Divine Appointments as we listen to God.

Divine Appointments

This week Suzanne is speaking about divine appointments. This is not about a trip to a chocolate factory or the finals of the AFL!  Jesus teaches us that it’s God’s intention that we should hear His voice and follow His guidance and instruction. ( John 10: 27) We are invited to partner with God which may involve a specific appointment with someone else! Jesus first models this for us. The Apostles, deacons and others continue this in Acts. 

Paul notes in Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Is it possible to miss out on completing these assignments/ good works? Of course,  if we are not listening. On Wednesday   I was speaking about Evelyn Underhill, known for her insightful writing and spiritual direction  ( June 15th is a day when she is remembered by the church) She made this observation

“Many people feel unaware of any guidance, unable to discern or understand the signals of God; not because the signals are not given, but because the mind is too troubled, clouded, and hurried to receive them.”

This remains true, perhaps even more so today. We have digital distraction, 24/7 News, and there is even doom scrolling. We are inundated with information and must be intentional about reducing our exposure. It’s then we will be able to make time to listen to the scriptures and quieten our souls. It’s then we will find it easier to listen to the Lord. This then can be carried into the whole day.

That’s why we are continuing with our time of silence each Sunday as we wait on the Holy Spirit. We are intentionally saying ‘Lord we are here, and we are listening for You.’ I wonder what He will say to us as a church and as individuals? 

The Joy of the Gospel

Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus.’  (Evangelii Gaudium, 120)  Pope Francis

St Paul writes;

 ‘And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us’ Romans 5:5

The connection with missionary zeal and obedient discipleship we see in Acts comes from the Holy Spirit who is poured out into our hearts. And this is not a once only event we need to be filled again and again. Ephesians  5:18.  I want to encourage you to be open to being filled again by the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to turn away from anything that  may quench or grieve the Holy Spirit and receive the joy of knowing you are loved by the Lord.  

“Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you” (#164).

As we receive this truth , as we encounter the very presence of God through His Spirit as we enjoy intimacy with the Father through the Son made known through the Spirit we will become the Good News which is our 5th value here at St Nics.

Let’s celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church of which we are part and let’s be open to receive His love for us poured out through the Holy Spirit

Big Morning Tea

This morning under the oversight of Fran Craig we were able to host a Big Morning Tea to raising funds for the Cancer Council of Australia. Once again a team of volunteers from St Nics baked and prepared to welcome people. Fr Brian Newing came and spoke sharing his own personal experiences as well as an enduring trust in the Lord. Our barista Barbara Gore oversaw the coffees and plates of goodies were shared and enjoyed. Craft group provided lots of interesting gifts for purchase. Our thanks to Pam and Eve for this.

We ran a door raffle and a running raffle. Marian Andels beautiful wall hanging was won by Robyn Scutella. It was a lovely morning and once again we experienced what Jesus said- it is more blessed to give than receive. $600 was raised. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this lovely gift for the Cancer Council.

Gluten Free option, thanks to the thoughtfulness of our team.

Pray for 5 -Thy Kingdom Come Global Prayer initiative

Thy Kingdom Come is all about praying for people to come to know the amazing, life-transforming love of Jesus. We encourage everyone to choose 5 people they know, and pray for them throughout the 11 days and beyond!

There are so many ways you can pray for your 5. You can use a band and tie 5 knots, each one representing one of your 5. Or maybe each time you drink a cup of tea or coffee, you could remember to pray? Here’s a lovely example.

You could write their names on your bathroom mirror, or in this little card, to help remind you to pray throughout the day. Or perhaps you could pray during your daily exercise such as running or walking.

Why not watch this video from The Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu as he encourages us to pray for 5.

Let us know what creative ways you will be using to help you pray for 5!

( This page from https://www.thykingdomcome.global/stories/pray-5)

Blessing our wider community through the St Nicholas heritage church on Thursdays.

In 2018 we completed an expensive renovation of our heritage church building, the smallest church building in WA. You can read its history here Heritage Church – St Nicholas Anglican (stnicholasaustralind.org.au) We invested in this because of our vision, as stated above. Covid stopped us from opening in 2020 and 2021. Finally, we are ready to open the building to the public on Thursdays. Halleluia! We can now fulfil our vision for its use. It’s appropriate that this opening is on Maundy Thursday 14th of April as this ministry is one of service to our local community, following Jesus’ example. The opening hours each week are 10 am until 1 pm.

You might come simply to find out about your local history and reflect on the pioneering individuals and their handicrafts. You might come to enjoy an opportunity for quiet prayer in a building that has been used for worship since the 1850s. Whatever your reason we will welcome you. We will have a small team available each Thursday from 10 am until 1 pm. to facilitate this and also to offer blessing prayer for visitors if they wish.

We look forward to meeting you and pray that this ministry will prove a blessing to many people.

Prayer Ministry on Sundays.

We are delighted that we now have a team of volunteers who have trained to offer prayer ministry after the 9 am service on Sundays.  As a church family, St Nics is increasingly open to the work of the  Holy Spirit in our lives. Prayer ministry helps to facilitate this when we gather together.  It is different from intercession in that we invite the Holy Spirit to minister directly to the person coming forward for prayer.  We offer prayer for anyone who would like to seek the Holy Spirit’s touch in some way – whether it’s for guidance, healing, wisdom, peace, or encouragement from the Lord. It may include offering thanks to Him or asking for the Lord’s blessing on someone you love.  There are many reasons why you might seek prayer ministry. 

If you visit us on a Sunday morning please do feel free to come forward to receive prayer and more of the work of the  Holy Spirit in your life if you would like to.  We would also like to express our thanks to the volunteers who have chosen to be part of the new Prayer Ministry Team.

The men’s and women’s growth groups will work on the Prayer Ministry training Course together next term on the following Wednesday Evenings:   May 4th, 11th and 18th.  If you would like to learn more about Prayer Ministry – what it is, why and how we do it – please feel free to join us Send us an email via contact expressing your interest.

Keeping perspective

I used to walk hills and climb mountains in Scotland and Wales. Climbing often brought false summits, you think you are nearly there but you’re not. Understanding this helped in pacing the overall climb. Pacing through life is important, a marathon not a sprint. Scripture guides us on this

  1. We fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith. Wherever we are , whatever faces us we look to Jesus .( Hebrews 12:2 ) We run the race. We follow Him.
  2.  This life is not the end but a gateway to eternity in the presence of God. As we rest in our Father’s love this hope becomes stronger and more tangible. Where is the treasure of our hearts?
  3. There is a day when all things will be made new, that day, the day of the Lord. A wonderful day for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

I spoke on this late November 2020 and early December you can listen here again.

On Sunday 27th March I will be reflecting more on how we might live in the light of these truths. Should we be scanning the news and looking for prophetic fulfilment as some do? I suggest, not really. We know enough. The issue is today. How will I live today? Will it be in step with the Holy Spirit? Will I look to Jesus throughout the day? Am I honouring Him in my thoughts, speech, and actions? Am I attentive to His bidding? Do I love Him enough to want to do what He says? How does Paul pray in the light of all this?

Captivated by our Father’s love, our Saviour’s love we will give our all to His call to be a royal priesthood of believers bringing the good news to those around us. If you’re not there yet then why not ask God to meet with you in prayer and reveal His love afresh to your heart. As we say on Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent

From dust, you came and to dust you will return. Repent of your sins, believe the good news, turn to Christ and be faithful.

Which narrative shapes our choices?

This Sunday I chose Psalm 46 as part of our readings. Anglican Primate of Australia Geoffrey Smith, Archbishop of Adelaide, referenced this Psalm as he wrote to us all, asking that we join with Christians across the world praying for a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine.

This act of aggression from President  Putin has awakened apathetic western democracies into united economic and humanitarian action. There is the shock that the greatest mobilisation of troops in Europe since WWII is occurring. The Ukrainian’s evident courage and commitment to a vision of a self-determined Ukraine led by President Zelensky remind us of the liberties we currently enjoy and take for granted.

The narratives are so different. A vision for a greater Russia safe from encroaching NATO countries or a sovereign nation seeking a democracy akin to Western Europe, not subject to an authoritarian government.

The narratives we tell ourselves shape our actions. That’s why it is so important to grow in understanding God’s narrative revealed through His Son and the scriptures. All history sits within this greater narrative. It is about His kingdom which is advancing across the world. As we are studying Thessalonians it’s clear they responded to Paul’s preaching of the gospel wholeheartedly. They owned this gospel narrative in the face of real persecution.

On Wednesday we marked Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting where we welcome the season of Lent. We receive the mark of the cross on our foreheads, the ashes a sign of repentance, the charge is as follows

‘From dust, you came. To dust, you will return. Repent and believe the gospel. Turn to Christ and be faithful. ‘

Let’s be that faithful church. Let’s continue to pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on the earth as it is in heaven. Let’s pray for the Prince of Peace’s rule to be established increasingly in the hearts of all people.

Shalom

Jamie

“FIRST FRIDAYS with THE CHOSEN”

On February 4th we commenced a new opportunity for our church family to gather for a time of Fellowship, Food and Film. At a time when Covid makes all things a little different and challenging, these evenings provide an opportunity to chat over a simple meal and to increase the love and support for one another. 

At the same time, whilst many of us have enjoyed Zooming, or completing the online teaching courses or watching series 1 and 2 of “The Chosen”, many others find the technology required a challenge. 

As Jesus says in an early episode “Get used to different”.

So we envisioned a new Ministry solution which can bless many whilst complying with Covid mandates and regulations.

We can:

  • Safely come together as a church family once a month on a Friday evening.
  • Reach out to extended family and friends to join us.
  • Enjoy company over a shared meal.
  • Watch part of “The Chosen” with our already christian friends, or friends who are interested on a big screen.
  • Chat about the challenges presented over a cuppa. 

Our first gathering was a positive and successful evening as we shared a sausage sizzle and ice creams then watched Episode 1 “I Have Called You By Name”.

On March 4th we will gather for Food at 5pm and commencing at 6pm we will watch Episode 2 “Shabbat” and Episode 3 “Jesus Loves The Little Children”.

The evening will conclude about 7:30pm. 

All are invited to join us, at 5pm for food with friends or at 6pm just for the film. 

Please register your attendance with Kate through the Church Office or send a message via email. This is necessary for efficient catering and Covid management. 

If eating with us, we invite a gold coin donation on the day to help with expenses.

May you be truly blessed. 

Lois (Ministry Coordinator)

Carols and Cappuccinos at St Nics

“Carols and Cappuccinos” has become somewhat of a tradition here at St Nics. This year we once again turned away from all the glitter and hype that surrounds us in the festive season to focus on the true significance of Christmas. With simplicity and reverence we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus, embracing the theme from the beautiful song “Shepherd of My Soul” by Martin Nystrom.

What a joyous occasion we had on Sunday 19th December as 118 parishioners, family and friends joined together for an evening of worship and Christmas fellowship.

We were led in traditional carols by our talented worship team and in between carols, our Advent candles were lit by some of our younger church members. We highlighted the humble shepherds who were first to witness the miracle unfolding in Bethlehem with Rev Jamie beautifully presenting his own version of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. 

This was followed by a screening of the video “The Shepherd” from the makers of “The Chosen”.  This gives a powerful message as it provides a realistic telling of Jesus’ birth in a stable and a focus on Christ as the “spotless lamb”.  This video can be freely downloaded via the online App ‘the Chosen’  from your phone app provider. It is so worth watching!

Then it was time to enjoy mingling and chatting, a tasty sausage sizzle and cappuccinos with cake. We had ice creams for the children (and some young at heart adults). There were happy faces, laughter with lots of chatter and true fellowship shared and enjoyed by all. It was my second Christmas Carols with St Nics and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it.

How blessed are we to be so free to celebrate? May this St Nics tradition of true worship and singing of carols with bonus cappuccinos and fellowship continue to bring joy and blessings to all. Wishing you peace and a happy and blessed Christmas this season. 

Kate Tremble Communications Officer.