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.
The Alpha course we run here at St Nics allows people to join us and explore life’s big questions from a Christian perspective. As many of you already know it can be a transformative experience.
Alpha has impacted lives worldwide since its establishment in 1977 and has helped millions across more than 100 countries. Its effectiveness lies in engaging videos and open discussions underpinned by prayer. Participants embark on a personal and communal exploration of faith, in an environment where questions are welcomed, doubts are explored, and friendships are nurtured.
Each week’s thought-provoking video presentation delves into core topics of the Christian faith, covering subjects such as Who is Jesus? Why did He die? How can I have faith? Does God heal today? How and why pray? How and why should I read the bible? Who is the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit do? The videos serve as a catalyst for discussion helping participants go deeper in their own spiritual understanding.
The discussions will happen in breakout groups following the video with Vance and Chelsie helping me lead this course. It’s here that participants can share their thoughts, ask questions, and engage with the material presented. It is a place where genuine conversations occur, doubts can be voiced without judgment, and new insights can be gained.
Alpha covers the foundational principles of the Christian faith. Since we have run Alpha we have welcomed people each year into our church family who have renewed their faith or chosen to follow Jesus for the first time. Often people discover answers to long-standing questions, while others encounter a renewed sense of purpose and a deepened relationship with God. Alpha is a journey of discovery, inviting participants to explore their faith, encounter the love of God, and find belonging within a supportive community.
Are you joining us? Flyers are available from today. Please take some and make prayerful invites perhaps to the 5 people you are praying for. Register your interest via the email@example.com
on the first Sunday after Easter, we welcomed our bishop + Ian Coutts to lead us in a service of confirmation, affirmation and reception.
What does that mean? Confirmation is for those who have already been baptised but recognise a desire to confirm that commitment in the context of the Anglican church. Affirmation is for those who have been baptised and confirmed but who have come back to faith after a time of doubt, challenge or ‘wandering!’ It’s an opportunity to reaffirm a renewed commitment to Jesus and His church. Reception is for those who have been formally welcomed into another Christian church but have decided to join the Anglican expression of the church.
It was a delight for us to welcome 8 people in this way ranging in age from 13 to 70+. Jeus continues to call people from every age and stage, every walk of life and it is a joy to us all to share His joy together.
If you are interested to find out more about the Christian faith please register for our next online Alpha beginning on July 18th at 7 pm Western Australia time.
‘Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This is the scripture I want to be included and reflected upon at my funeral. Since I have been a Christian, I have had many trials and yet overall, I can testify that I have been consistently and greatly blessed. As I walk with the Lord, I am experiencing a Life of Blessing. This is what God intends for us all. From creation to the revelation to Moses to Jesus to now. Walking with the Lord is a life of blessing.
However, in God’s kingdom, we are asked to take on the priestly role of speaking blessings to the creation and all around us. This is what we are going to be exploring in more detail over this new course ‘A Life of Blessing. ‘ There will be teaching each Sunday and then a follow-up for our growth groups throughout the week.
My expectation is that we can be equipped to change the spiritual landscape around us as we step into this ministry of blessing.
Speaking blessing means first being in tune with what is on God’s heart for the area or person or land that you are a blessing. So, we have to seek Him first in prayer and from that place of intimacy speak out His blessing. This opens up a way for the kingdom to break in. That’s why we begin today with the Gospel ( the Good news) of the Kingdom
May you be blessed as you step into this teaching.
Last Tuesday we farewelled a godly man who walked in the ways of the Lord.
Proverbs 2 was the suggested reading.
My child, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understand; 3yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, 22but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
I noted that if we humble ourselves in seeking wisdom, we will encounter the Lord, the source of all wisdom. Being in a relationship with God is the beginning of wisdom. Jesus fulfilled this. He embodies wisdom.
The blessing of walking with the Lord is more than simply a blessing in the land. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. If we walk with Him, following His ways we experience new birth and intimate fellowship with Father God in this life. And beyond death, life in a new creation, with Him forever. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Alpha is a great way to explore this and we begin a new course on Zoom on October 12th. Contact us if you would like to join in.
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?
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)
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
How are you feeling as we enter 2021 as a church family? Full of hope or rather anxious? However you feel, we know that the Lord is with us and He has gone ahead of us, showing us the way forward into the new year – a year which promises to be full of new learning and new growth.
Lent Programme – Faithful God, Faithful Church
The new school term coincides with the season of Lent, a time when we ask the Lord to reveal to us what is in our hearts and how He wants us to grow more like Him. This Lent, Jamie and I have sensed that the Lord wants us to grow in two fruits of the Spirit in particular – the Fruits of Love and Faithfulness – and growing in these areas will require us to step out in faith.
Have you ever had a Family Meeting?
A time when you gathered as a family to discuss plans, make decisions or try to find solutions to problems? This Lent is going to be a bit like doing St Nic’s Family Business as we ask the Lord to show us what’s really in our hearts – the good, the bad and the ugly – ask Him to pull out some weeds and co-operate with Him in growing more of the fruit of love and faithfulness in our lives. We will be starting our Lenten teaching a little early this year as the ‘Faithful God, Faithful Church’ programme lasts 8 weeks, rather than 6.
At times it will be challenging. We may have to confront our own sin or disappointments – but thanks be to God, thorugh Jesus sacrifice on the cross He has provided free forgiveness and has promised to cleanse us from all sin. At other times we will be challenged to step out in faith in ways we have not done before. And at other times we will just need to keep on doing what we have been doing – what Eugene Peterson called ‘a long obedience in the same direction’. That can be a challenge in itself. Yet the Lord doesn’t ask us to do anything He isn’t already doing for us daily , over and over again – and Jesus is our model. Learning to love and be faithful like Him is going to be a wonderful adventure!
Church membership can be a little bit like a gym membership. We join full of good intentions but we often do not make the most of the opportunities afforded. In order to grow together as a community, we need everyone to be involved wholeheartedly. We recognise that in our framework for the community. We aspire to Bless abundantly, Belong wholeheartedly, Believe increasingly, Behave with integrity and Become Good News. We don’t want to be merely hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word too – and not just a few of us – but all of us!
We would like to encourage everyone who considers St Nic’s to be their spiritual home to do the following:
Attend a Sunday service every week of the ‘Faithful God, Faithful Church’ teaching series, starting on Feb 7th and culminating in Easter Week. The family service will be following the same theme each week as the 8 am service.
If you are unable to attend a service each week, listen to the sermon that you have missed on line.
Do the Faithful God, Faitihful Church Study Notes each week either with a St Nic’s small group, a spouse or a friend. These notes and exercises will be much more productive if done in conversation and prayer with others.
Take time to do the personal reflections and responses each week in order to effect genuine change and/or perseverance in your life.
Does that seem like a tall order? Well the good news is, if you commit to each of these you will have your Lenten Disciplines all worked out for you! And what’s more you will have a family of supporters walking the same path with you, praying and encouraging you along the way. And, if you ‘drop the ball’ one week, just pick yourself up and get back on track, with no judgement or condemnation. We’re in this together – all hopefully trying our best, but none of us yet perfect.
For Parents and Children
An information and activity pack will be available by February 7th so our younger members can put some of our learning into practice too. These will be available on the table in the church building. Please ask Amelia if you would like it emailed to you.
I want to end with the famous words of the Three Musketeers – “All for One and One for All”! Let’s aspire to love and faithfulness that brings that kind of unity among us at St Nic’s!