1. Three prayerful stances: letting go, receiving, and moving
This week marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar. Forty days of preparation before Easter. We recall the forty days in the wilderness that Jesus experienced. It is often a time of fasting, in order to focus on God. A time of repentance and forgiveness, as we recall the work of Jesus at the cross. A time of simplicity, solitude, and receiving. A time of preparation for ministry and calling.
What is the Lord Jesus inviting you to do during this Lent season?
I shared three simple prayer stances on karakia this week.
Hands facing down, symbolizing the things we are letting go of. Worry, sin, self-reliance, control.
Hands facing upwards, as we receive from God. Grace, rest, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit.
Hands pointing outwards, as we ask Holy Spirit to lead us to action. Serving, speaking, caring, going and doing.
Here’s a link to my mini message from yesterday.
2. Leadership team update
At our leadership team meeting this week we spent time in prayer for our church and for families in isolation. We reviewed our finances, six months into the financial year, and will provide an update to the church in the next week. We discussed the impact of covid cases on our gatherings, individuals, households, and staff team. We are still in conversation about Sunday gatherings, but this will not be happening in the next few weeks, as omicron peaks. We set a date for our next church meeting.
Church meeting – 10 April. Please save the date.
Pastors note: We are exploring alternative online options for our formal church meeting and voting. Up until now I have avoided this, as I am aware of resistance other Baptist churches have experienced. Some traditional Baptists have been concerned that “the mind of Christ is discerned in the gathering of God’s people” and some believe this must be expressed through a physical gathering for a formal church meeting. However, personally I see it differently, and I am very comfortable to consider a range of other options, including electronic voting for those who are not able to be at the meeting. I see this as the best option in our current circumstances, but equally, I want to give you the opportunity to express concern you might have. Please contact me if you are uncomfortable with the idea of offering an online option for our next church meeting and voting.
3. Worship in the Wilderness
We begin our new Lent series on Sunday, Worship in the Wilderness.
Yesterday, Emily introduced me to Brooke Ligertwood’s new album, and there are some amazing songs that connect well with this season.
Here’s one of my favourites: Honey in the Rock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vpuNsZxmpA
Freedom where the Spirit is
Bounty in the wilderness
You will always satisfy
There’s honey in the rock
Water in the stone
Manna on the ground
No matter where I go
I don’t need to worry
Now that I know
Everything I need You’ve got
May you know the Holy Spirit leading you this week.
I’m looking forward to celebrating the baptisms this Sunday!
Grace and Peace