St Nic’s Snapshot: Presenting the marvellous Site Management Team

Wonderful things have been happening at St Nic’s! Parishioners have reported sightings of a group of men doing marvellous deeds around the church. Parking lines have been painted, pathways fixed, doors repainted, handles repaired and bookshelves assembled!

Who are these local heroes? Why our newly formed Site Management Team of course! Tony Wheeler, Trevor Freckleton, Struan Faed have joined Geoff Blechynden and have enthusiastically embraced the seemingly endless task of maintenance and repairs.

So busy are the boys we were unable to track them down for a group photo. “How did we ever find time to work?” wondered retiree Tony.

How indeed! Nonetheless we are extremely grateful and blessed by these men’s selfless service to our community. If you see them around, be sure to say hello and thank you!

AMP 2018/19 – Get Involved! Step 1: Get on the Roll!

On November 25th we will be holding our 2018/19 Annual Meeting of Parishioners.

This year the AMP will be delivered in two parts. Part 1, November 25th, covers Ministry Reports and the elections for church offices. This year we have vacancies for the office of Parish Councillors and a Warden. Part 2, February 17th, will look at our finances for 2018 and the budget for 2019.

But wait! Before you get all excited about being here for the AMP there’s

Step 1: Get on the Roll!

Make sure you are registered to vote on the Electoral Roll – complete and return a Schedule 9 Statutory Declaration to the church office by October 28th. You need to register every AMP. Please note your partner cannot witness for you- please ask another member of the congregation or see Sophie, Ian, Suzanne or Rev Jamie.

 

Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted on Steps 2-4. In the meantime, sign that Schedule 9!

 

 

Opportunities in Your Church

Belonging at St Nic’s

At St Nic’s we love and follow Jesus and so love and serve one another in kindness. Kindness originally links to the notion of kindred, a family relationship. This is expressed practically as the church body lives out its life together.

We are the Body of Christ 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, serving in our homes, at work and at play. This calling is more than just gathering on a Sunday. We express being kind to one another by offering lifts, sharing meals, praying for one another, shopping for those in need, and alerting our pastoral care team to more specific needs. It can also mean serving in a more formal role within the Church community.

Sunday Services

  • Welcomers: Welcoming guests and regular members on arrival with distribution of newsletter and assistance as required.
  • Children’s Ministry: Godly Play has roles for Storytellers and Doorpersons (see Karen D.)
  • Eucharist Assistants: help prepare for Eucharist and assist in serving during the service and cleaning utensils afterwards.
  • Sound: setting up and running appropriate sound for the various services we offer (see Alf H.)
  • Overheads: running the visuals on the overheads for the service (see Dannielle B.)
  • Worship: vocals, keyboard, guitar, drums, or possibly another musical talent not listed?
  • Readers: for reading the various readings during the service
  • Intercessions: leading our public prayers
  • Preaching and teaching: this requires training towards Licensed Lay Minister status.
  • Hospitality: Ensuring the availability of beverages and biscuits, assisting with cleaning up afterwards.

Blessing & Outreach

  • Op Shop volunteer (see Judy B.)
  • Little Lambs volunteer (see Barbara G.)
  • Lending Library (see Jan C.)
  • Wednesdays Dinners (see Verity M. or Kate H.)
  • Nourish Kids (see Carli K.): providing childcare for the Nourish Women’s group is an incredible blessing to the mums who attend and study God’s word together.
  • Parish Council: nominations will open in October for our 2019 Parish Council.
  • Mission Secretary: we are still in need of someone who is called to this position.
  • Alpha and other courses such as Boundaries: prayer for those who attend, and for Holy Spirit led invitations to people beyond our church community. Provision of hospitality or as a small group leader.

Small Groups Ministry

  • involvement in small groups
  • leading small groups: this requires discussion and oversight from the parish priest.
  • youth ministry: soon we will have a real need for a youth ministry to nurture and grow the faith of our older children.

General Operations

  • administration/ volunteering in the office (see Sophie P. or Ian C.)
  • assist our Site Management Team with maintenance and repairs of the church buildings and grounds, including the Historic Church (see Tony W.)

As a community we want to celebrate and acknowledge those who serve in these roles. By listing them here we can pray specifically for those areas in our church. If there is an area that interests you or you feel called into serving please speak to Rev Jamie or a team member.

Adapted from Opportunities in Your Church by St Nicholas Minster.

 

St Nic’s Snapshot: Safe Church Workshop

We, at St Nic’s, are committed to ensuring we are a safe place for young and old.

Thank you to the many members of our church community and the Op Shop volunteers who joined us Saturday morning for morning tea, an informative chat and a spot of paperwork!

Special thanks to Lois our Safe Church Contact Person and Judy our Op Shop Coordinator who organised and helped cater for the day.

If you are yet to update or complete your paperwork, checks and training please contact Lois! You can find our more about our commitment to a Safe Church here.

Spring into September

Spring is here and there is plenty happening in September at St Nic’s! Read on to find out more.

Saturday 8th

Safe Church Updates Workshop (9am-11am) – it is essential all church workers and volunteers have their forms and training up to date. Those who completed theirs in 2014/15 are up for renewal. Morning tea provided. Venue: St Nic’s Church

Sunday 9th

Churches Together Prayer Meeting (6pm-7.30pm) – join us and other local churches to prayer together for our community and God’s kingdom. All welcome. Venue: St Nic’s Church.

Friday 14th

Finishing Life Well (9.30am-11.30am) – Have you thought about the things you need to put in place to ensure a worry free time for you and your loved ones in the latter stages of life?

Come along to a facilitated discussion with Jamie and Suzanne and sharing time on matters such as:

  • Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Health Directives
  • Enduring Power of Guardianship
  • Funeral Arrangements

All welcome. Morning tea provided. Venue: St Nic’s Church. Please RSVP by Wed 12th Sept (click here).

Saturday 15th

Mission Day at the Diocese (9.30am-2pm) – An enjoyable, interactive day, an opportunity to hear about things that are working well in the Diocese either for building up your congregation, or serving people who are not attending church; ideas you might like to try in your church.

Mission agencies are also invited to be there, set up a stall, and be available for arranging visits to your church.

With presentations by:
Alpha Revd Jamie Murray
3DM Carole Post
Godly Play Gabby Chadwick
Thy Kingdom Come Karen Dennison
Messy Church Rev Marion Prowse

BYO lunch. Tea and coffee provided. Venue: Year 7 Complex, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. RSVP Wednesday 12th September Rev Marion Prowse 0428994564 or tmprowse@iinet.net.au

Fellowship as usual

Each week we have gatherings at our church for small groups, playgroups, craft groups, worship services and prayer meetings. We also have a fellowship meal on Wednesday’s 5.45pm-6.45pm. You are very welcome to join us. For a detailed list of weekly activities check out our What’s On page.

1 minute prayer

This week I thought I would share with you a quick and easy 1 minute prayer based on our vision framework for our community life here at St Nic’s.

Lord,
Clothe me with the power of Your Holy Spirit so that today I may
Bless abundantly in Your Name,
Belong wholeheartedly to the Body of Christ,
Believe increasingly in Your Word,
Behave with integrity for Your sake, and
Become Good News for Your glory.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

St Nic’s Snapshot: A week of wondrous work

Exciting changes are happening here at St Nic’s!

Small but Mighty…

On Wednesday, work on the historic church officially began! Praise God! This is the culmination of an incredible amount of work and dedication from the Heritage Church Committee. Congratulations and many thanks to Suzanne Saunders, Kerry Hawley, Wendy Dickinson and Ian Craig. Many thanks also to the Parish Council, the Heritage Council and Greg Meachem.
Check out the audio from the drive radio show and ABC’s online article that featured our little church earlier this week!

Let there be light…

You may have noticed things are looking a little brighter around here… The process of changing all our existing lighting to LED downlights has begun. This will help reduce costs both in terms of electricity and replacement costs as each globe is warrantied for 36,000 hours!
Speaking of power, last week our solar panels were installed by Brett and Mitch from Sunwise. This too, is an important step toward reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our power bills! In just 5 days our CO2 savings were 37kg—the equivalent of driving 245km in the car!
Thank you and congratulations to the Parish Council, Sunwise and Electrical Experts for making this possible.

St Nicholas Craft Group: The Biggest Morning Tea

Last Thursday, St Nicholas’s Craft Group joined thousands of others in hosting the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea. Over $920 was raised to help the fight against cancer!

Sixty-five members of our local community joined in to support the cause. The Australind Bridge Club provided a welcome boost to the overall amount with their generous donations.

“People seemed to enjoy themselves, the donations of cakes and savouries was excellent as usual,” said organiser Fran Craig. “We do it to help people with cancer, everybody that you speak to knows somebody who has suffered from cancer in some form or other. It’s all around us. It’s a cause close to our hearts, many of our parishioners have lost someone. Cancer does not discriminate.”

Special thanks to Stephen & Julie Lucas from Australind Post Office & Gifts and Rob Bertolli from Terry White Chemmart for their generous gifts for the door prize and raffle. Lucky attendees Val, Betty, Lois, Robyn, Pat, Judy & Geoff won the raffle spot prizes and Beryl scored the door prize.

Rev Jamie assisted with the raffle and Father Brian gave an inspiring address, “Never be negative, always be positive… with your small contribution we are all part of the ultimate solution.”

This year is the 6th year the Craft Group have hosted the event. If anyone would like to join the Craft Group you are most welcome Thursdays 10am- 12noon at the church. Bring your project and enjoy a cuppa and fellowship.

Rosalind Brown’s Day in the Diocese: A millennial’s perspective

My primary motivation to go to Rosalind Brown’s talk was because I had assigned myself the task of writing a post about it. After all, this respected author of Being a Priest Today was being hosted by St Nicholas for the Day in the Diocese.

In the closing address, Archdeacon Julie put it perfectly for me when she conceded “could’ve been in the office doing important looking stuff” (my important looking stuff is exponentially less important looking than what I imagine our esteemed Archdeacon has to do). However Julie, like myself, thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the talk and it was (to once again quote her) “a real treat”.

Rosalind’s talk was engaging, well delivered, insightful, thought-provoking and oftentimes humorous.  A handout with an assortment of “I wonder” phrases given during the interim discussions made me laugh. For those of you familiar with Godly Play (the Montessori style ‘Sunday school’ we run at our family service) you would understand why; it felt a bit like Godly Play for Grown-ups minus the craft.

Rosalind’s address was delivered in three parts. The first was titled “Taking our smallness lightly but our presence seriously” (a quote from Joan Chittester and drew heavily upon Rowan Williams book Faith in the Public Square). The second part was an intriguing examination of Benedictine hospitality. Finally, the third, a biblical talk on Hagar and Elijah.

We are all of equal value to God

A particular point that stood out to me was that of each individual’s value. That is, we are all of equal value to God. Whether it was a Williams quote or her own, I loved it when Rosalind stated that “there are no superfluous or spare people”. This is profound for those of us with distorted views of our self-worth but also a challenge. This value does not come from one’s own merit but from who we are to God. We are precious in His eyes.

The connection Rosalind drew between the viewpoint of Equal Value and its implication for the current attitudes to work, attitudes like the increasingly demanding and all-consuming expectance of performance driven from both forces within and external to the worker. Dehumanising was the word used and I am finding it hard to disagree. The connection was startling in its directness yet disturbingly unsurprising all the same. How often have we felt sucked into that seemingly inescapable cycle of commitments and additional ‘extra credit’ projects all for the so called sake of… what? Our boss? Or our professor’s approval? Our career aspirations? Or perhaps our own so-called ‘self-improvement’?

That last paragraph sounds rather negative and depressing (I assure on the whole, the talk was actually very encouraging). But perhaps instead of boring you with another few hundred words or so I might instead heed Rosalind’s recommendation and read the transcript of Rowan William’s lecture ‘Benedict and the future of Europe’. And likewise, I might wonder about my own rhythm of life. And perhaps if you too dear reader, are intrigued or are one of the many ever-chasing the elusive ‘balance’ we so crave, could spare some precious time I would encourage you to do some wondering too.

An Easter Reflection on Psalm 22: The Suffering God for Suffering People

On the cross Jesus cried out ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

Jesus, the Son of God, had been rejected, tortured, insulted, humiliated and left to die. In the midst of excruciating suffering and approaching death, Jesus quoted Psalm 22. This is a psalm of suffering. An expression of loneliness. A pleading to God for help.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

However, it is also a psalm of hope. The psalmist is turning to God for answers in his time of need. It is a psalm which expects God to come. It expects God to act in times of suffering.

I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!

For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

On the cross Jesus revealed more than the depth of his suffering. He revealed more than his agony. Jesus revealed his trust in God his Father. He experienced the mystery of how God uses suffering to accomplish good. The cross is the revelation of the holy love of God dealing with the sin and evil of the world, and it is utter agony. But it brought life, healing and hope. We see this in the resurrection when Jesus conquered death itself.

Suffering is a problem we all face. It takes many forms. Rejection. Loneliness. Illness. Grief. Loss. Humiliation. Jesus shared in our suffering and invites us to bring our suffering to God and ask ‘why?’ Why are we suffering? Why is God not removing our suffering? Why does God appear far away?

We can ask ‘why’ because we know that our loving God is present in our suffering. He has suffered, he understands our suffering; he is never far away. We can expect God to act. But the deep mystery is the God can, and will, transform even our worst sufferings into good. His action may not be what we expect, it may be much more.

Written by Paul King.