Third Sunday of Easter

This weekend, Cheryl and I are in Sydney attending the wedding of one of my nephews.  By the time you read this, my nephew, Taylor will be married to his wife, Tara.  It will be a great time of family gathering and celebration as we witness the next generation taking those giant steps of responsibility, commitment and love for each other and for the future of our society.  It’s a defining moment for me as a parent as I see the next generation taking shape and growing into adulthood around me.

At the other end of the spectrum, Cheryl and I joyfully shared with my parents this week as they celebrated 53 years of marriage together.  They have blessed my sisters and I many times over by the Christian foundation that they established in our lives.  In their many years of ministry they have served God faithfully and introduced hundreds of children, women and men to Jesus Christ.   I give thanks to God for giving me such a wonderful Christian heritage that I have grown up with and now I’m being empowered to share it with those in my care and pastoral oversight.

Family gatherings and celebrations have always been important occasions throughout the Bible.  Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding feast in Cana and he used the Passover Celebration as a catalyst for what we now call Communion or The Eucharist.  Jesus used numerous parables to describe The Kingdom of God to be like a wedding feast, party, or family gathering.  Next Sunday, 21st April, we are having what could be called a “family gathering”.  The technical name of that gathering is ‘The Annual General Meeting” (AGM) [‘Family gathering’ sounds much better don’t you think?]  It will commence at 10.20am and conclude by 11.45 am.  All of the members of the congregation are invited to attend so we can celebrate the milestones, growth and development of the faith and witness of the congregation over the past 12 months.  We will also discuss some of the challenges that lie ahead of us especially if we are going to be faithful witnesses and good stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission He’s called us to exercise in the world.  The Annual Report was distributed last Sunday and further copies are available in the Atrium.  Please read it prior to the meeting next Sunday.

If you are not sure whether you are a member of the Congregation or not, please call me this week (0409 261 337) to discuss what you can do about that aspect of exercising your responsibility at the AGM.  We have a wonderful opportunity ahead of us.  Let’s pray for a deeper experience of God throughout every aspect of our corporate ministry and personal lives.  This week I read the passage from 1 Corinthians 3:6 where Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth”.  WE ALL have our part to play, BUT it is GOD who will bring the growth or harvest.  We need to see what God is doing and ask Him to equip us to serve him according to His plans and purposes.  Each of us has to work together towards a common goal and our Vision and Values that have been outlined in the Annual Report will form the framework for the ‘growth’ of the congregation.

Have a wonderful service of worship today.  Thank you to Andrew Rowland for taking the responsibility to lead the service and for all who will participate.  May God challenge everyone deeply today, may The Holy Spirit fill you with His power, and may the risen Christ be in your midst.

Grace & Peace, Rev. Brad Foote   

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