Welcome to SCPC

Is this your first time? If you would like to connect with our church family, we’d love you to get in touch. Give us a call or email us through the contact menu above. We’re here to help you grow in your love for God, love for Christian community and love for the world. And of course you’re welcome to join us on any Sunday at either Lismore High in East Lismore or Invercauld House in Goonellabah. If Covid restrictions apply, you can join us on ZOOM at the link below.

Posted in General

Sunday 19th September

While we are scattered around our LGA’s in Covid lockdowns or restrictions we invite everyone to join our Sunday ‘Scattering’ on ZOOM from 9:45am for 10am and 5:45pm for 6pm this Sunday 19th September.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN ON ZOOM

We return to our 2021 Holiday Series ‘A King Like the Other Nations’ from the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel.

Robert Maxwell will open up the Bible to 1 Samuel chapter 13 to see how Saul disobeyed God because his circumstances made him doubt God’s goodness. We’ll be asking the question: What do we do when our circumstances cause us to believe that God is not good?

If you’re unable to join us on Zoom this Sunday, you’re welcome to listen to an audio recording of the Bible talk here on our website.

CLICK HERE TO ENJOY OUR SUNDAY MUSIC PLAYLIST

KIDS CHURCH THIS SUNDAY

Dear Families, 

Our God is BIG! He made the world, He takes care of the world, and He takes care of us. 

The children will be doing a separate program over the next four weeks. There will be no Zoom room for the children this Sunday but there are some things below that your family might like to do together.

You could watch Kids’ Talks with Colin – Episode 1 | Compassion Australia, discuss the content, pray and complete the accompanying God_is_So_Big_Colouring_Sheet.pdf. And here is a craft idea if you feel like getting creative – He’s got the whole world in His hands.pdf.

Please also be praying for the kids team as they take a break over the holidays and prepare for Term 4. We pray that you would remember that our God is BIG – He is in control and he takes care of us.

Peita and the Kids Team

Posted in General

Welcome to SCPC

Is this your first time? If you would like to connect with our church family, we’d love you to get in touch. Give us a call or email us through the contact menu above. We’re here to help you grow in your love for God, love for Christian community and love for the world. And of course you’re welcome to join us on any Sunday at either Lismore High in East Lismore or Invercauld House in Goonellabah. If Covid restrictions apply, you can join us on ZOOM at the link below.

Posted in General

The Pastors’ Post

Here is a short video from one of our pastors, Matt, as he talks about life at SCPC this week.

Hello Southern Cross, welcome to another Pastors’ Post.

Well it’s hardly breaking news, that we (in the Lismore area) are in at least another week of lockdown. Not breaking news, but it is heart breaking that we can’t gather together.

The events around the world and indeed in our own town at the moment are heart breaking – just as many other seasons throughout history have been heart breaking – we pray for strength and courage to persevere through this difficult period. A few days ago, we were super excited as we were organising gatherings for this Sunday – but it wasn’t to be.

As followers of Jesus, we share HIS heart for people, we care for others and love them even if we disagree on important issues. Even as our circumstances are quickly changing around us, love for all people is an unchanging characteristic of Jesus. A characteristic which grows in us, as we grow into likeness of our Lord. These are tricky times, and we’re thinking about things now, that we may have never considered before. But sharing the love of Christ, by pointing others to him and loving like him, is part of our DNA.

Something that’s recently come into focus for us is vaccination passports. Now, you may be wanting to know exactly what our plans are around this issue. Right at the moment, we just don’t know. Over the coming weeks, there will be many discussions being held between the government and church representatives (including our denomination). Within our church family and the wider community, our opinions about what action we should take will no doubt differ. I hope that in all of this, we will treat each other with love, grace and respect in these conversations.

Please pray for our government, our denomination and our SCPC Leadership Team as we carefully navigate our way through these issues, never losing sight of our mission to proclaim the gospel, the message of hope to the world, and specifically to those in our neighbourhood.

As followers of Jesus, we have the assurance of faith in Him. An assurance which our world so desperately needs. We may be struggling to be creative in our efforts to reach out to others with the gospel – I know I am. But let’s pray that God will give us the opportunities to show the world the love of Christ, and the opportunities to speak the wonderful truth of the gospel which is cause for us to celebrate with joy under all circumstances.

So with no gathering this Sunday, please join us on Zoom on Sunday morning at 10am or in the evening, Sunday evening at 6pm. We’re back into our holiday series in 1 Samuel. Just click on the link on our website to join from 9:45am on Sunday morning, or 5:45pm on Sunday evening.

Let me leave you with these words of encouragement from 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.

57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Posted in General, Pastors Post

The Pastors’ Post – Families Pastor (Part 2)

Ritchie, great to have you on this ZOOM room as we consider the families pastor role for 2022. Tell us what have you and Jasmin been up to since you left SCPC in 2014?

A lot can happen in seven years! We’ve got two kids now, Rosie (4 years) and Reuben (21 months). After Lismore we moved to Brisbane. I studied for four years at Queensland Theological College and Jasmin joined in for one year. I was also a student minister at Ann Street Presbyterian Church in the heart of Brisbane CBD. We loved our time in Brisbane and particularly at Ann Street. It was a super diverse church, there were heaps of surprising ministry opportunities and it was great to work under David Jones, the minister there at the time. We were there until the end of 2018.

At the beginning of 2019 we moved to Tassie to be at St John’s Presbyterian Church in Hobart  It’s certainly been a big adventure. It’s a beautiful (and very cold) place. We’ve had lots of fun exploring it. The church we’re part of has a real gospel passion and clear desire to reach the lost with the message of Jesus. We’ve slotted in really well.

My role is the Equip Pastor. I’m responsible for overseeing our 0-21’s ministries (crèche, kids, youth, transition to uni), our connect groups (a little like gospel communities) and connect group leaders, our ministry teams (eg welcoming, hospitality, music) and team leaders, church wide equipping and I’m regularly involved in preaching and Sunday gatherings. 

While it’s been a good three years we’ve also felt very far from family, particularly with COVID and border closures. 

After your time in Tassie you guys were interested in heading back to the Northern Rivers. If you feel comfortable to, could you share why that is the case?

There’s a couple of things. Earlier this year Jasmin’s mum was diagnosed with cancer. That’s something really big to process and we’ve wanted to move closer so we can care for her better. 

That’s one factor in us considering the Northern Rivers. The other thing is that we’re Northern Rivers people. We understand the culture. We love the people, so it’d be a great place for us to do ministry. 

Now you rang me earlier this year to enquire about anything I knew in the Northern Rivers Presbytery that may be vacant. There were a couple of things that were floating around the area. You were also looking at positions in SEQ too. Could you share what sort of thing you had been thinking for 2022?

We’d been thinking either a role with me as a solo pastor or as part of a ministry team. I thought that both of them could’ve been a good fit. We wanted something that would maximise our gospel impact, yet also where we’d have good support and could be within striking distance of Jasmin’s mum who is in Beaudesert at the moment. 

In August following the news that Tim was stepping down from the families pastor role at SCPC, you got a call from me with an invitation from Leadership Team at Southern Cross to consider a contingency of filling the families pastor role at SCPC in 2022 (pending endorsement by NRP and financial approval from SCPC). What was yours and Jasmin’s response to that call?

To be honest, we were surprised, even shocked! We had a few other options on the table and SCPC was something we’d obviously never thought was an option. It took us a while to even wrap our heads around what it might mean. 

As we’ve had time to process and have some solid discussions, we’re really excited about the prospect of ministry at SCPC. Its a church full of people we love and trust. It’s a church so clearly committed to the priority of the gospel. It’s a church that’s also had a massive impact on both our lives and who we are as people today. I came to know Jesus through the church in 2006 and Jasmin joined in 2009 as a new Christian, so we spent our formative years as Christians there. 

As people will have heard in my Pastors’ Post today (Part 1), a few things need to take place before a potential start date in 2022, but if those things are to be approved, firstly how do you finish well in Tassie and secondly what would a smooth start look like for you at SCPC?

Good question. I think finishing well here is about training and getting the right people in place leave the ministries we’re leading in good shape for next year. It’s saying goodbyes and encouraging people to keep on going in the gospel. 

Provided it’s approved, a smooth start would firstly look like finding a place to live where we can raise our family plus be a hub for hospitality and relationships and community. After that I think it will probably take some time to settle back in. We’ve changed and I’m sure the church family has changed a lot in the past seven years and it’ll take some time to understand each other well. We’ll need to go slow at first and listen to people well. 

You have done an MTS apprenticeship at SCPC and then served for an additional year as a youth ministry worker at Southern Cross. What did you remember fondly about investing in youth at SCPC and how would you like to cultivate that in 2022?

I loved being involved in Youth ministry at SCPC. I was a youth leader there for almost 9 years. In particular I valued the relational nature of the ministry. It was built around discipleship relationships and that’s something I’d love to keep fostering and encouraging. Building rich healthy gospel centred relationships especially between the youth and Jesus but also between leaders and youth, youth and youth, leaders and leaders, leaders and parents, youth and GCs etc etc etc. This web of relationships that are really key to youth growing up and being discipled, and going on to trust in Jesus and live for Jesus for the rest of their lives.

Finally our vision at SCPC is to grow followers of Jesus, by Growing in love for God: WORSHIP; Growing love for each other: COMMUNITY & Growing in love for the world: MISSION. What excites you about the prospect of reconnecting at SCPC and for you, Jasmin, Rosie and Reuben to give yourself to that vision?

If we do return, I think, we’re really excited about being part of a church family that is deeply committed to one another and also deeply committed to seeing the gospel of Jesus spread through Lismore and it’d be really exciting, a thrill even, to be giving ourselves to that vision, not by ourselves, but along with the community and the church family.

Excellent. Thanks for your time Ritchie we look forward to communicating further as the year comes to a close and we entrust ourselves to our Father God who weaves our story through these coming months. Thanks so much for coming on this Zoom room today Ritchie.

Posted in General, Pastors Post

The Pastors’ Post – Families Pastor (Part 1)

Welcome to The Pastors’ Post, an update for life at Southern Cross.

This is a special edition of The Pastors’ Post – Part 1, regarding the Families Pastor role for 2022. As you will have heard last Sunday 12th September, Tim McDonald is sadly stepping down from the Families Pastor role at SCPC and will have his final Sunday on 17th October. We are thankful to our Father God for the manner and humility by which Tim and Jasmine have explored this challenge in their life with Leadership Team.

Since Tim indicated to Leadership Team early this term that he would be finishing up, he has been eager to ensure his responsibilities would be set up for Term 4 to enable stability to be retained. For the last couple of weeks, he has been working on the Term 4 program for our youth ministry at Southern Cross. We are extremely thankful to Tim for his hard work in this. As a plan for the remainder of 2021, Leadership Team has approached a member of the Youth team to fulfil a Youth admin role, one day a week starting Friday 22nd October to ensure the Term 4 roster is enacted and materials are printed for the Youth gathering each Friday night. This will be a purely administrative and logistics role.

As a contingency for 2022, Leadership Team has approached James Ritchie about fulfilling the position in an interim capacity in 2022. Many of you will know James, many of you will know James as ‘Ritchie’! For those who don’t know James or simply wish to hear again from Ritchie, there is a Part 2 to this Pastors’ Post, which you can find on the website which is a recording of a ZOOM  room with ‘Ritchie’ and I.

Again, some of you might think “I thought James, Jasmin, Rosie and Reuben are serving God’s people and shining the light of the gospel in Hobart, Tasmania!?” and the answer is “yes! They are until the end of this year”. James happened to call me a couple of months back about opportunities to serve in the Northern Rivers as they were contemplating a move to the Northern Rivers or South East Queensland. At that point I was able to share what I knew about vacancies in the Northern Rivers for 2022, not actually expecting Southern Cross would have one.

Therefore, after Tim and Jasmine’s news, Leadership Team began contemplating a contingency for 2022. Not too far into the conversation, James’ name came up. There was lots of positivity and so we decided to ring James and Jasmin to see if they would be willing to explore the prospect of a 2022 position at SCPC.

By James and Jasmin’s response, a phone call from Southern Cross about a possible role for 2022 was not what they were expecting! But following a couple of weeks of prayer and consultation both with Southern Cross and other ministry opportunities for 2022, they have made themselves available for 2022.

So where to from here for Southern Cross and the Ritchie’s? Firstly, Ritchie’s role and suitability has to be endorsed by the Northern Rivers Presbytery as a Pastoral Assistant (unsupervised). His supervision and oversight comes not from SCPC and it’s leadership team, but from the Northern Rivers Presbytery. The next meeting of Presbytery is October 6 at which James’ name would be put forward to be endorsed by the minsters and elders of the Northern Rivers.

If James was endorsed by NRP on October 6, SCPC would have a congregational meeting around one month later on November 7 to endorse the financials for the position for 2022. However, we would have a preliminary information meeting on October 31 to explain and discuss the congregational meeting that would occur one week later in November.

If those meetings move forward, James would begin January 1, 2022, and something James has requested, and a likely request from Northern Rivers Presbytery, and SCPC, is that as an ordained Presbyterian minister, James would need to go through a call process in 2022. Ritchie is keen to get a sense from Ministry and Mission, The Northern Rivers Presbytery, and Southern Cross, that they are all keen for he and Jasmin to serve in this context into the future.

Quickly, and finally, what are some things we do know? Committee of Management is aware that due to James’ training and experience, there would be an increased remuneration package for James compared to Tim currently serving in the position. For as you would know Tim, has a degree in theology but is not an ordained Presbyterian minister. So as was mentioned in the COM report last week, we are thrilled budget is tracking well for 2021 but we were running a deficit budget in 2021. So we always encourage generosity to support and extend our ministry at Southern Cross, across the roads of our city and beyond!

We are also aware that moving from Tasmania to a state in lockdown will not be an cheap endeavour so pending outcomes of coming meetings, you might like to consider contributing to ‘Ritchie removals’. How do you do that, you might ask? Good question!

You can make an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or use PayPal on our website and select The Common Fund. In the remitter name put: ‘Ritchie Removals’. That will allow our Common Fund committee and financial team at SCPC to direct that successfully to the Ritchies to assist them with a possible BiG move ahead!

Lots happening isn’t there!? Lock-downs. Plans made. Plans flop. Plans change. Failure!

Frustration!! Fatigue!!! In my quiet times, I have been reading the book of Joshua and so I will leave you with this from Joshua chapter 1:

7 “Be strong and very courageous.
Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you;
do not turn from it to the right or to the left,
that you may be successful wherever you go.
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;
meditate on it day and night

Thanks for tuning in to The Pastors’ Post.

Posted in Pastors Post
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