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.
Relationships matter! Take a moment to think about your relationships with others. Most of us are blessed by having family, friends, and acquaintances, and many of us have literally hundreds of other connections in the virtual world of social media.
This week we will focus on our relationships with others in the body of Christ, which are especially important. As Christians, our relationships go beyond mere friendship and association. We have become brothers and sisters in the family of God through the blood of Christ, and we are capable of developing a degree of spiritual closeness that far surpasses the limitations of natural human friendships. We can enjoy true biblical Christian fellowship.
The word “fellowship” comes from the Greek word koinonia and can be defined as “holding something in common”. It describes the unity of the Spirit that comes from Christians’ shared beliefs, convictions, and behaviours. When our shared values are in place, genuine biblical fellowship can occur. This fellowship in turn produces mutual cooperation in God’s worship, God’s work, and God’s will being done in the world (as we see in Acts 2:42-47).
This Sunday, Libby will bring us a message on our #5 Pillar: Fellowship.
You might like to pre-read these biblical passages and reflect on them in preparation: Acts 2:42-47, 1 John 1:1-7, John 17:20-25.
Blessings on your week,
What is Christian Service?
Answer: Any service that reflects Jesus’ love! From giving a cup of water (Mark 9:41) to dying for someone (John 15:13), there are as many types of Christian service as there are needs in the world. As Christ’s representatives, we are called to serve God and others by the power of the Holy Spirit who abides in us as believers. Jesus said “He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
So, as Spirit-filled Christians, let’s consider ways we can serve…
The Bible gives some specific examples of Christian service. E.g. show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2), remember those in prison (Matthew 25:36), provide for the needy (Matthew 25:35), and mentor others (Titus 2:2-8). Other examples speak to our day-to-day living: care for children (Matthew 18:5), tend families (Titus 2:5), treat employees fairly (Colossians 4:1), deal honestly with customers (Leviticus 19:36), and be diligent with employers’ resources (Matthew 25:14-30). As long as these acts are done “in Jesus’ name” (motivated by the love of Jesus), they are considered to be Christian service.
The world is in desperate need of Christians willing to show the love of Christ through their actions. Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love others—not sentimentally, but tangibly. So, this Sunday I will be encouraging us with scriptures, such as 1 Peter 4:7-11
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
And Mark 10:42-45“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
May these scriptures spur us on to love and good deeds, in Jesus' name.
God be with you,