Get Involved: Bray Park Carols 2019 Why Carols? Put simply, we host and run Bray Park Carols to share the good news about Jesus with our local community. Our hope is for the Carols to serve as a ‘sign’ to our local community, pointing them towards Jesus and his people. We also host the Carols as a way for us to come together publicly and give thanks to God for all that he has done for us in Jesus. How can I help? Carols takes a lot of time, energy, and resources. We can all be involved and we hope you will be too. Here are some ways you can be involved: You can pray Please pray for all involved in the preparation and lead up to the event,
A Tale of Two Gods: Old vs. New Testament? It is one of the peculiar benefits of preaching through books of the Bible: we are forced to confront the lumpy bits of the Bible. The bits that seem strange or even shocking to us. This is especially true when we dive into the Old Testament, as we have been doing for the last few weeks in our series through 2nd Samuel. One of the most prominent and potent difficulties presented in the pages of the Old Testament is actually its picture of God. To put it simply, the God revealed in the narrative of the Old Testament can sometimes seem at odds with the God revealed in the pages of the New Testament and in the story of
That’s a Wrap! How many Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes can you fit into the back of a Kia Carnival? Well, that’s a good question, and I know the answer. Last week we had the honour of delivering 269 shoeboxes, packed lovingly by our church family, to the Operation Christmas Child processing centre at Banyo. That is 269 expressions of love that will, God-willing, impact a child’s life this Christmas and forever. Allow me to share with you why this ministry is so close to my heart. Each shoebox contains something for the child to play with, something to wear, something for school, something for personal hygiene and something to cuddle. For a child in a developing country, these gifts are precious, impactful, and much-needed. Even greater than the gifts,
The Ordinary Spirit-Led Life I attended a lecture this week which explored the Apostle Paul’s teaching on the Holy Spirit. I was struck by how the Spirit permeated and intersected with every other category of Christian thinking. You couldn’t neatly separate the Holy Spirit from what Paul thought about the church, or from Jesus’s life, or from our future resurrection. The Holy Spirit touched every area of the Christian life. In fact, it was Paul who said ‘Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him’ (Romans 8:9). Now, please be assured that the Spirit isn’t reserved for a special class of Christians. God gives his Spirit to all those who genuinely trust in Jesus; to all those who confess that he is Lord.
Looking to the Future It’s hard to believe that we’re heading into the final stretch of 2019, and that at the end of this term, I will be celebrating 3 years spent leading our Youth ministry. Over this time, I have learnt much and grown in many ways, and the same is true for our youth ministry and leadership team. It is a great privilege to be working with the teenagers in our community—we have a great church family, which is supportive, Christ-centered, and thriving. And we are blessed with teenagers who are genuinely seeking to grow closer to Jesus, who want their lives and choices to be shaped by him, and who are visibly putting his words into practice. Many of the young people who were leaving middle
Story Behind the Songwriter: Fanny Crosby Fanny Crosby is a well-known hymn writer from the seventeenth century. A few of her popular hymns include ‘Blessed Assurance’ and ‘To God be the Glory’. Over the years I have come across many others she has written. In fact, it is estimated she wrote over 8,000 hymns! Only recently I discovered that Ms Crosby was blind nearly her whole life. Whether it was a dangerous poultice applied to her eyes as a six-week-old or a genetic issue, Ms Crosby was deemed blind as a young baby. Yet blindness didn’t stop this remarkable lady from sharing God’s goodness through the many, many hymn lyrics and poems she wrote. Even as a child, her writings tell us that she considered herself blessed despite her
Thank You, We Heard You We recently conducted a churchwide survey, asking for your feedback and suggestions as we consider where God is leading us into the future as a church. The goal of the survey was to provide an opportunity for you to have your say, to provide insight into where things were going well, and to identify opportunities where we could improve and grow. I’m thankful to report that we had 147 people complete the survey, across all age groups and across all levels of experience; from those who have been part of our church family for 20+ years to those who have only just recently started attending. The results of the survey were overwhelmingly positive with an obvious love for Jesus and for his church flowing
What Happened to Peter? Last Sunday we finished our sermon series through the letter of 1st Peter titled ‘Against the Tide’. Personally, it was a deeply challenging and richly rewarding journey. I was reminded repeatedly about the reality of suffering, the goodness of God, and the necessity of standing firm. But as I read and studied I was also struck by the fact that Peter, the author of this letter and one of Jesus twelve disciples, seemed so different to the man that is described earlier in his life in the Gospels. As one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and closest friends, we are given a fairly detailed portrait of Peter’s character in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and it’s not always a flattering picture. Peter is