The Pastors’ Pen for this week is an edited script of what I announced on Sunday about 2024.
The theme for next year is… Our Heartbeat. It will be all about our core business, what drives us, and what we’re passionate about as a church. There has been lots of upheaval and change over the past few years – covid and floods, and now Southern Cross Goonellabah and East Lismore will be combining from early next year. We really want to have everyone on the same page, with the same gospel heartbeat and a united focus on the core things of loving God, one another and the world.
Go! Sunday and 9:30am
Our year will really kick off on February 4 on Go Sunday. SCG will combine from that day. With SCG and East Lismore combining it will mean changes for everyone and we’ll need to be very considerate of one another in that. One of those changes will be that the new Sunday morning gathering time will be 9:30am (this was the time we met before SCG was planted).
Logo and Website
Another change will be our logo. The plan from Feb 4 is to have a new logo that reflects our shared gospel heartbeat. In the first half of next year, we’ll also launch a redesigned website, particularly with a view towards having it as a front door or window into our church family for those who might connect with us.
2024 Preaching Series
For our term preaching series next year, we’ll be starting off with Philippians in Term 1 – it’s a letter all about gospel partnership and I think a perfect way to begin the year. That will be followed by a core values series at the end of Term 1. Then, in Term 2 and 4 will be in Genesis, a very foundational book about the realities of sin, the nature of faith and the unstoppable promises of God. In Term 3 we’ll do a doctrine series on the core essentials of the Christian faith – What is the Bible? Who is God? and so on.
Off by Heart
Alongside the Our Heartbeat theme we’ll be aiming to have the word dwell richly in us through scripture memorisation.
2024 Equip Nights
The equip nights will also have an Our Heartbeat/core business angle as we look to re-emphasise some practices that have been absolutely central to SCPC’s ministry over the last 25 years. So there’ll be an equip night on 1-1 discipleship then another on speaking the gospel into everyday life.
Food for Thought
Also, each year we run an evangelistic event called Food for Thought. This year we had about 45-50 people come along who don’t yet trust in Jesus. One thing we’d love to do is give them an opportunity to keep exploring what it means to follow Jesus. So, next year following Food for Thought we’ll run a three-week course called Hope Explored. It’s put out by the same people who made Christianity explored.
2024 Reading List
For 2024 there’s also a reading list with some book recommendations. You can see them in the Vision Sunday email and more info about the books and how to order will come later.