The Inside Column 08/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 09, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

This afternoon if the weather has played its part, Jingle bells will be on. Starting from 4.00pm there will be all sorts of entertainment for all ages, with carol singing from about 6.30pm.  I am still needing a couple of volunteers to help man the bins and do some other stuff. so if you are coming along and can spare a half hour please sign up out in the foyer, or let me know. A good chance for us to serve the community.

News about next year…
Theo Greenwood (my oldest son) has been offered a place at BTC next year as an intern, working towards a certificate of ministry. This is a full-year course with two semesters. Each week, students complete fifteen hours of supervised ministry, spend five hours in supervision, mentoring and reflection, and complete another twenty hours of theological and biblical study in order to develop foundations that will support effective, sustainable ministry. This is a stand – alone qualification equivalent to the first year of a degree programme. Jesus intended for his disciples to become faithful, skilled and brave – in fact their lives became an adventure in the service of the kingdom of God. He taught them how to serve alongside him, showed them how to live, and then sent them out, this is the process Theo will be going through next year. Please pray for him as he takes on this new role in the church and in his studies.

Next Sunday 15 December is our combined celebration Christingle service starting with breakfast from 9.00am, and then the service starting at 10.00am. The breakfast and Christingle Service is a great event to bring children, grandchildren, friends, family and even neighbours. So let’s be brave and use this opportunity to reach out to others and for us to get together as the family of God and celebrate Christmas.

Many of you will know that Kathy King has stepped down from her role as Seniors Outreach Coordinator. Firstly a big thank you and a well done to Kathy for the work she has done over the last four years. She has led the way in providing outings and events for our seniors and engaging with the community. As you know, when one door closes a different door opens so we are looking for someone to pick up the role Kathy is stepping out of. This is 10 hours a week paid position and you will be on the staff team here at St Barnabas. If you know someone that might be interested or you would like to know more please speak to me or Kathy.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 01/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 02, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

The season of Advent is here and the Advent Wreath with 5 candles is in the church.

The 1st candle (purple) is the Candle of Hope. We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep His promises made to us. Our hope comes from God.

The 2nd candle (purple) is the Candle of Preparation. God kept his promise of a Saviour who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome you O God!

The 3rd candle (purple) is the Candle of Joy. The angels sang a message of Joy.

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests. - Luke 2:11-14

The 4th candle (purple) is the Angel Candle or The Candle of Love. The angels announced the good news of a Saviour. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:16-17

The 5th candle (white) is the Candle of Christ. The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth!

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! – John 1:29

On the Sunday 8 December we have been invited to help run a Christmas event called Jingle Bells (Previously Shine – Carols on the Lawn) in the park behind the Church. The event starts at 4.00pm and will run until around 8.00pm. Firstly, this is an event for you to get a group of people together and come along – there will be a Bouncy Castle, Children’s Activities, Carol Singing, Food Stalls and other entertainment. It should be a great night out for all. Secondly, we need helpers to sign up in the foyer to help man the bins. There will be four different bin sites around the grounds and each one will have, green waste, recycling, and general waste. (You will get to wear a high vis vest!) We will need to help people put the right stuff in the right bins. If we can get a good number of people to help, maybe we can do teams, in half hour slots. If you think you might like to help, please put your name down on the time you would like to cover, and then come at that time to do your bit. The more people, the easier it is for everyone. I will be looking for a couple of people to help me throughout the night to manage the stage, shift chairs and sound stuff. If you can help let me know. Please pray for fine weather on this day, and that St Barnabas might be able to bless our community through this event.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 24/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 25, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

On the Sunday 8 December we have been invited to help run a Christmas event called Jingle Bells (Previously Shine – Carols on the Lawn) in the park behind the Church. The event starts at 4.00pm and will run till around 8.00pm. Firstly, this is an event for you to get a group of people together and come along – there will be a Bouncy Castle, Children’s Activities, Carol Singing, Food Stalls and other entertainment. It should be a great night out for all. Secondly, we need helpers to sign up in the foyer to help man the bins. There will be four different bin sites around the grounds and each one will have, green waste, recycling, and general waste. (You will get to wear a high vis vest!) We will need to help people put the right stuff in the right bins. If we can get a good number of people to help, maybe we can do teams, in half hour slots. If you think you might like to help, please put your name down on the time you would like to cover, and then come at that time to do your bit. The more people, the easier it is for everyone. I will be looking for a couple of people to help me throughout the night to manage the stage, shift chairs and sound stuff. If you can help let me know. Please pray for fine weather on this day, and that St Barnabas might be able to bless our community through this event. Time to tell the world the good news …

Why me?

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” - 1 Peter 3: 15

Before Jesus departed this earth, he spent his final time here on earth with His eleven disciples. The last command that He gave them was this:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus commands us to tell others about Him. You may ask, “Why me? Aren’t there others more equipped to do that? I am not a preacher, I do not know what to say.”

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. - Luke, Acts 1:8

Jesus tells us to tell others about him and promised to give us power to do it. As Christians, we have the opportunity and responsibility to tell others what we have “seen” and “heard” and what we have experienced in our walk with Jesus. You are the only one who can tell your story. No one can adequately describe the things that have changed in your life. It is your story; no one else can tell it. If Jesus has done great things for you, you have the privilege of sharing that good news with others. Jesus commands us to tell others of His great salvation, the question for each of us, is are we?

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 17/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 18, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Gift day 2019 was a great blessing for St Barnabas with around $ 23,000 coming in with great joy and thanksgiving for all that God is doing. Last week Vestry approved the upgrade of the church drive way, with new hot mix, and the first steps in upgrading the church sound system, with some new speakers and other sound system stuff. I was in a conversation about the gift day with a church leader, and their comment was “But aren’t you just a small church – how did you raise so much?” We might not be the biggest Church, but we do have a long history off joyfully generous giving to the work of the Kingdom of God. We are blessed, to be a blessing.

From Kathy King – Senior Outreach Community Coordinator (SOCK)
After four years as the senior outreach coordinator I have decided to submit my resignation to vestry effective from 20 December 2019. I’d like to thank both Vestry and Phil for your support and
encouragement over my time of employment. A word of encouragement goes a long way to feeling like one is doing a valuable job. A couple of highlights from Kathy’s work:

Out to Lunch:

Out to Lunch has really been the success story of the job, not only in the numbers that come along but the fact that I have never had to shoulder tap anyone to volunteer their help. It has been a real pleasure working with Helen, Pam, Joy, Mary and Annette and their contributions to the preparation (often at their own cost as they don’t often give me receipts) has been really appreciated. Another positive outcome of the lunches has been the increase in the number of non-parishioners coming along and the non ‘serial lunch goers,’ i.e. those that attend free lunches over the city. We provide a real service to these people but I am encouraged that there are Stoke locals who come each month for the fellowship and feel part of our church community for doing so. Although the prayer card I place at each setting is often left behind many people have told me they save them, reflect on them and often pass on to someone else.

Senior Outreach Community Engagement:

This is a part of the role that I initiated from the beginning and I think it is very important to continue. This has included building relationships with Stoke Seniors. From this we have had a drama and choir group entertain at the lunches. Positive relationships have being built with Age Concern and I have made many community connections with other agencies through the Positive Aging Forum that meets quarterly. Having a stall at the Positive Aging Expo with the other senior outreach/elder care has been part of this.

I would like to say a big thank you to Kathy it has been a real blessing to have her take on this role and in a lot of ways leading the way in Seniors Outreach. It was been great to work with her, to see her grow, and she will be greatly missed as part of the staff team. Thankyou Kathy!

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 10/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 11, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Five Ways To Spiritual Well-Being
There’s been a great deal of media attention over the last couple of years about the mental health of our nation. Anxiety is a growing issue among the young, our suicide rates are the highest in the world and there is growing recognition of how damaging loneliness is, equating it as harmful to our health as 15 cigarettes a day. The mental health Foundation have produced a card with
strategies for helping one’s mental health titled Five Ways to Well-being. I think there’s value in adding a Christian perspective to these strategies and examining how we can incorporate these into our daily lives.

1. Connect
Connecting with God is the cornerstone of our faith and grounds us as Christians. There’s so many ways we can connect with God; through prayer, nature, music and the Bible but God also wanted us to connect through relationships with each other. Connection can be as simple as a smile, a hello, an invitation for coffee or a sympathetic ear.

2. Give
Giving God our time, our words, our presence but also giving to others. Giving can take so many forms and can be as simple as giving a compliment, ringing a neighbour, your time, volunteering or financial giving. It’s giving something of ourselves. We never know the full impact of our giving. Consider the young boy with just a basket of fish and a loaf of bread. Little did he know how far that gift would travel, not just to 5000 who sat and ate from it but thousands of years later we are still talking about it.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.      - Luke 6:38

3. Take Notice
God created this wonderful world for us. I’m sure he wants us to take notice, take joy from it and give thanks for the beauty of the simple things around us. Some people keep a prayer journal and look back, taking notice of the way God has answered their prayers

4. Keep Learning
Learning stimulates the brain. From a Christian perspective I think that means delving deeply into the bible but also keeping a breast with current issues, reflecting on them and seeking God’s
guidance on how to respond.

5. Be Active
Be active for God. Now there’s a good logo for a church! I think the other four dimensions are our way of being active for God – connecting with others giving of ourselves, taking notice and learning. These all lead to developing deeper relationships with God, ourselves, our earth and each other.

Yours in Christ

Kathy