Faith Essentials

Brad’s Foote-Notes                                                                                      21 October 2012

Faith Essentials 

Welcome to worship today.  Last Sunday was meant to be the last of our Three (3) Vision & Values Workshops.  Due to some unforeseen family circumstances, Dr. Jill Gray was unable to come and facilitate our program.  As a result we will have our final workshop on 11th November after the service from 10.30 to midday.  Could I urge everyone who worships at this Church to make this a priority as we seek to have as much input from as many people as possible in the future shaping of our mission and ministry for the reign of God in the world.  Please let Trish (5597 2429) in the office or I know if you are not able to attend and we will obtain your input from you personally.  There is a letter and survey/response sheet available for everyone to complete.  (Collect from the round table in the atrium).  Please return these surveys in the next 2 weeks.

On Thursday, our Church Hall was ‘invaded’ by 60 people from the Wattyl Paint Company who did a 2 hour “make over’ in the hall and on the cement retaining wall surrounding the outside play area.  What a wonderful surprise it was to be offered this gift from Wattyl.  They wanted to use their product as a demonstration to their sales staff as well as contribute to the local community.  We need to thank Trevor Groves (our Property and Maintenance Officer) who gave up a lot of valuable time getting all the preparatory work done before the event.  Please take some time to have a look at the result of this generous gift.  All our hall users will benefit from the spruce up and fresh new look.

Today we are looking at one of our Faith Essentials.  What are themost important or essential parts of being a disciple of Jesus or living in the reign of God?  Based on the reading from Mark 10:17-31, we meet a man who seems to want to please God and live a Godly life.  He asks Jesus what he must do to get eternal life (Mk 10:17).  A very good question, don’t you think?  Most people seem to ask that question at some point in their lives.  The answer, however, brings us head to head with one of the most challenging aspects of being a Christian and being wealthy at the same time.  Here’s the passage in a way that’s easily understood:-

A Tough Decision based on Mark 10:17–31

As Jesus and his friends were setting out on a journey, they noticed a young man running quickly towards them. He was dressed in what were obviously very expensive clothes. Without warning, this man fell at Jesus’ feet. He was fighting to get his breath. You could see in his eyes that he was desperately anxious to talk to Jesus.

“Good teacher, I’ve come to ask a question,” the young man said at last.

Jesus gently put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and warmly said, “Come, sit with me. What is it you would like to know?”

“Good teacher, please, please tell me what I must do to live the life that you teach about – to live God’s way.”

“I think you already know what to do,” said Jesus. “Keep the commandments that you have been taught: don’t hurt others; don’t take things away from others; respect your mother and father; be faithful to God…”

“Yes, yes,” said the young man, “I’ve done all those things. But I’m still empty inside. Is there anything else that I must do?”

“There is one more thing,” said Jesus, looking at the young man directly yet lovingly, “but it is something that involves not more but less.”

“What is it?” asked the young man eagerly. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”

Jesus answered, “Go and sell everything you have, give all the money to the poor, and come and follow me.”

When the young man heard what Jesus had to say, he was deeply upset. There was a long silence.

“I can’t do it,” he said at last. “I know I’m not happy as I am. But I can’t afford to change.” Without looking back, he walked slowly away.

Sadly, Jesus turned to his friends who had been listening and watching. “It’s very hard to share everything we have,” said Jesus. “The more we have, the harder it is. You know,” Jesus continued, “sometimes it’s as hard for a rich person to feel God’s love as it is for a big camel to get through the tiny hole at the end of a needle.”

The friends were troubled by what had happened. Sometimes Jesus’ teachings just seemed too difficult for some people to follow.

This is a challenging message, isn’t it?  Lets examine our lives and the ministry of this Church as we seek to hear what God is saying to us as we prepare for the future.

May you live God’s WAY …..this week…..Rev. Brad Foote

Vision & Values 3

Brad’s Foote-Notes                                                                                       14 October 2012

Vision and Values 3

Welcome to worship today.  It’s great to be back with you after a wonderful relaxing holiday with Cheryl and some of our children in Yamba.  I’d like to thank all those who took leadership responsibilities for our services over the past three weeks.  It’s great to be part of a congregation that is so blessed with people who are willing to respond to being involved in the life, faith and witness of the church both in worship and in service.

Today is another important day in the life of our congregation as we come to the last of our three congregational workshops as part of our 5 year review.  Our facilitator, Dr. Jill Gray has given us the opportunity to look back, to dream about possibilities and today Marty & I will guide us through the last part of the congregational phase of this process.  Our later step will be to identify the obstacles that we must overcome if we are to attain our vision.  Please stay after the service and participate in our visioning from 10.30 to midday followed by a shared lunch in the atrium.

While I was on holidays I came across this article by Megan Walker in The Courier Mail.  Although this article is speaking from a business/organizational/worldly perspective, it has many hallmarks that can and should be applied to our own congregational/church setting.  In my Sermon, I will expand these principles with a biblical perspective that should encourage us as disciples of Jesus in our journey of faith here at Ashmore Uniting Church, where we called to be reaching out, changing lives.

Potential customers need to see vision. (Article by Megan Walker in Courier Mail 1/10/12. p.25)

“Does your company have a vision?  Do you know where you are going?  How about your employees – do they know what your business wants to achieve in five year’s time?

A good mission statement should communicate, “what you do” and a good vision statement should illustrate “what your company hopes to become” and “where it wishes to go”.

Surprisingly, many organisations either don’t have a vision statement or, if they do, they underestimate its importance.  Your vision should guide your research and development, service, marketing and sales teams to harness business opportunities and communicate why a client should purchase from you.

Without a vision, effective business planning becomes unclear and you and your team can lose sight of where you are headed.  Without the destination, how can you plan the journey?

Virgin and Apple have some of the worlds best vision statements:

“I believe that in the future we will be able to enjoy healthy and fulfilling lifestyles whilst minimizing the negative impact we have on the world” – Richard Branson, Virgin Active.

An Apple on every desk” – Steve Jobs, Apple.

Keep your vision statement well and alive by sharing it with all employees, clients and key contacts.  Give it a physical presence (Office walls, stationary, website, etc) so people can be reminded and inspired by it.”

Here at Ashmore Uniting Church we have a great Mission and Vision Statement. It is included in today’s Bulletin.  Please put it in a prominent place at home or in your Bible as a reminder of your involvement and participation in this Church.  But it is of no worth or value unless we “live it out”.

As your minister, I invite every one of us as a community to share the dream and live out the vision to be:

a loving church, focused on the Gospel of Christ:

  • Reaching out
  • Meeting needs
  • Equipping people for service

Let’s live out our motto of reaching out, changing lives on a daily basis

And may you also find yourself changed by Christ …..this week…..Rev. Brad Foote