From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Caroline is our Children’s Ministry Co-Ordinator. Caroline brings to the team her years of experience as a qualified Primary School teacher. As Children’s Co-Ordinator Caroline sources curriculum and provides training and support to our volunteer teachers, as they share the gospel and the word of God with the next generation. Caroline is married to Josh and they have 4 young children.

A New Commandment

I was recently reading through the Gospel of John. Although the gospels are familiar to me, especially the passage I was studying, God showed me something I hadn’t noticed before. It was not long before Jesus would go to the cross. He was with His disciples; in fact, he had just finished washing their feet, something extraordinary in itself. And Jesus said to them “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). As I reflected on the words, I began to wonder why Jesus would say this was a ‘new’ commandment. Surely God’s people knew they were to love one another. The 10 Commandments clearly speak of loving God and loving others. So, what was so ‘new’ about this love? I think the answer...
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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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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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Plant Seeds

This Sunday in our morning church service we celebrate and acknowledge the end of a season for our grade 6 children. Their time at Kidz church has come to an end. A number of them have been with us at Kidz church for the last 6 years, while others have come along the way. A time like this causes me to reflect on the journey they’ve travelled so far and to envisage what lies ahead of them. Kidz Church, like all of our Children’s Ministries at BPCC is a place our children will hear the gospel message, that Jesus died for their sins, that God loves them abundantly and that we are to love and care for others. The teaching comes through caring leaders who all have their own story or journey and they share and lead from their experiences. They speak truths about God from scripture and from their own...
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Just One More...

Everyone at Kidz church knows term 3 is my favourite term of the whole year. Why? Because we pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! I just love that we get to be part of this amazing mercy project that impacts so many lives. Many of the children who receive these boxes may be forgotten by the world, but each and every one of them is precious to our God. I recently read and shared a Samaritan’s Purse article on Facebook entitled “Just One More”. It spoke of a lady who, with the help of her church had packed 110 shoeboxes, a nice even amount. On the day the boxes were to be sent off on the next stage of their journey, she discovered she had enough to pack just one more box, and so she did. They finished up with 111 boxes. This idea of ‘just one more’ stuck with her....
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Operation Christmas Child

 For a number of years now, BPCC has partaken in ‘Operation Christmas Child’; a project organised and run by Samaritan’s Purse. Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. And this year BPCC is very excited to be part of it again! At Kidz Church in Term 3 we will be busy sorting and making items for the boxes. We will be writing letters and taking photos to include in our boxes. And at the end of the term all of the items will be packed into shoeboxes to be sent overseas to children who may have never received a gift before. This project provides us with an amazing opportunity to not only promote mercy in our own families, but also to demonstrate God’s great love for all of His creation. There are lots of ways you can...
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Run to Win

The countdown is on! You might be wondering; ‘What countdown?’ Well, it’s only the biggest sporting event on the planet (according to the website J). In roughly 110 days, more than 10,000 athletes from 206 countries will come together in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. You can bet the athletes are counting down. I can only imagine the preparation that must go into training and being ready to compete at the international level. The level of self-discipline required by the athletes leading into such an event must be astounding. And how can you not admire their determination and focus? Everything they do is with the end goal in mind – winning. With their eyes firmly on their goal, athletes are prepared to work hard, to make many sacrifices, and to go without. But they must believe it is all worth it, otherwise surely they wouldn’t bother. Jesus and...
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Operation Christmas Child

vietnamDear church familyIt is always such an honour to be part of the Operation Christmas Child ministry project. Every year, I am so encouraged by the generosity of our church family and the enthusiasm of our Kidz church kids and leaders. It is looking like this year BPCC will be sending close to 300 boxes! On behalf of everyone involved can I say THANKYOU! Most of the children receiving these shoeboxes will have never received a gift before and so the joy and hope and love it brings is like no other. Samaritan’s Purse recently published a story featuring a little girl in Vietnam and her experience of receiving her shoebox gift. When Ngo Thi Binh, a student in Year 4 at the Le Dinh Chinh School in Vietnam received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift she exclaimed, “Since I was a baby, I haven’t got gifts from anyone." "It is...
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Happy Fathers Day

This weekend we celebrate Dads. In our household that usually involves some sort of meal of pancakes and strawberries, and a lot of sweet cards and messages and things made at school or bought from the craft stall. All but one of our kids love strawberries, they get that from their Dad. In fact, when I look at my kids I can often see their Dad in them, especially as they are growing older. I can see my husband's kind heart, his sense of humour and fun, his gentleness, love of music, intelligence......and it makes me happy and proud. So I guess in many ways my children mirror their father. If you get to know my kids, then you also get to know a little of what their father is like. My husband however isn't perfect, neither is my Dad and neither is yours. In fact, maybe your Dad was or...
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Creation Questions

Every now and then my kids ask me a question that I don't have an answer for... ok, so if I'm being honest it's probably more often than 'every now and then' A while back, one of my boys began asking me all sorts of questions like "Were dinosaurs real? Is the earth really billions of years old? Did the ice age really happen?" They were big questions, hard questions, and my son very much wanted to know the answers. He had been having discussions with his mates at school about God and evolution and the big bang and dinosaurs and my son was trying to work out where and how the Bible's account fitted in with it all. My boy loves science and facts and numbers, as do his friends, and so he needed intelligent answers, wise answers, answers that made sense to him and that he could tell his...
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Kidz Church this term

As we near the end of another school term (wow, where did that one go??) I find myself once again thinking about how time just seems to fly by. I know as a parent with school aged kids, having the year broken up into weeks, terms and semesters, life just seems to move along so quickly. The end of a term is a good place to stop and reflect. This term at Kidz church, we’ve spent time each week going back over what was learnt and discussed the previous week. And we’ve been encouraging children to commit scripture passages to heart.Psalm 119 v 11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” It’s our prayer that what our kids learn and experience of God at Kidz church goes deep into their hearts, and that it will stay with them their whole life....
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Operation Christmas child

What fun I’ve had sorting through all the donations for our shoebox appeal for Operation Christmas child. It almost felt like Christmas for me as I opened up bags and saw balls, necklaces, colouring in things, stickers, dolls, cuddly toys, skipping ropes. I guess in some respect I was feeling a little of what a small child somewhere far off will feel when they open their shoebox in a few months’ time. How amazing to be part of something that makes such an impact in someone else’s life. At Kidz church each week this term we have been watching short DVD clips of children around the world opening their shoebox and the absolute joy and happiness it brings them. And I’m not talking about the ‘exciting’ things in the box, like the ball or the skipping rope. I’m talking about the everyday things like the soap, hairbrush, undies, toothbrush, pencils. We...
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We are called to be salt and light in this dark world

“But if he knew it wasn’t allowed, then why did he do it?” Just one of the many questions my kids asked about John Short and his decision to share the gospel in North Korea. “Why didn’t he just go to a country where it was safe to tell people about God?” Honest question from the mouths of small children, probably echoing the thoughts of many adults. Such questions led to many discussions in our house. Discussions about hearing God’s voice and following God’s will and doing what you know is right even if it’s risky, in John Short’s case, life threatening. Big questions, challenging answers. And as is usually the case when trying to explain things to children you have to simplify it, break it down, examine what you’re saying and in the process you tend to discover what you really believe. So what’s holding us back? What stops us...
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Healthy Homes

Hi Church. I’m really excited about the current AM series “Healthy Homes”.  When the idea was first put forward in a meeting, I immediately started thinking about whether Kidz Church could go along with something similar. Then I started looking in the Bible for good examples of family life and strong parenting. Hmmm, let’s see. I didn’t have to get far before I discovered that the Bible is actually full of stories of imperfect humans making poor decisions and seemingly getting the whole ‘family life’ thing wrong. There’s murder, incest, cheating, lying, adultery….the list goes on. Perhaps you find these Biblical stories disappointing. Or perhaps, like me, you find them encouraging. You see, we live as fallen people, in a fallen world. God has given us free will and unfortunately with that comes bad choices and selfish attitudes. But family is an integral area of our life that God desperately wants...
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Kidz Church News

A BIG thank you to everyone who has been busy collecting and donating items for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. The children will have plenty of lovely items to choose from when they pack the shoeboxes at Kidz Church next Sunday 8th Sept. Please, if you have been waiting to bring your donations in, we do need them to the church office by Friday 6th Sept. All of our children have also prepared an "All about me" letter and a small craft item to go into the box as well, for a personal touch:) Excitement has been building all term and we look forward to making lots of special memories next Sunday when we pack and pray over these boxes. As mentioned previously, each box requires $9 for postage and handling costs so any financial contributions will be gratefully accepted. There will be opportunity to give for this appeal in early...
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I am not perfect

I have a confession to make, something I need to get off my chest. It's something that's hard to admit sometimes but comes with a great sense of relief to say it - I AM NOT PERFECT.

There, I said it. For those who know me well, this revelation comes as no surprise, I'm sure. I am not the perfect wife, or perfect mother, or perfect friend and definitely not the perfect Christ follower. And as much as I may hate to admit it, this I do know - it's entirely because of my imperfection that I so desperately need God. And so do you. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Note is says – all. Not some or most, but all. I’ve heard it said recently that ‘it’s all level ground at the foot of the cross’.

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All About Relationships

I remember being at the shops when I was very pregnant with Luke and having a pushy shop assistant ask me over and over the sex of my baby. We had found out we were having a boy but hadn’t told anyone. She just kept saying “But you can tell me, go on, go on, I know you’re just dying to tell me.” What I felt like saying was “I haven’t told my own mother, why would I tell you!?”

You see it’s all about relationships. I didn’t have any sort of relationship with that shop assistant. Why would I feel comfortable sharing something so very important to me, with her? We know that as adults we are far more likely to listen to advice/correction/wisdom(!) from those close to us, those we respect, those we are doing life with, than from someone we don’t really know that well.

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Talking With Kids

Little kids continually amaze me – and I mean in a good way! They seem to be like little sponges soaking up everything that is going on around them. They seem to be able to repeat things you’ve said, even after you’ve forgotten saying them. They echo things they’ve heard on tv and just seem to learn new things all the time. My almost 3yr old daughter has discovered the fun of counting and you can often hear her playing in her room or looking through a book saying “1, 2, 3, 4, 5….” and the last number comes out in a triumphant shout! My almost 2yr old niece has learnt that if you say ‘please’, wonderful things happen. Or in her case it comes out as ‘peas’!

I’ve often had conversations with other Mums who wrestle with how to talk to their little ones about the truths of God. “I mean, how much are they understanding anyway?” they say. “And the Easter story is kind of tricky to explain to a little one”. Well yes it is, but once again I think most of us have been amazed at how much little ones are capable of taking in. And not only taking in, but accepting and believing. Yes, we need to keep the message simple, but let’s be honest with our kids and tell it how it is. Jesus had to die on the cross, but he came alive again, so that we can be friends with God. And say it often!

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