Alpha: Kat’s Testimony

Kat’s Testimony

Alpha, 2018

When I first started Alpha I was very sceptical about everything: God, Jesus and Christianity as a whole. I was very set in the way of that in order to believe, I had to have hard evidence. I had to see it to believe it. I also desperately wanted to have an experience like I felt that everyone else was.

Alpha for me was one of the best experiences I ever had. I met people with similar questions to me and felt like I was not alone but part of a family. Being part of Alpha completely changed me and doing it in a group was wonderful because we had different questions and different views.

On Alpha I found my own path and started my own personal journey. I gave my life to Jesus and since then have started the most wonderful journey with God. I was blessed with a real experience with the Holy Spirit. My life changed for the better and I just know now, how real God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are and am so grateful they are in my life.

I truly recommend this course for anyone with question and who wants to develop a better relationship with our Lord. Alpha for me was the first stepping stone into my own personal journey with God and Jesus.

AMP 2018/19 – Get Involved! Step 4: Get in on the Action!

So you’ve enrolled to vote, you’ve been praying about the nominations, you’ve read the report and sent in your questions- now it’s time for action!

Nov 25th AMP Part 1: Elections & Ministry Reports

This is when the actual election happens and where we get an overview of the past ahem… 9-ish months (we’ll explain soon). Voting takes place over 2 weeks (18th & 25th) and is like going to the polls – there’s ballot papers, instructions and you have to get marked on the roll that you’ve voted.

Feb 17th AMP Part 2: Financials & 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. We will release it 2 weeks earlier for us all to analyse and dissect. Again, please send in questions beforehand!

Why the 2 parts?

Having our elections early means our new councillors and office bearers can hit the ground running when they officially start their roles Jan 1st. It also gives a neat six weeks for any handovers to happen. The rhythm may feel off (with only 9 months since our last AMP) but by next year it will feel right in time!

And Voila! AMP accomplissez!

AMP 2018/19 – Get Involved! Step 2: Get in the Mix!

Earlier this month we launched our 2018/19 AMP campaign and sent out the call to get those Schedule 9’s in (see our post here). Many of our parishioners jumped into action and before we knew it, those of us in the office had the fun task of compiling this years Electoral Roll.

If you are yet to submit your form, please do so this Sunday!

But enough of that, lets keep the momentum up! Next up is –

Step 2: Get in the Mix!

Nominate for positions – there a four vacant positions on the Parish Council for Councillors (all Councillors must be re-elected each year). Also, we have one vacancy for a Church Warden (we may have a maximum of three Wardens).

The Parish Council is integral to the governance and running of our parish (find out more here). If you are interested in serving our community in this way, speak to Jamie or Suzanne. Nominations close 8th November.

Next in line- Step 3: Get in the Know!

Serve up some justice!: Ping-Pong-athon 2018 @ Vineyard Church

St Nic’s parishioner and dad of two, Byron Forster joined the Fight for Freedom during Oct 12-13, read on to find out more…

There are some things about living in Australia that remind us how blessed we are. Then there are the things we see around the world that just make you hug your kids so tight. Human trafficking is one of those scourges of this world, especially when it comes to children. So Aussies have found a way to help rescue children from that life… by playing Ping Pong!

Pong vs Slavery

This year our local event was at the Vineyard Church in Bunbury, organized by Tim Wheeldon and his team. Not only did he arrange it, he then went on to play for over 13 hours straight! You would think that by that point fatigue would set in and I could get a few wins, but I guess it just meant he really had his eye in and morphed into the Roger Federer of ping pong!

Regardless of the scores, the kids are the real winners. There are 9 different organisations across SE Asia that the Pong raises money for. More information on each of these wonderful organisations is available at www.pingpongathon.com.

We set ourselves a goal to raise $6000 at the Bunbury Pong and by God’s grace we achieved our target before we were even half way through the event. Our grand total was over $15,000 to contribute to the national pool. Congratulations to everyone that was involved with playing and donating. With ping pong marathons happening all over Australia throughout October, we have been able to band together and raise over $318,000 this year, bringing our grand total to over $1.57 million since the Pong started in 2011.

We can really make a difference in the world of Human Trafficking when we band together. I am so proud of all the people that make this happen from those hitting a ping pong ball over a net, to the men and women who pick up those children and show them the first sign of love that many of them can remember. Next year we will set ourselves a new target, and you are more than welcome to be involved!

Thank you and God Bless
Byron Forster

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…

God-incidences

Last month, I had a phone call from my specialist; I was due for an annual check-up. It just so happened there was an appointment available at 8.30 the very next morning. After the test, I was talking to the young specialist – he was new, I hadn’t seen him before.

He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a retired Anglican priest. “Is that like in a church?” he asked. “Yes” I said, “in the Anglican church”. He asked me how I got into a job like that and I explained that it wasn’t a standard career option that was discussed at school; that for me it was a realization later in life that God was calling me to ordained ministry. He got that! “Ah, so it’s like a vocation,” he said.

He continued, “Does that mean you found Jesus? A friend of mine found Jesus and his life turned around.” I asked him what that meant. He told me that his friend was severely depressed and on his birthday he had decided to commit suicide. He then had an experience of feeling at one with the world. From that day, my specialist told me, his friend started to live a healthier life, lost a lot of weight and wanted to find out more about what his experience meant. I asked how his friend was doing that and he told me that he was using the internet and reading the Bible. I told him about St Nicholas and Alpha and how important it is to find out more about Jesus in a safe group setting. I gave him the St Nic’s website address.

As a Christian I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in God-incidences. God puts people in our way for a reason. I encourage you to reflect on the ‘coincidences’ in your life. Could they be ‘God-incidences?’ How are we being asked to be ‘salt and light’ for others? Perhaps you might like to reflect on Matthew 5:13-16.

‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

We are so blessed with the vibrant community at St Nic’s. We can have confidence to invite people to deepen their faith with our community whether that is through prayer or worship, Wednesday dinners, bible studies or group discussions.

Let us pray (adapted from David Adam Complete themed intercessions)

Lord God, help us to be aware of the God-incidences in our lives.
Teach us to walk in your way and to rejoice in your truth.
We ask your blessing on all in this parish that we may be salt and light for others.
We pray for all who are new to the faith
and all who are growing in a deeper awareness of your presence.
May we all know that wherever we go and whatever happens
you are with us and ready to lead us. Amen.

by Carol Reid

St Nic’s Snapshot: Ploughman’s Lunch for Camp Quality

Last week St Nic’s hosted the Ploughman’s Lunch for Camp Quality. Rob and Trudy Tuckey with the help of Ian and Fran Craig treated guests to a delicious selection of soups and desserts. 

I have been involved with Wescarpade (Fundraising for Camp Quality for 6 years and have raised over 120k) All the funds raised goes to Camp Quality to be used for the Kids, their sibling’s and their families. We support the whole family.

Wescarpade is a wacky outback motoring adventure that is the celebration of a year’s hard work raising funds for the charity. The cars are themed up to appeal to the kids (Santa’s workshop, Superman, Where’s Wally M & M’s, Bob The Builder just to name a few).

Each entrant (Car) has to raise a minimum of $5000 and this is done in a multitude of ways.

This year’s event is from Mandurah to Busselton: via Quindanning, Lake Grace, Jurien Bay, Mount Barker, Manjimup, Donnybrook and finally Busselton. The event runs from Aug 4th to Aug 12th and the expense of the event (fuel, repairs, accommodation, food, alcohol and fines) are the responsibility of participants. It’s a fun week with likeminded people raising coin for a great charity.

Rob Tuckey

 

St Nic’s Snapshot: Alpha

This week’s St Nic’s Snapshot is from our Alpha Holy Spirit Day that we hosted on Saturday July 23rd. It was a time to learn and experience more of the Holy Spirit.

I feel so refreshed!

Our participants and hosts were blessed by the wonderful hospitality of all the volunteers who helped make this day possible. Thank you.

Today has meant a lot to me.

To know more about Alpha or the Holy Spirit please visit our Alpha page or contact our minister Jamie.

 

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