Sunday 23rd September
8.45 am Mt Victoria The Lord’s Supper Tim McIver
 10.30 am Blackheath Morning Service Tim Mciver

1st Reading: Exodus 6:13 - 27
 2nd Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

Prayer leaders
St Peter’s: David Doyle
St Aidan’s: Stephen Williams

Rector’s Weekly News Article

Baptism

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

Prayer Points

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 flahertys51@bigpond.com or Gill Williams on 4787 7534 or sgjtwilliams@bigpond.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.

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 30th September
    Bible Readings
    1st Reading: Exodus 6:28-7:24
     2nd Reading: Matthew 5:13- 20
    Prayer Leaders
    St Peter’s: Tim McIver
    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”

 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 both at Martyn Claver, Mary Broome in Morven Gardens, John Aitkens at Wahroonga, Jessie Macaulay in Pitt Town and Claire Jones in Bathurst. Pray for Warwick & Sue Atkinson, also Dagmar & Hugh Rees, Bill & Trishy Smith and Sue Groves as they all deal with health issues.
# 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. 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. Please pray for the provision of someone willing and able to fill the role of Parish Treasurer as work commitments for Peter Harvey have made him unable to continue into the future.

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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