The Inside Column 13/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 14, 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.

I hope everyone had a good School Holidays, with lots of good family times and maybe a chance to get away for a couple of days.

We are into the last part of the years with Christmas not far down the road. I have been working on a joint Christmas event with the Stoke Community Group called Jingle Bells, which grew out of Shine (Carols on the Lawn) which has been held at the Isel Market for the last couple of years. This event is being held on the Sunday 8 December from 4.00pm until 8.00pm in Greenmeadows Park. Can you put the date in you diaries or mark it on your calendar. We will be needing some volunteers for the evening to help in lots of different things. We will let you know closer to the event.

We are starting a new series out of the Book of 1 Peter today. I think that the Apostle Peter is one of the most interesting disciples an probably the disciple we know the most about. The Apostle Peter (also known as Simon Peter, or Cephas) was one of the first disciple called to follow Jesus. Along with James and John, he was one of Jesus’ closest companions. After the
resurrection, Peter became one of the most influential Christian leaders in the first century.

Based on Matthew 16:19, Peter is sometimes referred to as the “gatekeeper” of heaven, and over the last two millennia, countless pieces of art and literature (and jokes) depict him waiting at the Pearly Gates to decide who gets in and who doesn’t. Peter was a fisherman by trade, along with his brother Andrew. Peter grew into a gifted preacher and bold leader. In the gospels, he’s portrayed as been outspoken, always speaking his mind and acting on impulse. In the Book of Acts, Peter’s decisiveness transformed him into someone the early Christians constantly relied on and turned to.

Peter plays a major role in all four gospels, and tradition holds that the Gospel of Mark records Peter’s account of Jesus’ ministry through his companion, John Mark. Most of what we know about Peter comes from the Bible itself, with some additional material from early Christian writers. Peter had a wife, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record that Jesus came to Peter’s house, where his mother-in-law was sick with a fever. The account is incredibly brief, but it does tell us that Peter had a wife.

The Gospel of John records that when Jesus first met Peter (who was originally called Simon), he says, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (John 1:42). Cephas is Aramaic for “stone,” and the gospel writer adds that this means Peter when translated. This is why Peter is sometimes referred to as “the rock.” Peter was the rock that the early church was built on in lots of ways, and 1 Peter is a letter of encouragement to the early Christians to be bold in their faith.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 06/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 07, 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.

Last week we had our Gift Day Celebration Combined Service, or GDCCS! It was great to come together to celebration all that God is doing through his body here at St Barnabas.

The amount gifted on the day was a little over $20.000 – an amazing blessing in so many ways, so much to be thankful for. If you were away last week and would still like to give, please just note your offering Gift Day.

One of the things I did not really touch on was the need for people to give their time – which might be the greatest gift we can give. Last Sunday someone come up to me and said, they had been in a church that had a Crèche, and a Sunday Club and then they had gone to a church that did not have these groups which was important to them. If you are a parent with children and you can leave them in Crèche or Sunday Club for even one hour, that can be a great blessing for the parent. We are look for people to help with these groups, if you would like to be involved (you go on a roster so it’s only once a month) can you speak to Greta or ring David in the office. The more people we have in these team the easier it is for everyone. You might worship in the 8.30am Service and stay and serve in the Crèche or Sunday club during the second service.

Next week is our Diocese Synod. what is a Synod I hear you say? A Synod is the council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. Yes it is lots of fun! We have three synod members Angela Galbraith, Matt McDonald and David Featherstone. Please keep this year’s Synod in your prayers this week. It will be Bishop Steve’s first Synod, and in a lot of ways a new season for the Anglican Church here at the top of the south.

The church office will be closed this week from Wednesday as David is involved with helping to run Synod out at Richmond so if you have any notices for next weeks pewsheet or any other tasks please let him know by Tuesday.

I have been working on a joint Christmas event with the Stoke Community Group called Jingle Bells, which grew out of Shine (Carols on the Lawn) which has been held at the Isel Market for the last couple of years. This event is being held on the Sunday 8 December from 4.00pm until 8.00pm in Greenmeadows Park Can you put the date in you diaries or mark it on your calendar. We will be needing some volunteers for the evening to help in lots of different things. We will let you know closer to the event.

God Bless

Phil

The Inside Column 29/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 30, 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.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.                – 1 Corinthians 15:58

Today is gift day …

We give thanks for large and dedicated team of people that take services, lead communions and provide pastoral care in the eight rest homes in our community, as well as many home communions. We give thanks for the pastoral care team. We give thanks for the Marriage Course and Alpha course that has been run over the last couple of years. We are thankful for the people who lead and support this ministry. We give thanks for the outreach opportunities that these course have provided us to reach out to the community. We give thanks for the Mainly Music group and many other children’s groups that use our foyer, crèche and hall. We give thanks for the relationships that are been built, friendships made and the encouragement for many parents. We give thanks for the home groups, the leaders that give their time, those that open their homes and those who participate in engaging with one another. We give thanks for the many musicians and singers that give the time and skills to the worship life of the church. For the Choir and organists, and the worship leaders and band members. We give thanks for the youth band and the joy and excitement we see in the youth. We give thanks for the vestry and wardens and the many people that have faithfully served in the management of the Church. We give thanks for the opportunity to minister to the community through the food bank gifts that that so many give to. We give thanks for all the people who help in the church – brass and flowers, laundry, gardens and lawn mowing, We give thanks for our mission partners and the giving to missions over many years. We give thanks for the Sunday Club, Crèche, and Youth Group volunteers. For the teaching and the fun they have with the children, for their time and commitment. We give thanks for all the people that do the things that go unseen, those that see a job that needs to be done and do it, for all the little things that no one thanks them for, but our God sees.

Most of all we give thanks to God, who has blessed us more than we can know, for His love for us, for His truth revealed in us, and His grace poured out in us. May we join with the Angels and the Heavenly Hosts that never stop giving thanks and praises to the King of Kings. Amen    

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

The Inside Column 15/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 16, 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.

Today we are looking at the spiritual practice of Simplicity.

If there is one spiritual practices that flies in the face of our modem lives it has to be the practice of simplicity. We are bombarded all the time with advertising telling us we need more, we need to have more, we need to experience more, more, more, more…

Richard Foster, author of The Freedom of Simplicity says:
The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. Both the inward and the outward aspects of simplicity are essential. We deceive ourselves if we believe we can possess the inward reality without its having a profound effect on how we live. To attempt to arrange an outward lifestyle of simplicity without the inward reality leads to deadly legalism. Simplicity begins in inward focus and unity. Experiencing the inward reality liberates us outwardly. Speech becomes truthful and honest. The lust for status and position is gone because we no longer need status and position. We cease from showy extravagance not on the grounds of being unable to afford it, but on the grounds of principle. Our goods become available to others. We join the experience that Richard E. Byrd, after months alone in the barren Arctic, recorded in his journal, “I am learning … that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.”

Contemporary culture lacks both the inward reality and the outward life-style of simplicity. We must live in the modern world, and we are affected by its fractured and fragmented state. We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments. One moment we make decisions on the basis of sound reason and the next moment out of fear of what others will think of us. We have no unity or focus around which our lives are oriented. Because we lack a divine Centre our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like. In a world that is wrestling with limited resources and extremes of rich and poor, revisiting the principles of living simply is worth exploring.

Reminder – Next Sunday we are having a combined celebration gift day service, with breakfast starting at 9.00am followed by the Service at 10.00am. All are welcome.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 15/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 16, 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.

Today we continue our series on encountering God through spiritual practices. This week we are looking at the spiritual practice of study.

Why study the Bible?

As we read his Word and observe his actions, we get to know who he is, know him better, and recognize his voice, to gain wisdom, learn what’s right, to correct wrong thinking, and receive guidance. Cultural understandings, other people’s views, and our own biases make it very difficult to know with certainty how to handle the questions and problems life brings us. Asking for wisdom and deepening our understanding of how we should do life as disciples of Jesus is done through studying the bible.

The Bible is living Word of God.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.       -Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 1 Timothy 3:16-17

Tools to help with studying the Bible

The Bible in One Year 2019 is a that takes readers through the entirety of Scripture in one year, including readings from the Old Testament, New Testament and either a Psalm or Proverb each
day. Combined with a daily commentary from Nicky and Pippa Gumbel, this plan guides us to engage more closely with God’s Word and encourages us not only to apply the teachings of Scripture to our everyday life, but also to move deeper in our relationship with Jesus. For more information visit: www.bibleinoneyear.org 

The church Vicarage is having a change of tenant. In the middle of next month Jude and family are moving out of the vicarage. This will mean that there will be shortage of household items, furniture etc. for the Bible college students that are staying, including Georgia. We would like to set up the Vicarage to support the ongoing letting to young Christian students. There is a list of items we need in the foyer. If you can help with any of these and they are in good condition please tick the item box and write your name and phone number so we can let you know when you can drop them off (or arrange pickup for larger items).

Yours in Christ

Phil