From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Serve like Jesus

“To make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ for the good of our community and the glory of God” At BPCC, I have the privilege of leading the Creative Team. As a Creative Team, we have the pleasure to be a part of using creative arts to make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ. It is always a wonderful blessing to see how God uses songs, video clips, dramatic readings, and a myriad of other creative means to edify His people and to glorify Himself. In our current sermon series through the book of Ephesians, we are being reminded that as the church of Jesus Christ we are not all the same – but we are united in Jesus! And because we are different, we each have different gifts that have been given to us for building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:16). So, I ask each of us: What are you good at? Where does a need exist? Are you serving His church in...
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What old buildings can teach us about the Church

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit—Ephesians 2:21-22   I don’t know about you, but I love old buildings. I love structures that have stood the test of time and remain for us as reminders of a bygone era. A couple of years ago, Molly and I went on a holiday to Tasmania where we took the opportunity to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site. Some of the sandstone buildings and old homes from the 18th and 19th century convict settlement were simply remarkable. Last year, when I was in the historic U.S. city of Boston, I visited King’s Chapel; a church building constructed in 1754. Considering the First Fleet did not arrive on Australian shores until 1788, that is...
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Thank You to all who Serve

This past week was National Volunteer Week across Australia (May 9th – 15th). The theme for this year was ‘Give Happy, Live Happy.’ Obviously, the organisers mean to suggest that when people volunteer they live happier and healthier lives. Indeed, much research has been done regarding the benefits of volunteering, with the results showing that our wellbeing comes not from money or consumerism, but from having meaningful endeavours in our lives. Studies have even shown links between generosity and our immune system. Volunteering is not just good for our physical health, but for our psychological and emotional health too. Engaging in generous and altruistic behaviour makes you want to be even more generous and altruistic. Volunteering creates for us a healthy and positive loop: the more you volunteer, the healthier you become, and the more you want to volunteer and serve others. And, of course, giving of ourselves to help and...
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Reflections on Motherhood

Ahhh, motherhood… This past week has seen my eldest turn 21, and throughout those 21 years of being a mum, there have been times it has felt like being on a roller-coaster. When I look back, I think of the many joy-filled, fun times I have shared with my kids. I remember the joy it gave me to see them master a new skill or develop a God-given gift and then use it for God’s glory. Or I remember with fondness when I witnessed them show kindness or encouragement to others. But I also remember the not-so-fun times. If you’re a mum, you know the times I’m referring to! I remember the endless questions, the sticky fingers, the sleepless nights, the constant interruptions, the overly dramatic tantrums, and the continual correction and teaching that was required. I remember never getting a minute to myself and I remember the sheer and utter exhaustion...
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Victory in Christ

This coming Monday is Anzac Day (25th April). This date marks the anniversary of the first military action fought by Australia and New Zealand in World War 1 on the shores of Gallipoli. Although the military objectives were catastrophic, it was during this campaign that the “spirit of Anzac”—with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice—was born. And it is precisely these qualities which continue to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.[1] Indeed, Anzac Day is an opportunity for us to remember all Australians killed in military operations, and to remember those men and women who helped shape Australia into the nation it is today. The word ‘citizen’ means; a native or naturalised member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection. As a citizen of Australia I am thankful for all those who fought in war to...
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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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The Priority of Church

Is it important to attend church on a weekly basis? Should believers make the weekly gathering a priority in their busy schedules? This is—in our day and age—a loaded question. And one in which there seems to be a variety of opinion. Perhaps part of the confusion stems from our understanding of the word church. Many people instinctively understand the church to be a building. The church is somewhere you go. But in Scripture the word ‘church’ comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means “assembly” or “called out ones”. The church, then, is a people you belong to. This means, if you are a Christian, you don’t so much go to church, as you are the church. You don’t attend church; you gather with the church. The distinction is important because I believe it is the deficient understanding of the church as a building or a service that leads many...
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Real Connections

“It’s not wealth that has made me happy, it’s my family.” So said the popstar, Sting, in an interview. He comes from a poor working class background in the north of England, but now is wealthy. Do you agree that what’s most important in life is not our money or possessions or achievements, but our relationships? I believe that in life, relationships matter. Without close relationships in our lives, stress and anxiety levels are more likely to increase. Yet, in our technological society close relationships are becoming harder and harder to maintain. We smile when we see people sitting at the same table buried in their iPhones rather than talking. Then we realise we sometimes do the same thing. Meaningful and balanced relationships are essential to living a healthy life, and when these relationships are broken, the impact on everyone is enormous. While we all appreciate the tremendous advances in our...
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Read and Reflect

[Christianity] is not about simply obeying a set of rules; it’s about growing in a relationship with God. 1. We are all sinners, and we will struggle against sin until we die. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It doesn’t matter if we pray every 5 minutes or every month. We are all equally undeserving of the grace God has given us. It’s the best kind of gift — a gift that sets us free from our natural inclination to sin and resist God. And there’s nothing we can do to earn it. 2. We have the privilege of obeying God with our actions. We won’t do this perfectly, but we are commanded in the Bible to model ourselves after Jesus and try to be more like Him every day. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also...
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Spiritually Dry Times

Coming Sunday I’m preaching in the AM service, and I intend to speak about our spiritually dry times in life – I’m sure you’ve experienced them. I have. And I know those times can last a long time. Maybe you’re in one of these spiritually dry times now and God seems very distant from you? When I’m feeling a little flat in my relationship with Jesus, my mind pops up Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28 - Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I find this promise of Jesus both comforting, and surprising. Surprising because my tendency is to reproach myself for feeling distanced from Jesus. I recall those times I’ve admitted to others I feel distanced from God – only to have them reply sternly: Well guess who moved?—implying it is me. Though that may be true, it...
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The Resurrection

It was early on the first day of the week when the Mary’s went to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. Mark in his Gospel tells us they asked each other, “Who will roll away the stone”. They were expecting to find a dead body, not their risen Lord. They were greeted by an angel who asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not hear, He is risen! Remember how he told you”. In Matthews Gospel there are six references where Jesus told His disciples and others that he must suffer and die and be raised from the dead. Why was it so difficult for them and others to believe that it happened? The death and resurrection of Jesus is central to the Gospel message we have been commanded to share with others in our circle of influence. Please pray that...
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GO!

God calls us to testify to the saving and transforming power of the gospel in order to see people, families, cultures and countries made new by Christ (2 Cor. 5:17, excerpt from BPCC Who We Are booklet). This Sunday we are celebrating the work God is doing through BPCC Care Team. BPCC Care Team are involved in; Care Cupboard (giving groceries to families and individuals in need), assisting families with meals and help around the home, driving for those with no means of transport, and much more. If this is a ministry you are able to become involved in, you can sign up on Sunday or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  In recent weeks we have also celebrated that over 60 children have been released from poverty in Jesus’ name through the ministry of Compassion.  We received a communique from a pastor in one of the Churches we are partnering with in Ban Non Muan Church...
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What is Organic Outreach?

On Monday the 14th of March, from 10am to 4pm, we are hosting—in conjunction with the Reformed Theological College—an ‘Organic Outreach’ seminar led by Kevin Harney. Kevin is the Lead Pastor at Shoreline Community Church in Monterey, California, and has written extensively in the area of evangelism and mobilizing churches for effective outreach—most notably in the book from which the seminar derives its title, ‘Organic Outreach for Churches’. But what is organic outreach? Well, as Kevin succinctly defines in his book; organic outreach is “…not simply about sending money and prayers to missionaries or having a committee that plans occasional events to reach out—although these things are good. Organic outreach happens when evangelistic vision and action become the domain of every ministry in a church and the commitment of every person in a congregation.” In other words, organic outreach is about building and fostering a culture of evangelism in a local...
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What does Easter mean for you?

EasteronthelawnWhy is it that the church tries so hard to get people to come along at Easter? And why is it that Easter is probably the one time of year when everyone—even those who really don't believe in God at all—might go to church? It is because what happened at Easter is the foundation of our faith. This is what a man named Paul said. Paul was a sceptic of Christianity until he met the Lord in a very dramatic way while traveling on a busy Roman highway. He became one of the most passionate evangelists in the history of the church. Paul said that if what happened on Easter—Jesus Christ rising from the dead is not real and true we have missed this powerful reality. And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. — 1 Corinthians 15:19...
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Foundations

Foundations Luke 6:47-48 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. If you grew up in the church, you have probably heard the parable of the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built his house on the sand. Maybe you can even recall the words to that catchy tune that is based upon this parable, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock”? We can often focus on the foundation of the man whose house was built on the rock. He obeys the words of Jesus and his house stays up. We often...
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Compassion Sunday

Well, it’s finally here. Today we officially launch our church partnership with Compassion! As I’m sure you know by now, Compassion is a child advocacy and development ministry that partners with local churches in over 26 developing countries around the world, in order to see children released from poverty in Jesus’ name. And we at BPCC have the great opportunity and privilege to join Compassion in this mission. Did you know that of the 2.2 billion children living in the world today, more than half are living in poverty? Did you know that poverty affects every area of a child’s well-being and life? Poverty not only causes frequent illness, chronic malnutrition, and impaired physical and mental development, but it denies children access to basic health care and education, weakens a child’s protective environment, and exposes them to abuse and exploitation. It robs children of opportunities and choices and steals from them...
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Valentines Day

"St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell." (Wikipedia),   I’m fascinated by history and tradition and how events are remembered around the world. I’m also disappointed at how secular society commercialises special events like Easter and Christmas and how the true meaning can be lost.   Are you a romantic? I...
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Know God. Know Yourself

To know ourselves, we must know God. And to know God, we must know ourselves. The above statement is often attributed to John Calvin. But if I’m honest, I always found this profound saying a little hard to get my head around. I think I can appreciate that knowing God will help me to see myself more clearly. But, how is it that by knowing myself, I will gain a clearer picture of God? So what if I’m Caucasian and I eat my pizzas with anchovies? How does that help me know God better? Well, a few days ago whilst reading a book called Gospel Wakefulness (by Jared C. Wilson), I experienced a wave of clarity over this knowing self, knowing God business. I was reading the chapter called Nonnegotiable Brokenness, where Jared beautifully expounded how God actually needs a type of brokenness in order for us to experience him more...
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What makes for good preaching?

What makes for good preaching? There are any number of potential answers to that important question. It could be that a sermon is clear and well-organised. It could be application that speaks to the heart. Or it could just be the presence of enough stories and jokes to keep your attention. Of course, all of those things contribute towards good preaching, but there is one thing above those things that distinguishes good preaching as truly ‘good’. It is, quite simply, to say what God says. If Scripture represents the very words of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21), then when we open the Book in order to open our mouths, we want to say nothing less and nothing more than what it says. Our sermons may be clear, well-organised, incisive, and engaging, but if they are not faithful to the biblical text, then they cannot truly be regarded as ‘good’....
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The importance of detail

Welcome to 2016 – a new year, and new beginning. As I’ve said at this time of year for many, many years now I love new beginnings! Fresh starts inspire me to try something new, or do something different. So, I’m eagerly awaiting what God will do in and through us as a church this year. In this News Letter you’ll find loads of information on our ministries, programs and Growth Groups that are all about to start again. Sunday 31 January we launch into a four-week sermon series on the OT book of Amos – The Lion Roars. This is a great opportunity to join a Growth Group where questions relating to the sermons are tackled and friendships formed. Let me encourage you to be part of a four-week Growth Group? Speak to Pastor Michael (he’ll be at the Connections Centre after our service), or register online www.bpcc.com.au or contact...
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