Green shoots from blackened earth. Easing restrictions from COVID pandemic. Blue skies after flooding rains. These are symbols of relief and hope.
The green is greener after the fire. The singing is more joyous after the silence. The skies are clearer after the rain.
Through suffering grows resilience and gratitude. From endurance and perseverance springs hope. Through judgement comes salvation.
“the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Jesus in Luke 24:46-47
It is only through the suffering and death of our Messiah, Jesus, that forgiveness of sins can be won for us. His resurrection is the glorious moment of victory over death and certain promise of resurrection life to all who trust in him.
You may be spending your Easter long weekend playing video games, renovating the house, or camping down the coast. But don’t miss the opportunity to reflect on the glorious hope of resurrection that can be yours in Christ Jesus.
At Easter we celebrate that ‘He is Risen’ – and he promises resurrection life to you too, if you will trust and follow him!
“About two years ago, I went through a life changing trauma. At the time, it was the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. However, about 12 months ago, I began to reconnect with God and Christ. I recently undertook the Christianity Explored course with Ben. Through that course, I have been able to learn more about Christ and grow closer to him. To form a relationship with him, and to begin to know and understand his love. Ben and Kate have opened their arms to me, and you all know yourselves how amazing these two people are. Thank you Ben and Kate. Every time I read and learn the Good News, it just feels so right. I get that feeling inside, that feeling of Faith and I know that knowing Christ is the right thing for me.”
Steven made a declaration of faith at Bargo River on 18th October 2020, along with several others. Join me in praying that many more might put their trust in Jesus and be saved!
Finding Jesus has really changed my life. It was something I could never comprehend until I found Him. As my knowledge of Him has grown, my life has changed in ways I could never have imagined. Finding my brothers and sisters in Christ has been one of many blessings. Before turning to Christ, my life was certainly not something to be proud of. Through God’s grace, I have been able to let go of the shame and anxiety. I can never be perfect as Jesus was, but each day He is with me, encouraging me to walk in his image. It’s hard to describe this to a non Christian, but the feeling of a caring hand on your shoulder can be just what you need to get through tough times. One of many bible verses that has given me strength is Deuteronomy 31:6;
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
– Matthew Warnock.
Matt made a declaration of faith publicly at Bargo River on 18th October 2020, along with several others. Join me in praying that many more might put their trust in Jesus and be saved!
“After being diagnosed with cancer in May 2019 I knew I had a beautiful loving supportive family and friends behind me but also knew I was missing one thing and that was Jesus Christ. In my teens I turned my back on Jesus but knew he had never turned his back on me so today I declare my faith in him and praise him for all he has done.” – Belinda Jackson.
Belinda made a declaration of faith publicly at Bargo River on 18th October 2020, along with several others. Praise God with me for his work in her life, and join me in praying that many more might put their trust in Jesus and be saved!
It’s been so wonderful to see so many of you face-to-face recently. It takes a great deal of self-control not to give you a hug. Online Church has been good – and it will continue to serve many of you well as you stay home for a while longer. But I found it such a joy to be together in person last weekend! (On 14th June 2020 we held our first face-to-face services since the COVID-19 pandemic closed churches in early 2020). Paul speaks in this way about longing to be face-to-face with our Lord Jesus Christ when he returns or when we are taken home to him in 1 Corinthians:
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:9-13
In this world we experience pain and joy and we strive to know God and understand what life is about. No matter what joy we experience in this life, no matter how rich our relationships, no matter how wonderful the blessings we receive from God in this life, it’s like reflections and shadows compared to the joy, relationships and blessings that await us in the life beyond! Then we will be with our Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face! Yours in Christ, Ben
It’s so wonderful to see that COVID-19 is largely under control in Australia. We’ve been able to accomplish this, largely because we are wealthy enough to stay home.
In many countries around the world staying home = starving. That’s because they live day-to-day. Imagine if staying home meant not eating and not bringing home anything for your children to eat. What would you do?
Anglican Aid is providing an opportunity for us to give financially to help some of these people survive the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, can I encourage you to give to the appeal to help the Lake Rukwa region of Tanzania, where our link missionaries, Kevin and Karen Flanagan are serving.
If you give to the Anglican Aid appeal for the Diocese of Lake Rukwa in Tanzania you’ll be “providing handwashing supplies and food reserves for the 68 parishes in that diocese already suffering from a very poor harvest and potential famine. As churches remain open during this time of lockdown, they are important community meeting places and sources of assistance for people who are hungry and without income. Each bag of maize costs roughly $30AUD and beans cost roughly $90AUD per bag.”
One of the great things about Christmas are the traditions. Doing the same things you have done every year since child-hood is comforting. It assures us that although the world is changing and sometimes our lives feel unstable and out of control – some things stay the same. There will always be prawns on the BBQ on Christmas day, grandma always brings those chocolate bar filled plastic ‘Christmas stockings’, you all slowly roll out of bed the next day to watch the Boxing Day Test on TV, or whatever the Christmas traditions are in your household.
But there are Christmas traditions that go beyond your family. Christmas traditions that transcend our generation and our nation. We celebrate the birth of Christ; God’s intervention into our world to bring peace; and the Messiah who came to save his people from their sins. In upholding these true Christmas traditions we become part of something so much larger than our earthly families. We become anchored in the family of God and secure in the peace and everlasting joy of being his children.
This year some people are celebrating Christmas without a home. Some are celebrating without grandma, or other family members. Whatever your Christmas is like, God invites you to share at his table. To join with his people around the world and throughout time. Come celebrate the Saviour born to us on Christmas day.
In these unprecedented
days of fire and drought we are reminded that we are very much not in control
of our lives. We need support, we need
each other, we need our RFS heroes and our emergency services and others
working heroically to keep our communities safe. But even with all this, we need the one who
controls the weather. We are reminded in
these times of our dependence on God who created and sustains us all.
Anglican Church is holding a day of Prayer for Relief from Fire and Drought on
Sunday 15th December 2019 and all are welcome to join us. We will be open from 8am – 2pm for anyone to
come to talk, grieve, seek help, whatever is going to be helpful. But most of all we want you to join us in
crying out to God that he might send us drenching rain to relieve our land of
fire and drought. We pray that we might
recognise our dependence and turn to him in faith. We pray that we might find hope and joy in
Jesus Christ at Christmas time.
will be held at 9:30am of singing, prayer and hearing from God’s Word. All are welcome to join us for the service,
or at any time throughout the day. Let’s
come together and pray.
October is Mental Health Month and 10 October is World Mental Health Day (10/10), a good time to think through how we can support and care for those in our communities who are struggling with mental health concerns. At any one time, 1 in 5 people in Australia experience a diagnosable mental health condition. During our lifetime, nearly 1 in 2 of us will experience a diagnosable mental health condition. Mental health struggles affect all type of people across all walks of life. Being Christian and a member of church does not make us immune from mental health concerns. God is concerned for those struggling with their mental health. He is a God of extraordinary love and compassion and his heart goes out to those facing mental health challenges. People struggling with their mental health need our support, not our judgement. We want to try and reflect God’s loving compassion and care. The wonder of the Christian gospel is that we are saved by what God in his grace has done outside of us through the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. God does not look upon us according to our feelings or how mentally healthy we are, but according to the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Even when we are at the end of our resources, God loves us simply because he loves us, and we remain secure in him. He will not let us go. Yours in Christ, Ben Boardman (This article is drawn from the Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute http://www.mentalhealthinstitute.org.au/)