Rector’s Weekly News Article
During this morning’s service at St Aidan’s, Elsie and Claudia (Jodie’s and my daughters) will be baptised. It should be a great morning of celebration, though when a baby is baptised it can be easy to get confused about what we are actually celebrating!
It would be easy to mistakenly think that the baptism of a child is primarily a celebration of the wonderful gift that God has given us in that child. Whilst there is definitely an element of thanks for God’s creative power in bringing a baby into being and blessing our particular family with that baby, there is more going on that we must be thankful for.
When a baby is born into the world we often comment that she is perfect. When people make that comment I know they aren’t trying to make a spiritual comment about original sin, primarily they are saying that the baby is very beautiful and commenting on the extraordinary way in which a new human life enters the world. It’s a good and profound point to make! And yet we all know that no one is perfect, more than that, we are all deeply flawed and deeply in need of help.
A baby needs help from it’s parents because it is physically incapable of looking after itself. Even more than that, a baby needs help from God because it shares in its parent’s sinful likeness. You don’t see the evidence of it with a new born, but wait a year or two and the unmistakeable marks of humanity become all too clear.
In Baptism we celebrate the fact that God is prepared to wash away the power and consequences of sin in a person’s life. That’s what human beings need more than anything else. It’s what a baby or a child needs more than anything else. Throughout the scriptures God has been willing and excited to see the little children come to Him. They were never to be excluded from the life of His people but rather born into a living and active faith.
As Elsie and Claudia are baptised this morning, we certainly thank God for His creative power in giving them both to us, but primarily we thank Him for His redemptive power in providing for them a saviour even before they knew His name.
Yours in Christ, Tim
Each week we print a weekly news sheet for all of the churches in the parish. You’re reading it right now. We give one to everyone at church, we leave them outside St Aidan’s and St Peter’s so that visitors can grab one, we post them out to a couple of people who have moved into nursing homes (feel free to send an email if you know someone that would appreciate receiving one) and finally an online version is uploaded to our website each week. When I say ‘we’, the vast majority of the work is done by Carol in the office. Nancy also makes a very significant contribution in putting it all on the website, as well as keeping the rest of the website up to date.
Whilst a significant amount of work goes into the news sheet it is often difficult to gauge how people are using it. I know there are at least a few who regularly pray through all the prayer points in the back. It has also been encouraging to hear that there are also a few people (as well as the Bible readers) who read the passages in the lead up to Sunday in order to prepare for the sermon. At various times I also have people comment on the articles I write each week. I’m certainly not expecting comments from everyone each week, but it is good to know that people are reading them.
In my mind, the articles I write are a chance to speak briefly into issues that might not come up in the normally course of our church meeting. They also give me a chance to fill you in on the things that are happening around the place. I’ve previously also used this space to write on topics like The 39 Articles. Some weeks there’s much to write about, sometimes it’s a bit harder to find a topic and requests for topics are always welcome!
This week we’ve decided to reformat the Prayer Points on the back of this notice sheet. The prayer points are there not as a news item but rather as a tool for prayer. We’ve had some feedback that the font is too small to read and thus difficult to use for prayer. For the next few weeks we won’t include all the prayer points every week. That will allow us to use a larger font and also should provide space to include more details in some cases. Carol and I look forward to your gracious feedback! If you do want to pray all the prayer points every week all you will need to do is keep a copy of this news sheet to put with the complementary one you will receive next week!
Please also note that this week the Church office phone number has changed. With the introduction of the NBN we have to make some decisions about our phone account. The phone is used a very small amount for outgoing calls and a similarly small amount for incoming calls. We have decided to move to a cheap prepaid mobile plan which will cost us significantly less than we have been paying. I did investigate ways in which we could have kept our old number, all of the possibilities involved large sums of money! The new phone will be used in exactly the same way the old office phone was used. Carol will answer it in the office on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. At other times people are welcome to leave a message which Carol will later check. As always everyone is always welcome to contact me directly on my mobile number. The new number is 0490116490.
Yours in Christ, Tim
National Police Remembrance Day – A memorial service will be held in the Blackheath Uniting Church in Govett’s Leap Road on Saturday 29th September at 3.00pm all welcome. On this day we honour those members of the NSW Police Force who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the execution of their duty.
Women’s Business for October is on Tuesday 2nd starting at 7.30pm with special guest Carolyn Austin, daughter of Jill & Ron Simon, Carolyn grew up in Blackheath and is pleased to be back to share some of her journey overcoming breast cancer
Women’s Business had a busy and enjoyable meeting a couple of weeks ago and packaged 37 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Many thanks to all who contributed and also participated on the evening. It was a lovely time of working alongside each other and the generosity of all is much appreciated.
Rhododendron Festival of Flowers – This special event is fast approaching, less than two months away. Help is needed; the number of people available this year is down. If you could spare even a short time on Friday 2nd November from about 10am and help with flower arrangements it would be very much appreciated. And of course lots of flowers are needed too. For more information contact Ann Flaherty on 4787 7956 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Gill Williams on 4787 7534 or email@example.com
CMS Summer School applications are available at the back of the church for Early Bird cost reduction and also for children’s program registrations.
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.