This week is our Vision Sunday. We’ll see that, along with the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4, we follow Christ down into humiliation as we take up our cross daily and we then follow Christ up towards our exaltation into eternity.

You can find the study for this week here.

Please join us:

SCG @ Invercauld House, 9am

East Lismore @ Lismore High, 9:45am and 6pm

Please note that both our venues have accessible parking, pathways, entrances and bathrooms.

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Welcome to SCPC!

Feeling new? 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. You can also sign up here for our weekly Church Family News & Prayer email.

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 (see Sunday info in the post above).

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The Pastors’ Pen

Welcome to The Pastors’ Pen – an update for life at Southern Cross…

Vision Sunday is on this weekend! Only a few more sleeps! Vision Sunday is a deliberate moment to stop in the flurry of life and refocus our commitment to our heartbeat in the city of Lovemore which is…

Growing followers of Jesus! By growing love for God, each other and the world!!!

Due to our preliminary information meeting this Sunday your Vision Sunday might look a little different. In the past I know our Gospel Community has enjoyed lunch together at someone’s place (preferably by the pool!) to spend a bit of downtime reflecting on the vision put before us earlier that day. So it is somewhat reluctantly that we do our information session this Sunday to prepare us for next week’s congregational meeting on December 4.

We are very excited about the prospect of calling James, and as noted last year at Vision Sunday our plan would have been to have achieved this process a little earlier in Term 4. However, and completely understandably, the Term 3 pre-planning goals of LT and CoM towards the induction of James were not able to be achieved as a three-year financial budget stalled (this budget was to be drawn up ready for Northern Rivers Presbytery [NRP] and Ministry and Mission NSW to endorse it). But praise be to our Father God for the incredible, even miraculous, turn-around for our finances at SCPC across Term 3, 2022! You should ask our treasurers this Sunday for the actual figures. They are remarkable!

Therefore, it is with confidence that we go into the congregational meeting on December 4, now being in a position to present Ministry and Mission with a three-year financial budget that they, along with the commission of the NRP, can comfortability sign off on. It is worth noting, our CoM will continue to work through 2023 ensuring our giving trends remain in line with the recruitment of a Pastor from Jan 1st 2024.

Vision Sunday is a considered time in the life of our church family, and the fruit of hours and hours of carefully weighed reflections from our Leadership Team. We pray that as you come away from another Sunday at SCPC this weekend, you will he be heartily encouraged to serve the Lord Jesus and not lose heart.

Let me finish with a teaser from Vision Sunday’s passage:

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Corinthians 4:1

Stew on behalf of LT

P.S. Again here are the motions for Dec 4:

  • A motion to insert the Rev James Ritchie into the vacancy at SCPC.
  • A second motion to endorse the financials for Cameron Bryant’s ministry Apprenticeship in 2023-2024.
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The Pastors’ Pen

Welcome to The Pastors’ Pen – an update for life at Southern Cross…

As you will now know, we have called a congregational meeting on Sunday, December 4. Yes, that’s right at the start of the silly season!

We are certainly not trying to overwhelm people’s calendars at that time of the year, rather, we are aiming to complete the call process for James. As some of you may know, within the Presbyterian Church of Australia, a ‘call process’ (or more specifically the ‘preach for a call’) usually takes place over a weekend. This is where an ordained Pastor and their family arrive in the town for a weekend, preach, meet with the session (Leadership Team) and Committee of Management, stay around for morning tea following the Sunday gathering, then madly jump back onto a plane after their flying visit. In light of all that, I joked at our Northern Rivers Presbytery meeting on October 5 this year that James has done the longest ever ‘preach for a call’! As he had led our church family through the book of Ephesians in Term 3 this year due to my absence on Long Service Leave. James notes he received nearly forty messages from our church family on how encouraged they were through the series. Praise be to our Father God!

Therefore, the two likely motions which will be available for the church family to peruse at the preliminary information session on November 27 (following our Vision Sunday gathering) would be along these lines:

  • A motion to insert the Rev James Ritchie into the vacancy at SCPC.
  • A second motion to endorse the financials for Cameron Bryant’s Ministry Apprenticeship in 2023-2024.

It all makes for a very complicated and harried December don’t you think? What, then, are we to do as we consider these changes in a still-fractured city?

We desperately need to turn to Christ, don’t we! So much upheaval, so much sadness and fatigue in our broken city… How does Christ call to us in our weariness? Well, it is exactly where we are headed for our Carols and Christmas Day messages which James will present from Matthew 11:28-30. What a message and such a rich promise! What tremendous hope for our weary souls this Christmas!

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

on behalf of LT & CoM Exec.

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The Pastors’ Pen

Dear Church Family,

With profound and deep sadness, I inform you that Matt Crosthwaite will be finishing as the SCG Pastor at the end of 2022, as he is simply exhausted.

As you would all be aware our city has been through an extraordinarily taxing, difficult, and painful three years. This has taken its toll on so, so, so many people, and those people include Matt and Sue.

Matt has faithfully, diligently, and courageously led SCG for nearly 6 years. Over those years, an inordinate number of new faces have walked through the doors of SCG. Some of those people who were deeply invested in the life of SCG have gone on to theological college (like Sam and Lucy) or returned overseas (like some of the German sisters, who called SCG home).

Matt will continue to serve on Leadership Team (LT). He is a trusted gospel partner, a bold ambassador of Christ, and a true friend.

For some of you, this will not come as a surprise for you may have seen it in Matt’s demeanour in recent weeks – a weariness. For others, it will be a complete shock. Please know that our Leadership Team, Ministry and Mission NSW, and Reach Australia are supporting Matt, Sue, and the family.

If you wish to send well wishes, please do not ring or text Matt. Rather, consider writing a message of thanks and send it to

These beautiful messages will be presented to Matt and Sue and the family on December 18, for a special thanksgiving gathering to be held for SCG at 9am.

What Matt and Sue would desperately love are your prayers as they contemplate their future vocation. But, be mightily assured that the Gospel Word still burns bright within them and they retain that same passion, tenaciousness, and joy in growing followers of Jesus.

In Christ, the beautiful friend of sinners

On behalf of your Leadership Team

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The Pastors’ Pen

Welcome to The Pastors’ Pen – an update for life at Southern Cross…

Last weekend was ‘LT on the Road’, a rare moment for our Leadership Team (LT) to head away for planning, input, and encouragement. 

It was tremendous (but incredibly tiring) and yet so, so rewarding. My deep thanks and gratitude firstly goes to LT for being willing to jump on a bus and be taken to a new location to plan, pray and share life together! Our elders paid all the costs associated with the weekend and some took annual leave, in order to be able to attend. I have not overlooked that dedication; it was simply fantastic.

My thanks also to Dave McDonald from the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Church (FIEC) for his stunningly wise reflection on resilience that he presented for two hours on Sunday. It was therapy for the mind, body, and soul. Even more stunningly, he skillfully landed the reflection in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church.

Some of you may know building healthy team culture is actually not easy. Leadership is about bringing together different ideas, values, and personalities. Interestingly over the weekend, James encouraged us to compile a Spotify list of a song from our first music album, as a teenager. We then had to guess who was whose! They were very different, from many different decades! Over the weekend all our differences were on display; what food we eat, what music we listen to, and differences of opinion on how we move forward growing followers of Jesus.

Yet what I have observed, over my eleven and a half years in Leadership Team, is the deep trust we have for each other. Secular leadership writer Patrick Lencioni notes trust as the bedrock of any healthy, vital, and flourishing team. But core to our strong unity is an unwavering commitment to building on the foundation of Jesus. Therefore, we exhort our church family to join us on that solid ground!

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

1 Corinthians 3:10-13

Stew on behalf of LT

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