4th July Newsletter

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2 July, 2021

Front and Centre  

Last week we were talking about our need to focus on relationships. This week, as Brisbane moves into lockdown, with uncertainty about whether the lockdown will continue and therefore whether this weekend will be face to face or not, the issue of relationships remains front and center for us. COVID has dramatically reduced our face-to-face contact with people. Again, this week we need to work and operate from home. People are asked to stay at home to keep everyone safe. I know for me personally it has been a lot harder to get to know people because of COVID. Much of my time here has been in the COVID environment. I was only here a month before our first lockdown occurred. Our social gatherings have been greatly reduced. Many of our Engage groups have not re-started. Through technology we are providing better ways of connecting virtually. Each week we stream both services, there are daily devotions being provided, there are prayer sessions being streamed, Worship and dig in (Sunday school) material is provided each week. The Ministry team put a lot of time and energy into providing these online resources.  However, the risk of people feeling disconnected is increasing.  

Right across our society depression, anxiety and loneliness are on the increase. Those issues are also present in our Emmanuel community. We need your help and support. Please take the time and effort to stay connected. It would be great if people would take the time and effort to give a couple of people a phone call or video chat. If you can, try and connect with someone a little bit outside of your normal group. We talk about pastoral care at Emmanuel being for everyone by everyone. Now is a really good time to take that seriously and make a few phone calls and take the time to pray together. Now is the time to emphasise the importance of us all taking responsibility and playing our part. 


Blessings 

Brian Hoole 

Minister 

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In each of the three synoptic gospels (Mathew, Mark and Luke) a key turning point is when Jesus asks his disciples the question ‘who do you say that I am? It is a key question for the disciples but its also a key question for us today? Who is Jesus to you? Your relationship with Jesus is the key relationship in your life. How you live and respond in that space is just so important. How is your relationship with Jesus is a key life question? We are called to model our lives on Jesus. Another church says it this way, ‘more people more like Jesus’. As we look at Jesus life and ministry we see him building relationships in 3 ways ‘His relationship with the Father (up), his relationship with his disciples (in) and his relationship with those from the world (out). As we focus on our relationships we too should consider our up, in and out and how we keep that balance. How is your relationship with God? Are you investing into that with daily time of prayer and reading scripture? Then there is the in, spending time with other Christians. And then there are your relationships with people who are not Christian. As disciples and followers of Jesus we should have healthy relationships both within the church and Christian community and outside the Christian community. As i have indicated before one of the challenges I have experienced due to COVID is the effect it has on relationships. How are you continuing to build healthy relationships? We certainly want to encourage that as a church. How do we help and encourage people build stronger relationships with each other. But also as individuals we need to continue to strengthen and build relationships, up with God, in within our Christian community and out with those outside our church community.

Brian Hoole

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5 September - Happy Fathers' Day

Front and Centre

This week I had the privilege in sharing and celebrate the life of Claudia Hargreaves. As someone who has only known Claudia in the twilight of her life it was amazing to hear more of her story and to be reminded as people reflected on Claudia, not just of Claudia, but also of others who are the saints of the past. Those who are the mothers, fathers or grandparents of our faith. Those who shared and discipled us, who shared their faith with us so that we would believe and know the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. When I think back on my own life, as someone who grew up and was sent to Sunday School by parents who were not regular church-goers I see those who encouraged and discipled me as I grew into teenage and then adult-hood. I can see God’s hand on me and the faces of those who shared time and faith with me. What about you?

In this season of thanksgiving lets give thanks for our Spiritual parents. As it co-incides with fathers day this year, who would you identify as your father in the faith. Or your mother in the faith. This Fathers Day please, please take the time to give thanks to them. In prayer if they are no longer with us, or in person if they are. Ring them up or visit them, or email them and let them know that you are thankful for them. And while you are at it think of who you are sharing faith with, who are you encouraging, who are you discipling. It is up to all of us to play our part. I am so thankful that we are here and are able to give thanks and encourage each other on this journey.

Blessings

Rev Brian Hoole

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