24/05/2020

This week in Part 2 of our series, we are reminded that He Still* Has the Whole World in His Hands.
We look at the backstory of the Apostle Paul to give us context for the words he writes to the church in Philippi (and us) about having joy in the Lord rather than in our circumstances will help remind us that even though the world is uncertain. God is not.

Pastor Ben Hentschke

17/05/2020

This week we begin three weeks looking at the questions: ‘How do we remain hopeful in a world that seems hopelessly broken? How do we continue to trust a God that seems conspicuously absent? How do we find peace in a world that is spinning out of control? If you’ve ever asked questions like these, you’re not alone… and you’re not the first.

Uncertainty is nothing new. And the uncertainty we face today is no different from the uncertainty faced by the women and men of the Bible. And like them, we are left to question God’s faithfulness, his presence, his concern. We will be reminded this week that He’s Still* Got the Whole World in His Hands.
….
Pastor Ben Hentschke

10/05/2020

Hi Church,

This weekend is Mother’s Day and it is a special time to remember the women in our life who have blessed us!
I know that I have an amazing mum, through who her passing on of the faith to me has led me to where I am today, and for that I will always be truly thankful.
But maybe this is a time to question who it might be that you are passing your faith onto or sharing your faith with?
In a time in our world where people are searching and reaching and looking for hope more than ever before have you taken the opportunity and followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit to share about the life, forgiveness, salvation and HOPE that you have in Jesus with someone else?
Often the place that this is done is in the family unit, but depending on our relationships with those in our family, maybe this could be the hardest place to do it.
Does that mean we should stop, give up and not bother trying? I would suggest that maybe our eternity, and the eternity of those who we love matters more than that!
But always remember that people are not going to care about what you know, until they know how much you care. So following the example of Jesus, care for those people around you. Those in your family, those in your neighbourhood, your work colleagues, your friends and others. Care for them, but care for them so much that at some point you share with them the eternal hope that you have in Jesus so that they don’t have to live in a spirit of fear or timidity, and instead can know Christ and live as a son or daughter of the King.
This weekend I have asked Danielle Robinson to share with us again. Many of you might remember when she joined us last year to share, and it is great to have a mother sharing God’s Word with us on Mother’s Day.
So again, a happy and blessed Mother’s Day to all the mums, and I pray that you care enough to share the good news of Jesus with someone else this week.

Pastor Ben Hentschke

A message from our speaker:

Hi Church,
There’s a contagious condition that sneaks into the lives of Christians and it gets discussed so rarely so many of us think we may be the only ones suffering from it!  Perhaps you suffer from it, or perhaps someone in your family or your friendship circle.  It’s often more prevalent in females, especially mums.  It’s called GDS and although it can be spiritually debilitating, there is a cure available.  Would you like to know more?  Then be sure to tune in to online worship this Sunday.
….
Danielle Robinson

03/05/2020

Hi Church,

This is our final week in this three-week series which focus’ on how God comes to us so that we are not alone, how God speaks messages of hope to others through us and how we can take the worries and fears of others and give it to God.

So far we have heard how the seemingly negative, shutting-God-out, self-isolation history of humanity is not the whole picture or story, but is set in a much bigger, a much more hope-filled and joy invoking story. A story of a good God, the God of the Bible, who created out of love for a relationship that produces joy. Last week in particular we heard how God works this story through us, so that we grow closer as family as we encourage each other and invite others into this family by living God’s love in our community, wherever that might be for each of us right now.

This week we explore how we not only have the opportunity to take the hope God gave to us to others, but how we can bring the fears and hurts of others before God. We, as God’s people, are grace-exchangers if you like, taking God’s words of comfort and hope to those around us, and in exchange we get to take people’s hurts and fears and bring it to God in prayer.

So let’s join together this week and beyond in sharing God’s words of hope (that Jesus is alive and with us!) to those around us, and in return bring people’s fears and hurts to God in our prayers.

May I encourage you this week, that you would experience hope and peace as you open God’s word and hear his promises to you afresh (that you are loved, that you are not alone!); and may I comfort you this week that you are in my prayers during this time, and indeed always!

In His service,
Pastor Roelof

26/04/20

This is our second week in this three-week series which focus’ on how God comes to us so that we are not alone, how God speaks messages of hope to others through us and how we can take the worries and fears of others and give it to God.

Last week we heard how the seemingly negative, shutting-God-out, self-isolation history of humanity is not the whole picture or story, but is set in a much bigger, a much more hope-filled and joy invoking story. A story of a good God, the God of the Bible, who created out of love for a relationship that produces joy. A joy we often miss now because of what went wrong, because of how humanity shut this good God out of our lives. 

But all is not lost nor hopeless, not even close, because even though we run from God…God runs after us…and we cannot outrun Him! 

Last week we heard that God is with us, so that we are not alone, and that God is for us, so that we are loved. 
This week we look how God works through us, so that we grow closer as family as we invite others into this family.

My hope is and prayers are that you will experience the love of God and be renewed in hope as you hear God’s word and share Him with others.

Pastor Roelof Buitendag

19/04/20

Hi Church,

This week, our first-week post a ‘COVID-19 Easter’ brings an onset of a new message series. We have Pastor Roelof sharing with us today on the theme ‘un-Isolation’. 

From the very onset of human life, humanity has shut God out. And we still shut God out of our lives and isolate ourselves from God.

In today’s climate of self-isolation the message of a God who comes into wherever we are to rescue us comes as a timely reminder that the God of love does not remain far off, but comes to us in our darkest times to be our light and to give us hope.

Also this week we see the beginnings of a new ministry: “Ipswich thrift.shop’ which is an opportunity for us to serve our community, and care for those in need by taking our parish’s ‘opportunity shops’ online. Please see if you might be able to help, there is more info on skills we are after below.

Have a blessed and great week ahead, and remember, that because of Jesus – we are not isolated. Ever.

In His Service
Pastor Ben

12/04/2020

Hi Church,

On Thursday, we reflected on the events that took place in the Upper Room on the night Jesus was betrayed as we were given the command from Him to ‘Love one another’.

Yesterday, we remembered and recalled the events of Good Friday. Our Lord beaten, bloodied, and bruised for us. Crucified on the cross crying out to His Father, our Father, the same words we at times call out to Him: “My God, my God, why?” As Jesus took on the sins of the world, our sin, and died so that we might live.

Tomorrow, on Easter Sunday we will celebrate again that three days later the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty, he was not there for HE IS RISEN!

But that’s Sunday – today’s only Saturday and so we are waiting, many of us alone, isolated from each other, longing for, pining for a time when we can gather with others once again. It reminds me of the way after the death of Jesus the disciples locked themselves away in a room in fear. But the good news of Easter and of that story is that Jesus, risen from the dead, came to them where they were. In the middle of their fear, in the middle of all the emotions that they were going through, Jesus came to them in grace and said to them “Peace be with you”. 

And that’s what I love about Easter Sunday. Jesus rose to life again, and because of that, we don’t need to live in fear, we can be assured of his presence with us, as He comes to us in our time of need and in grace reminds us that because of what He did, we now have life, forgiveness and salvation. That, I believe is worth celebrating because it teaches us that it is nothing to do with us at all, and all to do with Him.

I look forward to an amazing celebration with you tomorrow, as we gather together as church (virtually, of course) and I encourage you to invite your family, your friends, and your neighbours to watch, experience or listen (phone-in available for all services) as we hear again the story of God’s Amazing Grace – when life begins again.

I would like to just acknowledge all those who have helped out in our worship services over the past month – from the wonderful staff team that I serve alongside, our online worship ‘leaders’, our hosts/pray-ers during service, and everyone else that has helped out in any and every way. It has been an interesting ride, but has allowed us to reach even more people than we have ever reached before with the Good News.

And thank you. Thank you for helping us as a church show we truly are a place “Where love comes to life” as we care for the most vulnerable in our society by responsibly practising ‘social distancing’, while seeking to serve and care for those in need in different and new ways. Change is never easy, and not always enjoyed when it is forced, but it has allowed us to show that church is not something we do, or go to, but the church is who we are.

I truly pray for each of you and that you and your family have a safe and blessed Easter as you celebrate that HE IS RISEN!!

…..

In Service to our Risen Lord,
Pastor Ben Hentschke

05/04/2020

Hi Church,

I almost struggle to believe that it is Palm Sunday. In some ways it doesn’t feel real, not being able to gather together and see the palms decorating our worship centres today.
But it is Palm Sunday – which marks the beginning of Holy Week, as we remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem, beginning his journey towards the cross, and then his glorious resurrection.
Today, I am sharing with you from the Psalms, and giving you a tool to describe who God is, so that in these anxious and troubling times that you might be finding yourself in, and when you tell yourself and others to just ‘trust in God’, you have some substance to those words.
We also are focussing on the kingship of Jesus, and what that means for our lives right now, that He is still in control no matter what is going on around us. 

I encourage you – if you have them, to use palms to decorate your study, or lounge or bedroom, and send in a photo of how you are celebrating Palm Sunday while practising responsible social distancing – I look forward to some amazing pictures!

May God Bless each of you this week, and as we look to the cross, and the journey of Jesus which was far harder than any temporary hardships we are going through, be assured of His strength and comfort in your time of need.

In His Service, Pastor Ben Hentschke

15/03/2020

Hi Church,

This week we are into the third part of our series based on the book of Ezra.

We are talking about worship (because it is actually quite a common theme through the book of Ezra), and how God’s people began to rebuild the altar and then the temple at Jerusalem.

And at the time of Ezra, God dwelt in a physical, geographical place (the Temple in Jerusalem), and so it was important for God’s people to rebuild the temple and begin their worship of God to allow his blessings to flow into their lives as per the Old covenant.

We now live in New Testament (covenant) times, and so instead of God dwelling in a physical, geographical place -he dwells within us.

What does this mean for us? Well it means that worship is who we are, and not something that we do. You are called to live a life of worship, called as living temples of the Holy Spirit to share God’s presence with the world.

The God of love reclaim you with His promises as you worship Him, Pastor Ben

08/03/2020

Hi Church,Today we continue with part two of our series on the book of Ezra called ‘Reclaim’.

And while the reading is a little bit longer than usual (nothing like a good dose of Old Testament history), the history contains an important truth: that God uses unlikely people to accomplish his purposes and bless the community of faith.

King Cyrus, King Darius and King Artaxerxes were all major power influencers of their time in the Persian reign over most of the known world.

Yet God moved in and through them to allow His people to return from exile and begin to establish God’s kingdom in Jerusalem once again, as they begun to rebuild the temple.

And God continues today to use the people in our lives, whether bosses, managers, coaches or politicians to bless the community of faith. I encourage you to keep praying for these people, and thank God for working through them as He seeks to use others to reclaim you!

The God of love reclaim you with His promises this Lenten season, Pastor Ben