Blessings of a Moon-Boot

Last October I learnt a valuable albeit obvious lesson:

Breaking your foot is debilitating.

Especially when said break is caused by something as mundane as tripping on a shoe! I mean where’s the awesome anecdote to be gained? There is no story to relish retelling when the questions come, and come they do. When you work in the church office and everyone is used to seeing you up and about there is no avoiding the inevitable “How did you do it?”

So while I didn’t gain a good story to embellish, what I did gain was some truly wonderful blessings.

Blessed to be blessed by brilliant medical care

You’ve probably heard it before, but I’ll say it again because it is well worth remembering how truly blessed we are in Australia to have access to affordable quality medical care. It’s amazing to think that I could hobble into Emergency one afternoon and leave a few hours later with x-rays, a care plan and an incredible contraption called a moon-boot that gifts mobility.

No out-of-pocket expenses (less the pain meds) and amazing after-care with access to highly skilled orthopaedic surgeons committed to ensuring I make a full recovery. How awesome is that?!

Blessed to be blessed by total strangers

It can be so easy to turn the other way. To tell yourself someone is okay or that you don’t want to embarrass someone by offering assistance. Thank God, so many do not do this.

From the nurse helping me carry my handbag to the bus driver letting me stay on the bus during changeover. Sometimes it was as simple as a door being opened or people moving their bags so I could navigate my way to the sidelines to cheer on my son at the sports carnival.

It was a blessing to be blessed by these total strangers.

Blessed to be blessed by friends and family

This one may be expected. I mean, how often do you say when helping out a friend, “What are friends for?” However, for me personally, the most poignant blessing of receiving assistance from friends and family was accepting it.

It can be quite a humbling learning experience. Generally driven towards independence, it was one I had some difficulty with. Fortunately, due to the incontrovertible restrictions of my injury and a few patient and persistent teachers (ahem Zoë!), I have learnt to accept help with a little more grace than before.

Blessed to be blessed by God

The Bible tells us “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). Broken bones, injuries or illnesses of any kind are never a good thing but through these God has an opportunity to work through us and in us. As such, from them good things can come.

So thank you God, for blessing me.

And thank you for reading. My prayer for you is that when you next experience an injury or illness you get to see the blessings in it.

By the way, the foot is healed now. I received the all clear on January 2nd. My kids were particularly excited because it meant I could jump on the trampoline and play Pokémon again (priorities!). So long as I don’t play rugby (gulp!) or run any marathons (oh dear…), three months from now my foot will be ‘as good as new’, so they say.

Carols, Cappuccinos & Celebrations!

Today, Saturday 15th December, we gathered as a community to celebrate. We held together two historical narratives that though distinct relate to one another around the person of Jesus.

Did you know…

… it was because of his love for Jesus that John Allnutt offered gatherings for Christians originally in his own home (now called Henton Cottage). On 12 September 1850 having reordered the cottage across the street it was consecrated as a church building where he led services until his death in 1861.

A lot has happened since that time here in Australind

Did you know…

… that many people continue to gather around the person of Jesus? Families such as the Narroways, the Cliftons and others have shared life together in and around this little building. In 1914 the Anglican Church purchased it and renamed it Church of St Nicholas Australind and consecrated it in December 1915.

Did you know…

… that in the 1990’s the church grew to sustain life as an independent parish? Since then the church community has grown and new buildings have been funded by the congregations over the years through sacrificial giving. The same love John Allnutt had for Jesus has continued to be shared here in the community that is St Nicholas, Australind.

Community stewardship, a historical resource and a place for prayer…

Do you know why we have given sacrificially to restore the smallest church building in WA? Firstly we are stewarding part of our shared heritage here in Australind. This is advertised by our Shire and attracts tourist interest and commercial benefit to the area. Tourists go across to the retail park following a visit here. We have appreciated the shire’s support of the project in helping provide a protective fence. Stewarding this building is in part a gift from us to the wider community. As we want to bless those around us in Jesus name.

Secondly did you know it allows us to create a meaningful historical resource that we can share with local schools? Several of our parishioners are professional teachers and we will work with local schools to facilitate resource packs and visits in line with curricular needs.

Last but not least did you know that though too small for our current congregations it will again be a renewed sacred space for prayer, worship and blessing? Jesus is the reason for the season, but He is also the reason for the continuing existence of the building. Do you know Immanuel, God with us, in your life? If you want to explore life with Jesus try an Alpha course in 2019 or join us for our open meals on Wednesday. It was a great pleasure to welcome so many people here today to celebrate with us.

Carols, Cappuccinos and of course the Celebrations!

Our celebrations continued with a sausage sizzle, children’s entertainment, specialty stalls and an excellent Op Shop fashion parade. It was a pleasure to have our younger members with us, enjoying the bouncy castle, and participating in the service and fashion parade. We look forward to the next chapter with them following Jesus as part of St Nic’s.

St Nic’s Snapshot: Presenting the marvellous Site Management Team

Wonderful things have been happening at St Nic’s! Parishioners have reported sightings of a group of men doing marvellous deeds around the church. Parking lines have been painted, pathways fixed, doors repainted, handles repaired and bookshelves assembled!

Who are these local heroes? Why our newly formed Site Management Team of course! Tony Wheeler, Trevor Freckleton, Struan Faed have joined Geoff Blechynden and have enthusiastically embraced the seemingly endless task of maintenance and repairs.

So busy are the boys we were unable to track them down for a group photo. “How did we ever find time to work?” wondered retiree Tony.

How indeed! Nonetheless we are extremely grateful and blessed by these men’s selfless service to our community. If you see them around, be sure to say hello and thank you!

December 15th – Save the Date!

We are going to celebrate the restoration of our historic church building with a service of dedication and thanksgiving including Carols on Saturday the 15th of December in the morning followed by a sausage sizzle and hospitality. Celebrations will continue with a fete around the Op shop with an afternoon tea and various other attractions! More details to follow.

This will replace our usual Carols and Cappuccinos this year.


St Nic’s Snapshot: A week of wondrous work

Exciting changes are happening here at St Nic’s!

Small but Mighty…

On Wednesday, work on the historic church officially began! Praise God! This is the culmination of an incredible amount of work and dedication from the Heritage Church Committee. Congratulations and many thanks to Suzanne Saunders, Kerry Hawley, Wendy Dickinson and Ian Craig. Many thanks also to the Parish Council, the Heritage Council and Greg Meachem.
Check out the audio from the drive radio show and ABC’s online article that featured our little church earlier this week!

Let there be light…

You may have noticed things are looking a little brighter around here… The process of changing all our existing lighting to LED downlights has begun. This will help reduce costs both in terms of electricity and replacement costs as each globe is warrantied for 36,000 hours!
Speaking of power, last week our solar panels were installed by Brett and Mitch from Sunwise. This too, is an important step toward reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our power bills! In just 5 days our CO2 savings were 37kg—the equivalent of driving 245km in the car!
Thank you and congratulations to the Parish Council, Sunwise and Electrical Experts for making this possible.

Prayer & Praise: Blessing & Belonging

Sunday evenings are a joy for me. At 6pm at the church there is an informal, almost organic service of prayer and praise with members of our parish. I wish to encourage you to come and be a part of it. We are always blessed – and are becoming as a community of St Nicholas. The meeting fosters a real sense of belonging. We are greatly ‘lifted in Spirit’ in our praise and worship.

When I first went, I felt this was very good. I felt the Lord was calling me to be a part of it. Personally, I find it to be exciting. Something always happens- either then or later down the track. Every week we each receive a prayer from two people, without hearing what the other person is praying. This I find exciting as I wait to receive the results of those prayers.We pray for matters of the church and also the broader community. Sometimes we pray in pairs, at other times in smaller groups. We are seeing answers to prayer on various scales: personal, for the church and the ministry of the church. Hopefully, you have heard by now about the progress with the Shire for the Historic Church and the no parking signs.

We are able to believe that the Holy Spirit will move amongst us because we see it each week. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are being used as we pray – prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, speaking in tongues and healing.

Wonderfully, the children who are coming learn to pray and be prayed for. They are learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit; to believe that they too they belong in the church community, can behave in a spiritual manner – learn how to bless others, and be blessed themselves – and to become more mature in their faith.

Seeing answers to prayer is very exciting but for me, the best part of it is going there to pray with other people.

By Glory Kitson

Prayer & Praise, 6pm at the church. All Welcome.

St Nicholas Craft Group: The Biggest Morning Tea

Last Thursday, St Nicholas’s Craft Group joined thousands of others in hosting the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea. Over $920 was raised to help the fight against cancer!

Sixty-five members of our local community joined in to support the cause. The Australind Bridge Club provided a welcome boost to the overall amount with their generous donations.

“People seemed to enjoy themselves, the donations of cakes and savouries was excellent as usual,” said organiser Fran Craig. “We do it to help people with cancer, everybody that you speak to knows somebody who has suffered from cancer in some form or other. It’s all around us. It’s a cause close to our hearts, many of our parishioners have lost someone. Cancer does not discriminate.”

Special thanks to Stephen & Julie Lucas from Australind Post Office & Gifts and Rob Bertolli from Terry White Chemmart for their generous gifts for the door prize and raffle. Lucky attendees Val, Betty, Lois, Robyn, Pat, Judy & Geoff won the raffle spot prizes and Beryl scored the door prize.

Rev Jamie assisted with the raffle and Father Brian gave an inspiring address, “Never be negative, always be positive… with your small contribution we are all part of the ultimate solution.”

This year is the 6th year the Craft Group have hosted the event. If anyone would like to join the Craft Group you are most welcome Thursdays 10am- 12noon at the church. Bring your project and enjoy a cuppa and fellowship.

Anglicanism in Africa: Kapsabet, Kenya

Kenya lays on the east coast of Africa. It is bordered by Somali, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. It is a dangerous and difficult place to live and work.

To put it into perspective, the Australian government’s travel advisory site Smartraveller urges travellers to the country to exercise a high degree of caution. For the northern borders, a ‘Do Not Travel’ notice remains in place.

Kapsabet is the capital of Nandi County, in the west of Kenya. A predominantly Christian town, the local economy is driven by large tea and maize farms as well as a number of horticulture and dairy farms.

Anglicanism in Kenya

A province of the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Church of Kenya is composed by 33 dioceses. The church became part of the Province of East Africa in 1960, but Kenya and Tanzania were divided into separate provinces in 1970. Today there are over 5 million members across the country. Currently, the Primate and Archbishop of Kenya is Jackson Ole Sapit.

May 2016 saw the recognition of Kapsabet as a separate diocese and the election of Rev Paul Korir as bishop. The Anglican Diocese of Kapsabet desires to be “rooted in the word of God for ministry”(Colossians 2:7) and “serving to transform peoples hearts and change their lives by the grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

Exploring partnership and how you can help…

The Diocese of Bunbury is exploring a partnership with the Diocese of Kapsabet. We are considering how we might support one another, in prayer and sharing our experiences and insights in mission.

Recently, there was a fire in the boys dormitory at St Mark’s Kaptumo School (Kapsabet Diocese). Sixty-nine boarders have lost everything in the devastation. We thank God no one was hurt.

Please pray for:
• the means to rebuild the building and restock what has been burnt and,
• blessing of the whole Diocese and the strengthening of Bishop Paul and his wife Selline as they lead the people in a difficult and dangerous place.

Furthermore, practical outreach assistance can be given by donating bibles. You can bring spare or pre-loved Bibles  to the Anglican Diocese of Bunbury office.

Rev Cathie Broome

Wednesday Dinners – Friends, Food & Community

We have recently started up Wednesday dinners as St Nic’s. It is basically a bunch of people of all ages and walks of life turning up to share a meal together. It is on every Wednesday at St Nic’s church from 5.45pm.

Each week a team of willing volunteers organise, cook a delicious meal and then clean up afterwards, allowing everyone else to simply come along and be blessed. We have been averaging anywhere between 28-47 (recently 33 adults and 14 kids) people including kids!

It has become a platform to build into the existing community of St Nic’s, providing a beautiful bridge between the generations and building upon friendships, both old and new. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to bring friends or neighbours along to meet new people in a relaxed environment, enjoy a meal together and chat about life or even just the weather! In addition to these things, we would also welcome anyone who might just benefit from the blessing of a meal, free of charge.

There is something special about sharing a meal together and belonging in community. We find many accounts in the Bible that revolve around mealtimes. It is both practical in terms of meeting one of our most basic of human needs, but it also meets our spiritual and emotional needs through friendship and fellowship. Our conversations are being blessed each week as we discover more about each other; our pasts and how we have come to be where we are today, our joys and struggles in the now, and our hopes and dreams for the future.

I really feel like the key word in all of this is community; helping to build a sense of authentic community in our church fellowship, whilst also providing an arm of outreach into our broader community. This whole concept is all very new and will evolve with time. I love being involved with it, and am excited about how God may shape this in the future. I am also incredibly thankful to those of you who have helped to get this off the ground.

If you would like more information about Wednesday dinners or becoming involved with serving on a team once a month, please speak with me (Kate) or use the Contact Us form.

Lastly, I encourage you to join us! Hope to see you there,
Blessings, Kate Hollis