Future newsletters can now be found in the [news](https://emmanueluca.org.au/news)section of the website. Thank you.
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.
to access the rest of the newsletter click [here](https://mailchi.mp/e1ebb6bc430a/newsletter-21-march-1936367)
Front and Centre
This week we are celebrating Tiny Town our Kindergarten and Childcare Centre. Or rather we are celebrating the work of hundreds of people who have been a part of Tiny Town for over 47 years. From the staff, committee members and children and their families Tiny Town has been a part of the local community since 1974. There have been hundreds of people who have given thousands of hours of volunteer service as well as staff who built strong relationships with the children and their families. Commencing at Mitchelton where it served the community for over 20 years before moving across to Enoggera Tiny Town has provided an important opportunity for the church to be involved and engaged with families with young children. The changes for Tiny Town to come under Synod oversight frees the Emmanuel congregation to be more focussed and intentional about the relationships we build with the families of Tiny Town children. Whatever activity we have, be it Tiny Town, Boys or Girls Brigade, Community Helping Hand, they only provide the opportunity for us to build relationships. True mission only happens through relationships. As Tiny Town moves to a new era I am excited about the missional opportunities this provides. Tiny Town started because people saw a community need and responded. I am grateful for all who through the 47 years have seen the opportunities and responded and pray that we will continue to have people who will build relationships and respond to opportunities so that Tiny Town will continue to be seen as a mission of Emmanuel. To all of those who have played significant roles in getting us to this point, thank you, and let us pray for the future.
Click [here](https://mailchi.mp/54fdcafd40de/newsletter-28-march) for the rest of the newsletter.
Front and Centre
Our theme this Sunday is about Jesus being the true vine and challenging us to be fruitful.
But what does it mean to be fruitful?
How are we fruitful?
I must be honest that I am not much of a gardener. It always amazes me when something we have bears fruit. One reason for that is that I do not always devote the time and talent that I need to allow something to be fruitful. If we want something to be fruitful then normally we need to be intentional about it. For my garden it involves water, good soil, nutrients, and sunshine. Sometimes these things seem to happen ‘by accident’ but even when that is the case fruitfulness can be improved with some TLC and intentionality. This sense of fruitfulness and intentionality carries over into most aspects of our life.
As we draw our stewardship campaign to a close, the question of how we are being fruitful is a crucial question in the mix. Stewardship asks us to be intentional about our giving in terms of time, gifts, talents and finances. Emmanuel, as a church, wants you to flourish in your Christian walk, and to grow people as disciples who will grow other disciples. The better we resource that, and are intentional about that the more fruitful we will be. Stewardship is not an end in itself. It is a part of resourcing our desire and purpose to grow disciples who will grow disciples.
Please consider your commitment to that and pledge what that will be.
TO READ THE REST OF THE NEWSLETTER CLICK [HERE](https://mailchi.mp/636e233b1ab0/newsletter-21-march)
Front and Center
Last week, TV presenter Samantha Armytage quit her long-running position as co-host of Seven's Sunrise program. In doing so she quoted advice from her late mother: "Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly; it’s your masterpiece after all". We would assert that our life is God's masterpiece, not our own. But it's undeniable we have a big role to play as stewards of that masterpiece, ensuring that the 'Artist's edits' are implemented as the narrative is developed. We need to spend time regularly with God and allow Him to challenge and remake us in His image.
Our current season of stewardship is a good opportunity to spend time in reflection. What is God trying to do around me, and am I using my time effectively to help? Do I have a skill or a passion in a particular area - does God want to use that? Do I have financial resources that could be deployed to grow the Kingdom of God? These are difficult and probing questions, but nevertheless an important part of our Christian discipleship.
Christian discipleship is not a solitary journey, so part of our stewardship time is focused on how we can collectively resource the work of God's Kingdom through the local Church. Thank you for your ongoing generosity in supporting Emmanuel's mission and outreach. It's exciting to be part of a Christian community which wants to share Jesus in a real and relevant way.
This week we also have some important decisions to make about our Tiny Town child care and kindergarten - a mission of our church for almost 50 years. The regulatory framework for child care centres has changed drastically over the last decade, and as such it's no longer practical for us to manage the centre with Church volunteers. The Synod's proposed management structure should allow us to develop our community and missional connections but without the administrative burden. Thank you to the team that's worked so hard on the management transition over the last few months.
Church Council Chairperson
To access the rest of the newsletter click [here](https://mailchi.mp/bff4c41a5115/newsletter-7th-march-1932335).
Front and Centre
Our Annual Stewardship Campaign commences this Monday 8 March and will run for two weeks culminating with Services on Sunday, 21st March. The Stewardship time is an important time to reflect. To reflect upon God’s goodness and and God’s provision and to ask the question how do we respond to that. That response is in terms of commitment to your relationship with God and the core spiritual practices of prayer and reflecting upon the word. Of asking ourselves the question what is God saying to me and saying to us as a community. Stewardship is also asking about where do we invest our time, our money and our talents. What am I going to invest into being a part of this church and the commitment that we have to grow disciples. As we are getting our heart and life in alignment with God’s purposes we also want to lead others on that same journey. As you reflect on your stewardship over the next few weeks how does this reflect your priorities. Matthew 6:24 reminds us we can not serve two masters. How does your commitment and giving reflect the master you serve.?
You will receive a letter and a card with ‘14 days of stewardship reflections’ to assist you with your devotions during this period as you consider your commitment and stewardship to Emmanuel over the next 12 months. During services on the 21st March you will be provided an opportunity to prayerfully make a pledge and these pledges will then be dedicated to God and his work through Emmanuel. I believe that Emmanuel is doing good things and that we can do even more with your support. Please consider carefully and prayerfully how you respond to this call.
Please consider the following statements:
- I give to Emmanuel because I believe that I am called, willing and able to financially support God’s vision for Emmanuel.
- I am committed to Emmanuel and its purpose to grow disciples who Exalt, Explore, Embody and Engage.
to access the rest of the newsletter click [here](https://mailchi.mp/a266c2f13b14/newsletter-7th-march)
Front and Centre
As we continue in the season of Lent it is worth reflecting on what Lent is about. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. The Season of Lent commences with Ash Wednesday which this year began last week. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities. The intent is that we focus away from ourselves and focus more intently upon God. So the challenge for each of us is what can we do to help us focus more upon God and our relationship with him. Here are some suggestions. If you have never done it start doing a daily devotion, even better do it with someone else, your husband or wife, a friend. Emmanuel provides a number of options because we believe this is important. I share a daily devotion everyday on our facebook and youtube page. We have a Lenten study with a daily bible reading and devotion. That will be attached to this week’s newsletter again. I can personally recommend the Lectio365 app (for iphone or Android) on which our daily devotions are based. Can I encourage you if you do not do so already to try and commit to a daily devotional through Lent running up to Easter. One of the really important things as we seek to develop real life disciples is developing a rhythm in our life that draws us closer to God. More on this next week but for now taste and see what a daily devotion may look like for you. It will draw you closer to God.
To see the rest of this weeks newsletter click [here](https://mailchi.mp/8e766c79b5f0/newsletter-1930551)
Front and Centre
2021 is panning out to be an exciting year in the Brigades. The pause that was forced upon us last year was a great chance to reflect upon the activities that we do and place a high emphasis on the activities that are important to achieving the aims and objectives of Brigade. I know that within BB, we have had numerous changes in the activities that we do over the years but the purpose behind the activities have not. This is the main reason that the movement has existed for so long.
Within our company it has been great to see the development of new leaders in the last few years. The most pleasing aspect is to see how they learn skills and can implement these practically through multiple areas of the program. This year we have seen significant changes in how the company operates, both in terms of people and structure.
This reminds me of Galatians 6:7 (parable of the sower) that tells us that we reap what we sow. While we are concentrating on sowing seeds, it is equally important to nurture the seeds that we have sown and that have had the pleasure to see germinate. Without any guidance and continual nourishment these germinations will shrivel and die off. This is a major factor as to why BB has been around for so long worldwide and a long-term program at Emmanuel.
Boys' Brigade Company Captain
for the rest of the newsletter click [here](https://mailchi.mp/b287e1a6d28a/newsletter-1929047)
Front and Centre
The church year is made up of a number of seasons and these seasons help give a rhythm to our Christian life. The Church year begins in late November with Advent which runs for four weeks leading into Christmas. Christmas lasts 12 days and leads to Epiphany which varies in length each year to accommodate Lent and Easter. Lent leads us into Easter which lasts 6 weeks and concludes with Pentecost. The post Pentecost season is known as ordinary time and takes us through to the end of the church year when we begin Advent again.
Next week marks the beginning of Lent with the celebration, or memorial of Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time of reflection, denial and preparation leading up to Easter. Though we are not particularly emphasising Lent we will be picking it up in our daily devotion and providing people with a daily bible reading plan to help people reflect during the Lenten season. After Easter we will be starting a whole of church study. For now the daily plan will help people focus upon discipleship and how to be a part of our journey as a church to grow disciples who grow disciples.
The material from the daily plan (see attached pdf) can be done as a daily devotional and the reflection questions, though the same each day, help us focus on how we allow God’s word to influence our Christian living. The Sunday readings are the ones we will be using each Sunday if bible study groups would like to focus on those.
To access the rest of the newsletter click [here](https://mailchi.mp/ebcc49ecaba3/newsletter-1928195)