Front and Center
Easter has arrived. Easter is the most important festival on the Christian calendar. This year as we enter under the shadow of the COVID 19 pandemic and another community lock-down we are reminded of the dangerous and uncertain nature of our world. The world that Jesus was born into and lived in was equally dangerous and uncertain. Dangerous to the point of death. A horrible, lingering death on the cross. But it did not stop there. As much as we are people of the cross, we are even more people of the resurrection. We can not stop at the cross. Either on a personal or global scale, sometimes we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed and distracted by the events of the world. But we can not stay there. We must continue to remind ourselves that we are people of the resurrection. That we believe in hope, we believe in miracles. We believe in new life. That we have hope and that hope is based and grounded in Jesus Christ. Easter is our most sacred time of the year because it speaks more than any other time into how God addresses the human condition and defeats the powers and principalities of this world. It is at times like this that we need to remember the power of Jesus to overcome the powers of darkness and despair. Death is not the end but is a new beginning (! Cor 15:55-7). How we approach the world, how we look ahead depends on our perspective. We must hold onto the hope and new life that the resurrection brings.
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Front and Centre
This week we are celebrating Tiny Town our Kindergarten and Childcare Centre. Or rather we are celebrating the work of hundreds of people who have been a part of Tiny Town for over 47 years. From the staff, committee members and children and their families Tiny Town has been a part of the local community since 1974. There have been hundreds of people who have given thousands of hours of volunteer service as well as staff who built strong relationships with the children and their families. Commencing at Mitchelton where it served the community for over 20 years before moving across to Enoggera Tiny Town has provided an important opportunity for the church to be involved and engaged with families with young children. The changes for Tiny Town to come under Synod oversight frees the Emmanuel congregation to be more focussed and intentional about the relationships we build with the families of Tiny Town children. Whatever activity we have, be it Tiny Town, Boys or Girls Brigade, Community Helping Hand, they only provide the opportunity for us to build relationships. True mission only happens through relationships. As Tiny Town moves to a new era I am excited about the missional opportunities this provides. Tiny Town started because people saw a community need and responded. I am grateful for all who through the 47 years have seen the opportunities and responded and pray that we will continue to have people who will build relationships and respond to opportunities so that Tiny Town will continue to be seen as a mission of Emmanuel. To all of those who have played significant roles in getting us to this point, thank you, and let us pray for the future.
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Front and Centre
Our theme this Sunday is about Jesus being the true vine and challenging us to be fruitful.
But what does it mean to be fruitful?
How are we fruitful?
I must be honest that I am not much of a gardener. It always amazes me when something we have bears fruit. One reason for that is that I do not always devote the time and talent that I need to allow something to be fruitful. If we want something to be fruitful then normally we need to be intentional about it. For my garden it involves water, good soil, nutrients, and sunshine. Sometimes these things seem to happen ‘by accident’ but even when that is the case fruitfulness can be improved with some TLC and intentionality. This sense of fruitfulness and intentionality carries over into most aspects of our life.
As we draw our stewardship campaign to a close, the question of how we are being fruitful is a crucial question in the mix. Stewardship asks us to be intentional about our giving in terms of time, gifts, talents and finances. Emmanuel, as a church, wants you to flourish in your Christian walk, and to grow people as disciples who will grow other disciples. The better we resource that, and are intentional about that the more fruitful we will be. Stewardship is not an end in itself. It is a part of resourcing our desire and purpose to grow disciples who will grow disciples.
Please consider your commitment to that and pledge what that will be.
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