Tag Archives: families

What is an Australian Easter?

Thank you for joining us, especially if you are not a regular church attender… we are honoured to have you with us, and trust that our time together is encouraging, welcoming and thought provoking.

What is an Australian Easter? It’s a bit different from Christmas, with its strong family associations and big lunches or dinners. Easter does mean chocolate, mostly eggs and bunnies.

But I think the Easter most Aussies think about is the holiday. The 4-day week-end, just long enough to get away for a few nights or to get out into the garden. And the weather is often great.

It fits well with the Aussie way of life: we like getaways and outdoor activities, and ironically sometimes need to be forced to take time out to do these things.

What place then does the Christian message have? It’s actually pretty jarring. Good Friday represents the cruel death of the one we call the Son of God, literally thousands of years ago, and literally on the other side of the planet. This part of Easter probably struggles for RELEVANCE for many people. So remote in concept, time and place.

And then on Easter Day there is the claim of resurrection from the dead. That this Son of God remained dead only for a few days and then appeared to his followers. This part of Easter probably struggles for BELIEVABILITY for many.

How about you? In the end, the Christian message is not about telling people they must go to church instead of going on holiday. It is a message that requires a personal response. What do you YOU make of Easter? Do you believe that these events actually happened?

The impact of Easter involves coming to terms with these extraordinary things that God did in our world. We may want him to take away our illnesses, our financial struggles, or our relationship difficulties.   And yet Easter challenges us to ask whether God himself might have some kind of agenda for the world.

After all, if he allowed his son to be nailed to a cross, he must have been doing something important. Likewise, if death itself is reversed at the first Easter, God must have some kind of agenda for the world… what is it?

My family and I wish you a happy (and reflective!) Easter.

Welcome the kids

Greetings and welcome to St Augustine’s! It is always an honour for us to have guests among us and my hope is that you are made to feel appreciated here. Please do let us know if there is any way we can be of help to you… our community is full of people willing to help others. And if you are going through a challenging phase of life, or facing difficult events, please let me know if there is any way I can help you, or pray for you.

Last week it was so exciting to see an increased number of kids in the building. As a father of little ones myself, there are times when I’d prefer the peace and quiet of adult company! However as a minister, I am gladly embracing the idea of building a flourishing kids ministry. In particular, I think that a church without a kids ministry is probably a church without a future.

Kids who grow up knowing and loving Jesus are more likely to follow him as an adult, although as we know, there are many who give away their faith. And so may I encourage you to be in prayer for our kids, that God would bring them to us, that he would teach them by his Spirit, and keep them for eternal life.

We are blessed to have Angeline working with us in our kids ministry, planning their time together and loving them and looking after them on Sunday mornings. Angeline and I are meeting up regularly to think, plan and pray about our kids ministry. Our hope is that we’ll see more young families join us and that God will bless their kids through their time with us. Please join me in praying for this crucial opportunity for our church to grow. I believe God wants us to ask him to bless us!

Welcome the kids!

Cheers, Mark