Front and Centre
Last week was an important week for the church. Firstly we welcomed the Fisher family (Martin, Janine, Anna, Lou and William) into church membership. It is important to recognise people becoming a part of our church family, and celebrating that. We want people to feel that they belong.
Then we joined for a congregational meeting. Due to COVID it had been delayed. Thank you for your participation as we accepted the reports from last year and elected new elders. All of those nominated were elected with two new elders Ross Wakem and Noel Pinkerton being elected, confirming Bronwyn Cox and Peter Coombes who were co-opted earlier in the year as well as Rosemary Costello, Kristy Johnson, Christine Manning and Nathan Robertson were re-elected. Thank you for those offering to lead our church going forward. We are at a critical stage in the life of Emmanuel. The Church Council has a good balance of experience, and skills, but more importantly it has people who are active disciples seeking to live this out better in their life.
There are two key attributes needed in our leadership team. We need people of Character and people of competence. Character comes first. Our elders need to be people who are committed to their relationship with God and seeking to deepen this. They need to focus on spiritual disciplines. This is true for all of us, but especially true for those in leadership. As well as spiritual character they are people who have the competence to deal with the increasing complexity of being a church in today’s age. I am excited about the newly elected council and the capacity we have to deal with the issues that are before us. But please remember that you have an important part to play. As a church that want to grow disciples we need you to be committed to that journey. That you too are seeking to know Jesus better and committed to that. As a part of that we need your prayers and support. Please uphold your Church Council, and your leadership team, in prayer. You are an important part of this church, and your prayers are essential. This is not about how much we can do in our own strength but rather what we can do in God’s strength, and how we continue to connect to God’s vision and purpose for his church. With our new Council I am excited about being on this journey together.
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Front and Centre
As a church our vision is to be real people with a relevant faith for our community. That should never be more real or relevant than at Christmas time. Christmas is one of the great opportunities we have when people are more receptive to the Christian message. It is also a great challenge because of the way that Christmas has been overtaken by Santa, presents, feasting and so it is hard to get the real message across. Our message is about wanting people to meet Jesus and as followers of Jesus we are the people who can do that. Can I ask you to think about who you want to invite to meet Jesus this year and how you will help them do that. It sounds a bit daunting but we are the ones who are able to help our friends meet Jesus who is also our friend.
As we plan the Christmas events our main outreach is the Christmas Carols. So the planning team asked the same question. How do we use the carols event, that is an outreach to help people meet Jesus. Just having people attend the event does not do it. But the carols event provides an opportunity for us to talk with, and build relationships with, people in the community. Our hope this year, despite COVID, or maybe because of it, we want to try and build relationships, and talk with people who attend our special events. A mantra you will often hear from me, is that mission occurs when we establish and build relationships. Relationships is the key. So to run the carols well we need a whole range of people, from those who will help set-up, those who will perform, those who will serve food and those who will talk with people. If we are going to run the carols, and run it well we need to know now that we have the volunteers, so we are seeking your commitment now. I realise it has been a tough year so we are asking now before we are fully committed. We do not want to burn people out by having too few volunteers. We do think the plan is a good one but need your support and time and energy to make it work.
To read the rest of the newsletter please click [here](https://mailchi.mp/8eab5813b097/newsletter-1910631).
Front and Centre
As we meet for a congregational meeting today. I am reminded of how blessed we are as a church. The Annual report provides a snapshot of what the church was like in 2019. Life in 2020 is quite different to that. However there is a common thread. The most important thing that Emmanuel has going for it is its people. It’s you, and I and everyone else who is a part of the Emmanuel family. As much as we have been affected by COVID 19 and the different requirements by government and the church. Its you, as the people that are the most important part, and the strength of Emmanuel.
I am impressed and amazed at the continued commitment of people top their faith and to their church. We have amazing people at Emmanuel. There are many people who go above and beyond what they have to do and as such make Emmanuel a great place to be, and a great community to be a part of. We have great staff but it by no means stops there. There are the volunteers each week that help with Sunday Worship, Community Helping Hand, Boys and Girls Brigade, Sunday School, all of the bible study groups, those doing maintenance each week, serving at Tiny Town, involved in pastoral care, those on church council, people helping with cleaning. The list seems endless. Thank you for all that you do.
As much as we have great facilities, including Tiny Town, and a great hall etc, without the people it would be useless. The focus of Emmanuel is about growing people to be the disciples God has called them to be. Our role is to grow people. We have facilities and activities and programs because they allow us to connect with and grow people. We must always keep our sight upon the big picture, and that big picture is people. We are so glad you are here, thank you.
To access the rest of the newsletter [click here](https://mailchi.mp/5176679d6a28/newsletter-1907227).
Front and Centre
John is 40, unemployed, and relies upon emergency housing or couch surfing with friends or sleeping rough to get by. He is glad we are moving into summer as its warmer and more comfortable to live on the streets. John struggles to make ends meet. Learning difficulties and low self-esteem make it difficult for John to find work. Community Helping Hand gives John that occasional leg-up when the going gets tough, and Helen is afriendly face and a friendly smile.
Ellen has 3 girls , 2, 6 and 8 years old. She is a single mum doing her best to provide for her children and not wanting them to miss out on anything at school. She is grateful when the chappie visits and gives a listening ear and a helping hand.
John and Ellen are made-up people but they represent some of the people that Helen and our chaplains meet each week as they reach out to be God’s hands and feet. The work done by Community Helping hand and our school chaplains is extra-ordinary. This year the focus of Emmanuel’s Christmas mission project will be supporting the work of Community helping hand and our chaplains by providing Hampers of Hope and joy. Picking up on work done in earlier years we will be seeking to provide a hamper of Christmas food and staples as well as gifts for each member of the family. We would like to encourage Emmanuel families to get right behind this and support people in need in our own community. You may even like to sponsor a particular family, though all names are confidential. There will be guidelines drawn up to assist us in purchasing gifts and supplies. We would like to provide each person and family that we support through the year with something that speaks of Christmas and God’s love. Ross Heyde will be co-ordinating as he has done in previous years so contact him if you want to know more. We really want to encourage our chaplains, and struggling local families to know God’s love through the hampers of hope and joy. Hampers of hope and joy will enable our chaplains and CHH staff to better reach out and support people in our local area. Emmanuel is a church that is very much on about mission, and the Hampers of hope and joy speak very much into that space.
Hampers of Hope and Joy.
Emmanuel’s community mission project this year are the Hampers of hope and joy. We hope that the hampers, and the chaplains and those serving them will help them to know Jesus. To better maximise our opportunities to support local families we will not be doing Christmas Shoe boxes as an Emmanuel Community event. People may wish to do it privately but the shoe-box appeal does not provide the opportunity to build relationships. People may wish to continue doing shoe boxes. Let me encourage you to think about how you can support Hampers of Hope and Joy, and share the mission of this church.
Tiny Town Child Care and Kindergarten
continues to operate as a very special place with quality care and great staff. The COVID pandemic has created difficult times for the centre but it is riding those waves and coming out of the other side. A review conducted for the Synod recognised that the Synod Property Trust was the legal entity that the government licensed to operate all the churches early learning centres. The Synod Standing Committee adopted the report and its recommendations meaning that all the childcare centres, including Tiny Town, will come under Synod management and support. Consistent policies and procedures will benefit from economies of scale and consistency of approach with support for inexperienced personnel. There will be an added benefit that the energy and effort of Emmanuel people will go into strengthening the relationship with staff, children and their families rather than managing the centre. This will involve Emmanuel handing over its management of Tiny Town to the Synod so this will be discussed at our congregation meeting in October. Any questions please talk to Brian or other members of the committee.
Brian Continues to offer a daily devotion which can be found on our app, [Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/emmanueluca)page and on [YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3FKu0AdcO-Y4nR_BgxZC4A?view_as=subscriber). Why not have a look?
To access the rest of the newsletter [click here](http://mailchi.mp/c758e791711e/newsletter-20200927)