Vision Sunday Today
This has been a tradition in our church for many years. As the first Term of schools and our ministry groups begins, we stop and ask our Lord Jesus to reset our vision for our year together. Who are we and who does He want us to be? What does he want us to value and treasure and do? Next Sunday is Commissioning Sunday when, having been reminded this week of the who and what we are doing, we recommit ourselves together to this. We commission our pastors and leaders and all our members, because every Christian is a minister in God’s eyes (Ephesians 4:12)
SRE – under threat but a privilege while it lasts
I was a uni student when I taught my first SRE class at South Hurstville Primary School. I wasn’t a “natural” upfront person. I was shy and avoided being in front of an audience. I believed God had called me to a life as a church pastor and so I studied to be a high school teacher because teaching children is very valuable and also I hoped to learn how to overcome my fears in preparation for teaching God’s word and caring for His people.
Then one day my then rector, Reg Piper, said he was gong to be away and could I take his SRE class. Petrified, I began my SRE teaching “career” aged 19. I’m delighted that a number of our church’s uni students have done likewise when their timetable permits. Also, our church has had a great history of men and women arranging their work schedules around SRE teaching so they can keep this priority. But it is getting harder to find teachers. And SRE is under threat of being removed from schools. This has already been “achieved” by lobby groups in Victoria and now the NSW Teachers Federation has adopted this goal.
So I’d encourage you, if you can carve out the time, to consider SRE teaching (or helping) on Wednesday or Thursday mornings at our local schools. You do not have to be an expert or have all the answers or spend hours preparing.
Please speak to Olivia or me or Craig about it. Training is available and a very well prepared curriculum with work books, teachers manuals and visual aids. If you can’t be a teacher then why not be a Prayer for SRE. See Olivia and she can choose a class and teacher for you or your group to pray for each week (respecting protection and privacy considerations of course).
Mission Partnership at our church
We currently have 7 Mission Partners whom we encourage our members to support in prayer and giving. We pray for them weekly in church on a rotation basis. Giving can be done electronically (see bulletin page 6 for details) or via the weekly Giving Envelopes (make sure you mark on the envelope which missionary you are supporting or the money will go to our mission partner CMS). Our members choose personally to give to dozens of other missionaries and organisations as God has led them, but as a church we have over the years chosen these 7 with whom we have a close partnership. Last year $40,770 was distributed to our missionaries the largest amounts being $5000 to ECPNG, $3170 to Bible society, $2978 to BCA and $9066 to CMS and the Apieczoneks, $3856 to Brownings and $3356 to Watsons. A full list of missionary giving and our 2018 Financial Statement will be available soon in preparation for our Annual Parish Meeting in March. Thanks to our Treasurer, Laurie Archer, this is already at the Auditors!!