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Weekly SNAC, 16 September 2018 - Making disciples of all nations

In Matthew 28, we see Jesus command his disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”. As we look at our local area, it’s pretty clear that there are people who have come from many different places and who now live in Australia. In fact, if we think about Jesus’ words in Matt 28, the good news is that we don’t actually have to go very far at all to obey this command. If you started walking down your street, it won’t take you long to find a neighbour who has a very different background to your own! And yet, many of us find it surprisingly easy to go through the week and avoid any meaningful conversation with someone who is different to us. Perhaps you could set yourself the challenge of introducing yourself to one of your neighbours and inviting them around for a meal?In Matthew 28, we see Jesus command his disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”. As we look at our local area, it’s pretty clear that there are people who have come from many different places and who now live in Australia. In fact, if we think about Jesus’ words in Matt 28, the good news is that we don’t actually have to go very far at all to obey this command. If you started walking down your street, it won’t take you long to find a neighbour who has a very different background to your own! And yet, many of us find it surprisingly easy to go through the week and avoid any meaningful conversation with someone who is different to us. Perhaps you could set yourself the challenge of introducing yourself to one of your neighbours and inviting them around for a meal?

One way that a group of us have been proclaiming Jesus to those in our local community is by hosting a number of ‘International Dinners’ at St James. We held our second dinner last Saturday and it was a great night. We had around 50 adults and 20 kids join together to share food from many different countries. The evening started with a Tongan musical item sung by Netane, Lama and Louisa. The audience was encouraged to join in with the actions as we sung ‘There’s no one, there’s no one like Jesus’ (or in Tongan, ‘Ikai ha taha tatau mo Sisu’). Over dinner, Rick explained Mark 1:15 and shared the testimony of the Philippian Jailer from Acts 16. We also heard a video testimony from Fergus and the testimony of Ally who was interviewed on the night. After the talk, people were encouraged to discuss the question – “What do you think is ‘good’ about the ‘good news’ of Jesus”? It was encouraging to hear of lots of gospel conversations shared during the night. 
                    
Please join us in giving thanks for those who came on the night and please be praying that many would be interested in hearing more about Jesus. If you would be interested in bringing along a guest to our next international dinner or would like some encouragement in how to share the gospel with people around you, please let me know. I’d love to speak to you!

Kevin Stepniewski

Weekly SNAC, 9 September 2018 - “Everyone a child should know”

As a family we are always on the lookout for resources for reading the Bible with our kids. I think every family knows the struggle of trying to keep family devotionals a regular part of life. As our children have gotten older and started reading the Bible for themselves, we’ve started to read other books together over the dinner table (on the nights when we are all there!) as well as talking about what we have all read in our own Bible reading.As a family we are always on the lookout for resources for reading the Bible with our kids. I think every family knows the struggle of trying to keep family devotionals a regular part of life. As our children have gotten older and started reading the Bible for themselves, we’ve started to read other books together over the dinner table (on the nights when we are all there!) as well as talking about what we have all read in our own Bible reading.

This year we’ve been reading “Everyone a child should know” by Clare Heath-Whyte and we’ve really enjoyed it. Stories of faithful Christians doing great things for God are always encouraging and that’s what this book does. It tells the story of 52 Christians who have faithfully served Jesus with their life (each one in just one or two pages). Some of the people are famous (Billy Graham, Augustine, Martin Luther) but others you may never have heard of (Mary Jones, Hannah More). Though it’s aimed at primary school aged children our teenagers have enjoyed it also and it’s lead to good discussions around our dinner table.

Here is one of the stories to give you a taste – Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) –

Who first told you about Jesus? Your parents? Your friend? Someone at church or school?

Adoniram Judson didn’t become Jesus’ friend until he was a grown up, but he had always known about Jesus – from his parents, church and school. But Adoniram knew that some people in the world would never hear about Jesus from their parents. He knew that there were places in the world where almost nobody had heard about Jesus at all – places like Burma. No one from America had ever gone overseas to tell people about Jesus before – but Adoniram decided to go.

Burma was very different from America. The people spoke a different language – so Adoniram learnt it. The people wore different clothes – so Adoniram wore them. No one knew about Jesus – so Adoniram told them. He told lots and lots of Burmese people – but nobody wanted to listen. He told more and more Burmese people. Finally, after six    whole years of telling Burmese people about Jesus, one Burmese man became Jesus’ friend.

Adoniram kept going. He put the bible into the Burmese language so more people could find out about Jesus. He was ill, he was put in prison, his wife died, his children died – but Adoniram kept going. By the time Adoniram died thousands of Burmese people had become Jesus’ friends.

Phil Colgan

Weekly SNAC, 2 September 2018 - 6:30 Church Invest 2018

A few weekends ago (10-12 August) 6:30 Church went away for the weekend to sunny Rathane at the Youthworks Conference Centres, Port Hacking, for “Invest” – a weekend of investing in God’s word, God’s people and God’s kingdom! It was a fantastic time away in a beautiful part of God’s creation with over 80 members of 6:30 Church.A few weekends ago (10-12 August) 6:30 Church went away for the weekend to sunny Rathane at the Youthworks Conference Centres, Port Hacking, for “Invest” – a weekend of investing in God’s word, God’s people and God’s kingdom! It was a fantastic time away in a beautiful part of God’s creation with over 80 members of 6:30 Church.

Over the course of the weekend Phil and I taught from God’s word in Revelation 1-3. There we saw John’s incredible vision of the risen Jesus – the one who is majestic in power and holiness, and who walks amongst his churches. We were reminded that as we see him and his grace to us clearly, then we are truly motivated to godliness and serving Jesus passionately.

We saw the strengths and weaknesses of the 7 churches in Asia Minor. As we saw Jesus’ “report card” on each of them, we were both encouraged and challenged. We were spurred on again to repent, to remember our first love, to not put up with ungodliness and false teaching, to hold on to the truth of God’s word even through suffering and persecution (and the list goes on…), ultimately to “listen to what the Spirit says to the churches” and be the victor who receives eternal life in God’s new creation.

We also heard the warning not to be Mr (or Mrs) Self-Righteous, who stands in judgement of their church, but instead we were encouraged to love our church and work for its growth when we see our church’s failings or weaknesses. Please pray for us in all this!

Some other highlights from the weekend included:

• Reading, praying, reflecting and discussing God’s word with our gospel teams each morning.

• “Games on the green” on Saturday afternoon – soccer, finska and refreshing drinks on the lawn overlooking the water.

• Dressing up and striving to restore colour to the world in our fairytale Saturday night activity.

• Hearing from 6:30 members during our sessions with our “meet-a-member” segment. It was a great joy to hear from 4 of our members in their various walks of life, and how they aim to glorify God in their lives.

God was good to us and gave us many good gifts – spectacular sunny weather (Saturday was sunny and 25 degrees!), an abundance of delicious food, and most importantly, deep fellowship with each other around his powerful word.    

A special thanks to all those who put the weekend together, those who donated so that those who could not afford it could come, and also to those who stepped up to teach kids church at our morning congregations so that our 6:30 members could be at Invest.

To Him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by His blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—the glory and dominion are His forever and ever. Amen.  Revelation 1:5-6        

Troy Munns

Weekly SNAC, 26 August 2018 - Peter and Terry Blowes at SNAC

Peter and Terry Blowes are two of our much-loved CMS link missionaries and they are visiting us today and for the next two weeks to share with us what God has been doing in Argentina. Peter and Terry have spent over 30 years sharing their hope in Jesus in Latin America and particularly focussing on making and growing disciples of Jesus amongst students in Argentina. Along the way they also spent 10 years as members of our church (particularly the Bexley North and Church in the Bank congregations) whilst working for CMS Australia and before heading back to Argentina in February 2015.Peter and Terry Blowes are two of our much-loved CMS link missionaries and they are visiting us today and for the next two weeks to share with us what God has been doing in Argentina. Peter and Terry have spent over 30 years sharing their hope in Jesus in Latin America and particularly focussing on making and growing disciples of Jesus amongst students in Argentina. Along the way they also spent 10 years as members of our church (particularly the Bexley North and Church in the Bank congregations) whilst working for CMS Australia and before heading back to Argentina in February 2015.

Over the next two weeks Peter and Terry will be visiting the Sunday congregations they are linked with and they will be meeting with smaller groups at various other times during the week.  The church visits will give a brief overview of their ministry and the mid-week meetings will be a chance to hear much more about what they have been doing. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to be encouraged at the work God is doing through them and in partnership with us. Similarly, don’t miss the opportunity to encourage and pray for Peter and Terry as they plan to head back to Argentina for another term of service in October.

They will be visiting a number of our Gospel Teams in homes during the fortnight but if they are not coming to your group you can still hear from them at one of their other public gatherings. If none of the public meeting times (below) work for you then contact your congregational pastor to find out which Gospel Team meeting you could attend.

Tuesday 28th August: 10am @ Bexley North Anglican Church (with the T10 women’s group)

Thursday 30th August: 10am @ St James Carlton (with the Carlton women’s group)

Wednesday 5th September: 10:30am @ Christ Church Bexley (in the hall with the Bexley Bible Study)

Wednesday 5th September: 7:45pm @ St James Carlton (with the 6:30pm Gospel Teams)

Sunday 2nd September (Church Visits):     Carlton 10:30am   and   Carlton 6:30pm