Archive for December, 2013

From the Pastor’s Desk. December 2013

Dear Friends,

As we enter the Season of Advent, we find ourselves, once again asking where has the time gone? We ask this question of nobody in particular because we know very well that they are as confused as we are as to how the year seems to deny us more and more time as the years go by. We are reminded of our own mortality and the fact that every single one of us have been given only so many days to serve God and to make this world a lot better of a place than we found it in.

The word “Advent” means simply “Coming” and is to us as Christ’s Church, the season or time in which we reflect upon and remember the first coming into this world of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I say first coming because we are all convinced, in keeping with orthodox expressions of the Christian Faith that Christ will come again. His First and Second Coming are quite different and it is this that we are COMPELLED to tell the world about. In the first He was a Baby but in the second He is a Man; in the first He comes as a Servant but in the second He comes as a King; in the first He came to Save the world but in the second He comes to Judge the world…in the first He was the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world but in the second He is Lion of the Tribe of Judah who will Rule and Reign for all eternity and before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is the Lord God Almighty. I pray that even as you read this letter, the Holy Spirit would impress upon all of our hearts the urgency of the fact that we must seek the Lord Jesus Christ while He still may be found…we have to consider how it is that we want our family, friends and neighbours to meet Christ, as the Lion or Lamb. May we make every effort to allow Christ to use us as His Herald’s to declare His Love for the world.

Looking forward to 2014, I am excited by many things and I pray that you would share in this excitement with me. Our men’s and ladies meetings will continue and added to that we will have two Bible Studies established on Wednesday’s. One will be in the morning for those who can make that time and the other will be in the evening…Val has graciously agreed to lead one and I will lead the other. Our prayer meetings will continue on Wednesday nights and Friday mornings with an added periods of fasting as the Lord directs us. Our Children’s Church will change shape a bit in order to rest our ever faithful teachers and we are trusting God that we will have a youth group established by the end of January. Our worship team, which has grown in leaps and bounds, will also consider the best way in which they can serve Christ but also have weekend’s off where they can just sit and worship instead of leading constantly from the front. We also plan to emphasize an Alpha Course after Easter but the success of that will be up to each and every one of us who call St. George’s home. There are one or two other items that are simmering in the background but I cannot tell you everything can I?

It has been a great blessing to serve you as your Pastor over the last few years and I look forward to many more together as we transform St. George’s into the Church that we all want it to be.

Lotsaluv

Mark

From the Pastor’s Desk. November 2013

Dear Friends,

I am always amazed at how different people experience the same thing. On the one hand there are people who love and appreciate an event, person or worship service but on the other are those who dislike (even hate) the same the very same experience. Sometimes, when we hear differing accounts of the same thing, we are often led to wonder, whether or not, the two people are talking about the same thing or whether they were at the same event. This, very obviously, has to do with preference most of the time. Sometimes it has to do with what we are used to and feel comfortable with. Obviously, it is okay for us to have those feelings because God has made us all different and we need to celebrate the diversity that we find among us. Could you imagine a scenario where all men looked like me L Taryn would be the only lady who actually thinks her husband is good looking!!!!! No, God made us different for His own Reasons and Purposes.

Obviously, this is a major sticking point though in many people’s lives because we naturally believe that everybody else has no taste in food, music, clothes, gardens, etc., etc., etc. I, for example, have been told quite often, by different people, that I have no sense of style and cannot be trusted to dress myself!!!! I however look at myself in the mirror and think that I look marvellous.

What happens though when we find these difficulties in the Church? When something is not a matter of doctrine or morality of course but a matter of preference? What should we do? As a congregation, we have gone through a lot of change in the last few years. Some of the change has been easy but some has been a challenge. As God leads us as a Church we will encounter even more change and I suspect that it may be slightly more radical than in the past. So what do we do? How do we react to things from a heart perspective? I use that wording deliberately because the heart is where everything begins hey? Once something has found a home in our hearts, it will not be very long before it finds expression in our lives through the things we say, the things we do and the attitudes we hold. Let us look at how Paul dealt with a very difficult and potentially divisive and schismatic situation in the life of the Early Church.

In 1 Corinthians 9v19-21 Paul has this say:

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.

Paul, in essence, is saying here that he always did what was best for the Church. He is saying that instead of insisting on his rights and freedoms as a believer, he forced himself to adapt to others so that he could serve them better and not offend them. He is saying, in essence, that he sought out the Will of God in a situation and did not insist on his own will because he knew that the Church was not about HIM but OTHERS. Friends, I am convinced, that when we are faced with matters of preference, that we need to adopt the same attitude so that Christ’s Church may flourish. We are not talking here of doctrinal or moral matters (or even obnoxious people) but simply what I would prefer.

May it be the prayer of our hearts, that we would ALWAYS consider the good of the Christ’s Mission and His Church above our own. Easy to say but very difficult to do…especially when we join in with the Life of the Church and start running into people and situations that look like me in a faded orange pair of shorts and purple shirt!!!!!

Lotsaluv

Mark

From the Pastor’s Desk. October 2013

Dear Friends,

It is now 3 ½ years since Taryn and I came to love and to look after all of the beautiful people at St. George’s and so much has happened, not only to us as a family, but also with our spiritual family. I must admit, that in the beginning, it was quite a challenge when faced with a handful of worshippers on a Sunday…but within that small remnant were the “Pillars of the Church”. Those who remained in the face of adversity, struggle and took joy in the small things. They were an example to me of the Biblical instruction to never despise small beginnings because out of that can come great things.

We have moved on as a congregation of people who love Jesus and we have grown, not forgetting those who loved us along the way but had to move on because of work, relocation and so forth. We have had some that have stayed with us and become part of the furniture so to speak. For those of us who make up the present family of St. George’s we have to look to the future even as those who handed these beautiful buildings and facilities on to us, looked forward to a group of people they had not yet seen. There has been uninterrupted worship of the Almighty God here on these grounds since 1939 and for those who came before us we are truly grateful. May we be good stewards of their legacy.

As some of you may (or may not) know, we have some exciting events coming up in the near future. I have finally moved into the Church Office and am available as outlined in our Intimations. I look forward to seeing where God will take us in this endeavour. We also have VineSong visiting us on 30 October at 1900 to share God’s Redemptive and Restoring Love with us all. This is an event not to be missed. Our prayer meetings are going well on Wednesday night and Friday morning but I am sure that these could be so much better with a few more of our dear friends praying along with us. The Children’s Church has really benefitted from the gracious efforts and love that Wynitta, Natalie and Shireen have put into it. We have also been blessed with new life and it is great to see little people among us again…Kaytlin, Talitha, Gemma and Matthew are all just as happy to be among us and we are to be around them. Our men’s group will start with Saturday and we will be behaving ourselves without our beautiful wives assistance in this matter because I will be there personally to oversee the boys…what is the worst that could happen with the Pastor there? Plans for a ladies group are underway as well but we are not yet sure that we can trust you once you are together without our supervision…

There is much to be excited about and much to participate in BUT these things and the sense of COMMUNITY that I am trying to develop and engender can only happen if you come along on this journey of faith with me. It warms my heart so when I see our Sunday morning services so full and really miss you very much when you are not with us. I am however convinced of your commitment to our Lord and the work that He seeks to do here at St. George’s.

I look forward to where God is taking us. Make sure that you are part of the greatest adventure that any person can ever partake in-the adventure of FAITH.

Lotsaluv

Mark