Pentecost celebrations

Last Sunday being 50 days after Easter, we celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Christian church with a celebratory morning tea after our special service. Our alter and music stands were ablaze with lots of red and orange tinsel and balloons and our alter cloth displayed the symbols of flames, wind, the breath of God and a dove. Many of our parishioners wore red clothing and as you can see from the photo’s – we had birthday cake too!

Love One Another

In the spirit of our Lent study ‘Love One Another‘ by Bishop Coutts, our St Nics congregation has been encouraged to engage in hospitality with fellow parishioners during the Lent period. This could be meeting for a coffee, inviting someone into their home or perhaps a get together at a local cafe …. and to get to know each other on a deeper level and as more than just a familiar face seen during service times, it was suggested that we try to connect with someone less known to us.

Our beautiful Sister, chorister, musican, and Worship Leader Jill Faed took this idea to the next level! She invited 2 fellow parishioners, Barbara and Judy who were well known to Jill but not well to each other. Jill did not tell either ‘guest’ who else was going, or indeed where they were going. It was all a mystery. Jill picked them up from their respective homes and unbenownst to them, her car was prepacked and loaded up with supplies and goodies for a beautiful waterside picnic down by the estuary on Cathedral Avenue.

Jill said they were blessed with beautiful weather. It was sunny and warm with a gentle cooling breeze as they sat under the shade of trees overlooking the water. The next couple of hours were spent sharing a meal and laughter and also learning of each other’s life stories. Fresh insights were gained, and meaningful and lasting connections were made.

As Jill said “everyone has a life story”. What a wonderful example of how a simple gesture such as this, can reap real rewards. Well done Jill.

Pregnancy Assist Bunbury

This Christmas with thoughts turning to the conception and challenges surrounding the birth of our Saviour, we decided to take up offerings during our Christmas services to help Pregnancy Assist Bunbury. This is a local organization which offers support, both financial and practical to mothers also facing challenges as they choose to continue with their babies, resisting the cultural call to abortion.

This is a cause very close to our congregation’s heart and over $1400 was given.

A Christmas message

At our Christmas Eve service, Jamie explained the Ichthus symbol and why this is a great summary of the meaning of Christmas.

As is Anglican tradition, on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas, an Advent candle is lit. The 4 candles are hope, love, joy, and peace, representing the virtues Jesus brought us. On Christmas Eve our littlest church member Arthur, with a little help from his parents, Jessica and Darcy, lit the fourth candle which preceded the lighting of the Christ candle at our Christmas Day Service.

And so, during this Advent season, we bless you with the joy in knowing Jesus as your King and with reassurance that His love is deeper than all shame and brokenness and may you be blessed over the 12 days of Christmas and also the year ahead.

Our OP Shop – year in review

Our op shop has been able to continue on again this year with the help of all our volunteers. We have 15 from the church and there are 16 from our community, which has enabled us to keep going so successfully.

At times it has been very challenging, with people sick or away on holidays, but we have all rallied around and filled in the gaps.  Everyone has stepped in so we would not have to close the shop. This enabled us to keep open most of the time.

As volunteers, we enjoy each other’s company and getting to know each other and everyone who comes through the door.   We do bless the op shop every morning and are always blessed in return.

Our outreach continues to the community and we have been able to help those in need and also the Shoe String Café in Bunbury to assist the homeless with clothing, books and shoes.  We help with other needs as they arise.  Our donations still continue to the Missions for Seafarers, Morrissey House, Aboriginal communities and local schools, and also assisting the women when they leave the Women’s Refuge. Australia Rags are taking our excess (approx. 7 T this year).  Harvey Op Shop also bring their bags over to be included in these. We are truly grateful to have an outlet with them, and these go to the third world countries in crisis.

At times our donations seemed a little low, but we are so blessed to have everything that is brought in to us and very grateful to everyone, so that we can continue to serve the community. At the same time, we can also be overwhelmed by the generosity of the community in all the donations to bring to us.

We have been working on the front of the op shop, with the help of Geoff, Phil, PJ and Elaine.   It will look fantastic for the future, with lawn and ground covers.

A big thank you for all the support given to us each year.

Our Heritage Church is Bloomin’ Beautiful

Spring has encased our Heritage Church in the joys of spring roses. Not only is the rose garden full of colourful blooms but the scent as you approach the archway is – quite appropriately, simply heavenly.

All are welcome to visit the rose garden at any time. On Thursday mornings from 10 am -12 noon, you can also see inside the Church, and take some time to pray or receive prayer if that would be of help. You may wish to just sit in peace for a moment, pray or perhaps learn about the history of the Church. All are welcome.

Seasons and times, blessings and challenges: a testimony and farewell to the Forster Family.

Recently we said a fond farewell to our parishioner family, Byron and Carol Forster along with their three children Lachlan, Emily and Abigail. It’s always a mixture of sadness and thanksgiving when a church member or family leaves a church well. We heard from Byron and were able to pray for them all as they make a new start with a different church family in Bunbury offering fellowship for their children with friends from school.   Byron shared the following with us for this blog post:

 The Forsters have been members of our church for the past 12 years. They first attended St. Nics when they were looking to have their son, Lachlan, baptized. It was suggested by Father Brian Newing that perhaps they would like to attend a few services before the baby was baptized into the church. Following the baptism service Byron and Carol felt that they didn’t want to leave and that they belonged here at St Nics. Father Brian and Byron developed a close bond and were able to work through Byron’s personal struggles with a troubled childhood and the ongoing struggles that were still evident since his teenage years. The next few years were a battle culminating in justice being served against the perpetrator of his lost childhood, as well as the ongoing addiction he used to numb the pain. God’s impeccable timing meant he could use Father Brian’s life experience to help a young man find his way to faith in a good God of love, mercy, and grace.

Carol’s second pregnancy with their daughter Emily was their biggest test of faith yet. It was discovered at the 20-week anatomy scan that the baby was actually infected with a virus from a very early point in her development. If she survived birth, she would most likely suffer severe complications and lifelong disabilities. They were offered to terminate the pregnancy, but they refused, stating that it was up to God what happened going forward. It seemed to be a very dire outcome for this family.

During this time Byron and Carol leant heavily on their faith to give them strength and hope. They returned to their church family at St Nics to pray. Many, many prayers were offered for Emily. Rev. Joe Sullivan led a prayer circle around Carol, speaking in tongues over her and the life growing inside her. The most amazing feeling of radiating heat was felt by Carol, as well as others in the circle including Byron. The baby continued to grow in utero, and ongoing scans revealed normal growth of the baby. This was unexpected by doctors, who were still preparing the family for the expected complications. While Emily was showing that things were going well,  abnormalities in the brain caused by the virus known as CMV were evident. While this virus is fairly common in the general population, the survival of rate of in-utero infections is very low and was not well researched at the time.

Emily came into the world a little small, but healthy. She spent time in the NICU wing of King Edward Hospital and future plans were discussed with doctors. Byron and Carol decided to not go ahead with other treatments as she appeared to be doing well. However, they allowed the doctors to test her core blood and platelets to look for answers. This is where God’s handiwork in Emily was revealed. Testing showed that the damaged cells had been BURNT OUT! Emily left the hospital as a healthy baby and continues to be a healthy young lady to this day.  What a true miracle this was and is tangible evidence that faith, hope and collective prayers in Jesus name really can produce a miracle.

Since then they have added to their faith thanks to the teaching of Pastor Jamie and others in the church. Byron attributes the one-on-one study with Alf Holmen, as well as the Men’s Group as key areas that have taught him about his relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. When the Men’s Group ran the Alpha course Byron was able to invite his best mate Mark, who has since been baptized into the faith.

Byron, Carol and the children will be missed by us all. We all wish them well in their new location.


Renewing our Confidence in God’s Word

Here is a snapshot of session 1 – You can hear the session in full by clicking Can We Know The Truth? or read the answers to these questions below by clicking here

How do we know what is true?

What does the New Testament say about Truth?

Is Truth knowable?

How do we know what is true?

What does the New Testament say about truth in:

Jesus Himself;

Jesus’ words;

the words of God the Father;

the Old Testament;

the Testimony and Teaching of the Apostles;

the Church of the Living God;

Where can the Truth be found in the gospels?

Church Mission Society in Australia: Empowering Communities Through Faith and Service

We have supported Church Mission Society (CMS) for several years now contributing $2400 per annum in support of our link missionary Joan, and on Sunday 23 July we extended a warm welcome to David Greeff, the Western Australian director for CMS.

CMS is a dynamic, mission-oriented organization that has been actively spreading the gospel message to communities both locally and globally beginning in the 19th Century. At its core, CMS is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission, as stated in Matthew 28:19-20, by making disciples of all nations. The organization’s mission is to empower individuals to serve and share the Gospel through diverse ministries catering to communities’ unique needs in various parts of the world.

Within Australia, CMS has established a strong network of churches, parishes, and individuals who share a passion for missions. St Nics is one of these. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, CMS provides support and training to equip believers for effective cross-cultural ministry.

CMS missionaries serve in diverse fields such as education, healthcare, community development, and church planting, endeavouring to bring holistic transformation to the lives of those they encounter. Our Missionary partner Joan services in a state-approved Language School in an East Asian country.

In addition to practical initiatives, CMS strongly emphasises prayer and intercession. Recognizing the spiritual battle in spreading the Gospel, CMS encourages supporters and partners to pray fervently for the mission fields and the individuals involved, locally and globally.

We have appreciated CMS’s responsible stewardship of resources. The organization maintains a high level of transparency and accountability, ensuring that financial support is used efficiently and effectively to advance the mission.

David’s visit encouraged us to continue both to own this in prayer and to offer financial assistance for the advance of the gospel.