Weekly News Sheet

SERVICES FOR TODAY
SUNDAY 3 November 2019
   8.45am   Mt Victoria  Morning Service  Tim McIver
      10.30am  Blackheath    Morning Service   Tim McIver
5.00pm   Hartley Evening Service  Tim McIver
BIBLE READINGS
1st Reading: Exodus 22:15-31
       2nd Reading: Matthew 18:21-35
PRAYERS
  St Peter’s: David Doyle
St Aidan’s: Judith Finney

Weekly News

Halloween
 
Good morning and welcome to Church. It’s great to have you here especially if you’re new or visiting. We’d love to meet you after church over a cup of tea. On Thursday night it was Halloween. I suspect this meant very little to the vast majority of you! It has certainly never been something that I have placed on my calendar or even given a second thought to. In Blackheath however, Halloween seems to be becoming a bigger and bigger event for kids and families. Our family found ourselves in the thick of it having takeaway in the park as hoards or kids ran around dressed as all manner of things.  
I’ve always felt quite against Halloween. I think that is partly because of the invasion of American culture. Though perhaps that is an unfair bias, after all, we have some loved congregation members who are from that land! Secondly and of far more concern is the question of whether the fun of Halloween makes the idea of evil and perhaps even the occult nothing more than a game. Just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, we have explained to our kids that these thing are simply fun make believe games that people like to play. Death and what comes next are strange topics for games.   It might surprise you that Halloween has its origins in a thoroughly Christian tradition. Halloween is a contraction of Hallows’ Eve. Hallow is another word for Saint. Halloween is simply the night before All Saints Day. There are varying opinions about whether Halloween was the way of the early churches appropriating a Celtic or Pagan Harvest festival or whether it was established by the early church as preparation for All Saints Day.  
The connection however is not too hard to see. On All Saints Day we are meant to remember the Saints. Now depending on your theology and understanding of scripture, you might believe that the Saints are the very best of believers whose place in heaven is assured (a Catholic perspective) or you might believe (as I think the Bible is clear about...) that the Saints are simply all those who have been made holy by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Either way, we can all agree that it is worth remembering those who have gone before us and celebrating their faith and our fellowship with them. We should remember the dead
Remembering all of them on one day is a little challenging.
I managed to have this conversation with at least one person in the park. I hope I didn’t appear defensive or concerned that Halloween might be more insidious or dangerous than Jesus is good. It’s worth engaging with people on these issues. Not so much so that we can stop Halloween in its tracks but rather because it’s just one more opportunity to talk about spiritual things.  
Yours in Christ, Tim. 

 NEXT SUNDAY 10 November 2019
BIBLE READINGS
1st Reading:  Exodus 23:1-19
2nd Reading: Matthew 19:1-15
     PRAYERS
  St Peter’s: Arthur Irving
St Aidan’s: Steve Hunt
 

PRAYER POINTS
COLOSSIANS 4:3 “PRAY FOR US, THAT GOD WILL OPEN A DOOR FOR OUR MESSAGE, SO THAT WE MAY PROCLAIM THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST
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Our Church Family # Pray that the joy of Christ would remain prominent in the hearts of those now in aged care facilities  Mary Broome in Morven Gardens, John Aitkens at Wahroonga and Claire Jones in Bathurst. Pray for Dagmar & Hugh Rees and Bill & Trishy Smith, also Ron Green as they all deal with health issues. # Pray too for Peter Falcke now home again and for Jane & his family, for Sue Skalla’s baby granddaughter after surgery in Brisbane, and thank God for a successful back operation for Sue. Pray for Jessie Macaulay’s family following her death this last week.
# Pray for Care and Share’s ministry and for the outreach service they provide. # Pray for our Growth Groups, seven in all, meeting somewhere in the Parish each day of the week during school terms. # Pray for the leaders as they study and help all who attend to see the gospel message clearly.  # Pray for the Men’s Coffee Morning and the Ladies Coffee Morning both held in Mt Victoria for the whole Parish and for the monthly Women’s Business Group held in St Peter’s hall and the Monthly Morning Tea at Hartley in the Lolly Shop, as we reach out to others in the community.
Our Sunday Ministry # Pray for Tim as he brings us God’s Word that by the Holy Spirit, the Word will challenge and change us.
# Pray for all who visit any services that they will feel welcome and seek to learn more.  # Pray for all who enrich our worship through song, Bible readings, prayers, provision of morning and afternoon teas, supper, and the welcoming of the newcomer.
# Pray for Michelle Seers making Jesus known in her various roles. # Pray for her health and wellbeing. # Pray for the many situations she has in the Parish overseeing activities with women and young people.
Our Committees and Parish Council # Pray that our meetings will see us thanking the Lord for guidance, growth and provision. 
 Australia # Pray that our governments in Australia will choose to lead us in Christ honouring ways. # Pray for the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and for the Federal Parliament that they will seek to have a vision of service to ALL in Australia, especially those who struggle from day to day because of finances, health or any other reason.  Please pray for rain on our dry land. # Pray for those who rely on the land for their living that they will turn to the Lord to find the strength to cope with all situations.

NOTICES

Teens Bible Study Group meets during school term every Sunday during the service at St Aidan’s Blackheath.
 
Care & Share Support – if you or someone you know needs this service at any time please contact Judy Dyer, Judith Finney or Carol in the church office.
 
Hartley Monthly Morning Tea will be as usual at the Lolly Shop on the Great Western Highway in Hartley on Monday 4th November starting at 10.30am.
 
Women’s Business for November is will be about Thanksgiving. Gill Williams will share with us about this American celebration and its traditions. Ladies from across the Parish together with friends are welcome. St Peter’s Church hall in Mt Victoria on Tuesday 5th November starting at 7.30pm.
 
Care & Share will meet in the small meeting room at St Aidan’s on Friday  8th November starting at 10.30am.
 
Women’s Event – Saturday 16th November 2pm at St Aidan’s in Blackheath – Ladies from across the Parish as well as visitors are welcome to come and hear how God has worked in the lives of women from our churches. Bring along $10 and a plate to share for afternoon tea. For more details contact Michelle Seers – 0421 313 898.
 
Toys’n’Tucker is almost with us again for this coming Christmas. Start collecting for this appeal – pick up will be on Wednesday 11th December. 

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