Hi Friends, as mentioned last week, THIS will be the last journal for 2017. Thank you for all your engagement and feedback over the past 4 months. We have enjoyed bringing this devotional and hopefully mission inspiring resource to you on a weekly basis and Rising HOPE Volume 2, Week 1 will be available the week commencing Sunday 14th January 2018. We here at the Corrimal Community Church HOPE project pray that you and your loved ones have a joyous, Christ-Filled, healthy, safe Christmas and start to the New Year. THANKS & GOD BLESS YOU …
Let’s Start with a Quote from Last Week’s Blog Editorial
Einstein also said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” This ability (for US) is to change one variable or a set of variables (as the Holy Spirit Leads) to re-align us with the kingdom of heaven truth. After all, every scientist will tell you that they are actually not discovering something NEW, they are discovering a reality that already exists but hasn’t been seen or fully experienced YET. Are you ready for 2018? Here we go!!”
An Arresting Time Enjoyed By All
Upon arrival this last Wednesday morning at the Hub Café Space, I had a fair bit of excitement and anticipation surging through my veins. Apart from the fantastic engagement we experienced from the neighbourhood at our ‘Carols on the Lawn’ on Sunday evening, (Thanks Amber & Karen), it’d been a pretty raw few days and this continued on Monday and Tuesday. The way things flowed precipitated a hiatus in terms of ‘being present’ in the neighbourhood immediately after the carols for any interaction that may have naturally (or God-incidentally) occurred.
As I drove down the hill from our place in Robbo before 5.30am on Wednesday I realized that it was the ‘THIRD’ day after the carols event and so I found myself praying accordingly. I prayed as I drove (with eyes wide open) that this would be a type of resurrection or new life day for us and that there would be interest enough in the things of Jesus, or at the very least the work of our church family which included the immense effort put in to stage Sunday night, that might warrant some worthy conversation.
Well, Donna and I could hardly contain ourselves as people started arriving from 7.10am and most stayed for a couple of hours. I won’t detail the content of some of the conversations but they were definitely bouncing off every day, seemingly mundane things to more kingdom looking thoughts quite indiscriminately as you’d expect in such an eclectic scenario.
Things really got exciting when Adam, one of our local Constabulary, arrived at the invitation of one of our neighbours. We all enjoyed a joke or two, made some ‘small world’ people connections then moved on in the knowledge that something special and relational was beginning to happen. Please pray and keep praying, that visitors will continue to experience the safe and compassionate space that looks like Jesus, enough to want to ask about Him more and more in the season to come.
Coming SOON … Hot Potatoes!!!
One of the exciting things that Jesus has clarified as we’ve been praying for guidance about what next in our opening up to neighbours and community efforts e.g. Wednesdays, is the idea that as people grow in their trust of the safe space the Lord is helping us create, they are more likely to ‘feel safe’ enough to ask the questions that are genuinely burning within them – about pretty much any topic you can imagine as is true for most people. We got a small sense of what might be possible at last Wednesday’s ‘Coffee’ On’ sharing so we are looking forward to being prepared by the Holy Spirit for the ‘Hot Potatoes’ to come.
From this Sunday (17th) until the end of January 2018, we will be in a time of affirming nominated deacons in accord with the processes outlined in our constitution.
During the series of seeking to hear from God through the story of Nehemiah, the season when we launched The HOPE Project, we agreed that we’d had confirmed for us that as we established the re-aligned framework for kingdom mission, as Nehemiah did, we should seek to re-align and develop the sort of leadership we will need for this new season.
At this week’s deacons meeting we agreed that before we discuss and seek more understanding from the Holy Spirit as to what this sort of leadership might look like, we should start afresh with our current deacons and a couple of newly appointed ones. This is a statement by our leadership that we are committed to this HOPE Project journey TOGETHER and will take responsibility on behalf of our church family to process the leader-shift as we progress and hear more from God. .
So, as I will introduce today, we would like to re-affirm the current deacons, Doug MacFarlane, Julie Padwick and Christine Newman as well as nominate on behalf of the deacons, John Podmore and Rob Sackett.
I will also ask for any other name that people think should be nominated BUT I won’t take those from the floor on Sundays simply to eradicate any sense of pressure or obligation on someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to pray into whether or not to accept a nomination. If YOU HAVE A GENUINE NOMINATION for appointment consideration, please raise it with the person in question and if a YES from them, please bring that nomination to ME (Graeme) so we can put it to the church ASAP.
As Karen and I are the ministers, (re-commissioned in February this year by the church family til at least the end of 2020), in accord with the constitutional process, we will remain neutral during this journey and are the ONLY people to come to and chat with if you have any questions, affirmations or concerns that you feel need to be raised. PLEASE BE ASSURED that you can bring ANY response to me at ANY time during the month long process OR any other time for that matter. Let’s pray this through.
As Requested – A Summary of the OPEN Day Presentation
Part Two – 4 Key Strategies and The Story So Far
AND God gave us 4 KEY IDEAS ….
- ‘Equip the Body to Pray for and Engage with, our God Given Spheres of Influence’
The story so far is that we have been reframing the priority of discipleship from information sharing and infusion to a relationship with Jesus and each other so we can BETTER HEAR from God and act in response to what we hear INSTEAD of what we think we know (Proverbs 3:3-5) … Jesus’ love is indiscriminate & rescuing … we need to press in for that … A life of intimacy IN Christ and as such an understanding of the living written word IN REAL TIME takes a focus on BOTH of the most important commands (Mark 12) – learning is NOT either or, IT IS BOTH Mind and Heart = transformation. We have begun this journey by establishing PRAYER STRATEGIES, HOPE COLLEGE and a couple of COMMUNITIES OF HOPE right where we live, work and play. To equip is to ALIGN with the kingdom and as an outcome be resourced by the kingdom culture of fullness IN Christ.
- ‘Serve and Exceedingly Bless our God Given Spheres of Influence OR Involvement through existing activities/events’
Our existing activities / events have always been OTHERS focused but OTHERS didn’t really know these opportunities were available – so we’ve worked on 2 things = firstly to keep sharpening what we have and bring towards better, safer accessibility & inclusivity and secondly, we needed a relevant and reproducible communication strategy, Working closely with people like John Mac, we’ve been refining PowerPoint presentations, shaping these for MP4 and You Tube. We’ve posted regularly on Facebook and we have re-shaped the web site so that the public is only TWO clicks away from any of the information they need. Building relational bridges with our neighbours has refined word of mouth and we also now have an APP and The HOPE Project itself is a handle people can grab a hold of to engage what we are attempting. All of this to make it easier for our stuff to be known & to make the information easier to reproduce, share or distribute. We desire to promote the kingdom idea of holiness = indiscriminate, compassionate, rescuing love of Jesus for OTHERS.
- ‘Serve and Exceedingly Bless the Kingdom Mission Partners (Churches/Ministries) that God leads us into relationship with, in ways that assist THEM to achieve THEIR God Given Mission Vision’
We are making an intentional effort to develop prayer partners across the network of churches around us and across the nation and recently the globe. We have and will keep hosting ministry fraternal meetings, multi-church afternoon teas, World Day Of Prayer and National Day(s) prayer opportunities. We will collaborate and serve with those mission partners God gives us E.g. Heartland Ministries; Renewed Hope, Port Kembla Baptist Church, Impact Nations (Global Kingdom Representing Ministry), Scripture Provision in our Local High Schools, ‘Operation Christmas Child’, Baptist World Aid and Compassion towards alleviating world poverty, ‘Bikers For Christ Motorcycle Ministries’. AND we will continue to serve and or provide tools to serve to churches in need where God shows us something we can bring. E.g. Greystanes Uniting Church (partnering with and helping resource Mark Beaton’s work), Northern Beaches Church of Christ (currently providing music ministry through Karen Hush); and of course opportunities to provide equipping support to other churches through HOPE College. We will do better if others do better = the Kingdom value of Oneness
- 4. ‘Shape resources and existing facilities to better serve the Mission Vision and the Strategies for this current season and beyond’
There are THREE major areas of church life that will be aligned with The HOPE Project and prioritized in 2018. 1. Ministry Facilitation (I.e. If our servant leadership mirrored the equipping ministry of Jesus it should look more like heaven. 2. Care (I.e. If our care and community service prioritized indiscriminate and compassionate meeting of NEEDS in a redemptive framework, it should look more like heaven AND 3. Facilities (I.e. our Hub would look and operate more like Heaven’s Embassy if they are further aligned with the mission emphasis of The HOPE Project. MORE ABOUT THE FIRST TWO AS WE MAKE OUR WAY INTO 2018 BUT AT TODAY’S OPEN DAY, WE CELEBRATE STAGE 1 OF ALIGNING FACILITIES TO THE GLORY AND PURPOSES OF GOD.
The Heaven On Planet Earth Project IS
A Jesus’ mode of equipping missionaries to COMPLETE the primary purpose
(John 1) 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of His empowering presence and truth.
(Matthew 6) ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,10your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Mark Chapter SIXTEEN (What did Jesus actually DO?)
- Jesus was dead and buried in a tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea which had been ordered to have a large stone seal it. The women arrived to do what they thought would be a final act of love seeing as the way things had happened had precluded their ability to prepare the body as they had hoped they could. They knew neither how they would get in (no doors in tombs) nor what they would find. (vs 1-4)
- They entered the tomb to find Jesus missing and a herald trying to explain. (vs 5-6)
- In a very real sense Jesus continued to do what He had been DOING the whole time during His earthly ministry. Jesus DID what He promised, TOLD them to GO and TELL others and wait for what would happen next – i.e. trust Jesus to follow through (vs7)
NB: It is widely accepted that verses 9-20 of Mark 16 were added later and written by someone other than Mark (or the original author). I, along with may are of the opinion that even though not in the original script, it has been included in just about all later editions and as such is worthy of reflection and due consideration if we want to hear from God. Whomever penned (under inspiration) these final verses of Mark’s gospel, they recognized as was true in the other gospels’ various treatments of final things, that the commissioning of Christ’s church to be and do on earth as Jesus did – was a key outcome and evidence of the resurrection. The writer identified 4 tasks for the church that Jesus did in His earthly life and ministry. They are outlined in Jesus’ words from verse 9-20.
- Jesus was SENT by God, He WENT and He preached i.e. he was the representative embodiment of the kingdom of heaven and heralded the good news.
- Jesus always had compassion and acted out of that. He commissioned the church, His body to be a healing agent for the compassion, wholeness and well-being of heaven.
- Jesus daily represented the FULLNESS of the kingdom on earth; an unleashed power beyond human imagining and limitation. He expected His church to be a conduit for this now.
- Jesus is Lord of His church. His will builds it and sustains it. The church which represents and demonstrates Jesus’ empowering presence will never rely on human wisdom or resources. Followers of Jesus will never be alone and He ensured they had all they needed to be the gateway for people accessing all that heaven has to offer.
Here’s the Link to What’s Happening at the HUB this week http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/7-click-here
Here’s the Link to this week’s Prayer Diary for The HOPE Project http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/9-click-here
Here’s the Link to HOPE College, Student information & Application Process http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/10-click-here