Front and Center
Just as we have seasons of the year as a church we also have seasons. The church year has a rhythm with the year beginning with Advent in late November that leads us into Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter. We are currently in the Easter season that leads us into Pentecost. Following Pentecost there is a long season of what is called ordinary time leading up to Christ the King Sunday that finishes the church year and we begin again.
We are currently in the Easter season leading us into Pentecost on 23 May. Our focus in this time at Emmanuel is upon the Holy Spirit. Our church Bible Study material is about Holy Spirit dependence. There is still a chance to join an Explore group, and there are even some online groups for those who would prefer to do it from home. This study series looks at the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life, from his conception, his baptism, temptation and ministry, right through to his empowering of the disciples. It is a great series and there is still the opportunity to join a group, or do it as a personal devotion. Along side that our church services are following a theme on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Putting these together we see how the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus and how the Holy Spirit empowers his followers today to build up the church as the body of Christ.
Overall I think it is an exciting time for us as a church. Practically alongside this we are seeking to encourage people to a revitalised prayer life so that we can truly be in touch with the Holy Spirit as it guides us as individuals and as a church.
Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s. The American Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis who conceived Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children following her mother’s death in 1905. She later decried the commercialism that overtook Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is celebrated on different days and in different ways around the globe and it is certainly important to reflect on the role that women, and particularly our own mothers have played in shaping us into the people we are. If you have not done so reflect upon your thankfulness for your own mother, and also your mothers in faith, those who have encouraged and helped you grow in faith. Take the opportunity to thank God for them and if they are still with us let them know how special they are.
Did you know? More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.
Congregational Meeting - will be held next week 9 May at 10.45am. This is one of two ‘normal’ congregational meetings held each year. This meeting will receive the Annual report for 2020 and celebrate the joys and the challenges of 2020. We will receive an update on our finances and the budget for the 20/21 financial year (note that we have moved our finances to the financial year.) We will elect representatives for Presbytery and update on issues and plans for the coming year. We hope you will attend.
Presbytery Representatives - The Uniting Church is governed by a series of inter-connected Councils, the Church Council, Presbytery, Synod and Assembly. The Assembly is our national body, Synod a state body and Presbytery a regional body. The Presbytery meets 3 times a year and makes decisions around the support and resourcing of the mission and ministry within its bounds. Emmanuel is a part of the Moreton Rivers presbytery. We are entitled to two representatives as well as the members of the Ministry Team.
At the Congregational meeting next week we should elect 2 people to fill that role. These positions are open to confirmed members of the church and people serve for one year and may be re-elected. It is a great way to be involved in the wider church. Please pray about whether this could be role for you.
Tiny Town PCCC - Now that Tiny Town has transitioned to being managed by Uniting Education, a part of the Queensland Synod Office, it is important that we build the relational and Missional Connections between Tiny Town and Emmanuel Uniting Church. Are you interested?
Do you want to see Tiny Town and Emmanuel flourish together?
Expressions of interest are called for members of the Church and from parents and friends of Tiny Town to be part of this exciting new venture. An information evening will be held on Monday 24 May at 7pm in Tiny Town. Please contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. We would love to have you involved.
Rev Brian Hoole
Do you want to meet with others and prayer regularly? But don't want to leave your house?
Now you can.
We are holding weekly prayer sessions online at 6am on a Wednesday morning.
Want to know more?
Easy register your interest [here](https://emmanueluca.elvanto.com.au/form/c40458db-eb27-4b38-a3f1-53c38d3b1328)and Helen will send you the zoom link and you can join in.
You don't have to have your camera on if you don't wish and you don't have to pray out loud. Helen will be praying for the group and be asking for feedback in the chat box for prayer ideas and prompts.
6am is too early for me can I still be involved?
Absolutely we are looking at recording these sessions and then having them available on our private FB group page so that the Church Community can prayer together.
Front and Centre
Last week I put out two challenges to you.
Firstly it was to join or take part in our new bible study series about Holy Spirit Dependence as we look at the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. It is a great study series that helps us understand the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus life, and how Jesus relied upon the Holy Spirit, and crucial for us to understand as we seek to rely upon the Holy Spirit to grow and nourish us as individual disciples and as a discipling community.
Tied to this is the second challenge. To form a prayer triple, a group of three people to pray weekly. To pray for the needs of the church, for our world and for the work of the Holy Spirit within us. The prayer triples can be face to face, by zoom or telephone, the important thing is to be committed to it and to persevere. Commitment and perseverance are the key. In your prayer time please do pray for your spiritual leaders. For the Ministry Team, for the Church Council, for the leaders and volunteers in our various programs and outreach activities. All of these activities need to be covered in prayer. Please also continue to pray for Tiny Town. It has formally passed over to Synod management and as we move to the next part of our relationship with Tiny Town let’s pray and commit to those missional connections with the Tiny Town community and families. If anyone feels called to this work please let me know. Similarly if people can keep our other outreach activities in your mind (Playgroup, RI, Kids Hope, Community Helping Hand, Brigades). Pray for the Men’s breakfast next week and the opportunities it provides. An important part of prayer is praying for the opportunities for each one of us to share our faith.
While we are on prayer please don’t forget the Wednesday morning prayer zoom meeting and feel welcome to attend. Friends there are so many opportunities, and we are so richly blessed. Please do not miss out on the opportunity to connect to your heavenly Father.
Rev Brian Hoole
Front and Centre
As a church we are trying to move further in developing a culture of disciple making and being a church that grows disciples who grow disciples. This does not happen by accident and it needs to be intentional. The Church Council affirmed that direction.
The church bible study series starting next week focusing on Holy Spirit dependence, and how the Holy Spirit was present in Jesus ministry is a part of this shift. The characteristics and emphases that we are seeking to encourage can be summarised by the acronym Holy Spirit POWER.
• Holy Spirit Dependence
• Obedience to God’s Kingdom Agenda
• Word of God
• Exalting His Father
As you can see the bible study series speaks about Jesus's Dependence upon the Holy Spirit and helps us understand our need for it. I would really encourage you to take part. There will be face to face and online versions to help you be involved.
Prayer is also a part of helping shape our culture. We need to be talking to and listening to God. So alongside the studies that are starting we really need to encourage prayer. Helen has started an online prayer meeting at 6am Wednesdays. The elders have been challenged to start up a prayer triplet. Can I encourage you to think about the same. Join up with 2 other people and commit to prayer together each week. It can be face to face, it can be by phone or zoom, it can be at the same or different time each week, whatever works, but commit with 2 other people to pray together. There will be helpful hints and encouragements on our Facebook page. If you have other ideas feel free to share and pray them into being. We really want to encourage people to pray.
Rev Brian Hoole
Front and Centre
As we continue to reflect upon the life and ministry of Jesus it is very clear he was in the people business.
And so are we.
As a church it is essential we remember our core purpose which is about growing disciples. This is about growing people and emphasising people. We have been very blessed over the past few months to have some new families come to church. If you haven’t yet introduced yourself why not do say 'Hi' and introduce yourself to them on Sunday.
If you notice someone you don’t know, make the effort and say hello. One of the challenges for any church is avoiding the cliques and huddles and to embrace new people. As a church it is really important that we are all on the look out to include people who are on the edges. This is not just a job for the Ministry Team or those on roster but rather it is important that all of us are apart of helping everyone else feel welcome.
As events like Men’s Breakfast resume it is important to remember that the reason we have these events is to build relationships, not just to have a good feed or hear a good speaker (though we would hope we provide that as well). I would like to put a challenge out there for you all. Each week for the next 4 weeks can you try introduce yourself to someone new on Sunday, or someone you don’t know so well. Find out their name and a little bit about them. Maybe ask them who is in their family, or why they have come to Emmanuel, or more interestingly, what are they seeing God doing around them. Emmanuel has great people and its really important that we get to know each other and invest time into getting to know each other.
Rev Brian Hoole
Front and Centre
It's a real pleasure to welcome Peter Armstrong, who is sharing with us this weekend. Pete and his family were part of our Emmanuel family before entering ordained ministry where he now is part of the ministry of Uniting Care Qld.
The Good Friday picnic was a great success with many families gathering (in a COVID-safe way) at Teralba Park. The kids had a great time on the playground, running around and riding their bikes. The all-age soccer game was great fun. Thanks to all who participated, and I hope you enjoyed the afternoon as much as we did. COVID has made church gatherings more difficult but they are an important (and fun) way to build and strengthen our Christian community. Hopefully we can run more of these events as the year progresses.
Regular prayer and Bible reading are the hallmarks of a committed Christian disciple. Similarly, praying and reading God's word together are the hallmarks of a discipling church. Shortly we'll commence an eight session study series called "Holy Spirit Dependence", which focuses on the life of Jesus and how He connected with the Father through prayer and God's Word. If the COVID disruption of last year has interrupted your explore group, or you are ready to try a small group for the first time, this is a great opportunity to start a new routine. Small groups are a great place where we can learn from each other, support each other and build Christian community together. Our hope would be that everyone can participate in some way in a small group that allows them to grow as a Christian disciple.
We all have an important role to play in prayer - thank you to those who have a regular prayer routine and uphold the ministry of our Church. Please continue to uphold our Ministry team, the upcoming small group series, the Tiny Town transition, a new Youth ministry which is being developed, our work in the local Schools, the work of School Chaplains.
May God continue to bless you as we build authentic Christian community together.
Church Council Chairperson
The rest of the newsletter can be accessed via the [mail chimp link](https://mailchi.mp/965f5a7c8f41/newsletter-21-march-1937255)
Front and Center
Easter has arrived. Easter is the most important festival on the Christian calendar. This year as we enter under the shadow of the COVID 19 pandemic and another community lock-down we are reminded of the dangerous and uncertain nature of our world. The world that Jesus was born into and lived in was equally dangerous and uncertain. Dangerous to the point of death. A horrible, lingering death on the cross. But it did not stop there. As much as we are people of the cross, we are even more people of the resurrection. We can not stop at the cross. Either on a personal or global scale, sometimes we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed and distracted by the events of the world. But we can not stay there. We must continue to remind ourselves that we are people of the resurrection. That we believe in hope, we believe in miracles. We believe in new life. That we have hope and that hope is based and grounded in Jesus Christ. Easter is our most sacred time of the year because it speaks more than any other time into how God addresses the human condition and defeats the powers and principalities of this world. It is at times like this that we need to remember the power of Jesus to overcome the powers of darkness and despair. Death is not the end but is a new beginning (! Cor 15:55-7). How we approach the world, how we look ahead depends on our perspective. We must hold onto the hope and new life that the resurrection brings.
Welcome to this first issue of the Emmanuel UC Families Ministry newsletter. The idea for this has come out of requests from parents and leaders within the Emmanuel Community who want and need easy access to information and resources to help them be the best disciples, leaders, and disciple-makers within their home, family, and community.
Each issue will have a range of links, tips, and recommendations for resources, articles, and new (or old) ideas to help support you and your family, ministry, and community.
If you find something that you think would be helpful to share with others, please share it with me so that we can share and others can benefit too.
[Click here to view](https://mailchi.mp/b6ec883167c0/newsletter-7th-march-1934247?e=[UNIQID])
Our whole Church Bible Study Holy Spirit Dependence commences in term 2 starting the week 19 April.
We are looking for hosts, facilitators and participants. If you are interested in taking part please register your interest [here](https://emmanueluca.elvanto.com.au/form/48d3e15e-017e-4e5e-8fce-6efa3c1b2023)
Facilitator Training has been rescheduled.
Tuesday 20th April [1pm](https://emmanueluca.elvanto.com.au/form/334f0d07-efa9-4f81-892c-a5307e677cca)or [7pm](https://emmanueluca.elvanto.com.au/form/7aa64021-743a-4e4f-8b4a-12fdd49cb788)both sessions will be face to face and online. Please choose which session you would like to attend by clicking on the link.
If you have any questions please feel free to any member of the Ministry Team including the church office.