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 Lismore High in East Lismore (learn more about our gatherings here).
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Please join us this Sunday as we kick off our Term 2 series in John’s gospel! Ritchie will be sharing from John 1:1-18 where we’ll see Jesus, who was God, became human so we could know the Father and know life.
During the week the Northern Rivers Presbytery hosted a MTS info night at Park Ave. After a difficult and complicated meeting for the Presbytery in the morning, it was such a refreshing night and an incredible way to finish the day.
What made it so incredible? Really, it was just hearing from Christian leaders around the country reminding us of the stunning beauty of grace, the precious promise from the Lord Jesus that he will never leave us, and that now is the time to proclaim salvation.
I think my favourite part of the night was an interview with Luke T, a former ministry apprentice at SCPC. We directed five questions to him, none of which he knew or had prepared for! And what came shining through was that here was someone entirely captivated by the gospel and urgent, eager, desperate to see it go out. The passion, emotion and resolve reminded me of something Martyn Lloyd-Jones (the famous London-based preacher) said regarding our engagement of the gospel: Do we believe it? Have we been gripped and humbled by it, are we lost in wonder, love and praise?
My prayer is that those that participated in the night will have sensed the gospel warmth and fire in the room, and that it might stir some to consider taking the next step to serve the Lord Jesus. Please pray for the two possible apprenticeships for 2024 at SCPC, that the time they had with Russ S (the National Training Director of MTS) may have been helpful in clarifying what an apprenticeship may look like for them. If you would like to know more about MTS and its work nationally you can go to www.mts.com.au
Finally, the passage we landed in last night was Matthew 28, a familiar one for many. I think my ‘take home’ was that the last verse of the chapter doesn’t actually record Jesus’ ascension, but rather his presence with us. Therefore, as we go and make disciples in the midst of our doubts, may we remember we are not alone, Christ is with us. 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We held our Food For Thought events over the weekend. Here’s an encouragement and a challenge…
Across our three gatherings there were approximately 45 guests, and likely many and many more invitations on top of that as well! It’s greatly encouraging to see our church family eager and willing to invite people along to meet Jesus.
For me returning to Lismore, one welcome surprise has been how strong the culture is of intentionally investing in meaningful everyday relationships with not-yet believers, and then when the opportunity arises also inviting them along to evangelistic events. Jesus is worth sharing and our church family believes that.
Can I challenge you to be intentional in following up with the people you asked along (whether they came or not)?
Perhaps catch up for coffee and ask how they found it? Perhaps invite them to hang out with a few people from your Gospel Community? If they couldn’t come and you think it would be appropriate, perhaps send them a link to the talk? You may also want to share with them one of the resources we mentioned at Food for Thought (see pic). We will still have some copies available to pick up and give away this Sunday.
Welcome to the Pastors’ Pen – an update for life at Southern Cross…
Only three more sleeps until Food for Thought Sunday! This is a great Sunday to help us focus on our core mission to grow followers of Jesus. We want to grow in love for our world in mission by letting them know of the deep love of Christ for our world.
When you think of a part of the Bible that helps remind us of this, my mind goes very quickly to John 3:16! How great that as we journey in John we can move to this super famous verse! Please pray for Ritchie as he prepares – that he would be humble, clear-minded and wise as he preaches on Sunday 9am at SCG, 9:45am at LHS and then again from 5:30pm in South Lismore at Two Mates.
If you have friends, neighbours or family coming we will have some extra welcomers and Gabby will be on hand to offer connect cards to newcomers – but depending on who is coming we might not be able to get to everyone. But that is ok, we know that our Father God is the one who opens eyes to see the beautiful light of Christ. We will have some resources on hand for people to explore Christianity including a full account of the gospel of John, Word One to One resources, A Fresh Start by the late John Chapman, Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin and The World Next Door by Rory Shiner and Peter Orr.
Then, following our gatherings SCG will join in some food following their time together, 9:45am will have the two food vans (Jom Makan mobile eatery and The Little Chef snack van) booked and a food van will be on site at Two Mates (see PM menu here). For those who can join us for lunch at 9:45am you will be able to order food following our time together in the hall, it will be a great way to keep the conversation going as well as supporting local business, so buy up big and remember to consider buying for your friends too.
But remember, don’t feel despondent if those you invite don’t join us. So far one of my invites is coming and the other one didn’t get back to me! But as you may remember Linda (one of our Global Missionaries) saying: “We are just one link in the chain, you never know who else might be praying or sharing Jesus with your friend.” So, don’t lose heart!
I’ll leave you with this great message from Corinthians to remind us we are part of a bigger story as we share Jesus together… “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.“ 1 Corinthians 3:6 SP
Welcome to the Pastors’ Pen – an update for life at SCPC…
Once a term, Peita (our Ministry Coordinator) and I aim to book in a meeting with the Principal and Administrative/Business Manager of Lismore High. We have aspired to do this with the school to be proactive about any concerns they, or we, may have (rather than waiting for them to come up and having to deal with them in a reactionary manner). This approach has been a blessing for both parties!
Last week we meet with the Administrative/Business Manager as the Principal was unable to attend. Neither party had a great deal to discuss. We asked about the possibly of accessing a defibrillator from the admin block at LHS if the need happened to arise. Following further discussion, we workshopped the possibility of a defib being purchased by LHS for the main hall which SCPC could contribute to. We will await guidance on this idea. We also discussed room usage and ensuring our pack up and cleaning systems remain at a high standard.
It was super encouraging to see how committed LHS are to ensuring we have usage on weekends and that it is not disrupted unnecessarily. At this point they are not aware of any dates in the coming term that would affect our usage, which is helpful for us in planning.
Finally, I’m not sure if I communicated this earlier in the year, but in our meeting last term we created a terms of usage agreement with the LHS executive. In this meeting they proposed that for 2023 we only contribute a 50% usage fee, following the year of devastation and disruption we all experienced in 2022. How cool is that! Furthermore, they commented that they were aware families like ours (and others from SCPC) are invested in the school community and how they see the great benefit that investment brings to community partnership.
So please, like we did last Sunday, continue to pray for our relationship with Lismore High School and pray for those involved in the school community – that they would be wise, humble and agents of light.
The apostle Paul’s prayer from Colossians seems adept: 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6