Each week, Andrew our Rector writes a short column of church news and Christian reflection in the pew bulletin.  If you miss a week, you can catch up here.

Sunday 25th June 2017

Welcome to St Jude’s for our special Dedication Sunday service. If you are new, or making an occasional visit especially for today, we hope you find the gathering enjoyable and encouraging.  Everyone is invited to stay on after the service today for a finger food lunch in the Parish Room.

Our usual children’s and youth program is on today.  Children and youth will be invited to head off from church with their leaders at around 10.45 am.  These programs will be on a three-week break from next week, returning Sunday 23rd July.  BUT… parents of babies and toddlers, don’t forget there is a creche in the Parish Room on the first Sunday of each month, including next Sunday 2nd July.

On Dedication Sunday, which commemorates the opening of our building, we give great thanks to God for the provision of this place in which we worship.  To have a place where we can gather in Christ’s name is a wonderful gift of God, and is not to be taken for granted.  Many Christians around the world cannot even meet publicly, let alone in a place as prominent, spacious, and beautiful as St Jude’s.

At the same time, we are reminded that “the church” is not the building, but the gathering of Christ’s redeemed people.  A fundamental part of the Christian life is that God’s people gather together regularly, in anticipation of that heavenly gathering for which we have been bought with Jesus’ blood.  Our gathering here is one of thousands of such gatherings taking place around the world, this very day.

Sunday 18th June 2017

As part of redeveloping our church website, we have a photographer, Katie, with us this week and next.  Please make her feel welcome.

Next Sunday, 25th June is Dedication Sunday, which is one of two Sundays per year when we bring everyone together for a combined gathering at 10.30 am.  Children’s and youth programs will be on as usual.  (Services will not be held at the usual 8.00, 9.30 and 6.30 timeslots.)

Dedication Sunday commemorates the opening of our church building on 29 June 1865 (which was also St Peter’s Day).  As such it is a time to give thanks to God for the ministry that has taken place at St Jude’s over the last 152 years, as well as looking to the future in anticipation of God’s continued blessing.  This year it seems appropriate for me to preach on “The Future of St Jude’s”, based on Matthew 16:13-20.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Don’t forget to keep praying for our new staff member (commencing 2018), Martin E. Robinson, with his wife Emma and baby on the way.

Finally, we need around 10 new hymn books and prayer books.  The wardens and I would like to invite anyone who wishes to donate a book.  The cost is $40 each.  This can be arranged through the church office.

Sunday 11th June 2017

Today is Trinity Sunday, a date specially set aside for considering God’s Three-in-Oneness.  The  nature of our God as one God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is an essential truth.  It underpins everything important in the Christian faith.

Only because Jesus is truly God can we say that God has come to us as a man, and that he understands first-hand what it is like to be human.  Only because Jesus and the Father are One can we be assured that our prayers, in Jesus’ name, are heard by the Father.  Only because the Spirit of the Father and the Son is truly God can we take comfort that God is present with us through the Spirit.

If God were merely One, not Three-in-One, he would inevitably be a distant God who could not be truly known.  As it is, however, he is near to us and can be known through his Son Jesus Christ.  As we come to know God, and of the bond of love between the Father and the Son in the Spirit, we learn that in the very being of God – is love!  This could not be the case if God were not Three-in-One.

This is a matter for wonder and praise of our great God.

On a more prosaic note, don’t forget that Dedication Sunday is coming up on 25th June.  We hold one combined service at 10.30 am, followed by a finger food lunch.  Please use the sign up sheet in the porch to indicate attendance as well as what you can bring.  Looking forward to seeing you there!