Sunday 19th November

8.45 am Mt Victoria Morning Service Tim McIver
 10.30 am Blackheath Morning Service Tim Mciver
 

1st Reading: 1 Samuel 21:1-15
 2nd Reading: Mark 15:1-15

Prayer leaders
St Peter’s: Arthur Irving
St Aidan’s: Denise Holmes

Rector’s Weekly News Article

Postal Survey Results

This week saw the release of the marriage survey results. I’m sure you’ve seen them, but just in case... 80% of voters cast a vote. 61.6% of those voted YES (that the definition of marriage should be changed) leaving 38.4% having voted NO.

I’ve heard the word resounding used quite a lot to describe the result. Though I think resounding is a bit much, 61.6% is a very clear majority. For those of us who thought the postal vote was a good and important way to prompt a national debate and conversation, it is certainly time to acknowledge that the people of Australia have called on the government to redefine marriage. It is very reasonable for everyone to expect that our politicians will now legislate accordingly.

For those of us who voted no, this does leave us in a slightly complicated position. We must respect our democracy, government and the will of its people. At the same time we still do not agree with the majority. This is and always will be very normal in any group of people. In exactly the same way as about half the country is always disappointed after each election.

There is still much ink to be spilled as our politicians work out how to redefine the States view of marriage while maintaining the right of all Australians to adhere to their conscience and beliefs. This postal vote was never about deciding what all people should think and believe. At the same time we also don’t want to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing has changed. As the State now uses the word and concept of marriage differently, we will need to be careful about the way we use the word and teach on the reality of marriage.

We will of course come under increasing pressure to just give in and get with the times. The time is over for lobbying the government to maintain the historic and biblical view of marriage, but the time for believing Gods word has not finished. Marriage will continue to be what it has been since Adam and Eve. We must simply now acknowledge that our understanding of what marriage is will be completely different to our Nations’ understanding of marriage. Love is complicated, beautiful and diverse. For our Nation the lines have been blurred and the distinctiveness of this unique and special relationship lost.

Yours in Christ,  Tim

Halloween and Spring Festivals

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.

It’s been a cold winter but now it’s season for everyone to come out of their winter slumber. Though to be fair, as I write this the forecast for Sunday is not looking particularly agreeable or spring like!

St Peter’s held their Spring Fair a couple of weeks ago which was a great success. There were a good number of locals and visitors around all day who we got to meet and chat with. It was great to see people from all over the parish come and support St Peters.

On Tuesday I also noticed many children wearing costumes and wandering around the town (with their parents to be fair!). I hadn’t realised that Halloween was once again upon us. I think I wrote a more detailed article last year about what our attitude to Halloween should be. I’m certainly not a big fan but I should concede that my opposition is likely based just as much around my own cultural biases as it is about a deep theological point. What is helpful to remember about Halloween is that it be a helpful reminder to us Christians that it is a festival that was originally meant to help us remember the dead. It is no coincidence that it coincides with All Saints Day. Whilst we Anglicans do not subscribe to the teaching that Saints are a separate and special category within Jesus’ church, we certainly do believe that there is much to learn from those Christians (Saints) who have gone before us. We remember the dead not because they are ghosts or they scare us, rather we remember them for how they lived and because through Jesus they will one day live again.

Finally, yesterday Blackheath will have celebrated the Rhododendron Festival. St Aidan’s hosted the Combined Churches Festival of Flowers. Once again it is a good opportunity to welcome people into our Church and celebrate the beautiful world that our God has made. This year the flower display will be centred on the theme of ‘Truth’. In some ways ‘truth’ really should be a pretty simple topic. One would think it is pretty black and white. In the end though, ‘truth’ can get very complicated and messy indeed. The search for truth only becomes simple when we realise that the truth is not a concept but a man.

Yours in Christ,  Tim.
 

St Aidan’s Church Committee will meet on Thursday 23rd November at 3pm.

Blackheath Parish Council will meet again on Tuesday 28th November in St Peter’s hall at Mt Victoria at 7.30pm.

Christmas Carol Services.
Sunday 10th December – Hartley. 7pm
Friday 15th December – Mt Victoria. 6.30pm BBQ, 7pm Carols.
Saturday 23rd December – Mt Wilson. 7.30pm
Sunday 24th December – Blackheath 10.30am morning service.

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

Financial
Monthly Parish Target for 2017 $10 275.00
Received in October $11 640.75
Additional Missionary Giving $965.00

 Sunday 26th November
Bible Readings
1st Reading: 1 Samuel 22:1-23
 2nd Reading: Mark 15:16-32
Prayer Leaders
St Peter’s: Tim McIver
St Aidan’s: Stephen Williams

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’s health as she is now home in Australia and that her time with the churches that support her will be a blessing for her. Pray for friends and colleagues she has left behind and who are very much on her mind
# Pray for Phil & Jenny Davis. 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 close connection with the Seafarers Centre, pray for all the staff, especially Derek McArtney in the role of Senior Chaplain. Give thanks for faithful church members who work alongside Philip & Elke in the ministry in 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. Pray for Warwick & Sue Atkinson as they deal with health issues. Pray for Ross Fragar in Rehab in Katoomba Hospital and for Liz Fragar as she recovers from recent back surgery.  Pray also for Libby Raines from Mt Wilson who is still unwell. Praise God for the return to home in Kanimbla Valley for Ross Fragar, pray for both him and Liz as they adjust to the changes that have been made in their home and their lifestyle.
# Pray that our Growth Groups, Care and Share’s ministry, the Men’s 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 this week 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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