The Pastors’ Pen

Merry Christmas in July!

For the Christmas season in 2024 we will have an outdoor community carols on Sunday December 22, followed by our Christmas Day service held on Wednesday December 25 in the hall at Lismore High.

We understand that December 22 is getting very close to Christmas Day and can often mean some of our SCPC families are already on the move for Christmas celebrations around the country. Yet we find it can be perfectly positioned for members of the community as this later date can be a bit more relaxed with some work places closing and people ready to really engage in the festive season.

We will again be working with our friends from Quiz Worx to provide a clear gospel message to our community along with our usual carols-type song list. An outdoor carols on site at Lismore High is, by far, our most labour intensive event of the year. [1] So, please complete this survey to let us know how you could help. You might even choose to delay your Christmas pilgrimage until Monday, December 23, but we will leave that for you to explore with your families and loved ones.

Finally, as the secular vision of life continues to remove all religious imagery from the public eye, the first Christmas still captures the attention of many in our community so we are interested in being thoughtful in this space. So stay tuned, as at the start of Term 4 we will begin promoting our SCPC community carols and Christmas Day service – the Christmas message is our heartbeat and the birth of our saviour is worth our city knowing.

SP

18  This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19  Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-21

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[1] Therefore, there will be no Sunday gathering at 9:30am December 22.

Posted in General, Pastors Post

The Pastors’ Pen

Last Sunday we introduced Bill and Linda Colyer as our newest Global Mission Partners (here’s the clip we showed on Sunday). They are preparing to do ministry with uni students in Vanuatu, beginning next year.

Bill has been working in uni ministry for the past 17 years with AFES at Queensland University of Technology and they are currently part of Wilston Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. Here’s a short profile with some more info about them and the rest of their family. 

Bill and Linda, along with their 2 daughters Amy (14) and Gwen (8) will be visiting us on August 9-15. We’ll hopefully get to know them lots more across the week. I met them on zoom for the first time recently and was deeply encouraged by their steadfast heart for people, the gospel and for ministry in the South Pacific. 

I’m excited about the opportunity for us as a church to partner in global mission with them as we seek, under God, to make disciples of all nations. 

JR

Posted in Pastors Post

The Pastors’ Pen

Next generation ministries at SCPC have been critical to our heartbeat over the last 25 years.

It is so exciting to be part of a church family where its leaders, elders, Committee of Management (CoM) and staff are proactive about how to give generously of their time, skills and money to grow and extend this vital ministry.

Here are some ways you can be thoughtful and partner with this critical demography…

Firstly, pray for our Mum and Me Time ministry. Last week at our CoM meeting we had a report from them and we heard about the many, many community mums that are coming along weekly and benefiting from the ministry. We rejoice in the incredible opportunity the Lord has provided! But the challenge of this growth is retaining a warm, generous and gospel culture, generated from SCPC mums and mentors. We currently have less mums from SCPC than community mums, and it’s a delicate balance to handle. So, pray for proactivity and creativity for the SCPC directors of Mum and Me Time over the next 6 to 12 months as they consider how to negotiate that space. It would be great to see more preschool families connect with our heart at SCPC [2] over the coming years, and make SCPC home.

Secondly, the NSW school holiday break is almost upon us. As you may know, during school holiday time we request holiday helpers from the extended church family to serve in our Sunday kids program. This allows our kids team to take a well-earned break and come back a little refreshed for the next term. The Sundays the program requires helpers are July 7, 14 and 21. If you are interested in helping you will need current Breaking the Silence training along with a valid Working with Children Check number. To indicate your interest, or ask questions, email office@spcc.org.au

Finally, pray for our Next Generation Pastor role in 2025. We have been in conversation with the denomination and theological colleges about graduates etc. but as many churches are finding, there are more roles than there are pastors and ministry workers! [1] I am due to visit Sydney-based theological colleges in August (on behalf of the Northern Rivers Presbytery) and this may provide another opportunity to connect with critical parties in this space.

What a joy it is to work with the next generation – the curiosity, the enthusiasm and the wonder as they come to understand the depth of our Father’s love for them is magical. So, can I spur you on to pray for this demography at SCPC (including the ministry of Mum and Me Time)? Please also consider if you can serve in our Sunday kids program this coming school holiday break and give generously to the ministry of SCPC so we can provide robust gospel resources and personnel to this significant stage of life.

I have been reading through Proverbs in my quiet time over the last fortnight, so many powerful or challenging little grabs. Here is one from Proverbs 22:6 as we think about precious little lives:
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

SP
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[1] I have checked in occasionally on the website of QTC in Brisbane and found the roles currently available and in 2025 only growing, none disappearing! Pray for the Lord of the Harvest to raise gospel workers in our country and beyond!! (Matthew 9).

[2] We have tried to reconnect with Colin Buchanan’s team about a visit from him in 2025 at SCPC.

Posted in Pastors Post

The Pastors’ Pen

During the week our Committee of Management (CoM) had its ‘Christmas in June’ meeting!

I know that sounds like a funny event… We would have had ‘Christmas in July’ but we have no CoM meeting dates in July, so ‘Christmas in June’ it was.

But the real spirit behind the night was to allow Leadership Team (LT) the opportunity to thank our CoM team for the countless hours they invest into our heartbeat at SCPC each year. So much of our dealings in CoM are administration and finance related, but I love to use the language of how they ‘add ministry’ to our pastors, staff team and church family as a whole. Therefore, LT wanted to take a night to thank the CoM team for how much they ‘add’ to our ministry at SCPC. Now, what better way to do that, than to head west to a steak barn. [1] Yee-ha!

LT shouted CoM members their meal, but more than that we wanted to have time to be present personally with the CoM team (while not having to be pressured by time and a full agenda). Due to the efforts of our treasurers, a written report from Mum and Me Time and a briefing paper I wrote before the meeting, we actually achieved a healthy amount over the course of the night. We could move from bit of banter to finance reports with relative ease. We were even able to have time for some dessert!

However, there are some issues we want to bring before you all from the night. So, there will be an update this Sunday (following on from the CoM update provided on May 12) to let you know where SCPC currently lies financially. Our Assistant Treasurer will bring that report at 9:30am and 6pm this Sunday, June 23.

Another issue we wanted to update you on is our Sunday meeting space. Peita and I were able to meet with the Admin Manager from LHS recently and they are clear with building contractors, that the school is extremely eager to have access to the hall for the 2024 HSC and the trials that occur in Term 3. Therefore, we are reasonably confident of regaining access to the hall by Spring this year. We are thankful for this news as we were uncomfortable about the prospect of enduring the MPU through Summer.

So, for now, we stay in the MPU and it’s a very basic set up. Due to this we are unable to provide hot drinks out of the MPU, but certainly feel free to bring a thermos, or a cuppa in a ‘keep cup’ as you arrive – it’s BYO hot drinks for the MPU.

Finally, don’t forget (like any Sunday), you can also BYO Bible. This Sunday we will be heading to the confronting passage of Genesis 22 and Abraham’s turmoil in the prospect of offering his son. As we work through this MESS we will move to a number of New Testament passages in this order; John 18-19, Hebrews 11, 2 Corinthians 5 and Romans 5. There will be a bit of flipping, but by the end of it you will be thankful that (at just the right time) the Lord will provide. Thus, when our faith is tested we can return to the power of Romans 5 and verse 8…
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

SP
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[1] They also offer vegetarian meals.

 

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