Our Diocesan community, under the anglican focus banner, won ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ at the Australasian Religious Press Association Awards, which were announced on Friday night – congratulations to the six dedicated priests and parishioners who contributed engaging and insightful anglican focuscontent for the winning #AprilAngel campaign. Read the full article here.
WEEKLY BULLETIN: May 3, 2021 EASTER 5
God Is Love
John was a very interesting writer. In his Gospel he writes about signs rather than miracles, and has dialogues between Jesus and a variety of characters on a range of subjects. In all of this John is teaching us about God. John was fond of writing about contrasting opposites – light and darkness, flesh and spirit etc. John uses certain words much more than other New Testament writers and one of these words is love.
We know that in the original Greek that the New Testament was written in, the word we translate as love was almost always ‘agape’. John uses the word 27 times in his Gospel; by way of contrast Matthew uses it 7 times, Mark 4 times and Luke 9 times. In his 1st letter John uses the word 28 times, a massive emphasis on the word when we consider that there are only 4 chapters in the letter. That works out to be 7 mentions of love in every chapter and they are not long chapters. The most important mention of the word is in 1 John 4.8 - God is love.
Love, or more accurately agape, is the most accurate description we have of God.
We know that in English, love is a very fuzzy word and is used to describe almost anything we like. People us use love to describe friendship, beer, sport, cars, houses, patriotism and even sex. This word agape however is VERY specific and is perfectly understood in the life of Jesus in the way he treated people. Agape is expressed as behaviour that seeks the best for every person. Jesus said we must love our enemies, love our neighbour. Jesus said we must treat others as we would want to be treated. It is behaviour toward others that is motivated by the heart and mind, not by emotions. It is love that knows no boundaries and is not restricted to family, friends and attractive people; it is love that seeks the best for strangers and enemies. Agape is the way that God loves us . . . love from God that we certainly don’t deserve. That’s why John says that ‘God is love’ – it’s Gods very nature. The old King James translation of the Bible has a better way of translating agape in English; it uses charity rather than love as the English word of choice – a much better word that avoids any confusion. Charity in its original meaning meant a gift, not a handout to the poor and needy as we understand it today. God’s love is most certainly a gift that we must receive with thanks, a gift can’t be bought or earned, just accepted.
Prayer of the Week:
Saving God, who called your church to witness
That you were to Christ reconciling the world to yourself.
Help us so to proclaim the good news of your love,
That all who hear it may be reconciled to you:
Through him who died for us and rose again
And reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever. Amen.
Stewardship: As previously stated, the successful running of the Parish is solely dependent on the generosity of its Parishioners, and we are encouraged by the increase in giving we are seeing and the 3month snapshot of Parish income confirms this – THANK YOU.
Thank you also to those who have returned their stewardship form. The information from these forms help us plan our budget with greater clarity, so if you have not returned your form can you please do so at your earliest convenience. If you did not receive a form, please contact the office to arrange one to be sent to you.
Building Works: Will commence on May 10. While church services will remain possible during the construction process, a reduction in seating capacity will be experienced.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atrium): This valuable children’s activity is held after school on Fridays (during school terms). Meet at church entrance for afternoon tea before walking to the hall until 4.30-5pm. Ages 6-9yrs. Contact Pam Ohtomo 3379 9092.
Office Hours: The Parish Office will now only be open on Monday & Friday 9am – 11 am. You may telephone the parish office at any time, and leave a message. All messages will be checked and actioned when possible. If the telephone gives a “busy” signal when you call, this means that the telephone is in use. Please call again in a few minutes and speak to Kim or Rillis (or leave a message).
We are looking for more people who will be willing to become a COVID Warden or an LA. If you are able to help, please tell one of the Wardens who can assist you with details.
Dump Vouchers: We are currently having to pay each time we go to the dump, so if you could please leave any dump vouchers you may not need in the Church office, or give to Doug or one of the Wardens - our Grounds and Maintenance team would be MOST grateful.
Recycle your bottles & Cans: Don’t forget you can easily help raise valuable funds for the Parish by recycling your bottles and cans. Just bring along any eligible bottles/cans to church and leave in large black bins (with yellow lids) in North Entry, or you can take them to a recycling station and use the Church code: C10204572