Australind, Did You Know?

… that from 10.30am on Saturday December 15th we will be hosting Carols, Cappuccinos & Celebrations of Christmas and the re-opening of our heritage church.

We have all-day activities for the whole family to enjoy. The day will start with a Carols service at 10.30am themed Australind, Did You Know? followed by our usual hospitality of free sausage sizzle and cappuccinos. After, we have a fashion parade organised by the amazing St Nic’s Op Shop team, specialty stalls and a bouncy castle!

This is a free event and all are welcome!

If you would like more information please contact us here.

Churches Together: United in Prayer @ Eaton Baptist Church

Last Sunday, a contingent of parishioners from St Nic’s enjoyed participating in a Churches Together prayer meeting hosted by Eaton Baptist Church. The family friendly gathering was an inspiring collection of Christians from all over the Bunbury region with one purpose: to unite in prayer.

I had never stepped foot into the building before, but immediately there was a sense of familiarity. There was a warmth to the atmosphere emanating from the common thread we all shared, our love for our Lord and Saviour.

I am not gifted sufficiently with the art of words to do justice to the evening in this blog post. Instead, all I can do is encourage you to join us at the next gathering of Churches Together – God only knows what wonders He can do with it!

Churches Together prayer meetings are generally bimonthly – keep checking the St Nic’s website for details of the next meeting.

Journaling Part 2: The only rule? There are none…

How to Journal?

Now, if the previous post has convinced you that this is worth it, the question is where to start? How does one develop a journaling habit?

The most freeing thing I have learnt is that there are no rules to this. Journaling is something that is meant to help you relieve stress, not add to it, so the key is to make it work for you. Below I will write about what works for me, and other tips that I have read, but honestly just experiment with it until you have a method that works.

Some ideas

How long for? Now I tend to journal just as I need to, as having a ‘rule’ that I must journal every day, at a specific time, tends to make me panic and not do it. Many ‘journaling for beginners’ articles (such as this one from Mindful Parenting and this one from the Gospel Coalition) suggest starting by setting a rhythm of picking a time each day, for around 10-15 minutes and just writing about anything.

What do I use? I love pretty stationery and I’m rewards-oriented so I buy nice journals a lot and good pens. I also love organisation so I have a prayer journal, a goals journal, a study journal etc. Again though, this needs to be what works for you. A lot of people now use an iPad, computer or their phone to journal – apps like ‘Evernote’ and ‘Microsoft OneNote’ are good. There is definitely no one ‘right way’ here, at the end of the day any form of paper, pen or technological item will work.

What to write? This is generally the hard bit for people, and I can relate to staring at a blank page or screen and wondering where to start. What I would suggest here is to use the prompts in the Boundaries course book each week, or for anyone not studying boundaries – start with writing down your thoughts on Sunday’s sermons, what did you learn? How is it applicable to your life? Then as you go through the week, write about any worries or stressors, write down the good things that happen or things you are thankful for. Once you start, the possibilities are endless!

Hopefully this has provided you with some inspiration and ideas for how to approach journaling. I encourage you to just give it at try, and pray that you’ll be surprised and blessed by the experience.

Dannielle 😊

Journaling Part 1: A Reflection on the Benefits

This week and next week will feature a two part series on Journaling by Dannielle Barry.

Many of us (40 odd!) here at St Nic’s are currently studying the Boundaries course in our small groups on either Tuesday or Wednesday. In our Boundaries workbook there is a section on journaling, which is what I’d like to talk about in these posts.

It’s a love-hate relationship…

First of all I should say that I have a love-hate relationship with journaling. Fortunately now its more often love than hate, and it often comes naturally, but it has taken a little bit of effort and practice to get to that point. I say this to give you hope. If these journaling sections intimidate or even terrify you, it’s okay, it will get easier, there’s light at the end of the tunnel – and I promise the experience is helpful, and maybe even rewarding.

Why Journal?

For me journaling provides an outlet when I feel overwhelmed: with thoughts, with life, with questions. Have you ever had the experience of racing thoughts, too much to think about, that awful panicked or anxious feeling? Try writing some of it down. The act of physically putting thoughts on paper will often stop the thought spiral or slow it down, and making short lists when you feel like you have to much to do helps to form a plan of attack. Often I’m surprised that in taking this time to write I realise that the things I need to do are achievable, and the things I’ve been worried about might not be as bad as first thought.

Another good reason to journal is to keep records, particularly records of prayer requests and answered prayer. This is only something I’ve started this year, but it has been such a blessing to go back over my prayer requests and record some of the ways God has answered them. In doing this I’ve also realised how quick I can be to forget all the times God has provided, and therefore so quick to doubt and question whether he’ll be faithful again in my future worries and problems. Keeping records also helps me to reflect on my life journey, learn from it and see the ways I am constantly growing and changing. Having recorded stories of good memories and not so good has been an unexpected blessing, a way to really see how God is working all things for my good (Romans 8:28).

If you’re not yet convinced there is also some evidence that journaling can be good for your health. One psychologist from Texas, James Pennebaker has researched the strengthening effect journaling has on our immune cells. Other research into problem solving hypothesizes that by transferring our thoughts to paper the right side of the brain becomes unlocked to solve problems from a creative point of view rather than the left brained analytical approach we tend to.

Please visit again for next week’s Journaling Part 2: The only rule? There are none…

The Anglican Diocese of Bunbury, WA elects a new Bishop

The Anglican Diocese of Bunbury, Western Australia joyfully elected its 10th Bishop of the Diocese during its Election Synod meeting on the 15th-16th June 2018, following a period of searching and discernment from around the country. This news is now being shared around the Diocese.

The Bishop Elect is Rev’d Dr Ian Coutts, who currently works for both Anglicare NSW/ACT and St Marks Theological Centre in the ACT. Rev’d Ian Coutts was ordained Deacon in 1989 and Priest in 1990 in Birmingham, UK.

As an ordained Anglican priest, Ian has served in parishes in Birmingham and on the outskirts of London; he has planted a church and been a priest with Permission To Officiate in London, Oxford, and Canberra & Goulburn Diocese in Australia.

Academically, Ian was awarded an M.Sc and Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW) from Jesus College Oxon; a Post Graduate Diploma of Theology from St John’s College, Nottingham and a BA (Jt Hons) in Sociology and Education from Warwick University. Ian completed his Ph.D after arriving in Australia on the subject of the Family from a Trinitarian theological perspective. He is also a qualified social worker with particular experience in the fields of child protection and domestic violence.

Ian and his wife Anne emigrated from the UK in 2011 when his wife was offered a school principal’s job in the ACT; and with other family already living in Australia, the decision to emigrate was simple. Ian and Anne are both Australian citizens. Ian and his wife Anne have two daughters and two grandchildren still living in England.

Ian is arguably unique in the Anglican leadership as a senior priest with a strong practice background as a social worker. Ian’s colleagues comment he is a man of profound Christian conviction, moral integrity and professional excellence. The best traditions of theological scholarship inform his thinking and scholarly learning and he is passionate about his commitment to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Ian’s interests include flying and he has a British pilot’s licence and enjoys recreational flying but does not own his own plane; and swimming, retreats, prayer time and holidays!

The Diocese of Bunbury (and we here at St Nic’s!) is delighted with his election and are looing forward to welcoming him to the Diocese in the coming months.

For further details, please contact the Diocesan Office on 0408 916 129 or 08 9721 2100.

Reproduced with permission. Italicised text added. 

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.

Rosalind Brown’s Day in the Diocese: A millennial’s perspective

My primary motivation to go to Rosalind Brown’s talk was because I had assigned myself the task of writing a post about it. After all, this respected author of Being a Priest Today was being hosted by St Nicholas for the Day in the Diocese.

In the closing address, Archdeacon Julie put it perfectly for me when she conceded “could’ve been in the office doing important looking stuff” (my important looking stuff is exponentially less important looking than what I imagine our esteemed Archdeacon has to do). However Julie, like myself, thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the talk and it was (to once again quote her) “a real treat”.

Rosalind’s talk was engaging, well delivered, insightful, thought-provoking and oftentimes humorous.  A handout with an assortment of “I wonder” phrases given during the interim discussions made me laugh. For those of you familiar with Godly Play (the Montessori style ‘Sunday school’ we run at our family service) you would understand why; it felt a bit like Godly Play for Grown-ups minus the craft.

Rosalind’s address was delivered in three parts. The first was titled “Taking our smallness lightly but our presence seriously” (a quote from Joan Chittester and drew heavily upon Rowan Williams book Faith in the Public Square). The second part was an intriguing examination of Benedictine hospitality. Finally, the third, a biblical talk on Hagar and Elijah.

We are all of equal value to God

A particular point that stood out to me was that of each individual’s value. That is, we are all of equal value to God. Whether it was a Williams quote or her own, I loved it when Rosalind stated that “there are no superfluous or spare people”. This is profound for those of us with distorted views of our self-worth but also a challenge. This value does not come from one’s own merit but from who we are to God. We are precious in His eyes.

The connection Rosalind drew between the viewpoint of Equal Value and its implication for the current attitudes to work, attitudes like the increasingly demanding and all-consuming expectance of performance driven from both forces within and external to the worker. Dehumanising was the word used and I am finding it hard to disagree. The connection was startling in its directness yet disturbingly unsurprising all the same. How often have we felt sucked into that seemingly inescapable cycle of commitments and additional ‘extra credit’ projects all for the so called sake of… what? Our boss? Or our professor’s approval? Our career aspirations? Or perhaps our own so-called ‘self-improvement’?

That last paragraph sounds rather negative and depressing (I assure on the whole, the talk was actually very encouraging). But perhaps instead of boring you with another few hundred words or so I might instead heed Rosalind’s recommendation and read the transcript of Rowan William’s lecture ‘Benedict and the future of Europe’. And likewise, I might wonder about my own rhythm of life. And perhaps if you too dear reader, are intrigued or are one of the many ever-chasing the elusive ‘balance’ we so crave, could spare some precious time I would encourage you to do some wondering too.

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

A new initiative – Gathering on Wednesday

Thank you to Fr Brian for taking the services this Sunday while I am at All Saint’s Donnybrook leading the morning service and then chairing the Annual Meeting of Parishioner’s. Your prayers would be welcome for Rev Cathie and myself and the community there.

Our own AMP takes place next Sunday after a joint service beginning at 9 am. You can vote this Sunday if you have registered as a voting parishioner.  Suzanne has produced an insert guiding you on this process. Alternatively you can vote next week if you wish. All votes need to be cast before we begin the AMP. May the Holy Spirit inspire and guide us. Please do ensure you have collected your Annual Report if you are a voting parishioner, one per household. If you are a parishioner and would like a copy please speak with Ian Craig. Please also pick up your Prayer Focus if you have not already done so. Thank you for joining in the prayer of and for our community.

As I write this there is a delicious aroma wafting through from our church kitchen. For some proclaiming the end of a fast on Ash Wednesday. The Wednesday dinners , a new initiative is up and running. Trudy, team leader for this week, was delighted to tell me that she and her team have a meal for us tonight to feed 40 at $72. I said  I hoped this was not going to become a competition between cooking teams, with someone saying I spent $5 and prayed for multiplication! These meals are open. Come along. It helps if you let us know in advance but it is not essential.

As we enter into Lent remember that we put off things in order to put on things. E.g.  we put off unforgiveness and with the Holy Spirit’s help put on forgiveness. We put off slander and speak truth. We may fast food to feast on God’s presence in prayer. We come into the light of Jesus and perhaps can say

‘Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.’

Ps 51v10

Shalom Jamie

How do we follow Jesus?

A blessed and Happy New year to everyone. My hope is that you have gained refreshment and created some good memories over the 12 days of Christmas. I have enjoyed a blessed break with family and come into this year looking to Jesus to guide us. I want to know His purposes for His Father’s kingdom here and in our diocese and I want to walk in them. Do you? So that’s a goal and aspiration. New Year is often linked to resolutions and goal setting. However there is a growing body of research suggesting goal setting handled incorrectly leads to self defeat and actual avoidance of change!
We know here at St  Nick’s that growing things change and we are invited into ongoing transformation by God to bear the fruit of His Spirit and to do His works. Yet how we frame things impacts what we actually do i.e. setting goals can be good but we tend to forget transformation takes time and involves daily rhythms and choices. It’s easier to set a goal than make a daily change. So if I am serious about looking to Jesus to guide us what does that mean in practice?
Today I will be exploring a little of what it means to follow Jesus. The bottom line is recognising He wants to be close to us and then choosing to be close to Him, learning to look and listen for Him through the day. Beginning and ending the day with Him; pausing and inviting Him into the moments of the day, thanking Him, asking Him, praising Him complaining to Him, groaning with sighs beyond words ( on a bad day) . We don’t do this alone. We have the Holy Spirit who walks alongside us and is within us who can enable us to do just that. Looking to Jesus to guide us and walking in His purposes is the outcome of a series of small continuous steps…. That’s how we follow …steps, foot fall by foot fall, day by day, month by month until our last day here and then the glorious step into eternity with Him.
Shalom Jamie