St Nic’s Snapshot: I wonder…

A picture says a thousand words… Regularly, we will be featuring snapshots of our life together at St Nicholas Church. If you are a member of our parish and have something to contribute please contact Sophie via the Contact Us form or email the office at

I wonder…

In Godly Play we are wondering about the Lords Prayer and exploring what it means to pray.

Some great connections are being made by the children.

“I chose the communion table and bread and wine to go with Give us today our daily bread because Jesus tells us to remember him”

“I chose the baby Jesus as he came to Earth from Heaven” this was placed next to Your Kingdom Come picture.

“I chose the candles of Advent because Jesus is the Light of the world”. These were placed next to Our Father in Heaven picture.

“I chose the World Communion story because you need all of the people at the communion table”. This was placed next to Give us today our Daily Bread picture.

I love being part of our Godly Play community.

The Lord be with you…

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.

Little Lambs Playgroup: Somewhere to belong and be blessed

The new year is well and truly underway! Little Lambs has continued to thrive as a beautiful outreach for local families to attend with their children.

A wonderful community gathers together on a weekly basis, to connect and gain valuable friendships and support. We have mothers, fathers, grandparents and friends enjoying belonging to our playgroup. Little Lambs provides a safe place for babies and toddlers to learn, play and grow with an array of toys (including a bouncing castle, which is a firm favourite!).

This term we’ve shared water play together as well as fun in the sand, lots of dressing up and playing kitchens!

We are blessed to have a dedicated team of wonderful volunteers. They provide morning tea: fruit for the children and cappuccinos or hot chocolate as a delicious treat for the adults! We welcome gold coin donations and please remember to bring a bag for the free bread we have whenever possible.

Little Lambs meets weekly, during term from 10am-12pm on Tuesdays. We would love you to join us!

Getting Ready, Wondering and Godly Play Training

When is a training course like a retreat?  When it’s a Godly Play training course! 

At the end of April Shirley Busby, Karen Dennison and myself, along with 9 others, took part in a 3 day Godly Play training course in Bunbury, led by Brenton Prigge from the Uniting Church in Busselton and Carolyn Handley from Sydney.   Our intention was to learn how to deliver the Godly Play programme effectively to the children at the 10am services at St Nick’s – but we got so much more than we bargained for.  We also came away blessed, refreshed and revived in our own inner being. 

Godly Play is much more than a teaching programme.  It is founded on principles which help us, whatever our age, to engage with God through scripture by ‘getting ready’, ‘wondering’ and responding at a deeper level to what we see and hear.  We were able to learn through taking part in the stories as the children do, and found that God met us profoundly in our own personal ‘response time’.  We also were coached through our own story telling and grew in confidence to tell the stories without a script, to not be afraid of silence, and to allow listeners to make their own connections with the story.   Godly Play is a different way of telling bible stories – it allows us to see things from a different angle – and all of us on the course were surprised that we saw things in familiar bible stores that we hadn’t seen before.

Karen, Shirley and I are looking forward to continue to grow in using these principles – not only on Sunday mornings, but with the Nourish kids on Fridays and in our small groups.  If you are part of any of those groups, you may hear  phrases  like “Let’s get  ready . . .?”  and  “I wonder . . .” being used . . . I wonder where Godly Play will take us next?!

Verity Murray

Godly Play – a whole church service

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday and our ten o’clock families gathered together to participate in a whole service of Godly Play.  As we entered the story of Jesus the King we wondered what Jesus must have felt, knowing what his future held.  We wondered what our favourite part of the story was. 

“I liked the part where the people waved their palm branches and shouted Hosanna in the highest”,

“I liked the colour purple” (this was the colour of our underlay to reflect our time for getting ready).

The children’s ministry team felt tremendously blessed in creating this sacred space for the children to wonder with their parents and church family.  After their wondering questions, everyone was sent off for their own creative response time.  Some of the adults chose to discuss the wondering questions in more depth as a group.  Some of the children chose to retell the story using the beautiful wooden figures.  Others chose a more artistic response.  The feedback has been positive from our young families and we look forward to doing it again soon.

Do you 'know' Jesus is King?

If you are with us at our 10 am service this week you will be taking part in an innovative experience as we explore with you our approach to children’s ministry: Godly Play and we are doing so through a shared experience.

In Hebrew knowing is not an abstract concept held in the intellect. Rather it involves our whole being and is experienced. It’s the difference between knowing about parachuting and actually jumping out of a plane. Walking with Jesus is something we can talk about or something we do. Godly Play facilitates this.

This next week we walk once again with Jesus through what is known as His Passion.

The word passion is derived from Latin meaning suffering. In Jesus God enters fully into our suffering. He is not aloof or remote but knows suffering and through it sets us free.  ‘God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.’ Hebrews 2:10

We will be reflecting on this through our services this week. Thursday at 6 pm we will consider the significance of Jesus washing the disciples feet and share in that humbling activity. On Friday at 9 am we will take time to reflect on three of the sayings of Jesus from the cross and bring back our stones  completing the lament we have been encouraged to follow from +Allan.  In handing over our stones we symbolise giving our burdens over to God, carried by Him in our place. Additional stones will be available on the day if you did not have the opportunity to explore that this Lent with us.

On Sunday we rise to celebrate once again the glorious truth of Jesus resurrection. We will have two services as usual and there is children’s ministry for the over 3’s . I’d like to thank Karen, Verity, Kylie and Shirley along with Andrea,  Betty, Jan, Carol, Carli and Sophie for all they have brought to our children’s ministry this term and for committing to provide this over Easter.

Nourish – United together in Christ

It has been a great start to the year for Nourish. After the summer break it has been wonderful to connect with new members and reconnect with familiar faces. This year we have had the pleasure of Shirley’s enthusiasm and teaching skills in organising a fun and educational crèche program for our children.  Shirley joins our other fantastic volunteers who give their time generously to support our children while we meet.  Thank you!

This term we began with an overview of the book of Psalms which served as a great introduction to the Prayer Course we are exploring as a congregation. I can’t help but be amazed and inspired when exploring personal issues, such as your prayer life with God, within the small group setting. Everyone has a unique story and different experiences; yet often we are faced with similar challenges and shared frustrations. Together we have been able to explore, discuss, encourage and support one another, and it’s only week two! For every heartfelt moment shared there has been plenty of laughter and a deepened understanding that whilst we are all so very different we are united in Christ.

x Sophie

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Godly Play – a way of exploring our bible and faith

Not only is this week our Annual Meeting of Parishioners but it is also our first session of Godly Play on Sunday.  Godly Play is a Montessori method of telling Bible stories using parables, sacred stories and liturgical lessons about religious traditions using simple materials.  We are very excited to explore this new way of teaching and interacting with our children.  The sessions are designed for 3 to 11 year olds as the stories are involved and the children are required to sit and listen for part of the session, because of this the children’s team has also created a 0 -3 year old’s room with child friendly toys and sofa for the parents/guardians.

A Godly Play session includes:

Getting Ready

Experience a story (hear, see and feel)

Explore the story with questions “I wonder..?”

Respond with a free choice of creative experience

Enjoy a simple shared feast (crackers and water)

Godly Play @ Home

In Sunday school we only have the children for around 30 – 40 minutes each week.  As parents we have them for much more time than this, so we encourage you to explore and talk about God at home.  If you haven’t already picked up a Godly Play brochure please get one after the service.  It is also available on our website under Children’s Ministry.  This week we explore the Old Testament and the story of Creation.  I wonder where you see yourself in that story?

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'Meet the team' Karen

Karen Dennison

Q1  What are your roles/ministry here at St Nicholas?

I am the communications officer which basically means I keep the website up to date.  I am also involved in the Children’s ministry and will be leading our Godly Play program.  Music is also a passion of mine and I occasionally sing with our worship team.

Q2  What other ministry have you undertaken in the past?

I have been a Licensed Lay Minister, Priest’s warden, worship team member and Parish councilor.  I have also served on team at Cursillo.

Q3  Do you remember when you became a Christian?

Yes I had two defining moments.  One was when I made the conscious decision to become a Christian after a period of study and research.  Before this I was an atheist.  This was my head knowledge of Jesus.  My second defining moment was during a church service where I experienced the Holy Spirit in what can only be described as a flood of love raining down on me.  I couldn’t move or speak all I was capable of doing was crying with joy.  At this point the Holy Trinity became real for me and so did the power of the Holy Spirit.

Q4  What helps you daily with your walk with Jesus?

Prayer! My ongoing conversation with God is something I enjoy doing throughout the week.  Coming to Church to be encouraged and nourished by being a member of one of our small groups.

Q5  Favourite Hymn or worship song

I’m a huge fan of the music from Taize.  I love the repetition and prayerfulness of the words and also enjoy singing them in their original language.

Q6  Any last thoughts? (favourite scripture…what are you reading at the moment?…interesting fact about yourself?)

I’m a librarian so always have a number of books on the go.  I also love movies.  The last film I saw at the cinema was Dr Strange.

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"They have real coffee!" – A testimony about grace, friendship and belonging

“I just found this really great playgroup!” exclaimed my friend. “It’s at a church and they have cake and fruit for the kids and heaps of toys. They even have NICE coffees, like barista style. And best of all? It’s FREE! Want to go with me?” Little Lambs was my first introduction to St Nicks. A noisy somewhat chaotic playdate shared with two dozen mums, twice as many children and a host of mature ladies and gentleman INSISTING that they serve us and we take the time to rest and recharge. For a new mum suffering child-induced cabin fever it was heavenly. My friends and I attended Little Lambs for the better part of a year. What stood out the most to us, and what my friends still remember it for, was how welcoming, encouraging and gracious the hosts were each week.

One week when I was visiting on my own with my (now) two children a lady came and sat next to me. She introduced herself as Verity and we had a pleasant talk before she handed me a pretty little invitation to Nourish, a new Bible Study group aimed at mums of young children. She explained that I would be welcome to bring the kids and pointed out Emma, the organiser, a mum I had often seen and spoken to but until that point had never been able to remember her name and had been too embarrassed to ask.

I was very excited about getting the invitation. I had been a Christian for five or six years but my Christian walk hadn’t so much as slowed to a crawl as stopped dead. I had only attended a group bible study a few times, and only in the company of my husband (as nice as that was, I confess I rather prefer it when we go separately…), and a group that catered for mums with young kids (i.e. not in the evening or during nap time) was what I had been wishing for.

Nourish was or rather IS a blessing. At first it was quite a challenge. Six or seven mums, a dozen kids and a bible. As any parent knows, children have this fantastic propensity to drive you to the brink of insanity and they really don’t care who they do it in front of. Fortunately for all of us, they took turns. If it wasn’t your child throwing a tantrum, pushing the other children over or face planting it into a door that week then you knew most likely next week it would be.

Hence, what I believe, one of the greatest lessons learnt in Nourish, at least for me personally, was grace- both how to give it and how to receive it.

Interestingly the more I received it, the better I became at giving it. Those early days were like a prolonged team building exercise.

We have evolved quite a bit since those early days. We now have MINDERS- truly wonderful people who give up their Friday mornings to care for and entertain our young children. This has really given us the opportunity as a group to delve more deeply, talk more freely and listen more attentively. We have realised we are an extremely diverse group of ladies from different backgrounds and at different stages of our walk but still with so much in common and that we can relate to.

I love it that on Thursday nights my three year old son is always happy to go to bed because tomorrow is Friday and “on Friday mum goes to bible study and that means friends! Friends for Michael and friends for you too mum!”

X Sophie