17 March Newsletter

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14 March, 2019

Welcome to everyone reading this newsletter, whether online or in print. We’re glad you’re a part of us and we’re a part of you – which is what makes God’s family so special. If we can ever do anything to help you and improve your sense of belonging, please do let us know.

  • Our Annual Meeting is coming up fast on 31st March. We aim to do at least three things at that meeting:
  • Receive the annual reports
  • Begin to cast Vision for the short to medium term future
  • Elect elders to oversee and steward all this process.

There are information brochures about the Elders’ elections available in the foyer of the church, at the church office or indeed you can contact Helen during office hours and she will get one to you ASAP. (Unfortunately due to my recent illness we are a bit short of time on this but if we all act swiftly and with good grace we should get there!)

On the day we will have a special morning tea, which will be provided, after our usual combined service at 9:30am. We hope to commence the meeting at 11:15am and be done in time to be home for a reasonable lunch! Please do come if you can – it’s so important that we are all informed and take ownership of our future together. If you’re worried about the kids, we will have some activities for them to do so please don’t let that stop you!

It has been an excellent 12 months and we have much to be thankful for as you will read in the reports. God really does appear to be doing something special amongst us and its only just beginning! I wonder how you can be directly or indirectly involved? Do come, find out and get inspired!

News from next door at Enoggera State School is that they will be receiving a new Principal at the beginning of term 2. This feels hard – things were starting to settle down after so many changes over the last few years. And of course very tough for Angela the outgoing Principal having to find a new placement. But let us redouble our prayers for this next season for her and the school, especially for a smooth transition and continued good relationship between our two communities.

By the way, I don’t know if you’ve been to check out the newly refurbished office space – it’s wonderful and all those who use it are very grateful for a warmer, more welcoming feel and a far more efficient use of space. Thank you for allowing it to happen. Likewise the new playground work at Tiny Town looks stunning - the committee are to be congratulated.

I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting if not before. 


In His grip and grace,  

Ian.


More From 'Newsletters'

9th June Newsletter

Have you ever felt like you were speaking a foreign language? Or talking to a brick wall? The typewriter and the pay phone have been mentioned in recent conversations with our kids. “What’s a typewriter?” or “What’s a Pay Phone?” they asked. They have no concept of these strange, ancient technologies! In these moments we are reminded how quickly technology is advancing and how our children are living in a different world to the one we grew up in (not that long ago!) Sometimes it seems those different worlds speak different languages.

Similarly, our world is becoming more secularised and less familiar with the name of Jesus and the narrative of the Gospels. The Good News of Jesus may be familiar to us, but is increasingly like a foreign language to our neighbours who have not experienced these words before. Faced with this reality, should we abandon any hope of sharing the Gospel with our neighbours? Has the language barrier between the Church and secular Australia become too great? The story of Pentecost in Acts 2 answers these questions.

In Acts 2:3-4 we read of the Holy Spirit coming on Jesus’ disciples, some time after He had ascended. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability (NRSV). Gathered in Jerusalem at that time are Jews from all corners of the World, who exclaimed, “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Despite a language barrier, religious and cultural barriers, and human cynicism (v.13), the Good News of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to this diverse crowd and many are saved. The evangelists were untrained, they had never been to evangelical rally before – yet were able to share the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The message of Acts 2 should give us great encouragement as we seek to share Relevant Faith with Our Community. Firstly, it reminds us that we are merely participating in the work of the Holy Spirit and it is not our evangelical prowess at work. Secondly, it reminds us that language or culture is not a barrier. We can share our experience of God’s hand in whatever words we have and know that the Spirit allows others to hear. Thirdly, no barrier, be it language or otherwise, can overcome the Spirit’s work. For the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 Jn 4:4 NRSV). So we have confidence sharing God’s love in any situation, knowing that God’s spirit is with us, and can give us the right words, in any language!

Grace and Peace

Nathan Robertson

Church Council Chair

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26th May Newsletter

The Rock in the Road (A helpful old folktale)

For just a little longer we remain in this time of waiting. I sincerely thank you and commend you all on your perseverance and goodwill as we hang in there together - supporting and caring for one another, and carrying on the day to day life of our congregation here at Emmanuel.

This week I stumbled across this old folktale, which challenged me with a timely word!

“In medieval times, a King secretly organised for a large rock boulder to be placed deliberately in the middle of a much used roadway. Then he hid himself in nearby bushes and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and, one after the other, walked carefully around the inconvenient boulder.

Many were heard loudly blaming and cursing the King for not keeping the roads clear.

As the days passed the grumbles became angrier, more animated and even louder – but still no one did anything to move the stone!

A poor peasant was also travelling the road carrying a heavy load of vegetables for the markets. When he came upon the boulder, he said not a word and quietly laid down his burden. Immediately he set about trying to move the boulder to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

As he picked up his load of vegetables to be on his way, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.

Opening the purse, the peasant found a number of gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The King then came out from hiding and congratulated the peasant for passing the test, that many others had failed!”

Is this a timely word?

The peasant knew what many people never understand: Every obstacle (or rock in our road) presents a learning opportunity to improve our condition!

God often uses the challenging situations in our lives as opportunities to strengthen our faith, and give us invaluable learnings!

One more timely word?

“Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

Please keep praying, keep caring, keep supporting and loving one another in whatever practical ways you can and keep waiting on God – who never forgets or abandons his people!

Rev Glenn

(PS Thank you all for kindly welcoming me amongst you for these past few weeks! God be with you always!)

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12th May Newsletter

The (tough) Art of Waiting

Something in the human psyche seems to be pre-programmed to dislike waiting!

We want situations resolved yesterday, not tomorrow!

Some people impatiently TRY TO WAIT!

And the longer it drags on the harder it gets.

Are we there yet? Why aren’t we there? I WANT AN ANSWER NOW! I CAN’T WAIT!

We get frustrated, bad tempered, angry and unhappy!

Slowly Hope gets drained away….

But, no matter what, the WAIT still takes its own time!

There is an alternative way ….Don’t JUST TRY TO WAIT but add two more little words …

TRY TO WAIT … “ON GOD!”

Waiting is still hard; it will still be good when it’s over; there may still be emotional ups and downs … and some unanswered questions.

BUT there is one big difference.. people who WAIT ON GOD still have HOPE!

The WAIT still takes its own time – but the way to cope with that time changes!

Emmanuel Congregation finds itself in a difficult time of waiting at present.

We cannot change that – but we can change how we use this time!

Gently, I throw out a challenge to us all.

Let’s seize this uncertain time - to not only WAIT, but to WAIT ON GOD!

What might this mean?

• STEP UP YOUR PRAYING

Do a stocktake on how you ‘really’ pray and what you pray for. Do you ‘wait on God – or expect God to wait on you’?

Why not ‘wait on God’ by keeping a Prayer Journal through this time… (any old pad will do!)

Jesus is a good friend – so talk to him like friends do. Share what’s on your mind, don’t hold back.

Then WAIT ON GOD. Listen for the still small voice of God … trying to get it’s word in!

• STEP UP YOUR BIBLE LEARNING

Do a stocktake on how you listen for God as you read your Bible.

Do you wait on God openly, honestly – or expect God to endorse your own preconceived ideas and prejudices… Start with our Sunday readings, but don’t stop there…

• STEP UP YOUR SUPPORT FOR EACH OTHER

Do a stocktake on how you care for one another, especially in unsettling times. Look for Jesus speaking to us through each other. Make that phone call to check on someone? Or meet for that coffee? Just do something … and Wait on God to see where God takes it.

ALSO THIS WEEK – learn from Nehemiah.

The book of Nehemiah tells a remarkable story of God’s people waiting and waiting for over a century, before God gave them their chance to re-build their lives!

God never forgot them – AND GOD WON’T FORGET US!

Rev Glenn

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