On Sunday 26 January, St Nicholas was involved with the Australia Day breakfast along the Australind foreshore. It was great to see so many families and couples coming together to share in the celebration of those receiving their Australian Citizenships. Thank you to everyone who came down to help with the tea and coffee station and also to those who spent their breakfast along the foreshore. We hope to see you there again next year with the new natures playground that is currently in the works!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Prayer life
Our Personal Growth
Happy Reading everyone!
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!
Part 2 in a 2-part series looking at millennials at church written by Dannielle Barry. View Part 1 – Millennials at Church: Reaching the ‘me, me, me’ generation here.
Millennials are seeking community, relationships, a sense of meaning and purpose – and as we know, all of this is answered in Christ, and in the local church. We don’t need to focus so much on reaching out, we just need to be found.
This should be the first step to everything, it needs to be. Prayer changes things (insert applicable bible verse here). This is the first step to being authentic and practicing what we preach, it shows we are genuine and that we care. Pray for the millennials that you know, and for the millennials that are now teachers, doctors, and emerging politicians in our government.
This generation has grown up accessing the internet for information. If a millennial wants to go to church, the first thing they’ll search for is ‘churches in my area.’ Don’t worry about how flashy your website looks, just have a presence with the information they need – where the church is, what time you meet, what you have to offer.
Additionally, being accessible can also mean being visible in the community. Run fundraisers for important causes, offer emergency relief, attend events run by others. Don’t limit the church to your physical location.
Be a church that wants to know people and make them feel welcome. Don’t wait for an ‘introducing Christianity course’, Christmas or Easter to invite someone along, be a church that is open to visitors every weekend. Treat everyone as a potential new friend, someone to ‘do life with.’ Again, don’t let the physical location of the church limit you – bring church into your week, into a coffeeshop or the dinner table or a walk along the beach.
Being authentic makes the above possible. Becoming a Christian changes your whole life, it’s not limited to church on Sunday. If you want to be a church that welcomes people, become people that welcome people. If you preach about prayer – be seen praying for one another. If you preach that God loves all his children, be people that love all his children, even those different to you.
I’ve said before that important to millennials is authenticity, transparency, honesty – and these sometimes take time to notice. Don’t pressure a millennial to conform, to register for a class or immediately go onto a roster. Be patient and demonstrate all the above values, being accessible, inviting and authentic – and let the millennial settle in. With the time to ascertain if the church is a good fit, once the decision is made, you will know you have a committed church member.
Part 1 in a 2-part series looking at millennials at church written by Dannielle Barry.
Why would a millennial join a church community?
Who are the millennial generation?
The millennial generation is one you mostly hear bad things about: lazy, self-entitled, ‘got too many trophies growing up’, over-confident, shallow and selfish, so different to generations before. The people in this generation seem to be delaying adulthood, marrying later and postponing becoming a parent. They appear to be jumping from career to career, searching for work life balance and questioning what a ‘normal life’ means. Time magazine calls it the ‘me, me, me’ generation.
The millennial generation spans from 1980-2000. I was born in 1991 so at 27 I am one of them, and many of these stereotypes apply to me. I’m not yet married, and I don’t have children. I’ve moved cities in search of somewhere that ‘felt like home’. I’ve changed career direction because I lost faith and satisfaction in my work and wanted a better work life balance. I’m now pursuing graduate education in an area I’m passionate about. And most importantly for this topic – I’ve left many churches because they didn’t feel right.
In saying this, I don’t believe I’m selfish or shallow, lazy, over-confident or self-entitled. I didn’t ask my workplace to change or cater to my needs, and I never really asked all the churches I’ve left to change either. I just kept looking until I found somewhere to fit, somewhere I could be myself, and somewhere my faith could grow.
What interests the millennial generation?
I believe this is the key to reaching my generation. More than any generation before millennials are looking for authenticity. Millennials are challenging the idea of normal because we accept differences; encouraging our peers to be honest, transparent and to have integrity – be your true self regardless of what anyone thinks.
Contrary to popular belief millennials are willing to work hard, provided it’s for something they believe in. Maybe we are over-confident and self-entitled, but does that have to be a bad thing? From what I’ve seen, that over-confidence and self-entitlement mean my generation are willing to be open about wanting to live in a world that is better for everyone, advocating for human rights, sustainable living, and closing the gap for rich and poor.
What does this mean for the church?
So, what do these big ideas mean for our little church? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News for everyone. So, we want to reach out to millennials who now make up the bulk of the working adult population (19-40) and are becoming parents themselves, raising the next generation.
The good news is I don’t believe we need to work hard to reach out. Millennials are seeking community, relationships, a sense of meaning and purpose – and as we know, all of this is answered in Christ, and in the local church. We don’t need to focus so much on reaching out, we just need to be found.