A Minute with Chris
It was so good to be back onsite on Sunday.
One of the highlights for me was the visual reminder of our values: Generosity enabling care and inclusivity. Without the generosity of our people who have given of their time, energy, and finances we simply would not have been able to gather together onsite.
One of the things that COVID has solidly reinforced is that we are better together - whether in house churches during lockdown or back onsite as the restrictions ease. It was deeply satisfying on Sunday to watch our people serve and minister to each other.
I loved watching teams at work.
From the hospitality teams and connect teams before and after the services, to the worship, production, and Tribe teams during the services. It was great to see the body of Christ in action.
In 1 Corinthians 12:2 Paul says “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
Paul follows this by suggesting that the church cannot hope to operate effectively without each person playing their part.
Syndal Baptist Church has a long history of serving each other and the community around us, and I must admit that on Sunday I watched this aspect of our DNA reignite with vigour.
There are plenty of areas to serve - especially now, with all the extras we need to safely gather onsite. Roles such as registration, cleaning and sanitising , team members at Tribe, and extra team for live streaming (so we can serve those who are unable to attend) are all crucial.
In short, to open our doors on a Sunday we are more dependent on “the body” functioning well together than ever.
We are Caring, Inclusive, Missional, Generous, and Growing.
As we seek to move forward together can I encourage you to converse with Jesus about what your part might be in helping SBC live out our values.
Our first Sunday back onsite went incredibly smoothly, and it was awesome to see everyone's smiling faces again! Thanks to everyone who registered for tickets and arrived with their QR codes ready for scanning. A huge thankyou to the teams who served to help make our Sunday gatherings happen - it could not have happened without you!
Because of a change in restrictions, we'll all be required to WEAR MASKS INSIDE this Sunday at all services, so please make sure you bring yours!
From Sunday we will be running our first live stream for the English congregations.
We will be streaming live the 9am English service, and then replaying it for viewing at 11am and 5pm. The service won't be available for viewing at any other time, but we will upload the sermon itself for viewing from the Monday following.
You can view the stream at stream.sb.org.au and you can find links to it via our Watch page or our Visit page on the website.
We are still very new to this so please expect some teething issues, but we will keep working to improve the experience in the months ahead.
If so, you're not alone.
After a very isolated 2020, many people are finding the prospect or returning to busy or crowded spaces a little daunting. This can be simply because of the number of people or from feeling out of practice in regards to conversation.
Be assured, many of the most confident and extroverted people are also feeling their anxiety levels rise.
Be gentle with yourself as you return onsite - it's ok if you don't feel up to sticking around for a chat at first. We're all stretching our social muscles again.
But if you want some conversation starters to help you as you meet people again, here are a couple to try out:
How have you been spending your summer so far?
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
How are you feeling about the return to church? (Others might be struggling a little as well and happy to talk about it).
Now that we're back onsite we are keen to keep photographing life together as a church.
We're looking for people who have cameras (and know how to use them or want to learn how to use them), who are willing to be part of a photography team.
It would involve being rostered on to photograph a Sunday service or other church event and uploading the photos for us to access afterwards.
If you're interested, please email Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the foundational ways we connect and grow together at Syndal Baptist Church is through Life Groups. Life Groups are small groups of people who meet regularly to share life, have fun and grow together in their relationships with Jesus.
There are many different groups which run - for youth, young adults, seniors, mixed ages, parents and more.
We didn’t instigate involvement in a Life Group (LG). Anne Hyde and John Smith asked us if we would like to join in their LG Zoom sessions.
We had been in a life group a few years ago, which was brought to a close after several members moved to other churches or moved away. (We still meet up with the original group once a year as the bonds you make in LG continue even after the group finishes.) But since then, with the business of family, work and church commitments we just didn’t have the energy to engage in another group.
I think the LG consists of approximately 18 people, but usually that is fluid with 8 - 10 people generally who attend a session. The group is hosted by John and Anne. They are committed to being “present” every session and lead us in discussion, song and prayer.
As a group we share our personal issues, praise points, concerns and worries. We are free to express our frailties and are well supported in this; especially under the sensitive care of Anne, who with the experience of her “day job” guides the conversations to nurture, encourage and uphold us during moments of painful discussion.
John usually prepares the bible reflections around the previous Sunday’s sermon highlighting bible passages. We all contribute our understanding (or lack thereof!)
LG has not changed our faith as much as it has reconnected us with God’s people and brought our focus back onto his word. I think we were watching too much news in lockdown and it became all consuming. Life Group refocused us to the hope we have in Christ.
"There are no wrong answers in our bible study group. We are free to ponder the word of God and share our insights. "
- Greta Stekelenburg
Life Group from 2020 lockdown into 2021 COVID-safe gives us the opportunity to meet in person (yay!) as well as meet over Zoom. We are trialing face-to-face and virtual sessions alternate weeks. Now that we are all IT professionals when it comes to Zoom, the pace of life can be a little less frantic, and affords those who cannot come out at night as easily to still be part of the group.
Please join us in praying for a mum and daughter while we make a quilt from our church.
On Christmas eve, 19 yr old Aleysha contracted salmonella from eating an oyster. She has been in and out of hospitals since, including surgery for an ulcerated bowel. She continues to be quite unwell and has pain from nerve damage. Aleysha is having difficulty eating because of pain and being fed through a drip for so long. Pray that she will be able to eat, her immune system recover, and she can finish her studies & placement in Childcare.
Pray too for Mum Carolyn as she juggles caring for Aleysha with work and family commitments. She lost her dad unexpectedly on Dec 9, and some time before that was carer for her mum who passed away with cancer.
It would be really encouraging for Aleysha and Carolyn if we could tell them that many people have prayed. you can let us know this by clicking the link. If you want, you can even write a prayer.
If you know someone who you'd like to be offered a prayer quilt, please contact us here, to make the request.
Please pray for John and Maureen James.
John underwent surgery midweek, and has concerns about how his heart will stand up to this. Maureen has also been experiencing health issues. They would both appreciate prayers for strength.
People Care Manager, OM Australia
OM seeks to be a global community of Jesus followers, united to bring God’s love to those who don’t know it.
Freyja's role oversees efforts to see people released into cross-cultural ministry, seeing they are well prepared and cared for to enable longevity and sustainability in mission.
The work to prepare people for cross-cultural mission continues, despite the many uncertainties and challenges to global travel in this season. Freyja has spent increased time caring and supporting the many cross-cultural ministry workers on location overseas where there are significant health challenges at the moment.
In the midst of this, Freyja has been so encouraged as she has heard stories 'from the field' of people coming to know Jesus and committing their lives to follow him. This has included people from many different countries as well as varying faith and cultural backgrounds.
One particular story involved a family of witchdoctors in a hill tribe who came to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
One of the main challenges Freyja has been facing in her role is a logistical one. It has been a mountainous task trying to organise flights and visas for many cross-cultural ministry workers waiting to leave Australia. A lot of the short-term ministry has been put 'on hold' at the moment due to current travel restrictions.
Additionally- there is an underlying concern that Australian Churches are becoming more complacent about the mission field because of our current 'safe' circumstances as compared to many other settings around the world.
One of the ways Freyja has seen God at work recently is through the 'Teen Street' camp.Every July, OM runs a youth and young adults camp in Queensland called 'Teen Street'. In 2020, the organising committee (of which Freyja is part of through her role), pivoted and moved a camp of 600+ people online, developing an app and online environment which enabled engagement with the teaching and discipleship aspects of the camp.
The main takeaway from the camp was "we can't, but God can". This was all about emphasising the power of God, despite our own weaknesses or shortcomings. This gave Freyja hope and optimism for what else God could do in and through her ministry role.
That people would still sense the need for the gospel to be taken to the nations, and that those who respond to God's prompting would find the support, care and equipping from Freyja & her team.
To support Freyja, click below:
To connect with Freyja email her at email@example.com
She'd love to chat with you over coffee!
Preacher: Chris Danes
Every story has a beginning, and David’s story begins with God seeing what everyone else couldn’t: David’s heart.
What might God see when he looks at your heart?
Join us this week as Chris Danes begins our new sermon series looking at the life of King David.
Preacher: Mike Riddell
Countless people have the words ‘Dance like no-one’s watching’ displayed in picture frames in their houses. Why is it that people’s approval matters so much to us?
King David subscribed to a slightly different motto: ‘Dance like God’s watching’.
Which motto do you live by? Whose approval matters most in your life?
Preacher: Chris Danes
Nothing burns like injustice.
Where someone has wronged you and it seems they will get away with it.
In those moments we are most at risk of making bad decisions. David certainly was.
Yet God’s involvement in David’s life meant he narrowly avoided doing something he would regret. How might God help do the same in our own lives?
Preacher: Fiona Brown
These days, it’s easy to get swept up in the pursuit of ‘more’.
To go further, do better, climb higher.
So if there was a shortcut, would you take it?
King David was faced with this very question, and the choice he made tells us a lot about the state of his heart.
What might our answer say about the state of ours?