‘Reaching out, Changing Lives’ – What an awesome vision that God has blessed our church with. I continue to see that vision unfolding daily in people’s lives as Ashmore Uniting Church responds to the challenge of the Gospel through our Op Shop, Kids Hope Aus ministry, Alpha Couse, Bible Study groups, Playgroup and JAM Club.
Last weekend almost 40 members of our Congregation, met at Burleigh Heads for our “Everyone’s Invited Church Camp”. Adults and children shared together in a relaxed environment getting to know one another and sharing faith and building Christian community. Rev Beth Nichols was our guest facilitator and assisted our group in building our Second Pillar, which focuses of Children and Families. We had a marvelous time and we hope the photos in the atrium demonstrate the connections that were made and the fun that we experienced. A big THANK YOU to the camp committee for their time and commitment in the planning and execution of a great weekend. Reaching out, changing lives.
Our Op Shop joint venture with Somerville Funerals called Fashion in the Chapel was held on Saturday 26th October. It was another fantastic opportunity to connect with the community in ways that were unique for us as a Church and it brought a financial benefit of $2,500.00 that will be donated to Paradise Kids, Hopewell Hospice and our Playgroup as well as supporting the food pantry ministry that we have at our church. Another big THANK YOU to the Op Shop Managers (Kelly & Trish), models, helpers and the Somerville Funerals team who made this event a great success and continues the vision of Reaching out, changing lives.
Today in our worship service we welcome the Winks family as we share in the Baptism of Tyler James Winks. His brother, Frazer was baptised here on 8th November 2009 and his father Brett was one of the first children to be baptized at this church on 26th November 1978, thirty-five years ago. We pray that the Winks family will experience the joy that our congregation has found in being part of God’s huge extended family that spans the world in every country on earth. Tyler’s grandparents from New Zealand and The Gold Coast have joined us for this celebration of new life. Baptism is another example of God reaching out, changing lives.
We have only three (3) week to go in our Heart of Worship series as we develop our Pillar of Worship. Today’s theme of Worship as Prayer will emphasise the centrality of prayer for Jesus as he engaged with the world and fulfilled his mission of reaching out, changing lives. In all four Gospels Jesus is portrayed as a person of prayer. Repeatedly the gospel writers develop a picture of him withdrawing from the crowds to be alone with his Father. As we come to worship you will notice that our Church service is modeled in that fashion of ‘withdrawing from the crowds/world’ for a time and the liturgy is enveloped in Prayer as we go on a journey of gathering, praise, adoration, confession, affirmation, preaching, response, intercession and commission. We then go back into the world to continue our baptismal commission of reaching out, changing lives.
Please include in your diary next Sunday’s Congregational meeting (17th November) directly after the service, where we will we be developing our Pillar of Worship for 2014. We will also be identifying who we are as a Congregation and working on our Congregational profile. The profile is necessary for the Synod placements committee to assist us in identifying a suitable ministry agent who will lead us into the next season of ministry as we share in God’s vision for Ashmore Uniting Church to be reaching out, changing lives. We will also be identifying and praying for a few new Church Councilors to join the leadership team for 2014. Worship as Prayer, certainly is a great theme for us to be focusing on at this point in time.
May this week be filled with Worship and Payer as God reaches out and changes you…Rev Brad Foote