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!

Biggest Morning Tea 2019

St Nicholas was one of many places to hold the Biggest Morning Tea on Thursday the 30th of May raising money for the Cancer Council. This year’s numbers were up and there were a number of visitors who came in after seeing the sign out on the front fence.

This year we invited Alison Comparti who is chair of the South West Women’s Refuge to be our Guest Speaker. Alison’s message was excellent and she invited expressions of interest to people who may like to become involved either as active committee members or by coordinating groups of people to donate goods such as toiletries for the Women’s Refuge. It was great to know that Bonnies Op Shop and The Salvos in town are happy to receive donations of household goods and clothes that can be stored on their premises for those who leave the Centre sometimes with just the clothes they are wearing. Those leaving the temporary accommodation are given a card to show the Op Shop workers informing them of the client’s need of emergency assistance and that enables them to choose necessary goods free of charge.

God blessed us with a sunny morning and it was a joy to meet up with friends and to be able to browse and shop at the Craft Stall. A sincere thanks to Pam, Barbara and Eve who manned the stall and to the ladies who contributed by donating saleable goods.

The lucky door prize was a queen sized quilt donated by Shellagh was exquisite. Thank you so very much for the many hours spent machine embroidering the quilt. A thank you to Margaret for being our welcoming person as guests arrived, a thank you to everyone who worked in the kitchen, and to those who provided the delicious food served for morning tea. To the people who set up the chairs and tables and especially to Fran Craig who once again provided her exquisite china tea pots as decoration for each table, it was very much appreciated. Appreciation to you Fran for all you do so quietly behind the scenes.

The total takings we raised this year of $1,350.75 will be donated to the Cancer Council to be used for research.

My appreciation to everyone who helped in anyway and to everyone who attended.

Judith Newing

Reflections On Lent – Part 2

The Way of Ignatius

A Prayer Journey through Lent: The focus for this particular lent retreat has been on pilgrimage, with sessions including, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, “Journeys of self discovery”, “the Pilgrim sets out”, and “who do you say I am?”. My favourite part of this journey though has been the repetitive prayer at the end of the session:

“You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me
only your love and grace, that is enough for me.”

This is somewhat a ‘dangerous prayer’ to say, acknowledging that the Lord has given me all I have. Would I be willing to return it if asked? Would you? Is God’s love and grace, the sacrifice he made for us for the forgiveness of our sins, really enough? This is the perfect season to wonder.

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday I taught Godly Play. During the teaching I encouraged the children to take part in the story, laying down purple coats and palm leaves saying “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”. I asked the children how it felt to participate in that story. I wonder what it would have been like to be there?

Good Friday

How wonderful was it to participate in such a contemplative and solemn service. I went home in tears and wonder of what Jesus did for us on that day. A prayer that spoke to my heart on Good Friday was: Lord Jesus Christ, the story of your suffering is written on our hearts,
and the salvation of the world is in your outstretched hands. Keep your victory always before our eyes, your praise on our lips, your peace in our lives. Amen.

Easter Sunday

Isn’t Easter Sunday just such a glorious, joyful day? Just speaking the words, “Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” is so powerful. Nothing else needs to be said, however I did enjoy reflecting on this prayer: “Most glorious Lord of life, we thank you for
the mystery of Easter. Fill us with the Spirit of love, and unite us in faith, that we may witness to the Resurrection and show your glory to all the world.”

My hope in this blog post is that you can appreciate the rich liturgy and prayers we have to express worship towards God. I find it so helpful in my prayer life, and so powerful speaking words that are said by others and have been said for so long throughout history.

Now I’m looking forward to Pentecost and praying with others around the world through Thy Kingdom Come. You can find out more about that here.

 

Reflections On Lent

In our Anglican Liturgical calendar we are blessed with these wonderful times of reflection on our faith throughout the year. Traditionally during the season of Lent we spend the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, fasting, healing and anticipating the Great celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. This year in my own journey of Lent I have embraced the traditions of our church and taken the time to participate in the Ash Wednesday service, Good Friday, Palm Sunday (where I had the pleasure of teaching Godly Play), and of course Easter Sunday. I also followed a wonderful program that released teachings for each week of lent: The way of Ignatius: A Prayer Journey through Lent from the pray as you go app (https://pray-as-you-go.org/retreat/lent-retreat-2019-the-way-of-ignatius-loyola).

Here is my first reflection of my Lenten Journey that I hope may offer some inspiration for you:Ash Wednesday: Before receiving the Ashes during the Wednesday Service the priest says the following words:

“Blessed are you God of all creation. You are eternal, we are mortal, formed from the dust of the earth. As we receive these ashes, make them a sign for us of repentance and returning to you. Breathe into us again the breath of life. Blessed be God forever.”

Following this as we receive the ashes we are told, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Think about that for a moment. God is eternal, we are mortal, formed from dust, to which we will return. We depend on God for the breath of life, how does knowing that affect your daily life?

Ash Wednesday is the day the season starts. Come back next week to read about my experiences of the next 40 days.

Blessings,

Dannielle Barry

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Alpha: Kat’s Testimony

Kat’s Testimony

Alpha, 2018

When I first started Alpha I was very sceptical about everything: God, Jesus and Christianity as a whole. I was very set in the way of that in order to believe, I had to have hard evidence. I had to see it to believe it. I also desperately wanted to have an experience like I felt that everyone else was.

Alpha for me was one of the best experiences I ever had. I met people with similar questions to me and felt like I was not alone but part of a family. Being part of Alpha completely changed me and doing it in a group was wonderful because we had different questions and different views.

On Alpha I found my own path and started my own personal journey. I gave my life to Jesus and since then have started the most wonderful journey with God. I was blessed with a real experience with the Holy Spirit. My life changed for the better and I just know now, how real God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are and am so grateful they are in my life.

I truly recommend this course for anyone with question and who wants to develop a better relationship with our Lord. Alpha for me was the first stepping stone into my own personal journey with God and Jesus.

Prayer Ministry Training

The Wednesday evening Connect group and men’s groups hosted a Prayer Ministry Training Course during the month of February.

It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended.  Some people received tangible healing, others received new spiritual gifts and all were encouraged in prayer.  Many commented on the helpful video presentations by Sandy Millar (the then Rector of Holy Trinity Brompton in London) and in particular his humour and gentleness.

We also enjoyed practicing what we were learning in a safe environment, with the opportunity to ask questions and discuss as we were going along. As someone put it “it was daunting at first but so satisfying to be doing and not just listening”.

22 people attended the course, with 15 people attending all three sessions.  Nearly all expressed an interest in further training.  We are looking forward to continuing to learn and grow in this very important and encouraging ministry of Christ.

Verity Murray

12 posts,12 months

It has been a year since I started my role as Communications Officer at St Nic’s. One of my earliest and enduring initiatives has been separating the feature of our weekly print bulletin from our (almost!) as regular blog posts.

“Looking back only gives you a sore neck!” is a regular saying in my favourite sport, Supercars. However, at times looking back can be also be a pretty awesome and satisfying exercise.

So for this blog post, I am looking back at 12 of my favourite posts from the past 12 months. In no particular order (drumroll please):

Our Stories

Finding Her Voice
Blessings of a Moon-Boot
God-incidences
Millennials @ Church Part 1 & 2

Our Prayer life

1 Minute Prayer
Prayer Changes Things
United in Prayer

Our Community

Presenting the Marvellous Site Management Team

Our Personal Growth

Where is Your Sacred Space?
Journaling Part 1 & 2

Our Understanding

An Easter Reflection
The Good Gift of Power at Pentecost

Happy Reading everyone!

Get Involved! AMP Part 2: Finances & Budget

Sunday 17th February – get it in the diary now! After our combined 9am service we will be hosting our Annual Meeting of Parishioners Part 2: Finances & Budget!

If you like numbers or are interested in stuff like income and expenditure you don’t want to miss this! This is when we will vote on our budget for 2019 – which Treasurer extraordinaire Ian has released for us all to analyse and dissect.

Again, please send in questions beforehand! Or better yet, come along to our Church Finances Q&A clinic Wednesday 13th 5pm-6pm and quiz the man (and our Wardens) yourself!

Psst in case you hadn’t heard, Wednesday Dinners are back! So why not stay after the clinic for a free meal! All welcome!