Samaritan’s Purse 2016

As part of our Mission Plan for 2015 we supported the Operation Christmas Child ministry run by Samaritan’s Purse. We were very successful in our efforts last year and a total of 65 shoe boxes were donated to Samaritan’s Purse for distribution to children living in poverty throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Samaritan’s Purse (Operation Christmas Child) has again been selected as a focus area for our Mission plan for 2016 and our aim is to try and build on our success of last year. The idea is that over the next 10 or so weeks we will collect items for inclusion in the shoe boxes and then gather on a Saturday in early October (date TBA) to pack the shoe boxes as a group.

A list of items suitable for inclusion in the shoe boxes has been provided to you on July 24.

This is a great opportunity to help a worthy cause that benefits children who have very little. Everyone is encouraged to help as, and where, they are able.

Please continue to pray for the success of Operation Christmas Child.

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Upcoming: The Yurora National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC)

The Yurora National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) will be held from 8th to 12th January, 2017. Yurora is a 5 day festival that seeks to mobilise young people to experience Jesus, to act in faith, to shake the church and beyond, through bible study workshops, worship and various kinds of workshops that explore faith and culture, health, social justice and more. It is for young people aged 16-25 and will be held at The Tops Conference Centre at Stanwell Tops.

More details can be found at the web-site, yurora.com.

Our congregation is looking to support any of our church family who would like to participate, so if you are interested please see Shin Goo for more information.

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News from Xavier L.

We have received an email from Xavier with an update on the work of the Trans-India Ministries. They have commenced a new school and are able to serve many people with their work. Xavier also advised us that Mr Noble, whose theological studies the Ministry has been supporting has successfully finished his second year and is now looking for support to enable him to finish his final year. If you are interested in supporting Mr Noble and his ministry please see Kevin for the details of where to send your support.

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The Struggles of Cobar Nyngan Pastoral Ministry

Pastoral minister, Rev. Jo Smalbil and her husband go around the Cobar Nyngan district visiting people and offering support and conversation. In this drought stricken area of Australia farmers struggle both financially and emotionally. Unfortunately the support from Frontier Services to this area will cease at the end of the financial year. Rev. Jo said “It is a sad sign of the times that everything these days, including ministry revolves around money or the lack there of.”

To show our concern, a retiring offering will be taken up over the next three Sundays. Over the past 18 months Uniting Church patrol ministries in Australia have dropped from 22 to 9. It is hoped that we can assist in some way so Rev. Jo and her husband can continue their ministry and assist families financially with the support of other Churches such as ours.

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Workshop: Acting Out Luke

The Christ and Cultures Gathering brings you a practical workshop looking at the Gospel of Luke. The workshop will be at North Rocks Community Church, 132 North Rocks Rd, North Rocks, on Saturday 20th February, from 9am to 1pm. Cost is $15 and morning tea will be provided.

The workshop is designed to explore what Luke has to say on the themes of being inclusive of cultures and genders and speakers include:

  • Rev Clive Pearson – Assembly consultant to the National Multi/Cross Cultural Ministry Reference Group
  • Rev Sef Carroll – Manager Pacific Church Partnerships Uniting World
  • Rev John Jegasothy – Minister of Vaucluse UC and Northmead Tamil Congregation
  • …and others involved in multi/cross cultural ministry.

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News From Dr. Xavier Lakshmanan

Dear Kevin and members of the church,

May each day of the New Year bring you pleasant surprises like the curled petals of a flower that spread sweet fragrance slowly as it unfolds layer by layer.

It is the prayer of TransIndia Ministries that the gracious Lord bless your family with prosperity, good health and happiness in the New Year.

We invite your continued partnership, prayer and support towards God’s work in India in 2016. We request your prayers and support for the following programs to be held in January 2016.

  1. My ministry trip to India during 18-26 January, 2016.
  2. Kids program on 23rd January, 2016 (350 kids).
  3. Leadership Training on 25th January, 2016 (200 local leaders).
  4. TransIndia Ministries Annual Convention during 23rd – 25th January, 2016.

We sincerely thank you for your partnership and support. As you pray for us, if the Lord inspires you to support these programs, please contact me on 0404 307 890 or reachxavier72@gmail.com or speak to Kevin or Norm for more details.

Thank you and may God bless you.

Dr Xavier Lakshmanan.

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Reflection on Luke 21:25-36

Jesus says that when all these big things happen, the kingdom is near. But the implication is that until this happens things will probably continue on along the kingdom trajectory suggested by the bulk of Jesus’ ministry. We are to continue to witness to Christ and to his kingdom in ways that keep an eye out for the downtrodden, the poor, the marginalized. As we do so, we may well continue to work largely in obscurity, even as Jesus did. Over the long haul, that can get a little discouraging. Jesus knows this, so he warns us not to give ourselves over to dissipation and the like. The kingdom is going to make all the difference in the world. But it may be a while. Meanwhile faithfulness is called for and gospel “success” is defined by all those times we notice the little people, the down-and-outers, the sick and marginalized and proclaim to them Good News.

- Scott Hoezee – Calvin Seminary

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