Good News from God – Mark 1-9
A man went out to build a house. He cuts down one of the great trees of the forest and prepares planks to be seasoned. He then plans and measures the dimensions of his house accurately. When he builds his house he finds that he does not have enough timber to finish the roof. So the man sits in his bedroom, getting rained upon, mourning his miscalculation.
Whoever has ears to listen, listen!
An economist spends years saving his money and investing wisely. His prudent actions have slowly resulted in growing his financial portfolio so that he is able to provide for his family and retirement. So he goes to meet with his bank manager. However he finds all his money is gone through a collapse in all the markets. Therefore he gathers everything he has and once again prudently saves.
Whoever has ears to listen, listen!
Imagine these and similar stories were the entire content of our teaching whenever we gathered. What would you learn? What would you understand about God and how he is ruling over his creation?
When Jesus started to teach with stories, his disciples likewise couldn’t comprehend what he was saying (Mark 4:10). Therefore Jesus explained the reason for using parables as well as their meaning to them (Mark 4:11-20). Mark tells his readers some of these parables, particularly using ones that explain the different responses that Jesus has experienced from the crowds, his family, the religious leaders as well as from his disciples.
Please read Mark 4 in preparation for our gathering on Sunday. I guarantee an explanation of Jesus’ stories will accompany their telling (unlike my ones above which actually have no meaning).
If you are interested in hearing Lionel Windsor’s training seminar on Marl’s Gospel for the Gospel Team leaders, you can find his talks in the Members’ Resources section of our website.
Dinners for 8
This month we are again gathering together over a meal to get to know one another better and deeper. The dinners will be on Saturday 20th August. If you would like to attend one of the small gatherings, please let Jann van’t Spyker know. Your host will be able to cater for all allergies and dietary requirements.
[Insert name for new ‘Third Stage’ Ministry!!]
How can I encourage my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are at the same stage of life as me?
How can I be a faithful witness of Jesus Christ amongst my non-Christian peers? Is it at all possible to make new friendship for the sole purpose of telling people about Jesus?
How might we build Christ’s church, not just in maturity but also with new Believers?
These are tough questions with no simple solutions. It is made harder by our Australian culture, our different stages of life and our own personalities. Many of you have shared these questions with me in one form or another over the past 18 months.
Now some members across our parish are taking the steps in addressing such questions. This is a great grass-roots movement that requires your support both in involvement or even organisation.
You all know the details better than I do (I didn’t even get an invite!). If you’re unable to attend Steve Dunlop’s meeting tonight, why not send him an encouraging SMS? Plus pray that such initiatives will lead to the promotion of the gospel amongst both Christians and non-Christians.
RIDE For Refugees
This month we again have the opportunity to support gospel proclamation amongst refugees around our world. Why not get together with your Gospel Team to ride, volunteer or sponsor? You can find all the details at the RIDE For Refugees website. (Once again the Groombridge kids may be hitting you up for sponsorship support! You have been warned)
Anglicare Refugee Training
Anglicare is co-ordinating the Sydney Diocesan response to Australia’s humanitarian intake of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Sydney Anglican parishioners, churches and agencies have shown great enthusiasm and energy in responding to the Archbishop’s call to provide a warm and generous welcome to the thousands of refugees who have been displaced due to the Syrian conflict and are arriving in our city.
Over the coming months and years there will be opportunities for people to get involved with formal programs and informal community and parish connections that support refugees, people seeking asylum and new migrants settle into their new home. Anglicare has developed and is delivering training to assist individuals and groups who would like to be involved with supporting and loving their new neighbours. Training will assist those involved in understanding past and present issues facing new arrivals and engaging in ministry in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way.
Training will be offered over two modules, with additional electives available. Modules 1 and 2 are available on Saturdays, weekdays and weeknights throughout 2016. Module 1 covers issues such as cultural backgrounds and understanding the refugee process and Module 2 builds on this to cover working effectively with new arrivals. Electives will be available in 2017 and include: Understanding mental health in the refugee context; working with Muslims; accidental counselling which includes self-care.
We encourage anyone interested in getting involved or continuing their ministry with refugees to participate in Anglicare Refugee training. Anglicare will continue to offer other specialised training for ministries such as ESL.
If you would like more information, including dates for the training, or to register go to the Anglicare Refugee Training website.
Men Meeting the Challenge
All women should be encouraging their husbands and the other men of FIVE to come to Men Meeting the Challenge conference next month. Not only is it worthwhile hearing Phillip Jensen expound the Scriptures to challenge and encourage men, but our own Mark Fairhurst will be speaking at one of the afternoon sessions. So, men, come along to be encouraged and to encourage.
Registration and further details are at the Men Meeting the Challenge website.
Dates for your Diary
- Saturday 20th – FIVE Dinners for 8
- Wednesday 24th – Missionary Prayer Night
- Saturday 27th – RIDE for Refugees
- Saturday 27th – Youth and Kids Leaders Training
- Saturday 3rd – Men Meeting the Challenge
- Monday 5th – AIM Night: “Why Full Time Ministry is for Everyone”. Contact Joshua Russell for more details.
FIVE Prayer Points
- Praise God for the various Christianity Explored courses which have been going for the last few months.
- Pray for those who are ill, mourning, or continue to struggle with ongoing sickness or life struggles.
- Pray for our new ministry opportunities starting amongst us: outreach and encouragement amongst ‘Third Stagers’ as well as a Wednesday morning men’s Gospel Team
- Pray for the Snowdons recovering from a busy summer schedule and as they prepare for the new school year next month
- Pray for the proclamation of God’s news in our community, our schools, and around the world, particularly that they will find hope through Jesus, rather than in (Olympic) gold.