Sunday 22nd July
8.45 am Mt Victoria The Lord’s Supper Tim McIver
 10.30 am Blackheath Morning Service Tim Mciver

1st Reading: Psalm 8
 2nd Reading: Acts 5:1-16

Prayer leaders
St Peter’s: Geoff Brimley
St Aidan’s: Denise Holmes

Rector’s Weekly News Article

Thai Boys in a Cave

The news story that captured the world’s attention this week was the amazing tale of the soccer team who became stranded in a cave in Thailand. It was an amazing story of survival, perseverance and people from around the world coming together to do something good. In one sense it’s a very simple story. Some people desperately needed help. Some other people risked their lives to save them. In that sense it is a wonderful picture of humanity at its best.

One could argue that there’s another way of looking at it. The boys and particularly the coach really should have known better than to enter the caves in the wet season. The divers who would be sent to rescue them should not have had to risk their lives. More than 100 experts from around the world travelled to Thailand to assist in the rescue. We could only speculate at the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars that must have been spent to get these boys out.

More than all that, the most tragic part of the story was that one of the rescuers, Saman Kunam, died in the planning and preparation stages of the rescue. Was it really worth the life of an innocent man and untold amounts of money and resources that 13 people should be saved?

Our Lord Jesus said, ‘Greater love has no one than this,that he lay down his life for his friends’. He also spoke of a shepherd who had lost a sheep. Rather than do the logical thing and keep guard over the 99 that remained, that shepherd went after the one that was lost. God has always been in the business of irrational rescues. That the all powerful creator of the world was prepared to give His own life to save those who were His enemies is not very rational. Not until you understand why He did it.

He did it because he loves. He is a rescuer and a saviour. When people heard that those boys were in such desperate trouble many went to help and to rescue. That is a way in which humanity can reflect the very nature of God. It’s something that we should always celebrate. Those celebrations should of course be somewhat tempered by the reality of the world that we live in. There are many more than 13 who are in grave danger each day. Many for whom the world does not stop to offer help. We should remember the millions around the world who are starving, frightened and oppressed.

Whilst humanity fails constantly to save one another, we can still celebrate those rare moments when we do something good. We should also rejoice in the fact that in one man, Jesus Christ, humanity did finally achieve the ultimate act of sacrifice and rescue. One that is once and for all.

Yours in Christ, Tim

Oxygen Conference
This past week Michelle and I, along with a thousand or so other Ministers and church workers from around Australia attended a conference at the Sydney showground in Homebush.  The conference was called ‘Oxygen’, the point being that those who normally preach and teach in their churches were meant to come and be refreshed and encouraged by the word of God, as well as being trained and inspired through the teaching and experience of others.

Over the 4 days we heard from a great variety of speakers on a great variety of topics and passages. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll share a few thoughts and reflections on some the things we heard. If anything does arouse your curiosity, KCC (Katoomba Christian Convention) now upload all the talks from their conferences for free. You can access them via the KCC app, for those who are into that sort of thing.

The talks that I found most thought provoking and challenging were given by Kirk Patston. He gave three talks on three Old Testament characters and the books that tell their story. The three characters were all people who lived out their faith in God far from Israel’s home and under the rule and authority of those who did not believe. Joseph, who was sold as a slave by his brothers and ended up in Egypt. Esther, who lived in exile under the Persians. And Daniel who lived in exile under the Babylonians and the Medes and Persians.

All three stories were the about faith in adversity. Interestingly all three stories are told in very unique literary style. The story of Daniel for example is almost written as a comedy, with officials rushing about in large groups, clanging cymbals and serving a king who is easily outwitted. This style of writing seems to clash with the harsh reality of the content of the story. A King who throws people into a burning furnace if they will not bow down to him. A man thrown into a den of wild animals to be ripped apart all because he prayed. Not necessarily the best material for a comedy.

In all three stories the confusion between writing style and dark content seemed to reflect the attitude that Christians might have in dark days. There is a time to smile and laugh even when things are seemingly very dire. Equally, in all these stories, there is a strong sense that God is at work. With God, you never know what you are going to get, or how He might be working out His plans. It was an encouragement to trust and pray and laugh even when it is hard to imagine where hope lies.

Yours in Christ,  Tim
 

Men’s Coffee Morning will be at Petalura Eatery on Friday 20th July from 10am, all men from across the Parish are welcome.

Ladies Coffee Morning will also be on Friday 20th July across the road from the men’s coffee morning in the V & A Cafe also starting at 10am.

St Aidan’s Prayer time will be on Saturday 21st July in the small meeting room starting at 9am for approximately 1 hour.

HELP NEEDED !! Playcentre is changing to Thursday 10 am and Jodie would love to hear from anyone who could help out then. Also the ladies Growth Group on Thursday is changing to Monday and again Jodie would love to hear from anyone who could help with the crèche.

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.

OTHER MEETINGS

* Prayer meeting at St Peter’s each Sunday at 8am
* Teens Bible Study Group meet during school term every Sunday during the service at St Aidan’s Blackheath.
* 1st Sunday of month 9.30am  Prayer Meeting at St Aidan’s
* 3rd Saturday of month 8.30am Prayer Meeting at St Aidan’s
* Tuesday  Playcentre St Aidan’s –  10am
* Thursday
Kids’ Club St Peter’s Hall 3.15-4.30pm
* Friday
Imprint Youth   (High School age group)   St Aidan’s Hall 7pm-9pm
* St Peter’s Church Committee meets second Thursday of each month 4.30pm in the hall.
* St Aidan’s Church Committee meets fourth Thursday each month 3pm
* 1st Tuesday
of each month – Women’s Business 7.30pm St Peter’s Hall Mt Victoria
* Men’s Coffee Morning 1st and 3rd Friday at 10am Check News sheet for venue
* Care and Share 2nd Friday of each month at 10.30am
* Growth groups meet weekly in Blackheath, Mt Victoria and Hartley.  Further details under Ministry/Growth Groups

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     Sunday 29th July
    Bible Readings
    1st Reading:
     2nd Reading:
    Prayer Leaders
    St Peter’s:
    St Aidan’s:
     

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”

Missions
#Pray for S in the Middle East. Pray for her safety and pray also for the many refugees she has contact with that there will be many opportunities to read with them and to talk about the love of God and of His Son Jesus Christ. Praise God for the news of the engagement of Sarah to Warwick, pray for their future together and where God will lead them
# Pray that INF will remain strong in Christian witness. Pray for the government in Nepal as they make decisions about people who share their faith and for the consequences of that.
# Pray for Phillip & Elke Knight, for Annabella and Lilly.
Give thanks for the short time we’ve been able to spend with them this past week and pray for a safe return to Port Hedland.
# Pray for Mark Muss in the very demanding ministry he has at Lithgow Correctional Centre, Pray for Mark’s health and wellbeing and that he will feel the Holy Spirit’s uplifting power as he copes with all that this position requires of him. Pray for all chaplains in both prison and hospital situations, pray for good health, strength and commitment.

 Mission more locally
*
Pray for Archbishop Glenn Davies leading us all in the way of the Lord.
* Pray for Bishop Ivan Lee, pray for strength in mind, body and spirit.
* Pray too for Tim McIver, Jodie and their children in their ministry in our parish
* Pray for Michelle Seers making Jesus known in her various roles

Our Church Family
 # Pray that the joy of Christ would remain prominent in the hearts of those now in aged care facilities – Shirley McDonald, Irene Komcincko, Mary Broome and John Aitkens, who is unwell again at the moment and in hospital. Pray for Warwick & Sue Atkinson as they deal with health issues,
also Dagma & Hugh Rees and Sue Groves as they all deal with health issues.  Libby Raines from Mt Wilson passed away last week, please pray for her husband Keith and for her family and for her church family, all who knew her will keenly feel her loss. Pray for Jill Simon who has been unwell and for her husband Ron as he cares for her. David Nettleton from Hartley passed away recently, pray for his wife Rosemary and their family as they cope with this significant loss. Pray also for Margaret Gough who is now home from hospital and still recovering from a fall.
# Pray that our Growth Groups, Care and Share’s ministry, the Men’s Coffee morning, the Ladies’ Coffee morning, the monthly Women’s Business Group and the monthly morning tea at Hartley, 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 reading, prayers, provision of morning and afternoon teas, supper and the welcoming of the newcomer.

Our Committees and Parish Council
¨  Pray that our meetings will see us thanking the Lord for guidance, growth and provision.

Our Children’s and Youth Ministries
*  Pray for School Scripture lessons and for the changes that are being introduced into our schools. Pray for the children as they come to Scripture and that they will  know that our Heavenly Father loves them. Pray too that those young lives will be formed in Christ. Give thanks for all the scripture teachers and pray for them as they teach scripture.
# Pray for the Playcentre as young families make contact with the gospel. Thank God for those who lead the Playcentre at St Aidan’s.  # Pray for Kids Clubs in Mt Victoria and Bloackheath, and Imprint Youth group as the leaders seek to bring Jesus as Saviour and Lord to children and young people.

The World
 #   Pray for the Lord’s mercy in the provision of peace in the midst of the pain and suffering of war, the peace that only faith in Jesus can bring. Pray that our governments in Australia will choose to lead us in Christ honouring ways.

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