Opportunities in Your Church

Belonging at St Nic’s

At St Nic’s we love and follow Jesus and so love and serve one another in kindness. Kindness originally links to the notion of kindred, a family relationship. This is expressed practically as the church body lives out its life together.

We are the Body of Christ 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, serving in our homes, at work and at play. This calling is more than just gathering on a Sunday. We express being kind to one another by offering lifts, sharing meals, praying for one another, shopping for those in need, and alerting our pastoral care team to more specific needs. It can also mean serving in a more formal role within the Church community.

Sunday Services

  • Welcomers: Welcoming guests and regular members on arrival with distribution of newsletter and assistance as required.
  • Children’s Ministry: Godly Play has roles for Storytellers and Doorpersons (see Karen D.)
  • Eucharist Assistants: help prepare for Eucharist and assist in serving during the service and cleaning utensils afterwards.
  • Sound: setting up and running appropriate sound for the various services we offer (see Alf H.)
  • Overheads: running the visuals on the overheads for the service (see Dannielle B.)
  • Worship: vocals, keyboard, guitar, drums, or possibly another musical talent not listed?
  • Readers: for reading the various readings during the service
  • Intercessions: leading our public prayers
  • Preaching and teaching: this requires training towards Licensed Lay Minister status.
  • Hospitality: Ensuring the availability of beverages and biscuits, assisting with cleaning up afterwards.

Blessing & Outreach

  • Op Shop volunteer (see Judy B.)
  • Little Lambs volunteer (see Barbara G.)
  • Lending Library (see Jan C.)
  • Wednesdays Dinners (see Verity M. or Kate H.)
  • Nourish Kids (see Carli K.): providing childcare for the Nourish Women’s group is an incredible blessing to the mums who attend and study God’s word together.
  • Parish Council: nominations will open in October for our 2019 Parish Council.
  • Mission Secretary: we are still in need of someone who is called to this position.
  • Alpha and other courses such as Boundaries: prayer for those who attend, and for Holy Spirit led invitations to people beyond our church community. Provision of hospitality or as a small group leader.

Small Groups Ministry

  • involvement in small groups
  • leading small groups: this requires discussion and oversight from the parish priest.
  • youth ministry: soon we will have a real need for a youth ministry to nurture and grow the faith of our older children.

General Operations

  • administration/ volunteering in the office (see Sophie P. or Ian C.)
  • assist our Site Management Team with maintenance and repairs of the church buildings and grounds, including the Historic Church (see Tony W.)

As a community we want to celebrate and acknowledge those who serve in these roles. By listing them here we can pray specifically for those areas in our church. If there is an area that interests you or you feel called into serving please speak to Rev Jamie or a team member.

Adapted from Opportunities in Your Church by St Nicholas Minster.


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 stnicholasminster@gmail.com

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…

Where is your sacred space?

Where do you go when you need to pause, ground yourself, and reconnect with the Holy Spirit?
We live in a noisy world and live in a place where we have noise coming at us constantly, 24/7, trying to unplug and listen can be difficult. Needing to connect to God in a meaningful way is a daily thing but how do we do that if we are not at church?

Sacred Space in Godly Play

In Godly Play we help the children enter into a sacred space in a number of ways.
This starts with them being greeted by the doorperson, asking if they are ready and then crossing over the threshold into their space. Each child has their own mat to sit on signifying their spot in the circle.
We then get even more ready for our time with the Word. A stillness settles over the children as we breathe in and listen to our surroundings. The story is told slowly. The storyteller focuses on the objects and places moments of silence in the story. These silences are so that the children may start to wonder.
The Godly Play ‘room’ is not just a place for the children in church to go but a sacred space and, like the church, a liturgical space. Ideally it is designed to help us come close to God and prepare us for God to come close to us.

Connecting with God throughout the week

But how does this help us during the rest of the week? Do you have a space where you can cross the threshold to find your spot? Is there somewhere that you can read or listen to God’s word?
For some people that may be a cosy chair in a corner; some, a walk along the foreshore. For others it might be an exercise—a treadmill, a jog—wherever you are able to connect with God and find the sacred, to be able to disconnect from the distractions and simply listen can become your sacred space.

Where is your sacred space?

Knowing Jesus in a new way: Known by the Holy Spirit (Godly Play Version)

Our last Godly Play all age service was the story of Pentecost, we remember this as a transition between Jesus’ earthly ministry and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  After being told to go make Jesus known to everyone the disciples must have had mixed feelings.  Even today we have mixed feelings about making Jesus known to others.  The missing ingredient was yet to come, as promised the Holy  Spirit arrived at Pentecost.

“Suddenly, they heard the sound of a mighty wind.  It filled the whole house.  Bits of fire began to dance around each one.  The Holy Spirit had come.  Even their tongues felt on fire.  In their joy they rushed our into the streets to tell everyone!”

We cannot do this alone.  In knowing Jesus we must know the Holy Spirit.  How will we know the Holy Spirit?  For the disciples it was an overwhelming joy that they had to tell everyone – have you felt this? 

“Peter stepped into this chaos with a confidence and calm that the disciples had never seen before.”

Peter felt confident and calm in the wake of a storm – have you felt this?

“what has happened is what the Prophet Joel wrote about.  He said that God will pour out God’s spirit on us so that our sons and daughters will prophesy, the young will see visions, and the old will dream dreams.”

I wonder if you have experienced this?

Jesus had talked about the Holy Spirit and when he did, he called the Spirit, the Comforter.  Jesus had said that the Holy Spirit …
1. helps people see what they’ve done wrong and points
them to God
2. helps people do what is right
3. helps us understand the Bible
4. prays for us when we can’t find the words

5. helps us find out what our special gifts are so we can use
them to help others

I wonder if this is your experience of the Holy Spirit?

Lord, help us to discern your voice in the midst of so many others.  Guide our desires and aspirations for your Church.  Renewing our courage, by your Holy Spirit.


Knowing Jesus in a new way: Known in making him known

Last week in our Alpha course we were exploring the question, How do we tell others?  For us today we are bombarded with different ways to tell the Gospel.   On Google, we get 2.3 Million results with for example 14 steps to evangelise, top 3 effective outreach opportunities, Effective Evangelism: 10 tips for success.  This was not the case for our first disciples.  There was no Alpha course for them.  For the disciples and others, it was a time where they began to know Jesus in a new way.  He is neither simply human nor simply spiritual, he is completely both.  Through Godly Play we can explore this fearful wonder and astonishment of this transition time for the Disciples.  It must have been a huge adjustment to learn how to know Jesus in this new way.  Our Godly Play story describes it like this;

“We remember how all the disciples gathered in Galilee.  They gathered together and went to the mountain to meet Jesus.  He was already there.  It was good to see him, even in this new way, but what were they supposed to do now?  Listen.  He was talking again.  What was that? “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  What was he talking about?  Then he said something that they could understand, but did not want to hear.  “Go everywhere.  Tell my story, even this part, to everyone.  Show them how to be good disciples.  Tell them the story so they can become part of it.  Baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

This was too far to travel, too much to do.  Then in their dismay they heard him say, “I am with you always to the end of the age.”  Then he was gone.  What did he mean?  As they walked back south to Jerusalem, they knew they had been followers, now they were to be leaders. They had been sheep, now they were to be shepherds.  They had come home for the last time, now they were to make a home for others.”

The disciples were commissioned to spread the good news of the reality they experienced during the transition and in Pentecost.  There was no precedent for this.  They were called to help God create a new and unknown world!  This must have been overwhelming for them, as it is for us today, but we at least, have this story to guide us.

I wonder what part of the story is about you or what part you are in?

I wonder what part is most important?

I wonder if you know Jesus?

I wonder how you would make Jesus known?


The Mystery of Pentecost

“Do bad people have the Holy Spirit in them?”

 “I wonder!…what do you think?”

“No but they did when they were babies.  Mary definitely has the Holy Spirit inside her.”

“What, your Grandmother?” I replied.

“No, Jesus’ Mummy.  God’s Mummy must have the Holy Spirit in her.”

The deep thinking the children do always inspires me.  I’m truly blessed to be involved in this Godly Play ministry.  Many of you know that I once was an atheist and then became a Christian – there are many stories of ‘Great’ transformation and they are often the ones we tell.  What I personally find the most remarkable are those who have remained faithful to God ever since they can remember or those who became Christian as children or young adults and even after the turmoils of life are still trusting in our God.  I pray for this remarkable journey for our children.  I pray for this continued deep thinking and wondering and pray that they know the remarkable never ending love of God.



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.

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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