Sunday, 13th December, 2015

Welcome to everyone joining us for the final Op-Shop community gathering today at St Matt’s. This rounds out our year of experimentation with the informal style and I’m looking forward to the stimulation of ideas from the front and from the people sitting at chairs and tables. The Op-Shop itself has had another amazing year of friendly service to the community and our thanks go again to Glenda, Terrie and also all the volunteer staff who make it such a wonderful place of blessing.

Coming up over Christmas and the summer period:

  • Sunday before Christmas (next week) - 10:30am Celebration in the main auditorium followed by lunch
  • Christmas Day – 10:00am Morning Prayer in the main auditorium
  • Sunday after Christmas (and each Sunday of January) – 10:30 Season of Rest, Morning Prayer with discussion based on 1 Thessalonians (Starting with Coffee & Cake) Volunteers required for morning tea- please let Wardens or me know ASAP

Also during this time, subject to final approval by both sets of Wardens, City on a Hill are hoping to use most of January to work on renovations to the main auditorium and to commence services in February. (This is not set in concrete but just my attempt to keep you all as informed as possible). The leadership of City on a Hill are very excited to be able to use our buildings and are thrilled with our hospitality towards them. Bishop Philip is also very glad that we’ve been able to offer them such generosity.

Meanwhile, despite the distraction of buildings stewardship, our local mission goes on unabated. There is a mixture of sadness and expectation with our ongoing involvement at Tate Street Primary School. Our final SRI classes (in all likelihood) were held this week and this will end a long association with Access Ministries (and its forerunners). I cannot help but wonder what our society is allowing to influence the moral and ethical development of our future generations – who will teach the children that murder is not okay? Our last activity will be held tomorrow at St Matt’s with a final Christmas SRI Service. My thanks go to our current teachers: Jean Ermel, Bob Seaton & Eric Billing but especially Jan Whitehand for her many years of amazingly dedicated teaching and coordination of the program at the School. And there are many others from our church and elsewhere who have given hours of service to the school and our community’s young people.

However, the Good News is that Kids Hope will go on and will need extra volunteers, both male and female, to cope with increased numbers at the school. Readers will also still be required. In addition, the Principal has agreed in principle (I couldn’t resist!) to us providing some kind of Kids Club/Youth Group which he would happily advertise to students and parents and encourage attendance for those who still wish to have some spiritual input in their lives. Somewhat ironically, perhaps it will be this that provides the long-awaited breakthrough . . . exciting times!

God bless,    Ian.