved, we search for love in all the wrong places.  But God flushes those...
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We Can make a Difference

I am sure that most of you heard about the atrocity that happened in Syria this week. In a chemical attack, more than 70 lives (including children and babies) have been lost and hundreds injured. Images of parents rushing their children into hospitals, a father holding his 21-month-old twin daughters, lifeless, in his arms; they are seared into my conscious. There is a part of me that is so devastated and overwhelmed that I think there is nothing I can do. But as I say a silent prayer for hope for these people, I am reminded that I can make a difference and that God has called me to be a part of His ‘making all things new’. (Rev 21:5a ‘And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new."’) Rather than thinking we can make little difference, know that God can use us (collectively) to make a...
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Looking Forward to Term Two

Welcome to the new month of April, in which we remember and celebrate Easter. Easter is the most significant event in the Christian faith! It is also the event Jesus told his followers to remember and celebrate (cf. Luke 22:14-20). Special services will be held Good Friday 9.00AM and Easter Sunday 9.00AM followed by our Easter on the Lawn celebration to which we invite our community. Invitation cards are available from the Connection Centre for you to share with friends and neighbours. Please take advantage of this opportunity to promote God’s love for His world this Easter.   We also come to the end of Term One for our schools. Can you believe how quickly time moves along? As we gear up for Term Two, a number of exciting Wednesday Night Growth Courses are planned. In this News Letter you will find further information. Please use the relevant courses to invite...
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When God paints outside the lines

I am a self-confessed planner; I like to know what is going to happen in the future. I can go with the flow, but I feel much better if I have a long-term plan. This can make being a parent of young adults difficult, at times. I certainly love this stage of parenting, but I don’t love all the unanswered questions: What will they study? Where will they work? Where will they live? And the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of these things happening, I just don’t like the feeling of uncertainty that comes along with it. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I want to share some truths with you that God has reminded me of lately and that have provided me with comfort in the uncertainty of life. Firstly, no matter how much I want to think differently, I...
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How to pray with others

I’ve done it many times. More times than I’d care to remember if I’m being honest. Picture the scene: I’m talking with someone and in the course of our conversation they share with me a burden, a need, or a grievance they have. And before I’m fully aware of what I’m saying I hear the words, “I’ll pray for you”, escape from my lips. Now of course I mean what I say; I do intend to pray for that person. It’s just that sometimes my intentions have failed to match my actions. Maybe you can relate?   My failure in such instances has convinced me of the need to not just offer to pray for someone (as great as that is), but to pray with them. Right there and then. The process isn’t that much more complicated or difficult. It just means when I feel God leading me to pray for...
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Ups and Downs

Life has its ‘ups’ & ‘downs’! We all know that because we all experience them. Many of you know I’ve just gone through a personal time of physical and health challenges that involved numerous medical appointments and procedures. Thankfully I’m now back at work and coping better. This period has reminded me of our complete dependence on God’s grace. This period also reminded me of knowing what to do with our grievances and challenges when we go through ‘down’ times? Answer: … pour out your hearts to God. (Ps.62:4). I love the honesty of this answer that we read in Scripture! God invites us to pour out our hearts to him when we experience difficult times.       5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;          my hope comes from him.       6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;          he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.       7 My...
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How should a Christian use social media?

Somewhere in the last couple of decades this thing we call ‘social media’ crept into our homes, onto our screens, and took its place in our calendars, our conversations, and our consciences. Indeed, for most of us, social media is a regular part of our day-to-day lives. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nor is it automatically a good thing. But because social media has taken such a dominant position in our lives and in our world, we would do well to think intentionally about how we should engage with it. There are obvious benefits—connection and creativity, information and inspiration—but there are also many potential pitfalls. In the article, A Social Media Heart Check, Kim Cash Tate proposes 4 questions that should guide the way we engage with social media. Let me offer them to you.   Am I Walking by the Spirit? In Galatians 5:22–23 we’re told the fruit of...
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Grace

Grace is freely given to us because of what Jesus has done for us. We do not need to earn it. There is no checklist we are required to meet. We receive it as a gift. It can be easy at times to forget about grace.  Perhaps it is because grace isn’t something that is tangible. You can’t hold it in your hands. It is like the wind you can’t see, but instead feel. The gift of grace is something so valuable we should want to tell others, and grow in our relationship with God. After all, in Acts 20:24 the Apostle Paul says “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” One way we can be prepared to testify of...
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The Power of Community

What does the word ‘community’ mean to you? Of course, it can mean many things; our neighbourhood, our friends, our colleagues at work, our classmates at school. I could go on. But to the New Testament church, it was so much more. In Acts 2:42–47 we read how the early church truly did life together; they sold possessions, they cared for those less fortunate, they shared meals and testimonies with one another. The early church truly came together as one. This truth should challenge and inspire us today. It should challenge us to share our lives, to care for one another, to share the testimony of what Jesus has done for us with one another. In other words, it should challenge us to be the body of Christ. In a body, all the different parts need to work together for the body to function effectively. No matter what role that part...
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The Blessing of Teenagers

Teenagers are often given a bad rap. Media, as well as a lot of parenting resources, paint them in a rather negative light. As teens navigate the tricky phase of not being a child anymore but not quite an adult yet, they are often described as sullen, irresponsible and self-absorbed. And maybe some are. I mean, no one can deny being a teenager is hard. But I want to celebrate and highlight the amazing teens we are blessed to have serving at BPCC. These teens are energetic, reliable, fun-loving, flexible, brave, willing to try new things, kind… And I could go on. Indeed, we have many Junior Leaders (aged between 13 and 17) serving in our Children’s Ministries every week. They serve in Crèche, Jnr. Kidz Church, Kidz Church, and at GEMS and Cadets. These young people are praying with and for our little ones. They are leading and modelling worship...
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The Comfort and Challenge of Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) It can be challenging to find peace in our modern age. We are rushed off our feet with work and study, family and church, and a million other things which drain our time and energy. Our society is geared toward...
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A Note from Church Council

Hello Church I trust and pray that 2017 has started well for you! Over the last few days the words from Pastors Adams sermon last Sunday morning continue to echo in my head – ‘What really matters in 2017?’ Such a simple question but as the push and pull of the year goes on it can be hard to remember what is really important. Fortunately for us – God’s word continually reminds us of what our priorities need to be. In 2017 what really matters is that we get closer to God through the year and in so doing start or continue living out the plan He has for each of our lives. That plan – of course – means us being effective for His kingdom and making disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ in our circles of influence. From a Church council point of view we are also considering what...
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Bible Reading Resources for 2017

In his classic book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney says: “No other spiritual discipline rivals the importance of the intake of God’s Word. No other spiritual discipline can compensate for the lack of it. Without feasting on the food of Scripture, no one will enjoy a growing, healthy Christlike life.” And of course, he’s right. If we want to hear from God we must read, mediate on, and feast upon His Word. Here are some resources to help you do that in 2017. Bible Reading Plans Bible Reading Plans for 2017 from Ligonier Ministries A variety of different Bible reading plans The 5-Day Bible Reading Program Through the Bible in one year with readings 5 days a week Read Scripture Plan Through the Bible in one year and praying through a psalm each day Three Year Bible Reading Plan by Tim Chester Through the Old Testament once...
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2017 has started!

2017 has started! Many of our church family have been able to enjoy holidays, and families are getting ready for the new school year. Ministries are also gearing up to start. WANTED: An urgent request has been made from one of our members for blankets, sheets, towels, clothes, footwear, toiletries, kitchen items, to be sent to an orphanage in Liberia, housing 300 orphans due to the Ebola outbreak in recent years. A container is being packed and sent to Liberia next week – so we only have coming Sunday 15 & Monday 16 to collect these goods. Please drop them off at the church (office or church hall). BIBLE READING: If you were in church last Sunday, you heard my invitation for us as a church to be more intentional about being Christian difference-makers (witnesses for Jesus) in 2017. I’ve been touched by the positive comments and agreement many of you...
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The Wonder of Christmas and the Humility of God

Now, before I say anything further, let me be clear; I’m no humbug. In fact, I love Christmas! I love buying (and receiving!) gifts, I love spending time with family and friends, I love singing Christmas carols, and I love eating Christmas food. But with that in mind, I’m also painfully aware of the potential for these activities to distract me from the wonder of what we truly celebrate at Christmas: the truth that God became man in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the midst of buying presents, attending parties, preparing food, writing cards, and visiting relatives it’s easy to forget the world-changing, life-altering truth that in Jesus Christ God has come to us.    In fact, this is part of the reason I love the opening verses in the Gospel of John (one of the accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry). The Gospel of John does not begin with the...
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  • What really matters this Mother’s Day? +

  • Have you heard about the Wise Convention? +

  • The Blessing of Baptism +

  • Welcome One Another +

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