Random Coffee

Would you like to get to know your St Nic’s church family better? It can be as easy as inviting someone over for a cuppa!

Once a term, the Connect group of ladies who meet at St Nic’s on Wednesday nights, as part of their fellowship, conduct what we call ‘random coffees’. We pair up two ladies at random by pulling names out of a hat to have a cuppa at a location and time of their choosing. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another better or to strengthen friendships. It is a chance to relax and have a longer chat than is possible while we are at church or Connect. It allows us to support and pray for one another and enjoy each other’s company. I have found the Random Coffees a wonderful time to relax and strengthen our faith while renewing and making new, wonderful friendships. It makes us stop with our busy lives for a short time to enjoy fellowship and friendship and worship together with a cuppa.

Who would you like to get to know better? How about inviting them over for a cuppa? Maybe your small group could adopt the ‘random coffee’ idea too? You could make a new friendship or strengthen an old one!

Wendy Dickenson

Robyn’s Testimony

In 2018 I set myself a challenge to read the Chronological One Year Bible. This Bible is arranged in the order the events occurred in 365 daily readings.

At the time I had a New Age business and had studied various New Age practices over the past 20 years. I had a collection of crystals, books, essential oils, statues of various false gods, Oracle cards and assorted ‘tools’ for my business.

I was inspired by the testimony of a prominent ex-new Age woman named Doreen Virtue, who had recently had an encounter with Jesus. Doreen was a successful author (with Hay House), teacher, and a successful businesswoman in the New Age. She walked away from it all to follow Jesus.

At the end of 2017 Doreen announced she was going to do daily video posts for the 365 daily Bible readings. I decided to join in, along with thousands of others. Her daily commentaries and links to helpful videos really helped me to get through some challenging areas in the Old Testament.

My original thoughts were that I would still be able to have my feet in both worlds, keep up my new age work and read the bible. Four months in I threw out all my new age books, the essential oils, and many other items I had collected over the years. God’s words were sliding into my heart and I knew His words were the TRUTH. Two passages from the Bible that spoke to me were from Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 4: 16-20

So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form – whether of a man or a woman, an animal on the ground, a bird in the sky, a small animal that scurries along the ground, or a fish in the deepest sea. And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars – all the forces of heaven – don’t be seduced into worshiping them. The Lord your God gave them to all the people of earth.

At the time I was attending Full-Moon and New-Moon rituals, honoring the four directions, and believing certain animals, crystals, and false gods held various powerful energies that could enhance/improve my life.

Deuteronomy 18: 10-12

And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.

Reading that the things I was practicing were detestable to the Lord really hit me, because I honestly thought I was helping people.

Each of us comes to the Lord damaged. So, He begins a renovation program to repair our thoughts about Him, about others, and about ourselves.

(from Bob Gass)

Doreen often encouraged us to find a church to attend. She said having other Christians to support and encourage you was an important step. When Sunday would come around, I would make excuses as to why I couldn’t go. One day I was walking past St Nics and felt God was calling me to this church.

In May 2018 I attended St Nics for the first time. Being a person who finds going to unfamiliar places with people I don’t know very challenging, I was comforted by the warm welcome I received from Jamie, Verity and all the parishioners. I feel so blessed to have found this church. Since then I have completed the Alpha Course; which I found incredibly helpful and answered some of the questions I had, in easy and simple terms. Verity invited me to join the lovely ladies in the Connect group; where I have made valued friendships.

On Sunday 20th October I was Baptised and Confirmed by Bishop Ian, supported by my family and my church family.

John 3: 5-7

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

The decision on January 1 2018, to begin to read the bible in one year, has changed my life. Instead of believing my thoughts created my reality, worshiping false gods and God’s creations, I now know that God is the one who walks with me, He is my provider, he is my redeemer, the one who forgives, and the one I worship.

Isaiah 55: 11

My word that goes out form my mouth will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Blessings,

Robyn

 

St Nic’s Site Management Team

This site management team has been assembled with the intention of carrying out as many general maintenance and capital works projects as possible, as and when required. Because we have come from varied work backgrounds we tend to complement one another with our different skill sets, talents and ideas. Consequently, we are getting the jobs done more quickly but just as importantly at the lowest possible cost.

Our team includes: Tony Wheeler, Trevor Freckleton, Struan Faed and Geoff Blechynden.

Although we have a team leader, he is not the one who is there to crack the whip. He is just there as a referral point for church management to report faults to or for work projects to be looked at, costed, approved by Parish council and then carried out. We also need someone to liaise with the other team members.

We have responsibility for the church main building, the heritage church, the op shop, and rectory and church grounds. When and where ever possible we endeavour to carry out the work ourselves without wanting to call in contractors.

We all feel that this is one of the ways we can make our contribution to church ministry and the wellbeing of the church.

Blessings,

Tony Wheeler

 

 

Panida’s Testimony

I come from a little village in a part of Thailand called Chaiyaphum. I grew up in the Buddhist faith. I came to Australia in 2011 after I married John.

In 2015 I came to Little Lambs with my children. This was my first contact with church. I met Verity there. She invited me to the Nourish women’s group and I went for a while. I know Verity and the women in the Nourish group were praying for me a lot. However, I wasn’t really thinking about God at all until this year when I began to have some trouble in my life. I had bad dreams nearly every night. It was so bad it made me grumpy and gave me headaches. I felt very low. I tried reading the Buddhist holy book to make me feel better but nothing changed. One day I watched a video of people talking about God healing people. I began reading the Thai Bible that I got from the Nourish group. I said to myself, “I’m going to believe only in God and put everything else down”. I prayed, “I am going to believe you God, please help me”. During the night I heard God speaking to me clearly for the first time. He was showing me my sins. Soon after that I saw Jesus in a dream. He was standing by my bed and was speaking to me in Thai. He touched my shoulders with warm hands and said, “Repent of your sins”. I woke up and I could feel the warmth of his hands on my shoulders. I didn’t know how to repent of my sins, so I called Verity and asked her to help me and she prayed with me.

I don’t have bad dreams anymore and the problems I had before are getting better. I started coming to church and I went on the Alpha Course. This was very helpful and made me want to learn more. I also go to the Connect women’s group. I am very happy to be part of the church. Everyone is very friendly; it’s like a family.

I can feel the Holy Spirit touching me. It’s so amazing. You can’t explain how happy it makes you feel. It’s like you are experiencing true love with God. It’s a feeling you can’t put into words. The Holy Spirit helps me to be connected with God and makes my faith grow.

Blessings,

Panida

Don’t Be Fooled

Don’t be fooled by the name ‘Little Lambs’. There isn’t anything small or submissive about this dynamic outreach community program.

It’s not just supplying cappuccinos and cookies to parents and H2O and fruit for the children – it’s about caring and sharing God’s love in a practical way. The adults often come with different emotions – some tired and fragile from lack of sleep, others looking for “time out” from worries and a demanding life.

Increasingly loneliness and depression is becoming a social problem. On average, many people will spend up to 6.5 hours a day on social media – and whilst there is nothing wrong with social media, it is no substitute for real face to face contact and friendship.

We were created for friendship – with God and for one another. Friendship multiplies joy and divests sorrow. Our aim at Little Lambs is to extend kindness and friendship, creating a place of peace and safety – showing God’s love.

1 John 4: 11-12, “Dear friends, since God so loved us we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

When kindness is expressed it is extremely powerful.

It creates healthy relationships and community connections are nourished – and it doesn’t cost a cent! (although a donation would greatly be appreciated!)

People are inspired to pass on kindness. So if you’re up for it, come and join us at Little Lambs and be uplifted with God’s love.

Blessings,

Barbara Gore

 

Not “Just an Op Shop”

When I was asked to write a few words about the op shop, I wasn’t sure where to begin, as we are more than just an op shop. We are a family for each other and an outreach to the community, with a listening ear for people who are lonely or in need, or would just like to come and have a cuppa. We work by the motto of BLESS, BELONG, BELIEVE, BEHAVE, BECOME. We would like to think that anyone who comes in is a little better off through their St Nic’s experience.

Our committee chose to keep the pricing to a minimum to meet the needs of the community. We support the local schools and families in need, as well as Missions for Seamen. We have an outlet for our excess stock of clothes, soft toys, bags, belts, linen and shoes, which are sent to Perth to Australia Rags. They then send it overseas to third world countries where it is distributed. Any excess clothing is cut up for rags and sent back here to Australia.

We have a fabulous band of volunteers who help run everything smoothly, from sorting out the enormous pile of donations that come through the door, ensuring we are only selling the best quality stock, to keeping the shop spick and span, and providing a welcoming face to everyone. We are very blessed with the quantity and quality of all the donations.

As always we welcome anyone who would like to volunteer their time. We work fortnightly shifts, either from 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm. If you have a few hours to spare and would like to come and join us, we would love to see you! We will train you into the role and there are always at least two people with you for any support.

God bless,

Judy Blechynden

 

Women’s Retreat – July 2019

Beautiful, leafy gardens…serene buildings…blue water, sea birds and dolphins, all within a stone’s throw. These were the sights that met 17 women who arrived at the St John Retreat Centre in Shoalwater in late July. Fifteen ladies came from St Nic’s and two travelled from Boyup Brook to spend the weekend together learning how to deepen their relationship with the Lord and grow in their spiritual journey. Our leaders, Carol Reid, Verity Murray and Rosemary Lindroth, had prepared materials and a programme that would challenge and teach us about contemplative prayer, listening for God’s voice in our hearts and spirits, and simply enjoying being in His presence without any of the usual daily clamour. Each day was encircled by prayer together, with plenty of time spent alone in the quiet gardens or walking the beach, mostly in silence. Meals together were a joyful yet gentle time of fellowship and companionship. A highlight for everyone was Carol’s suggestion that each person prepare something that might represent what the weekend meant to them. At our final Holy Communion service on the Sunday, our various “offerings” were laid before the altar and each woman had a few minutes to explain what theirs meant to them. Some had painted pictures or sculpted clay, some had written poems and prayers, a song was sung, and tears were shed – and we all deeply felt God’s love and grace in that precious moment. After the weekend came to a close, everyone agreed that an annual retreat was something we, and others, would greatly look forward to.

Our huge thanks go to Carol, Verity and Rosemary for their faithful and detailed organisation of the retreat…and to our wonderful Lord for His gentle, loving hand upon each one who attended.

Our New Godly Play Room – Not Just For Children!!

Isn’t it lovely to have good news to share? I am delighted to share with you good news about our new Godly Play room. We love it! Last Sunday the children were asked what they like best about it. Here are their responses:

“drawing the sea with the shiny paper”

“the soft part where the cushions are”

“the little kitchen area, so we don’t need a table for the water jug and cups”

“the trolleys are here and we no longer have to wheel them back”

“it looks pretty”

“there’s lots of space”

“you don’t have to worry about the rain”

The children aren’t the only ones enjoying the new space. The Connect group used the Godly Play room and resources over the last couple of weeks to explore Jesus’ parables in a new way. Here are some of their comments about their experience:

“It’s a safe space for inclusive, welcoming, hands on learning and sharing. I love being able to sit on the floor and be part of ‘circle’ discussion and learning”

“It’s a fun, expressive way of telling bible stories”

“The Godly Play room was a delight…the story props are a great visual tool that lift the story from the pages of the bible into a visible context…the story bought about open discussion and challenged our thinking…”

 

I would like to thank everyone at St Nic’s for the support you have given Godly Play, for investing in resources and training for our story tellers and allowing us to use the rectory lounge as our own dedicated room. Our children are richly blessed by your generosity and the blessing is overflowing into other areas of our church life too/ I was most touched by this comment from one of the helpers on the Godly Play team:

Godly Play holds the children’s attention like no other Scripture class i have ever experienced. It involves the children, stimulates their thinking, and intrigues them, and I believe will leave a lasting impression of Scripture on each child.”

If you would like to know more or explore the room and resources yourself, speak to Verity or anyone on the Godly Play team…it’s not just for children!