LPUC eNews – Sunday 17 June 2018

Our Mission is to
Connect with people in Jesus;
Build each other up in faith; and to
Become Like Jesus.

Mark 2:1-12, Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man

In today’s gospel, we may see several things. First, we notice the faith of four paralytic friends. They want their friend to be healed. It was the motive that they came to Jesus. Moreover, they believed that Jesus could heal their friend. So they did not just sit around and let this opportunity pass him by. They had faith, and that faith demanded action.

Second, we notice their faith produced fruit. When they got near the house, they saw that there was no room to get through. Now, they could have had a good excuse or reason to turn around and go home but these men did not want to quit. They were determined that nothing would stop them from seeing Jesus even at cost to themselves.

Third, we notice the answer of Jesus to their faith. See verse 5, “he said to the paralysed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Here, we see that Jesus, as the Son of God, has the authority to forgive sins. He has the authority to forgive my sins and your sins so long as we are willing to repent and believe in Him. And we see that Jesus wants us to care more about spiritual healing than about physical healing.

Next we notice the attitude of the teachers of law toward what Jesus had done. See verse 6, they murmured in their hearts against Jesus. They had unbelief, especially when what was going on did not fit their traditions or doctrines. They were sceptics. They had closed off their heart to anything other than what they thought was right.

What do you see in this story? What does this story mean for you today? Who are you in this story? Are you one of the four compassionate friends who bring a paralysed friend to Jesus? Are you the paralysed man who responds to Jesus in obedience? Are you the religious leader who know all the right religious stuff and are enthusiastic for your own religion but not for the power and presence and love of God?  IL-WOONG.

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II had two ceremonies to mark the beginning of her public office?

Why we care about Ramadan (ended Thursday 14/6/18)

Wesley Penshurst Uniting Church has been an important part of many lives over the years so it is with much sadness and disappointment that we close at the end of June.

There will be a special service of closure on 1st July 2018 at 2.30pm at which we pass the stewardship of the property back to the Presbytery of Georges River.

As well as grieve this outcome we want to acknowledge and give thanks for the good experiences that have taken place here. Many have “sung their hearts out” here; made dear friends here; prayed through times of hardship here; heard inspiring sermons, and not so inspiring ones; have feasted and studied and served and cared and fixed things…

Come and share the memories and the heartache with us.

The offering in the service will be for the work for The Exodus Foundation. The service will be followed with afternoon tea in the hall.

May we never cease worshipping, witnessing and serving in the Name of Christ wherever we are.

Rev Nancy Brawn 02 9580 3331 nrbrawn@optusnet.com.au

God Revolution Video 11 – How to present the Gospel. “Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”  Acts 8:35.  What does it mean to fully present the Gospel to the unsaved world? In the video above, Peter “Ziggy” Tsiglopoulos, of Business Life in Melbourne, recalls speaking to a party guest about his personal breakthrough from depression. The man called him Peter was able to introduce him to Jesus.  Peter has seen a real shift in people he’s shared the Good News with and through knowing Jesus their stress has been lifted off their shoulders.  When we open our mouths we release a power. When you open your mouth with the Good News, God is with you to amplify it.

Inexpensive chapels on wheels.

The Heart of ManThe Heart of Man is a cinematic retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, intertwined with contemporary and poignant true testimonies of personal and sexual brokenness. These two genres are combined as never before to reveal the compassionate heart of God the father for his sons and daughters illuminating an age-old truth: Shame is not a barrier to God’s love, but a bridge to absolute transformation, victory, freedom and hope.  Event Cinema Hurstville Tuesday 26th June and Wednesday 27th June at 7pm..

Facing Darkness.  It’s the story that shook the world … and challenged the faith of those who lived through it. Now, the amazing true story of how Samaritan’s Purse staff trusted God in the midst of the devastating Ebola crisis in Africa is coming to Sydney for one day only. Plan now to see FACING DARKNESS on Tuesday, 7 August – at 10am, 1pm or 7pm. The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood.  Cost – a suggested donation of $10.00.  See more.

Congregational meeting  On the 24th June we will be having a congregational meeting. During this meeting we will be discussing the budget for the 2018/2019 financial year. If you have anything you would like to discuss please contact Robbie Kell on 0401 843 422 or email robbie@lpuc.org.au. Finally in an attempt to reduce printing we will only have a very small amount of printed documents available. If you would like a digital copy please leave your name and email on the list near the stewards desk or contact Robbie Kell on the above details and request a copy. The meeting will start after the morning service has finished at approximately 11:00am.

Movement Day Australia 2018 Highlights.

Safe access zone bill passes NSW State parliament.

The 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church will take place 8-14th July 2018.

The theme of the Assembly is Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope.

If you are interested there is a lot of information about the Assembly, including reports and proposals that can be accessed here: https://uniting.church

On the website there are also ways you can keep up with what is happening at Assembly and ways you can be involved even though you will not be attending. Please pray for the Assembly and those attending as they discern God’s leading on many proposals and action of the Uniting Church nationally.

Has God changed marriage? Pre 2018 Assembly reflection.

My family and friends were told to say goodbye to me.

Let’s not talk of death and heaven.

Book and DVD of the Week:

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus – A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. By Nabeel Qureshi.  Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way.  Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God.  Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi struggled with an inner turmoil that will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those who are interested in the world’s great religions.  Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking, Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart – and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus.

Waging Peace  Muslim and Christian Alternatives – A brief look at the history of peacemaking in both Christian and Muslim tradition, plus stories of how these faith groups work for peace.  Stories include: * A peace camp for Christian, Jewish and Muslim children building bridges of understanding about each others’ faiths * A project where Muslims and Christians work together to make quilts for refugees and learn to know one another * A health clinic established by a group of Muslim medical students to serve their low-income neighbours * A Christian Peacemaker Team providing a peaceful presence in Iraq.

The end of Ramadan 2017

Why we should celebrate Australia’s refugee policy.