Over recent months, our Parish Council have been spending much time envisioning the
Church we would like to be part of in 3 years’ time. Hopefully, we’ll be gaining traction in
our worship, discipleship, mission, service, fellowship and governance.
Today, I encourage us each to consider who we want to be (spiritually and personally
speaking) in 3 years’ time. Spiritually speaking, what will be different about you?
Personally, I would like us all to be living with Jesus alone as the centre of our lives.
Colossians 1:15-20 which we will look at this Sunday, is a poem that teaches us that Jesus is
the point from which all things are directed and to which all things are focused. The Bible in its entirety teaches that we can’t understand how to be a human being (much
less how to be the church) if we don’t see reality this way; with Jesus at the centre of it all.
Paul’s overall point in his letter to the Colossians is that Jesus is the centre of reality, and in
Col 1:15-20 he points out five specific things that Jesus is:
1) “Jesus is the image of the invisible God” (v. 15a).
2) He is “the firstborn of all creation” (v. 15b).
3) He “is before all things” (v. 17).
4) “He is the head of the body, the church” (v. 18a).
5) He is “the firstborn from the dead” (v. 18b).
These are amazing truths which can transform our lives, so I encourage you to come along
to Church this Sunday and explore these things in more depth.
I also encourage you to ask yourself today; “Is Jesus alone at the centre of my life?” and
“Will He be even more so in three years’ time?”.
May we each continue to grow in our knowledge of Him and His will through all the wisdom
and understanding the spirit gives so that we may live lives that please Him in every way
Blessings on your week,
This week I’m praying the prayer written in Colossians 1:9-12 over you.
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, I have not stopped praying for you. I continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
This Sunday we begin our sermon series in Colossians (using lectionary readings) it is my hope that we will be challenged to pray more intentionally for one another and our church.
And just as Paul desired for the Colossians; it is my hope that we may continually seek the spiritual discernment we need to walk in his will, and seek to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Lord Jesus.
May we each bear fruit in every good work and have an eternal impact; influencing those around us for the sake of his kingdom.
May we continue to look for those people of peace who receive you, your message, and the mission of God.
May we increasingly grow in the knowledge of God and develop and ever deepening and loving relationship with him.
May we be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might.
May our lives express joyous thanks to the Father for his grace to us, at all times.
Paul’s prayers and desires for the church in Colossae are the same as my prayers for you.
I hope to see you Sunday.
Who are the people of peace in your life and local community?
This Sunday we are talking about making disciples by finding people of peace. This isn’t a new idea. In fact, it’s the way Jesus made disciples.
We read in Luke chapter 10:1-11; “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’
From this text and the other stories of Jesus making disciples through finding people of peace; such as the Samaritan woman at the well who, after speaking with Jesus, ran into town telling everyone “Come meet the man who told me everything I ever did… could this be the messiah?” (John 4). And the demoniac (Mark 5), Zacchaeus (Luke 19), and also through his disciples’ interactions with Cornelius (Acts 10), Lydia at the river’s bank and the Philippian jailer (Acts 16), Jason in Thessalonica (Acts 17) and Crispus the synagogue leader (Acts 18), we can gain more understanding of how to make disciples “Jesus' way”, through finding people of peace.
We call them people of peace because they
Jesus wants us still to make disciples in the same way today; through people of peace. So, lets ask ourselves… who are the people of peace around us currently, in our lives and communities?
May God bless you and be with you as you go into the world and make disciples as Jesus commanded, demonstrated and taught us.
I look forward to hearing the stories that you come back and share.
Last Sunday, we were reminded that we are Children of God.
This coming Sunday, Libby will remind us that children of God are called to bear and birth the fruit of the Spirit. To do this, we have to know what the fruit of the Spirit is.
Galatians 5:22-23 says: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
These are the character traits that we ought to portray as Christians. We’re supposed to be full of love, joy, peace, and everything listed above, but it can’t just be an act, because the cracks will show.
We need to display them faithfully and authentically, so others will know from our character that we a Christians.
Matthew 7:20 says: "By their fruits ye shall know them."
To be known by our fruits is to be identified through our thoughts, words and actions, etc. Sadly, some people who call themselves Christians are seen to act even more worldly than people of the world.
Let it not be so with us. Let us continually grow genuine fruit and display it faithfully, by keeping a healthy connection with God. We need to be connected to Him to have the Holy spirit grow and nurture those fruits in our lives so we can be continually transformed into the image of Christ. We cannot bear fruit on our own, but as we stay connected to him we will develop more of these fruits in increasing measure.
Jesus said: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15.
So, stay connected to Him this week and observe those fruits which you are displaying. Are there any you need to grow in? Ask God to grow them in you by the power of His Holy Spirit.
Blessings on your week,
I consider myself greatly blessed to be part of a loving, caring, faith community. Think a moment
about the people you know and the relationships you share in Christ that enrich you.
As Christians, we have become brothers and sisters in the family of God through the blood of
Christ, which means we share beliefs, convictions, and behaviours, which in turn ought to produce
mutual cooperation in God’s worship, God’s work, and God’s will being done in the world.
Therefore, building relationships and associating with others in the body of Christ is important. In
an effort to build community and connect with other believers.
I would like to invite you to come along the Excelsis Choir performance this Saturday in Mornington. I still have several free tickets available which I’d love to share with you. Please get in touch if you’d like one.
If a choir doesn’t interest you, how about a social lunch at The Dava Hotel on Thursday 16th June? We hope to see you there.
We are made for love and community, because we are made in God’s image. God in himself is
love, and relationship. In Him we see relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While
there is only one God, the Godhead consists of these three distinct persons. Each of them are
equally omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, and unchanging, but each one has unique
This Sunday we will focus on the Holy Spirit’s unique personhood within the Trinity. In the
meantime, I encourage you to reflect on the difference the Holy Spirit has made in your life and
come prepared to share and encourage your brothers and sisters this Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost and consider the significance of the events of that day. (Please wear something RED!)
Pentecost was a Jewish pilgrim harvest festival held 50 days after Passover. This festival drew crowds of people to Jerusalem to celebrate God’s goodness towards them in their present day and in their past. In particular they remembered how God gave the nation of Israel entry to the Promised Land.
In Acts 2:1-21 we see the promised Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples at Pentecost while people from many nations were gathered in Jerusalem. We hear about a great wind, tongues of flame, a cacophony of speech, and surprised onlookers hearing a message about God in their own language. There’s also an accusation of drunkenness, which is quickly refuted, and a much-needed explanation from Peter who stands to speak. He tells the crowd what has happened and, in the power of the Spirit, declares to them that what they are seeing is the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days. God’s Spirit will be poured out on all flesh; on men and women, young and old, slave and free.
Since the presence of the Spirit can be received by all flesh, it means all can prophesy. Prophesying here is to be understood in the general sense of possessing the knowledge of God and being able to communicate it. Under the old covenant, this was the responsibility of certain Spirit-empowered individuals. In the new covenant, it is the privilege of all: knowledge of God, now concentrated in Jesus and his gospel, is given to (and grows in) believers so that all can prophesy and share this knowledge with others—all empowered by the Spirit.
Over the next month in Church we will look at the ways the Holy Spirit enables us with prophecy, gifts of knowledge and the many other ways the Holy Spirit enables us to worship and serve our Lord.
This coming Sunday, may Pentecost remind us that the promises and presence of God through the Spirit means we can all share the knowledge of God with one another and with those who do not yet know Jesus.
May we all joining in the spirit of Pentecost and be excited to play our part in the ongoing harvest through the proclamation of the gospel of forgiveness of sins through Jesus, “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” (Acts 1:8).
God is with you and for you.
Enjoy His presence.
Reverend Tanya Cummings
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:1-5).
I thank God for this faith community which is full of faithful, loving, prayerful people. I’m grateful for our Pastoral Care team and your loving care for one-another. I’m thankful we can gather to pray for Ukraine on Thursday June 2nd, and I’m thankful for all your prayers for me, for each other, and for our Parish Council as we continue to work on our Mission Action Plan. We are currently discussing worship services and music selection and I want to apologise that some of my music selections haven’t been great recently. I appreciate your grace and patience, and also appreciate you letting me know some of your favourite songs to sing in Church.
This coming Sunday we will be looking at John 14:23-29, and pondering the peace which Jesus gives us (verse 27). I heard the Archbishop give a talk on this passage on Tuesday evening at the clergy conference I attended and was surprised to learn he had been held up at gun point when he was serving as a parish priest. I think we have all been in situations that make us feel afraid or anxious, and managing these feelings with the Lord and receiving his peace makes all the difference.
May we each be encouraged to live by faith, not fear, when our sense of peace is challenged.
Every blessing to you in Christ,
How lovely it was to spend time in the 23rd Psalm last Sunday. I have been meditating on this psalm each day this week and am receiving such blessing from it. I hope you have been blessed by doing this too? For those who asked, here is a copy of the words I shared in last Sunday’s message.
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.
For His name sake
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I will fear no evil.
For Thou art with me
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me,
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil,
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord.
This coming Sunday we will reflect on what it means to love one another as Christ loves us (John 13:31-35). The Amplified Bible Translation says “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” To love “one another” as Christ loves us; whole heartedly and sacrificially, can be challenging at times. It might be easy when we all agree, and when no one wants anything from us, but the challenge comes when people are difficult or take more than they give.
Regardless of how others behave or treat us, as Christ’s followers we are to follow his example and continue to show unconditional love and mercy. Some days’ that means giving people my time. Other days it means giving people money, or helping meet their needs in other ways. How might you be called to show love to others today?
Love is an action word which requires intentionality. Everyday as I leave my house I remind myself that loving others is the most important thing I can do today. In comparison, nothing else really matters as much. It is my hope to grow more loving like Jesus. And I hope we all shall be people known by our love of others, for Christ’s sake and God’s glory.
Every blessing to you in Christ,
This Sunday is Mothers' Day and we hope all women feel special as they come to Church, whether they are mothers or not. I understand this day can be an emotional day for some people. Some women may have wanted to be a mother and didn’t have the opportunity, others of us have lost mothers, others have strained relationships, some mothers carry burdens for their children or grandchildren, and others are full of joy and hope in regards to motherhood.
However you are feeling about Mothers' Day, we hope you join us at Church as we take a closer look at the 23rd Psalm. This psalm gives comfort and hope while reflecting on the realities of human experiences. In this psalm we see three movements which exemplify a fragment of the human experience. We see orientation, disorientation, and reorientation.
In our lives we all experience “Orientation" (when everything feels right and content in our lives), “Disorientation" (when life feels difficult, dark, and broken), and "Re-Orientation” (when God pulls us out of the brokenness of life and we are brought to a deeper sense of awareness and gratitude).
This is why we can all relate to Psalm 23 personally and deeply. In this psalm, the first three verses are of orientation: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Life is good, happy, blessed. The Lord provides us with lush green pastures and refreshing waters. God is known to be reliable and a source of all our needs.
Verse four suggests disorientation—the “darkest valley”—a description of the trauma and suffering we go through as humans and communities.
And, later in verse four, there is re-orientation. The psalter declares, “for you are with me”. There is an expression of trust and confidence in the presence of God in spite of suffering.
Whichever stage you are in right know, I pray this psalm renews your hope and gives you peace and comfort this week.
Every blessing to you in Christ,
Reverend Tanya Cummings
How are you?
There’s a few in our congregation undergoing operations at this time, and there’s also a bit of COVID going around. A few in our congregation have experienced it. Please let me or another member of our pastoral team know if we can help you in any way, or if you’d like specific prayer.
I’m so glad to be part of a praying community. I’m grateful for Sarnia putting together a daily prayer list for us each month, and for those expressing the desire for a monthly prayer meeting. I believe that prayer ought to be at the very core of our church, and I look forward to beginning a monthly prayer meeting soon. Meantime, please continue to pray for one another, our church, our community, and our world.
I love ministering among you here at Church. This week I have also had the great privilege of speaking at the Anzac Day service in Mount Eliza, and then at Peninsula Grammar’s year 9-12 Anzac Service. I am grateful to God for His call on my life to Minister not only here at Church but also in the wider community. While I know we don’t all have public speaking roles, I know God calls each of us to be His representatives wherever we go. I wonder how God has been using you to bless others in your neighbourhood or wider community this week? I’m praying and trusting that He is using you for His purposes in all sorts of ways.
Yesterday, at our Wednesday service, our small congregation shared “good news” stories about what God is currently doing in our lives. We spoke of God’s goodness to us, regardless of our struggles, and exalted him. This is what David encourages us to do in psalm 34.
1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
This Sunday as we gather together to exalt His name again, we will witness the Baptism of two young children. Will you pray with me that God will truly minister to them and their families who will attend, and pray these children will follow the Lord all the days of their lives.
In this Sunday’s Gospel reading we will look at Jesus call on Peter’s life (John 21:1-19) which makes a good time for us to reflect more deeply on God’s call on our own lives. What is God saying to you through this passage? And what will you do in response to what he is saying?
I pray we all continue to live out God’s call on our lives, and continue to be His faithful witnesses wherever we go.
God is with you and for you.
Enjoy His presence.
Reverend Tanya Cummings