While setting up my Christmas tree last night, I thought about how richly blessed we are to have a wonderful church family. We get to enjoy worship, fellowship, mission, our calling, purpose and every good gift in the Lord Jesus together. Others around us are not feeling as blessed this Christmas. Many feel lonely, rejected, sad and some are afraid. How does that make you feel? It fills me with compassion, and so I want to reach out to them. That is “WHY” we are hosting a “Christmas Carols and Community Lunch” on December 13th.
At this event we will enjoy a relaxed “Carols” sing-along around the piano beginning 11:30am, followed by loving fellowship over food (all food donations welcome!), and then a concert by the Peninsula Grammar teachers after they serve us lunch (with the food provided by God’s gracious hands – think loaves and fishes :).
This event is specifically planned for outreach to connect with the local community of Mount Eliza with the love of Jesus. Therefore, I encourage you to invite any unchurched or lonely persons you know to enjoy fellowship and fun with us.
We have invited people from Neighbourhood House and other local community connections. It’s our prayer that each of us may learn to love those who come (and all others) like God loves them. It is my hope that God will use us to draw others closer to Himself through this event. If you’d like to be more fully involved, please speak with me about it.
Now turning to our own Church Community; we have a wonderful month of celebrating the birth of our Saviour together. We have MEAC Munchies on the 14th for food and fellowship, and a month of celebratory Sundays, beginning December 4th.
This coming Sunday (Nov 27) is actually Advent 1, but since it’s also our APM day, I’m not ready to launch into full on Christmas Carols yet. We will make up for it in the coming month.
December 4th- 9:30am Lectionary readings, a reflection on a Christmas Carol, & Holy Communion.
December 11th – 9:30am; contemporary “lessons and carols service”
December 18th – 9:30am lectionary readings, a Carol reflection & Holy Communion.
December 24th – 7pm family service
- 11pm Holy Communion
December 25th – 9:30am; Lectionary readings, a Carol reflection & Holy Communion.
This coming Sunday as we prepare our hearts and minds for the coming Christmas season, we will reflect on Jesus' words in Matthew 22:15-22 “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”, and consider especially “What is God’s?” It’s a timely reflection as we start to think about “gifts” and giving at Christmas time. I encourage us all to think more about what we give to God… not just what we offer our family and local community at Christmas time.
I look forward to worshipping together with you on Sunday,
If you ask me “What am I most grateful for this week?” The answer is you!
In response to my message last Sunday, I have been greatly encouraged to receive loving, kind and supportive words from many of the beautiful people in our congregation. Thank you. I have been singing your praises all week.
I’m delighted that our congregation cares for me, and one another. May we keep cultivating this loving and encouraging culture among all in our Parish, and beyond. I hope the wider community will come to know us as a loving community of God’s people.
As we connect with our local community in increasing measure over the Christmas period; through such activities as partnering with Mount Eliza Neighbourhood House and knitting Christmas decorations for town tree, plus hosting a Christmas “Sing and soup” or “Carols and Community lunch” outreach event, I pray we will each have opportunity to demonstrate Christ's love to those around us.
Meantime, I hope you can come along this Sunday at 9:30am as we look at Luke 21:5-19 where Jesus tells his disciples they will face many hard things and many will be against them, but they are to “stand firm” and know they will win life!
I pray we all continue to stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ and “win life” (abundant life!), in Him.
Much Love in Christ,
"We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing." These are the words Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica (2 Thes 1:3).
I here write the same to you as I am greatly encouraged that many of you continue to grow in your faith in the Lord, and in your love for one another. May we continue to do these things in increasing measure, so that all who join us may feel loved, and come to know Christ more fully too.
Let us continually seek to express a warm welcome and show loving care to all, especially those newly joining us. Ignoring people we don’t know, and being concerned only with our own agenda, plus gossip and complaining is sadly all too common in many church's culture. Let it not be so with us. Let us throw off what is not of God, and move more fully into the good things He has for us to do, and become more fully the Church he’s called us to be. Let us be the loving, welcoming, united community we envision Mount Eliza Anglican Church to be. Let us become a Church known for our faith and love.
This Sunday Rev. Tanya brings a message to you from 2 Thes 2:13-17 to comfort your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.
We look forward to a wonderful time of worship and fellowship together.
Suffering Church action week begins this Sunday.
As I think about the persecuted church all over the world, I am all the more grateful for the freedoms we have in Australia.
We are blessed to meet in beautiful church buildings and worship the God we can learn to know through the bible, and through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
This week we can rejoice that God’s spirit and the good news of the Gospel is never chained or contained even though Christian’s may be.
Jesus always warned his followers that they would face suffering and troubles in the world.
In chapter 21 of Luke’s Gospel we read of the Lord Jesus Christ warning His disciples of the events that will take place before the end comes: wars, famines, diseases and disasters (Luke 21:9-11). The Lord also warns of persecution, in which Christians will face imprisonment, betrayal and death (Luke 21:12,16-17).
These prophecies are being fulfilled today, as it has been in every age since they were given.
Therefore, Barnabas fund have highlighted five ways the worldwide Church is suffering – namely through war, disaster, famine, disease and persecution, and remind us that our brothers and sisters desperately need our continued, prayerful support. For more information click HERE. This coming Sunday Alison will briefly remind us of these things, and Geoff Bird will bring us a timely reminder to “Stand” for our faith.
You may like to prepare your hearts and minds for his message by pre-reading 2 Chronicles 20:1-17, and Ephesians 6:10-18.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday,
I am told that many people, toward the end of their days, look back over their life and say they wish they had taken the time to ‘reflect’ more often.
This week as we take a look at Paul’s closing words in his 2nd letter to Timothy, we would do well to take time to reflect on the way we have lived our own lives thus far.
Paul, near the end of his days, looked back and said "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day" (v 6-8).
Can we say the same?
Paul also reflected on those times in his life when all others had deserted Him, the Lord stayed with him and gave him strength to persevere in preaching the gospel.
God’s faithfulness to him in the past meant that Paul was assured that God would continue to rescue him and will bring him safely to his heavenly home (V 16-18).
I trust we can say the same as we reflect on our own lives. Will you take the time to do that this week?
You may also like to take the time to watch this 7 minute video summarising the book of 2 Timothy as we finish this sermon series this week. Click HERE.
On Facebook we can follow one another’s travels when we go on luxurious holidays and read slogans like; “In a world where you can be whatever you want… be kind!” and "Follow your dreams." On other platforms we find Influencers launching pay-to-follow private accounts, and much more nudity and self-focus than warranted. These platforms encourage the thinking that beauty, success, power and possessions are ideals for which all people should aim, and that suffering ought to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, 2 Timothy chapter 3 seems as relevant today as it was when Paul wrote it.
He wrote “Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people”. This is good advice.
As Christians we are called to reject the world’s values. Instead we ought to live our lives in accordance with Christ’s teaching and love. Our identity is in him. We have “nothing” to prove to anyone. We are set free from a life dominated by self-focus. We are free to receive and be esteemed in the love of God!
As you look at Chapter 3 this week, may these scriptures make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. May they encourage you to live out your true identity in him and be equipped for every good work as a servant of God.
God be with you.
When you think of people to fill church leadership roles and responsibilities, who do you think of?
We don’t often consider the faint-hearted.
Looking at the letter of 2nd Timothy, and considering how timid, shy, and physically
unwell Timothy was, we might be surprised that God called him, and that Paul entrusted
the continuing spread of the Gospel to him.
This shows us that a church leader doesn’t need to be charismatic personality but
more-so needs to be a faithful, spirit-filled, servant/leader, willing to use the gifts one’s
been given to advance the cause of the gospel, both in the church and the wider community.
Our church leaders ought to be able to encourage people, furthering their faith and ensuring
that they have a positive church experience. As your Lead Pastor, this is my heart's desire. I
pray all who visit us and all who come regularly will experience the love of God and been
drawn closer to him through our ministry and services.
Would you continue praying for me and all your church leaders, for our church worship services, and that all newcomers find a warm welcome and sense of belonging among us. I believe God wants to grow our Church so we all need to get on board with making newcomers feel loved and valued. Perhaps you could try talking to someone you haven’t met before over morning tea this Sunday? I’m praying that those who are shy or timid (like Timothy) will get out of their comfort zones and get onboard with the cause of Christ. Remember God has not given you a spirit of timidity and fear, but one of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7), so get ready! He wants to use you for His purposes.
We continue to pray that God will fan into the flame the gifts he’s given each of us. We are praying that God will raise up new leaders to take on roles as Wardens, Parish Council Members, and may also find us a Bookkeeper with Xero experience/skills. If you sense God prompting you for any of these roles, please speak to me, or another one of our current church leaders. Nomination forms will soon be available and If God is calling you, I look forward to an awesome future, serving/leading together.
I am absolutely delighted to be Lead Pastor in this Parish Community. In an interview with the TMA this week, I was asked what my hopes for the future are? My reply was along these lines; “I haven’t got any plans beyond my current position at Mount Eliza. I’m really happy and settled here and would like to stay a long time. My hope and desire in this Parish is to see all the parishioners activated and operating in their gifting and developing more disciples who make more disciples” etc.
In addition to leading my Parish responsibilities, I am extra grateful for the privilege of speaking into people’s lives in the wider community. On October 18 we will hold a valedictory service for Peninsula Grammar students. And last Monday I got to speak into the lives of all the staff at the beginning of term Chapel service. I was able to encourage them in their work and ministry to young people, which is deeply on my heart and hopefully on yours.
Persisting in prayer for all young people is so important! The prayer I prayed last Sunday for young people in our congregation and local community can be found below. I encourage you to pray it often/daily. Please pray also for the upcoming confirmation classes, and also the Minecraft Club starting up on October 28.
This coming Sunday I’ll bring a kids' message on 'Persisting in prayer' using Luke 18:1-8.
Alicia will then bring us an awesome message from 2 Timothy Chapter 2:1-13.
We hope you can be there for that!
It’s rare for me to get a letter in the mail these days, which makes receiving an encouraging email, text, card, or phone call, all the more special and meaningful. In the Apostle Paul’s day, there were no such modern conveniences. For Paul, imprisoned at the time, to get a message of encouragement to Timothy who was struggling in his church leadership, writing a letter was the only way. I recognise God’s hand in that, to ensure the spread of the Gospel.
Paul’s letters were preserved, and copies of that letter have been made over the centuries so we get to read it and be encouraged by it today; around 2000 years later. Even though it was written so long ago, it still has much to say to encourage us in our modern day. For example, in 2 Timothy Chapter 1; Timothy is encouraged to fan into flame the gifts of God in him (6),and be willing to endure sufferings for the gospel (8), hold to the apostles' teaching, with faith and love in Jesus Christ (13), and guard the good deposit that was entrusted to him with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us (14).
He is also reminded that the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power and love and self-discipline (7). And we see this truth played out in Paul's own life as he boldly spreads the gospel, which is the reason he is unashamedly in prison. He says “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard that which I have entrusted to him until that day.” (12) This verse brings to mind this great old song we will sing together on Sunday. (Click HERE to listen)
These amazing truths were written to encourage Timothy, and were preserved to encourage us and strengthen us in our Christian walk today. These truths are timeless and stand the test of time because God does not change and the same Holy Spirit who lived in Paul and Timothy lives in us. So be encouraged this week and strengthened in your faith.
I do hope you will join us this Sunday as we look closer at 2 Timothy 1:1-14, and Luke 17:5-10 (the lectionary readings). I hope we will all be encouraged in our Christian walk, and be inspired to encourage those around us who may be struggling at this time. Perhaps you might send a little note with a word of encouragement and one of these solid biblical truths to strengthen that person, like Paul did for Timothy. It’s amazing what difference a little note of encouragement can make in someone's life. Personally, my dad and I do that for each other often with a phone call, sending a small gift, sharing an old photo, recalling good mems, and providing a timely word. I am grateful for him and his encouragement.
I’m also grateful to those who shared thanksgiving stories last Sunday in our Thanksgiving/Stewardship service and to those who provided a wonderful lunch and to all who helped set up/clean up. Thankyou!
Blessings on your week,
God be with you,
What are you grateful for this week?
I’m especially grateful for having had a faith-filled queen for all these years. The funeral on Monday night was a beautiful tribute.
I’m grateful for my family, and for God’s protection over them.
I’m grateful for God’s provision, and His answers to my prayers. I wait expectantly to see His hand at work, and Praise Him for the ways I see Him working in me, through me, and around me. God is Good!
By Sunday, I wonder who among us will be grateful for their AFL team's win!?
This Sunday we will corporately give thanks to the Lord.
We will give thanks for His financial provision for this Parish (through you). We will give thanks for all God's faithful people. And thank God for all his goodness towards us.
Please come prepared to give thanks to God for His faithfulness and share your good news stories (testify of God’s goodness) to encourage others in their faith.
As we share our faith, it encourages others and leads them to blessing.
Come prepared to bless others and be blessed by one another’s stories. Come also prepared to share good food together after the service. Please bring a plate to share if you are able.
To prepare your hearts and minds for Sunday, you might like to meditate on Psalm 89:
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
And you may like to click HERE to listen to a song called “Forever” by Christ Tomlin which has been playing around in my head this week.
See you Sunday,
What do you give to your church? What does it cost you?
As we return our giving pledges this week and calculate the cost, you may respond saying “A LOT!”
Your financial sacrifice is truly appreciated! Thank you for praying and discerning God’s guidance for your level of commitment and giving. You are amazing and appreciated for who you are, all you do, and all you give!
We will give more thanksgiving next week on Sunday 25th and ask God’s blessing over our pledges and give thanks for His provision and faithfulness to each of us, our families, and our Church Family. There is much to give thanks for so please come prepared to share thanksgiving stories, food, and more of our lives with one another.
In the meantime, this coming Sunday (Sept 18) let us consider what else God has given us to be responsible for (In addition to money). I am of the true belief that everything I/we have comes from God, and I/we have a responsibility to be faithful with it – and to govern it well!
This week as we look at faithful “Governance” – which is our 6th and final pillar in the Mission Action Plan, (MAP). I have appreciated reflecting on the good and faithful governance of Queen Elizabeth. I agree with the words which Bishop Paul sent to Clergy this week “How good it has been to be encouraged by the Queen’s personal Christian faith. There is an account of her saying to a chaplain that she was so hoping the Lord will return in her lifetime. The chaplain asked why, and her reported reply was, ‘I would so love to lay my crown at His feet.’ I suspect the burden of office was a factor in her thinking, but even more that the true and great King is Jesus Christ. More and more we need to remember that he is our King, and we need to humbly submit to him, even now, and not feed the temptation to be king of our own realm, to draw attention to ourselves, to always insist on our own way, to feed a sense of self-importance. Thank you, Ma’am, for your example. Come Lord Jesus, come soon.”
These are timely words to reflect on. As are the readings for this Sunday: Matthew 24:42-51 and Matthew 25:13-30.
May these passages remind us that Jesus Christ is indeed coming at an hour we don’t know, and so we ought to live as if it might be today! With this mindset, let’s ask ourselves: “Am I being faithful in living out what God’s called me to do at this time with my skills, energy and talents (in addition to money)? When I meet my maker will he say “Well done good and faithful servant?”
Maybe keep this question in mind as we ask for more volunteers to serve on the committee of “Friends of St. James the Less Historic Church”?
If you have any interest in or knowledge of our beautiful Heritage building and would like to contribute to help maintain the property, write grant applications, fundraise, and find new ways to connect the local community to our Heritage Church then please consider joining our team.
If this responsibility isn’t for you, there are many other ways and opportunities to serve. Whatever we choose to put our hands to, and however we use our time, gifts and money, may each one of us someday hear our Lord say; “Well done good and faithful servant”.
I’ll be saying this to you on Sunday.
I hope to see you then.