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Weekly SNAC, 19 August 2018 - International Dinner

In June, we hosted our first international dinner at St James Carlton. The idea was to invite people from our local community to share a meal, hear a short talk from the Bible and meet Christians from our church. It was really encouraging to have a good number of guests who were welcomed well by the members of our church. It was also a great opportunity to connect with students from English for Life (our SNAC English classes that run on Friday mornings at St James).In June, we hosted our first international dinner at St James Carlton. The idea was to invite people from our local community to share a meal, hear a short talk from the Bible and meet Christians from our church. It was really encouraging to have a good number of guests who were welcomed well by the members of our church. It was also a great opportunity to connect with students from English for Life (our SNAC English classes that run on Friday mornings at St James).

Dinner was pot-luck style, so everyone brought a plate of food to share. During the meal, Mateusz shared his testimony and how his experience of church at SNAC compared to church in Poland. After this, Kevin told the story of the lost son from Luke 15 and Netane provided illustrations on the whiteboard. During the second telling of the story, the audience were encouraged to participate by providing details from the story - it was encouraging to see how much both adults and kids remembered! Everyone was then encouraged to discuss this Bible story as they continued to eat their meal. It was great to hear of lots of good gospel conversations that happened throughout the evening. Very encouragingly, one of the guests from the dinner started coming on Thursday mornings for an easy English Bible study.

Given the success of the first dinner, we are planning a second dinner on Saturday 8th September at St James. Please be praying that many people from our local community would come along and be interested in finding out more about Jesus. If you are interested in bringing a guest to the next dinner, please contact Kevin for more information. We may need to limit the number of people coming from SNAC given the limited space available at St James. 

We are also looking for volunteers to help serve in the kitchen for our next dinner. If you are interested in serving in this way, please contact Kevin – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0421 286 835.

Weekly SNAC, 12 August 2018 - SNAC Confirmation Service - 9th December 2018

If you are in Year 10 and up (adults included!), you should consider whether you should be confirmed. Confirmation is an opportunity for those who have already been baptised (usually as infants), to reaffirm the promises that were made at their baptism, and to publically declare faith in Christ. If you are in Year 10 and up (adults included!), you should consider whether you should be confirmed. Confirmation is an opportunity for those who have already been baptised (usually as infants), to reaffirm the promises that were made at their baptism, and to publically declare faith in Christ. 

Key to that declaration of faith are the following points:

1) turning to Christ, 

2) repentance of sin, 

3) rejection of sin and its desires and, 

4) rejection of the devil and all evil.

One other encouraging aspect of the confirmation service is that we (as their church family) have the chance to publically pledge ourselves in support of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and ‘support them in this high calling’ of following our Lord. Even if you are not able to be at the Confirmation service in person, pledge your support through praying for them; giving thanks to God for his work in our Confirmees and asking that he will continue to renew them in the image of his Son, Jesus, our Lord.

If you are interested in being confirmed or would like to know more please contact: Brendan Moar: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: Preparation course for high-school confirmees will run in Term 4, details to be confirmed.

Weekly SNAC, 5 August 2018 - GAFCON – A brief report

It was my great privilege to attend the GAFCON conference on your behalf in Jerusalem from 17-22 June.  I thank God for your generosity in allowing me to attend and for all of you for your prayers.It was my great privilege to attend the GAFCON conference on your behalf in Jerusalem from 17-22 June.  I thank God for your generosity in allowing me to attend and for all of you for your prayers.

The conference was a resounding success and culminated in a final statement or letter to the churches. You can find the full text of the letter at www.gafcon.org but here is a taste of its summary of the week:

Greetings from the land of the birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. The third Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) was held in Jerusalem in June 2018, a decade after the inaugural Gafcon in 2008. Gafcon 2018, one of the largest global Anglican gatherings, brought together 1,950 representatives from 50 countries, including 316 bishops, 669 other clergy and 965 laity. A unanimity of spirit was reflected throughout the Conference as we met with God in the presence of friends from afar. We celebrated joyful worship, engaged in small group prayer and were inspired by presentations, networks and seminars.We met together around the theme of “Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations”.  Each day began with common prayer and Bible exposition from Luke 22-24, followed by plenary sessions on God’s Gospel, God’s Church and God’s World.

Importantly, the letter calls on Anglicans throughout the world to re-Reform our denomination: calling on all Anglicans to return to the Bible and allow it to be the final authority on all matters of faith and conduct. I’d love to chat to you more about what went on if you are interested but here is the final paragraph of the letter:

To proclaim the gospel, we must first defend the gospel against threats from without and within. We testify to the extraordinary blessings on this Conference, which leads us to call upon God even more, that the Anglican Communion may become a mighty instrument in the hand of God for the salvation of the world. We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in this great enterprise of proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,  according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church  and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21
           

Phil Colgan

Weekly SNAC 29 July 2018: Ninja Warriors

There is a fair bit of excitement in my household about the latest Ninja Warrior series on TV. We enjoyed the show last year and this season has been fun to watch so far. There is a marked improvement in the contestants this year compared to last year. Many competitors returned from series 1 but the difference is that they are all now training very specifically to meet all the obstacles that the show throws at them. In the US version of the show it took 7 seasons for someone to conquer the whole obstacle course – intense training and practice was required over years to reach that goal. We obviously hope the Australian competitors prove to be faster learners than the US ones!There is a fair bit of excitement in my household about the latest Ninja Warrior series on TV. We enjoyed the show last year and this season has been fun to watch so far. There is a marked improvement in the contestants this year compared to last year. Many competitors returned from series 1 but the difference is that they are all now training very specifically to meet all the obstacles that the show throws at them. In the US version of the show it took 7 seasons for someone to conquer the whole obstacle course – intense training and practice was required over years to reach that goal. We obviously hope the Australian competitors prove to be faster learners than the US ones!

I have to confess there is a part of me – the bit that is in denial and still thinks it is 20 years younger – that would love to have a go at Ninja Warrior. I enjoy my sport, I like to be fit, I used to rock climb – how hard could it be? Well, you only have to watch the successful competitors to see it requires total commitment, the strength and stamina of the young and a punishing training schedule and diet for at least 12 months. 

At moments like this it is good for me to remember Paul’s words in 1 Timothy that “the training of the body has a limited benefit” because I’ll never win Ninja Warrior! I was reminded of what matters even more than dedicated training of the body as we read through 1 Timothy in our Gospel Team this week. Paul writes to his young ministry apprentice Timothy (perhaps a keen sportsman himself?) encouraging him to focus not just on what has some benefit but on what has most benefit. The fuller quote goes like this:

1 Timothy 4:7b: …train yourself in godliness, 8 for 

the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 

9 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance.  10 In fact, we labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the  Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe. 

Whether we appreciate physical exercise or not we can all appreciate the focussed dedication of the athlete who wins the Olympic Marathon or conquers Mount Everest or wins Ninja Warrior Australia. But I wonder whether we appreciate that godliness requires even greater devotion, deliberate and focussed training and commitment?                

Paul is saying that godliness is beneficial in every way both now and into eternity whereas on Ninja Warrior you just get some money and temporary acclaim. Paul uses his own example in verse 10: he labours and strives for godliness and he wants Timothy, and all Christians, to do the same.

So, here is a challenge: will we be Ninja Warriors for Jesus? 

Of course I don’t mean lots of physical exercise or dressing up in black pyjamas! I mean, will we commit with even more energetic passion, drive, specific training and discipleship in the way of Jesus and with a determination for godliness than any athlete ever could? That is our challenge! But if we will, with God’s help, then the prize rewards us now and its benefits last forever.   

Jason Veitch