Hello to all of you, both near and far, who are loved by the Lord.
Good news! Here in South Australia, with COVID19 restrictions easing, we may once again gather in large numbers. This is reason to rejoice and give thanks.
For the Church, the Body of Christ, it means we may get together to worship God in much larger groups than we’ve been doing for some months. A cause for celebration!
This message is especially for those who won’t be rushing to the church buildings on Sunday mornings. You can still be part of the church!
During the past months many of us experienced being church differently than we’ve ever known. We’ve explored resources on-line, in print and other media. Worshipped in pairs, families, with friends, neighbours, and in small groups. We’ve participated in worship with others in a diversity of ways.
It’s been a learning and growing time as we’ve faced fears and concerns for the world and also challenges presented by new experiences of being church in a radically different way. Discovering new aspects of technology and finding an abundance of resources to nurture our faith and facilitate our worship of God has been a steep learning curve.
In our need, we’ve turned our eyes to God and sought him for strength, comfort, guidance, and protection. We’ve leaned on Jesus, drawn closer to him, and prayed for the help of the Holy Spirit, only to find he was already there, drawing us into his embrace.
It’s been wonderful to hear of people feeling calm and peaceful, confident in God’s loving presence, and equipped to worship him and continue to grow in faith. We haven’t been separated from him or from one another. The Holy Spirit bonds us in unity and our sharing together in small units hasn’t diminished our belonging to Jesus or our being part of his Body, the Church.
We’ve still been Church, we’re still part of God’s Kingdom. If it seems good to you and the Holy Spirit, then there’s no reason why you can’t continue being Church in this way.
If you’ve been worshipping at home with your neighbour who wouldn’t attend the church building for a formal service but is thriving in your worship at home - or if you haven’t been in a church building for some time but are keen to keep worshipping on-line - or if you’ve been involved in church life but are feeling called to keep worshipping as part of a network of small churches scattered through the community - the great news is the Body of Christ, the Church, is beautiful and richly diverse. How wonderful!
Jesus never prescribed a one size fits all church. The last months do count. It wasn’t “pretend worship” while we waited for the “real thing” to resume. God’s been at work in us, with us, and for us, and continues to bless us.
We’d like to bless what God’s doing in your life. You’re part of the Kingdom of God and can also be part of the church in this place. We’d like to encourage and support you!
Our on-line and print resources will still be available, as will the wealth of material provided by our brothers and sisters in many other churches.
If you’d like to let us know who you are, we can stay in touch, pray for you, support you, and hear stories of what Jesus is doing in your life. You’re always welcome to come to a larger gathering to celebrate and worship from time to time, as seems good.
If you’d like to email, phone or meet up with us, we’d love to hear from you. Then we can explore how we might keep in touch and support you and your group in an on-going relationship with this church community.
The grace and peace of Jesus is with you.
Bookings are required for Christmas Eve services but not for Christmas Day
The 5.30 service will be live streamed.
Bookings open at "barossaarts.com.au" on December 15 at 10:00 am
See the attached pdfs for more details
Greetings to you all in this most unusual time.
I encourage you to use this time to love one another.
This is a time to care for each other.
We can’t deliver bulletins or sermons at the moment.
We can’t go visiting in person but we can use our phones.
If you’re concerned someone might be in special need, give them a call.
If someone comes to mind out of the blue - it’s most likely a prompting from the Holy Spirit - so give the person a call.
If you’re in need of help or want a chat give another member or me a call.
Remember God is with us and doing his best for us and this is an opportunity for us to do our best for each other.
The short worship service is on the Bethany Tabor website. (www.bethanytabor.org) If you know someone who doesn’t have internet access you could ring them and let them listen in while you watch it.
Be creative and God bless you.
I look forward to seeing you soon.