Church at Home

For the duration of the COVID-19 shutdown our normal worship services have been paused and replaced by two online services each Sunday. All face to face group activities are paused as well.

New growth

This week, I was almost in trouble. I boldly took the Round-up weed spray into the front garden where Cindy had been planting all sorts of things. I didn’t realise she had planted bulbs around an area that I was spraying. Cindy showed me the little shoots of the bulbs and hoped I hadn’t sprayed them. As the week has progressed, I think I have dodged a bullet, as it looks like I didn’t spray them after all. Phew.

One of the benefits for me having this concern over potentially sprayed plants, is I have kept going back to these little bulbs to see how they are going. It is such a delight to observe what was a tender shoot, start to grow and take shape and to really get the growth going. After a few days it is far from the slender shoot it was. Its rather amazing. It made me thank God and marvel at him, for the way that he enables life to burst forth.

Watching these plants grow, very much reminded me of the parable of the four soils that Jesus spoke about and also how the prophet Isaiah in Chapter 11 spoke of the messiah “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse”. This shoot coming up as you continue reading Isaiah 11, in the end becomes the strongest authority, and bringing of peace across the World. The early church saw this Isaiah passage and attributed it to being about Jesus whose peace, healing and life would stretch across the world and across time.

This week, for many of us, we may well feel like the fragile slender tender shoot coming out of the ground. As we again begin to emerge out of the various restrictions we have been under, some of us may naturally feel a little vulnerable and cautious. I would like us all to remember that, in the same way that God has designed the plants to sprout and grow and bloom and become strong, so too he has made us to grow and flourish and bring him glory in our lives. I pray that each of us, as we begin to re-enter life with others outside our homes, that we will look to God to bring our confidence, growth, flourishing and joy.

Trev Bell
Senior Minister

Patience still needed

As we keep waiting to see how and when we might be able to gather together in the coming months, we appreciate that many people will have questions.  We will as a parish leadership continue to work through various ideas, as to what we might be able to do together, as we are able.

COVID Prayer

Almighty God, as Jesus wept at the grave of his friend, we come to you grieving at the reality of the world’s present suffering. In our great need, and on behalf of our local and global communities, we cry to you for help and healing, for strength and wisdom. Help your church, as your ambassadors, to live boldly in word and deed, that our hope and love may bring life to the world. Give us humility to learn all you are trying to teach us and may your careful pruning produce in us a harvest of righteousness. May we seize this opportunity for spiritual growth and leadership within our own households, even as we grieve not being able to meet together.

O God – Father, Son and Spirit – although we will diligently work to overcome this pandemic, you are our greatest hope and we look to you to save and restore us.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

This Sunday

The Traditional Service for Sunday will be available at 9am that day and the Family Service will be available at 11am. Services will then be available for catch up throughout the following week.

Readings

John 15:1-8; Hebrews 12:1-11. Continuing in our Being Christians in a COVID World series – This week: an opportunity for growth.

Link to Sunday’s online services

Live Zoom meeting before Family Service

Join us again this Sunday on zoom before the 11am Family Service goes live. Join in for some time together, kid’s content and a chance to pray for each other. Starts at 10:40am.

The button below will take you to the Zoom meeting. The meeting ID is: 727 285 0168 and the password: church

Join the Zoom meeting

Are you aware of specific needs?

As we seek to shine the love of God into our community through this difficult season, please be on the lookout for new opportunities you notice or discover. Feel free to chat with the ministry team about your ideas and opportunities. You might have the great idea, but we are all in this together to love and serve and bear witness so let’s help one another to be outward looking and see how God may use us to bless our community

Virtual prayer time

A reminder: Andy and Verity Nicholson are hosting a short online prayer time again this Sunday at 8:20pm. All are invited and welcome.

Follow this link to join in…

 

COVID Phone Book

As we begin to email/post out the phone books, please take advantage of this and be intentional about calling someone to say hello and speak a word of encouragement. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone made and received a phone call every week?

If you missed the opportunity to be involved but would still like to be included, please call one of the ministry team.

 

Prayer at Home

The prayer guide is updated every week and is available under the Prayer at Home menu tab on the HT website. Please use them as much as possible in your prayer life.

Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.

Billy Graham

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

C. S. Lewis

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. It is the greatest gift anyone can give.

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