It’s Open Season as OPEN Day approaches

On NEXT Sunday the 26th November, we will celebrate Stage ONE of The HOPE Project launch with a morning gathering designed to illuminate some important opportunities for our developing mission effort as well as affording us an important moment to be thankful (as one) to God and members of our community who have helped us do some purpose focused refurbishing and necessary building maintenance and upgrades.

We want to encourage each and every one of our family to prayerfully consider who they might invite, and commit to prayer all those who may come and hang out with us on Sunday.

We have officially invited our Augusta Street neighbours to join us for whatever they feel comfortable engaging with and we have sent invitations to our connections in the region.

The guys from ‘Cornerstone’ are rehearsing as best they can in preparation for their special music and message presentation ‘Uncluttered Christianity’ during our usual gathering time from 10am and we are doing our very best to get the physical facilities ready, recognising we’ve had some personal / compassionate issues come up for key people which have understandably slowed our efforts a little. We are trusting our faithful God with how this will be received.

Jesus is doing something NEW and we are asking you to pray hard and with focus so we can experience a God initiated ‘favour and increase’ breakthrough between now and Christmas this year. The HOPE Project is generated ONLY by what Jesus reveals so let’s continue to DWELL in the revelation He brings. Thank you for all your efforts this week as we prepare.  

Refinements & Refurbishments So much More than Cosmetic

As promised, here is a very brief reflection on the missional reasons for the work that’s been and is being done around the place. The Augusta Street end rooms have long been a challenge to utilize to their full potential and very much in need of refurbishment. As was expected, when we cleaned them up and prepared for a new outer skin, we discovered rotting and hazardous materials, gaping holes, unconnected wiring and more, so we proceeded to fully strip the rooms back so we could re-establish the building’s integrity. We have talked with neighbours over 12 months or more about what we were hoping to do and in every conversation we were struck by their energetic responses when we explained we’d like to open this end of the building up for monitored community access. So, this is why the west room where the NBN is has been intentionally set up as a Reception and occasional small meeting room. We have some volunteers so we are open to the public for appointment making, building use enquiries and access for all ministries we are developing. This is already working well and we have had more genuine enquiries and more interested people traffic in 2 months than we’ve had the whole of the previous 3 years. The east room is now set up (all except the plumbing) as a small kitchenette, not-for-profit café service area and small meeting room and we now have a steady number of neighbours visiting through the week, enjoying a coffee and a chat. We have plans to develop this area in Stage TWO but for now building bridges. The passer-by comments are consistent and positive. One neighbour walking her dog said; “It’s so lovely and thoughtful that you would open up for coffee like this”. Another long term neighbour remarked; “It’s been a while since the church looked this open and inviting.” Its early days but the signs are clear.

Thankfully, due to the roof leakage saga, we have been able to renovate the crèche and start fixing leaks and upgrading toilet accessories for more frequent and specific use. The crèche still doesn’t meet ALL compliance requirements but with our new policies and procedures in place and a commitment to keep refining, we can now safely use the room for blessing families.

We have purchased 2 known brand LED TV’s at discount that we can use for multiple purposes, one of which will help connection between the crèche and the main sanctuary.

The narthecal overflow area at the south end of the sanctuary needed some purpose. Some people have asked about the small office being added adjacent the old church office now photocopy, stationery and archive room (it’s the best warm dry room for papers etc.). As mentioned, the Augusta end rooms were unsuitable for a ministry ops office (having tried to utilize both rooms for this purpose).

The crèche room was an option but we all agreed that it was still most appropriate for its original purpose due to its location. A consistent on site presence is needed to direct and develop this next 3 year season of mission. The advent of the HOPE College opportunity sharpens this. The plan is to establish an office where this can be achieved with enough separation from the street to enable retreat when necessary; one reason for a reception. The rest of the area can be set up for a flexible study and ministry work space where teaching and mentoring can happen. It will be non-permanent, so we can add 40 to 50 chairs when needed for overflow, increasing auditorium seating to nearly 200 with the concertina’s open. At auditorium meetings it can also be a useful retreat for parents with children beyond crèche age.

As explained previously, we will achieve this work very close to budget, having decided to use a significant portion of Colin Hall’s estate gift as he desired whilst all the while recycling and seeking cheaper options for some needs with some extra donations. The Kitchen and Back Hall will be in STAGE TWO once a plan is developed. Hope this has been helpful.

Mark Chapter TWELVE (What did Jesus actually DO?)

  1. Jesus speaks TO the religious leaders in parables; specifically designed to challenge them and re-align their thinking with the core truths of the kingdom of heaven. (vs 1-12)
  2. Jesus doesn’t just give lip service to the idea of ‘saying and doing’ ONLY that which His Father commands, He actually discerns what the Spirit is hearing in EVERY conversation and responds accordingly. This is why Mark refers to what the Pharisees and Herodian’s bring to Jesus in order to trap Him as hypocrisy. This is a huge application of Jesus’ equipping for us. We can’t say we believe and quote scripture to back our beliefs and then take away the opportunity for Jesus to reveal truth for us to act upon. This is just our way of controlling what happens like the Pharisees. It might be scary to genuinely try to hear from God through His word and act upon what we receive BUT it’s the design God gave us for receiving ALL we need to represent the kingdom of heaven . (vs 13-17)
  3. Jesus emphasizes point 2. in this passage of conversation with the Sadducees when He says; “Are you not in error (why?) because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?” Revelation is the truth of the living written word of God demonstrated with compassion and power. Information leads to institutional knowledge; revelation leads to purpose fulfilment and completion. (vs 18-27)
  4. Jesus has a case in point moment when a teacher of the law overhears the conversation and asks ‘Of the commandments, which is the most important?’ It is apparent from his response to Jesus’ answer that the teacher is open to the power of the revelation and not just the information. What Jesus says is crucial. “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And at that, the battle between head knowledge and soft heart responses was brought into the light of the kingdom and the challenges ceased. (vs 28-34)
  5. Jesus didn’t let up. He summarized as he consistently did by continuing to teach the crowd ‘who had ears to ‘really’ hear’. (vs 35-40) THEN he ensured that the equipping continued to the disciples as He highlighted a kingdom of God value difference with the kingdom of this world. (vs 41-44)

Here’s the Link to What’s Happening at the HUB this week

Here’s the Link to this week’s Prayer Diary for The HOPE Project

Here’s the Link to HOPE College Student information & Application Process