Road and Traffic Safety Improvement Works – Australind

Please refer to the attached document regarding the roadworks operating over the next 4 weeks, starting on Tuesday the 3rd of March.

The purpose of these works will be to improve pedestrian crossing facilities, traffic management, road surface and aesthetics for the Shire of Harvey residents and wider community.

Working from Rest

January has been a month of slowing down for us as a church. Early in the month we combined services in the morning. The morning and evening daily Prayer Watch continued but our prayer and worship gathering on Sunday evening also stopped. Our mid-week groups paused. Sabbath originates from a Hebrew word that means ‘stop’. So, in a sense January has been for us a Sabbath. I certainly enjoyed this in my annual leave in New Zealand with family and friends. Stopping for what purpose though?

The commands to honour the sabbath are not to make space for nothing but rather to embrace the opportunity to rest and enjoy God and His creation. It combines well with our season of Epiphany as revelation often comes to us when we are sufficiently undistracted to be open to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit. We have time to reflect on a verse of scripture or for creation to speak to us of our creator. As I come back into the opportunities and challenges of ministry with all of you representing Jesus to our local area and beyond, it would be too easy to ‘get busy’. However, the greater fruitfulness in ministry is when we work from rest. I am looking to place sabbath more intentionally in my own week and life this year. Ask me about it! I wonder if we can do this together. It is a sign of freedom. We are no longer ‘slaves in Egypt’ unable to observe rest. (See Deuteronomy 5:12-15) What would doing sabbath look like for you?

Prayer Watch

The inspiration for the Prayer Watch comes from the book of Nehemiah. The people of God were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah and were facing attack on many fronts. So, as it says in Nehemiah 4:9,

“We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”

Nehemiah Chapter 4, Verse 9

The Sunday evening prayer group discerned, along with a few others, that the Lord was asking us to follow their example and cover St Nic’s in prayer morning and evening, seven days a week. The prayer watch consists of a group of 12 people, of varying ages and stages of life, who have committed to praying for St Nic’s once a week, either during the morning or evening, and then passing the responsibility over to the next person on the watch via text message. A special prayer, based on the Lord’s Prayer has been written to help guide us as well as the prayer updates which Jamie produces. People on the watch pray for as long or short a time as they wish. Jill Faed, a member of the team, shares a personal reflection on the Prayer Watch:

Although the Prayer Watch is just one of a number of prayer groups operating throughout St Nic’s, I have really enjoyed this opportunity to pray in a more directed way. The Prayer Watchers understand that we are “on the wall” (Neh. 4:9), praying for the protection of all God’s servants, whether that is in St Nic’s, in other churches, throughout the world, or even personally in our own families. I look forward to my “watch” each Friday morning, and I am grateful for the helpful notes that Verity gave each of us, suggesting that we may like to use the Lord’s Prayer as our prayer model. Sometimes, the Spirit guides me into a different way of praying. When I feel that my watch is finished, I then text the next Watcher to pass on the baton. It’s an amazing thought that we are all part of a weekly unbroken chain of prayer. I am motivated by our regular Sunday evening time of prayer together, from which most of the Prayer Watchers come. We worship together, encourage each other, and wait on the Lord to guide us in our praying. Then He sends us out into our week to serve Him and our families, in the strength and joy that the Lord so willingly gives us (Neh. 8:10).”

Jill Faed

If you would like to join the Prayer Watch or would like to know more about it, please speak to Jamie or Verity Murray.

Australind Christmas Carols 2019

On Friday the 7th of December, St Nic’s were part of the Australind Christmas Carols held at Treendale Primary School. Despite the overcast and chilly weather a lovely time was had with Clifton Park Primary School and Treendale Primary School Choirs and Taiko Drumming Groups performing alongside the group from Australind Baptist Church and St Nicholas. A big thank you to everyone who came down and supported the free family friendly community event. We hope to see even more of you down there for the next one.

Don’t Be Fooled

Don’t be fooled by the name ‘Little Lambs’. There isn’t anything small or submissive about this dynamic outreach community program.

It’s not just supplying cappuccinos and cookies to parents and H2O and fruit for the children – it’s about caring and sharing God’s love in a practical way. The adults often come with different emotions – some tired and fragile from lack of sleep, others looking for “time out” from worries and a demanding life.

Increasingly loneliness and depression is becoming a social problem. On average, many people will spend up to 6.5 hours a day on social media – and whilst there is nothing wrong with social media, it is no substitute for real face to face contact and friendship.

We were created for friendship – with God and for one another. Friendship multiplies joy and divests sorrow. Our aim at Little Lambs is to extend kindness and friendship, creating a place of peace and safety – showing God’s love.

1 John 4: 11-12, “Dear friends, since God so loved us we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

When kindness is expressed it is extremely powerful.

It creates healthy relationships and community connections are nourished – and it doesn’t cost a cent! (although a donation would greatly be appreciated!)

People are inspired to pass on kindness. So if you’re up for it, come and join us at Little Lambs and be uplifted with God’s love.

Blessings,

Barbara Gore

 

Not “Just an Op Shop”

When I was asked to write a few words about the op shop, I wasn’t sure where to begin, as we are more than just an op shop. We are a family for each other and an outreach to the community, with a listening ear for people who are lonely or in need, or would just like to come and have a cuppa. We work by the motto of BLESS, BELONG, BELIEVE, BEHAVE, BECOME. We would like to think that anyone who comes in is a little better off through their St Nic’s experience.

Our committee chose to keep the pricing to a minimum to meet the needs of the community. We support the local schools and families in need, as well as Missions for Seamen. We have an outlet for our excess stock of clothes, soft toys, bags, belts, linen and shoes, which are sent to Perth to Australia Rags. They then send it overseas to third world countries where it is distributed. Any excess clothing is cut up for rags and sent back here to Australia.

We have a fabulous band of volunteers who help run everything smoothly, from sorting out the enormous pile of donations that come through the door, ensuring we are only selling the best quality stock, to keeping the shop spick and span, and providing a welcoming face to everyone. We are very blessed with the quantity and quality of all the donations.

As always we welcome anyone who would like to volunteer their time. We work fortnightly shifts, either from 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm. If you have a few hours to spare and would like to come and join us, we would love to see you! We will train you into the role and there are always at least two people with you for any support.

God bless,

Judy Blechynden

 

Women’s Retreat – July 2019

Beautiful, leafy gardens…serene buildings…blue water, sea birds and dolphins, all within a stone’s throw. These were the sights that met 17 women who arrived at the St John Retreat Centre in Shoalwater in late July. Fifteen ladies came from St Nic’s and two travelled from Boyup Brook to spend the weekend together learning how to deepen their relationship with the Lord and grow in their spiritual journey. Our leaders, Carol Reid, Verity Murray and Rosemary Lindroth, had prepared materials and a programme that would challenge and teach us about contemplative prayer, listening for God’s voice in our hearts and spirits, and simply enjoying being in His presence without any of the usual daily clamour. Each day was encircled by prayer together, with plenty of time spent alone in the quiet gardens or walking the beach, mostly in silence. Meals together were a joyful yet gentle time of fellowship and companionship. A highlight for everyone was Carol’s suggestion that each person prepare something that might represent what the weekend meant to them. At our final Holy Communion service on the Sunday, our various “offerings” were laid before the altar and each woman had a few minutes to explain what theirs meant to them. Some had painted pictures or sculpted clay, some had written poems and prayers, a song was sung, and tears were shed – and we all deeply felt God’s love and grace in that precious moment. After the weekend came to a close, everyone agreed that an annual retreat was something we, and others, would greatly look forward to.

Our huge thanks go to Carol, Verity and Rosemary for their faithful and detailed organisation of the retreat…and to our wonderful Lord for His gentle, loving hand upon each one who attended.

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!