Daily Readings

Due to the holiday season, the January Daily Readings were prepared far in advance of the Summer Series, and therefore are not connected with the content of the Summer Series.
The readings will still follow the same format as before.
Enjoy.

Readings for this week January 21 – 25

Click here for a pdf of this week’s readings

Day 1 – Past and Future

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Philippians 3:7-14

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Question to Consider
Are there things from the past year that you need to consider as ‘garbage’, that you need to let go of in order to take firmer hold of Christ? What things? Why? How will you do this? What does ‘pressing on towards the goal’ mean for you?

Prayer
Heavenly Father, you are the God of past, present and future. I offer up my past year to you – all of it, good, bad and indifferent. Help me release what I need to let go; teach me to hang on to the things of value for the year ahead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 2 – I Am Doing a New Thing

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Isaiah 43:16-21

This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honour me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

Question to Consider
What is the new thing that you think God is wanting to do in your life this year? What new thing is he wanting to bring about in our church and our local communities?

Prayer
Lord God, you are sovereign and yet loving, Lord of all and yet intimately interested in our lives. Thank you for your love and for the good, new things you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 3 – Living in the Promises of God

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Hebrews 11:8-16

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Question to Consider
How easy do you find it to trust the promises that God has made to you personally, and to his people as a whole? What promises of God are you waiting on this year?

Prayer
Almighty Father, help me trust you more in the future, and about the future too. When my faith is failing, shower me with your grace and mercy, so that I may hold to your love and the promises given in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 4 – Pruning the Vine

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – John 15:1-15

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Question to Consider
What pruning do you see God doing in your life in the year ahead? What things do you need to relinquish? Why?

Prayer
Lord God, though pruning and shaping and moulding can be painful, I know you do it because you love me. Give me strength to submit. Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 5 – Praising the God who Protects and Delivers Us

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 31:15-16 and 19-24

But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love…. How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Spend time praying through this psalm

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

2019 Start Up Dates

For Children and Youth 2019 Start Date
Play and Music Halswell February 13
Family Fusion February 10
Music and Movement February 13
Play Group February 12
Play Gym February 14
SHARP After-School Programme February 4
SHARP Holiday Programme January 21
Spreydon Early Learning Centres January 14
SYC Start Up Day February 2
SYC International February 15
The Lighthouse Preschool January 15
For Adults
Foot Clinic January 30
Get Creative Craft Group February 7
Healing Rooms February 4
Keep Active Halswell January 15
Keep Active Spreydon February 4
New Horizons January 14
Oasis February 17
Ricecube February 15
South West English Classes Halswell February 13
South West English Classes Wigram February 14
Tuesday Christian Fellowship February 12
The Living Room February 12
Women of Wellness February 7

For more information contact us after our Church Reception reopens on January 14.

Ethical Christmas Market

Christmas is coming! This year we are doing something a little different – a local Christmas market with a global impact!

We would love to invite you along to an Ethical Christmas Market, Saturday 1 December from 4.00pm – 8.00pm at South West Baptist Church, 244 Lyttelton St.

Our local purchases make a difference to our global friends. Come and #buyfair this Christmas.

• Choose from a range of ethically sourced products, carefully curated by Bruce from The Addington Store
• Create a Christmas craft for free
• Bounce on a castle
• Relax at a coffee cart serving up Jailbreaker coffee
• Purchase some food truck fare
• Soak up some live, local music
• Sit and chat in our Living Room Cafe, over hot chips

And keep an eye out for elements of the Christmas Grotto!

We hope you feel welcome, festive & hope-filled this Christmas season.

Check out our Facebook event for more details.

SWBC  Newsletter June 24 & July 1

“Let us encourage one another, and build each other up” 1 Th 5:11

June 24 & July 1

Kia Ora and Welcome,

This June might be one of the greyest in decades but beyond the clouds the sun still shines. As I’m writing this the cloud is breaking and hints of sunlight are breaking through. Life is often like that. While God is always present and shining on us, the dark clouds of life’s troubles, difficulties, pains and tensions can mar our experience and awareness of the Son. Being a people who encourage each other is important in these times. Who have you encouraged today? Who could you encourage with a card, email, phone call, text, meal, some baking or other means? “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

In this newsletter there is an invitation to an exploration of worship and prayer in Te Reo and an update on our local and global giving. There are so many mission initiatives and avenues of practical care for people happening through our local giving. If you’re not financially supporting the church then please consider being part of us in this way. The very nature of our God is ‘giver’ and God calls us to be generous in our own lives too. Tithing and giving are good for us. In very practical ways they name who God is in our lives and change our nature and sense of dependence. Find out more at www.swbc.org.nz/give.

How is your prayer life growing?

Grace and peace,
Alan

Journey with us and keep up to date with our daily readings. A time to seek God and worship him. Wednesday mornings 7am, Lyttelton St site.

Wanting to find out more about Baptism? We’d love to chat! Contact baptism@swbc.org.nz.

PASTORAL CARE
Our love, sympathy and prayers to Rob & Joy Marshall on the loss of their granddaughter Leela,  who died in Bangkok on May 18, aged one day.Project Esther – Please pray for the team as they lead the services at the  Christchurch Women’s Prison on Sunday July 1.
Mercy Basket – We have some spaces in our cupboards and are in need of canned peas/corn/tomatoes, creamed rice, 2 min noodles, jam, marmite and cereals. Thank you for all your support helping us to help others.LEADERSHIP
General Giving – Although we are slightly behind budget in our general giving year to date, we have had a very positive start to the year. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity in giving financially to the life of the church.Baptism – If you are thinking about Baptism or have any questions we would love to chat. A baptism service is planned for Sunday 1 July. Contact baptism@swbc.org.nz, leave your details at the Info Centre or talk to Warren Read.Enviro Chat – Keen to be involved in a conversation around ways that our faith and the environment can interact? Theologically, practically and more! Come along on Sunday July 1, 2.00pm – 3.30pm at 7 Cobham St. All welcome.

Panel & Prayer – Come and hear from those who have walked alongside former refugees. Then join us in a time of prayer for our families coming from Syria and Iraq and their host communities. Happening on Thursday July 5, 7.30pm at our Balcairn St site.

Ki Te Ao MÄrama – A series of hui exploring the journey to a world of light and truth, using MÄori language and focussed on a MÄori world view and that of other indigenous peoples living in our neighbourhoods. This will take place monthly, beginning on Sunday July 22, 2.30pm – 4.30pm at the Mihi Winiata Whare at Hillmorton High School. For more information contact Doug McNeill 021662515 or Sean Pawson 0274992829.

GENERAL
Lost Property – If you have misplaced an item, check out the table opposite the library.

0-18 MINISTRIES
SHARP Holiday Programme   Enrolments open now!
We provide high quality, low cost care for 5 – 13 year olds. Split into age based programmes for maximum fun, these holidays we will visit the Court Theatre, Canterbury Badminton, Megazone and much more. For more information and to enrol your children go to www.sharp.org.nz.
MINISTRIES
Craft Group – Monday evening June 25, 7.30pm, Lyttelton St site.  Contact Lynette on 338 1324 for further details.
Healing Rooms Seminar –  June 30, 9.00am at St Albans Baptist Church. All welcome. No charge. For more information contact Karen healingrooms@swbc.org.nz.
Living Apart – A 7 week course from DivorceCare featuring experts on divorce and recovery subjects. Beginning Thursday July 12 with a meal at 6.30pm and then DVD and support group until 9.00pm in The Living Room. Contact Peter or Rachel Elliot 0275099920 or livingapart@live.com.
South West Underground Prayer meeting – Our next prayer meeting for Christians that are persecuted in their faith will be on Thursday July 12, 7.30pm, 246 Lyttelton Street. All are welcome – getting a group of like-minded folk together once a month to pray through these issues can be very encouraging. For more information contact Walter, phone 021 487 958.
Sensible Shoes Study Groups – You may have read the book Sensible Shoes, now you have the opportunity to do the study that accompanies the book with a group. Simply fill in a form at Info Centre or Reception before the end of June and we will be in touch about a group that’s starting in a suburb near you. There will also be some groups run centrally. This 12 week study is ideal for anyone wanting to go deeper with God. For more information contact Claire crussell@swbc.org.nz 3384163 ext. 242.
COMMUNITY
West Spreydon Monthly Vision and Prayer Night – Happening Tuesday June 26 from 7.45pm at the Langrell’s – 6 Urella Place.  The night will be entirely focused on our Syrian Family, involving prayer, information sharing and the list of final needs.  West Spreydon Regular Prayer Times –  All are welcome. Wednesdays;
6.30am – 7.00am at 7 Cobham St,
2.00pm – 2.30pm at 6 Urella Place, Mondays; 8.00pm – 8.30pm at 16 Winsor Crescent. For more information contact Dave davelangrell@hotmail.com.
GLOBAL 
Global Magazine – Pick up a copy of the latest Global Magazine from the Info Centre on Sunday.
SENIORS
New Horizons for Seniors and Younger.
Please contact Ruth or Alison 338 4163 ext 221 with queries or see Info Centre for our timetable.
Thursday July 7 – Coffee Morning, Bring and Buy “COW” Table, 9.30am – 11.30am, The Living Room.
Monday June 25 – Exploring Eastgate Mall.  Morning tea/lunch at the Food Court. Meet at Lyttelton St site 10.45am, or Eastgate Foodcourt at 11.00am. Bring your picnic lunch and/or spending money. RSVP by June 21 for transport.
OTHER
Quail Island Sea Kayaking Fundraiser – 
The Adventure Specialties staff are fundraising to attend the International Adventure Therapy Conference in Australia. Spaces available for sea kayaking trip on Saturday June 30, 9.00am – 3.00pm. Cost $100. If you’re interested, contact Mark mark@adventurespecialties.co.nz.
Spreydon School are having a farewell afternoon for the current site on Sunday July 1, 1.00 – 4.00pm.  All people currently or previously connected to the school are welcome.There will also be food available to purchase.

CHAD
Climate change affects all but it is often the most vulnerable who will carry the heaviest burden. Lake Chad, located to the west of Chad, has evaporated 90% over the last 40 years – placing nomadic indigenous groups particularly at risk. As the lake’s shoreline recedes, women have to walk much further to collect water.Globally, women are more likely to experience poverty, and to have less socioeconomic power than men. Around the world, governments and organisations working on climate change are gradually moving to include women’s voices in policy and planning in recognition of this disparity.Please pray for those in power – that they might make wise decisions which seek the good of all. That the voices of the poor and marginalised may be heard, and that we may see transformation.Please pray for our people living in the North African region. Currently, the W family is back in New Zealand. Pray for health and encouragement for them. They return to the region in July. Please pray that they may see the love and hope of Jesus transform their area.

Attachments

Save the date for our next Global Night. Click here to find out more about what is happening in your local community. A new 7 week course, beginning July 12. For more information click here.

SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH

244 Lyttelton Street
Spreydon, Christchurch, 8024
03 3384163
info@swbc.org.nz
swbc.org.nz

, All rights reserved.

SWBC Newsletter June 10 &17

Please continue to pray for the resettlement of our refugee families.

June 10 & 17

Kia Ora Whanau
This Sunday (June 10) we begin profiling the refugee families that we are sponsoring, explaining more about how we will contribute with our prayers, skills, funding, friendship and time. We have started having phone calls with the family members and receiving emails from them. It makes it very real and both exciting and challenging. Our prayer is that we can care for these families and help them integrate well into Christchurch life, communities, schools and work; and that we can document how we have done this in order to help other community groups who might take refugee families in future years. One way some may be able to help us with is buying a house – we are pretty close to being able to purchase a house but need some more funding.  Check soon for an update to my blog.The series we are doing on ‘Prayer Changes Us’ is clearly speaking to many people. Thank you for all your feedback and stories. We sense there is more God wants to show us and raise within us. In response we are extending this series and will be offering more mid-week events around themes from the series and encouraging new prayer groups to form.

Over the last year we have developed ‘The Living Room’ as a space of hospitality and conversation. A space we can live in comfortably and be ourselves. We started opening on Sunday mornings, then added Sunday nights and are now trialing Thursday mornings. If we can make sales equal costs and build teams of people willing to help make the space a great living room, then we will look to make Thursday opening permanent and extend these hours during the week. If you are around on Thursday mornings and looking for a warm and hospitable place to be, stay for a coffee, a bowl of chips, a scone or a slice – you’re welcome!

Speaking of being welcome, Amnesty International has started an ‘I Welcome Pledge’ asking people who are willing to sign and say they would be keen to support community sponsored refugees. The pledge can be found on their website.

Aroha, Alan

Journey with us and keep up to date with our daily readings. Join Elgregoe for a night of fun for International families and friends. Contact Claire for more information. Revitalise your relationship with this well-presented course starting June 24. Click here for more information.

PASTORAL CARE
Project Esther – Please pray for the team as they serve in the Women’s Prison each week and lead the first service of every month.

Expressions of Interest  are welcomed for an additional Chaplain to be appointed to Stepping Stone. The position will be for 8 hours per week. If you are interested in talking more about this position contact Warren wread@swbc.org.nz.

Mercy Basket –Thank you for your continued support. This fortnight we require canned and packet soup, weet-bix, pasta sauce and canned vegetables.

LEADERSHIP
Culture & Resettlement Afternoon –
As we prepare to welcome our former refugees in July, Modar and Ramira are visiting us to talk on making New Zealand their home, understanding different cultural norms and respecting the beliefs of others. Afternoon tea provided. Happening on Sunday June 17, 2.30pm – 4.30pm in The Living Room.

Former Refugee Families – Preparation for the arrival of the families is going well. We will be assisting three families who will arrive in July. They will be settled in Hoon Hay, Spreydon and Somerfield with church members in those areas assisting them. Thank you for your prayers, interest and practical donations. We’re still looking for washing machines, microwaves, a house in the Somerfield area and any opportunities for work experience. For more information, contact Nick Regnault nregnault@swbc.org.nz or phone 022 540 8811.

Baptism – If you are thinking about baptism or have any questions, we would love to chat! Contact baptism@swbc.org.nz or leave your details at the Info Centre.

COMMUNITY
Somerfield Rental Wanted –
We are looking for a three bedroom house, available from the beginning of July for our former refugee family. Ideally looking around Somerfield Park area.Any contacts appreciated. Contact Tim on 0212955198.

0-18 MINISTRIES
SBC Early Learning Centre
– We currently have a position available in our 2 ½ to 3 ½ year old team for a NZ Registered ECE teacher. If you are interested and would like more information please contact Chris Reid at creid@swbc.org.nz.

Whetu Stars – Families who have and/or have had children with disabilities/special needs are invited to come together for food, fun and faith. Happening on Saturday June 16, 2.00pm – 4.00pm at our Balcairn Street site. Contact Andy Carpenter, phone 338 4163 ext 238 or acarpenter@swbc.org.nz.

MINISTRIES
Brown Visit Women’s Reunion
 – A time for women to get together and share about what God has been doing in their lives during and after Sharon and Jack Brown’s visit. This time is specifically for SWBC women. Happening this Saturday June 9, 7.30pm in The Living Room. Please RSVP to Claire crussell@swbc.org.nz if you’d like to attend. There is no charge for the evening.​

South West Underground Prayer Meeting – Our next prayer meeting for Christians that are persecuted in their faith will be on Thursday June 14, 7.30pm 246 Lyttelton Street. For more information contact Walter, phone 021 487 958.

International Magic Night – All International people and their family and friends are invited to a magic show with Elgregoe! Happening on Friday June 15, 7.00pm – 8.30pm at the Mohoao Room in Te Hapua – Halswell Library. $2 per person, supper provided. Contact Claire crussell@swbc.org.nz for more information.

Healing Rooms –  Together we seek God for your healing. We invite you to prayer on Saturday June 23, 10.00am, at 248 Lyttelton St.

Healing Rooms Training Day/Seminar –  June 30, 9.00am at St Albans Baptist Church.  All welcome.No charge. Contact Karen for more information, phone 338 4163.

Marriage Enrichment Course – Time to review and revitalise your relationship?  Well-presented, DVD based series; date-like atmosphere; delicious dessert; no group work.  Course runs for seven Sunday evenings from 7.00pm starting June 24. Registration forms available at Info Centre, or Reception. For enquiries contact Darryl & Claire Taylor darryl.taylor@trimble.co.nz or phone 339 0494 or 021 035 7494.  Cost $75 per couple.

Craft Group – Monday evening June 25, 7.30pm, Lyttelton St site.  Contact Lynette on 338 1324 for further details.

SENIORS
New Horizons for Seniors and Younger. Please contact Ruth or Alison 338 4163 ext 221 with queries or see Info Centre for our timetable.

Monday June 11 – Nick Regnault will talk about how our church is supporting three refugee families.  12.15pm – 2.00pm. $5 lunch provided. The Living Room and Auditorium, Lyttelton St site.

Monday June 25 – Exploring Eastgate Mall.  Morning tea/lunch at the Food Court. Meet at Lyttelton St site 10.45am, or Eastgate Foodcourt at 11.00am. Bring your picnic lunch and/or spending money. RSVP by June 21 for transport.

OTHER
Spreydon School are having a farewell afternoon for the current site on Sunday July 1, 1.00 – 4.00pm.  All people currently or previously connected to the school are welcome.  There will also be food available to purchase.​

Save the date for our church wide prayer evening on July 5. Have questions about Baptism? We’d love to chat more! Contact baptism@swbc.org.nz.

Click here to find out more about what is happening in your local community.

SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH

244 Lyttelton Street
Spreydon, Christchurch, 8024
03 3384163
info@swbc.org.nz
swbc.org.nz

Our mailing address is:

 

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Prayer Changes Us – Always More

Readings for this week June 11 – 17
Click here for a pdf of this week’s readings

Booklet_Front_copy

Day 1 – Going Deeper

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Ephesians 1:15-19a

There is always more of God to encounter and experience. He has more of himself to share with us, more of his hopes to inspire us with, and bigger and greater plans for his creation that he wants us to be a part of. We will never reach the end of him – there are always new depths that he longs to reveal to us. What we need to do in order to experience the hopes and plans and depths of God is to willingly dive deeper into him.

All of us can take the plunge into God, all of us can strive to go deeper. Such a dive will not be the same for everyone as we are all diving from different places and from different positions, and such a plunge into the being of God will not be done the same way by all of us. Each of us, in the individual walk we have with God and in the midst of the different communities we are part of, will go deeper into God in different ways. But common to all these ways and means and methods will be prayer and the other related disciplines of the committed disciple.

There are new, deeper ways of prayer that we can try, as well as new rhythms, both individual and corporate, that can lead us deeper into God. Opening up our lives through deeper prayer will show us that there is more of God waiting for us.

Questions to Consider
How might God be asking you to go deeper into him in prayer? How can you do this? How might others help you?

Prayer
Heavenly Father, take me deeper into you. Reveal more of yourself to me. Make my prayer life a road to a deeper experience of you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 2 – Abandoning Ourselves to God

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Jeremiah 29:12-13

The deeper experience of God talked about in yesterday’s reading doesn’t just happen on its own. New ways of prayer and new spiritual practices and rhythms require something from us in order to be realised. One of the things we need to do (and we need to do it constantly, not just once) is wholly abandon ourselves to God. We need to hold nothing of ourselves back, but fully plunge into God, committing ourselves to him, trusting ourselves to his care, and offering everything we are at any and every given moment to his love.

This isn’t an easy thing to do. We always want to have control, or at the very least, retain an element of control over some portion of ourselves and our lives. We struggle to let go, afraid that maybe we won’t get ourselves back, or that the self we get back will be different, changed. And so we often settle for the comfort of what we know, the life we already have, the rhythms and practices and lifestyle that have served us for so long. We don’t risk, we don’t take a chance, we don’t put ourselves in God’s hands because of fear that, heaven forbid, we might be changed in the process.

But isn’t that part of what we truly need? To be different, to be transformed, to be moulded. Changed, yes, but not unrecognisably so. We will still be us, but a renewed, changed us. With more of God, there will be more of us – a transformed us.

Questions to Consider
What stops you trusting God? What stops you from offering yourself in total abandonment to him?

Prayer
Almighty Father, take away any fear and trepidation I may have, anything stopping me taking the plunge, and help me take the plunge into you. Help me trust you more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 3 – Around and Around and Around

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Isaiah 64:5-9

Abandoning ourselves to God can often seem scary. We’re not sure what will happen. We know he loves us, and wants to change us for the better, but we are uncertain about how he will do this. Maybe it will hurt a bit – actually, there’s no ‘maybe’ about it. There will be some pain as we are moulded and changed by God, because we cannot do it ourselves. There will be parts of ourselves we would rather leave as they are. When we fully abandon ourselves to God we have to let him take over. Because he made us, he knows us intimately. He sees the ‘end product’ and the best way to get us there. And he is the only one who can bring lasting change in us.

We are like lumps of clay on the potter’s wheel. God (the potter) shapes us to be the people we were created to be. We need to allow God to mould us. It will be painful at times as bits of us are pushed about or taken away. But because we can trust God’s love, we can allow him to do this no matter how hard it is. We are in the very best hands.

This process isn’t easy. Being transformed can be painful, but even though it’s hard we have to let God do it. We need to get on the wheel – again and again and again. As one part of the remoulding and remaking process ends, another begins. As one part of our brokenness is healed in preparation for use in God’s kingdom work, another part of us breaks open, ready to be moulded and shaped for his pleasure and his purposes.

Questions to Consider
Have you ever felt like jumping off God’s wheel? What keeps you there?

Prayer
Loving Father, stay with me. Keep me on the wheel. Mould me and make me, give me strength to remain in you when the process feels like it’s too much. Change me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 4 – Moment by Moment

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The transformation we have been addressing this week doesn’t often happen quickly; it’s usually something that God works in us bit by bit, day by day. Because of this, because of the extended time frame in which we are changed, the journey of transformation is a deliberate journey that we must choose to take, again and again. Change occurs in a continuing accrual of moments and thoughts and events that combine to make up a life. Never all at once, but a sequence of many tiny, yet significant, moments. And that means deliberately choosing, every day, every moment, to submit ourselves to the transforming love of our God.

We need to commit ourselves to changing, but at the same time realise that this change originates from God. The primary transformation is the one brought by God himself, through his Spirit in us. Yes, we do still get to make choices and decisions; we do still have what might be called a “duty of moral effort”; we do get to be intimately involved in this process of change – because it is, after all, us that is being changed. But our primary contribution is one of obedience and submission. We need to die to ourselves. This means we have to let go of our lives and let God take charge. Each day we leave behind what we want and let God continue his transforming process in us. God is transforming us every day that we let him, and we know, as Philippians 1:6 says, “that he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Questions to Consider
Looking back, what areas of your life have you seen God transforming? How are you more willing to submit to God throughout this process?

Prayer
God, Lord of All, thank you for your transforming love. Help me make those decisions to place myself in your hands moment by moment. Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 5 – Prayer and Deepening Self-Awareness

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 139:13-16

Prayer leads to a greater experience of God and therefore to a deeper knowledge of God, his mind, his heart and his ways. But as well as leading deeper into God, prayer also leads us deeper into ourselves. One of the gifts that prayer bestows upon us is the gift of self-awareness. We are only truly known in God, but we are not just known by God: we also become known to ourselves. As our true status as a beloved child of God is affirmed – and reaffirmed – through encounter with our Heavenly Father, we also become more aware of who we are as his child. He speaks to us and tells us who we are – who we truly are – and, if we will listen, we come to know ourselves better the more we listen to the voice of the one who made us.

Whether it’s through the growth of the fruits of the Spirit in us, the refining fire that burns away our iniquities and imperfections, or numerous turns on the potter’s wheel, we are transformed and changed more and more into the person God wants us to be. We become more aware of who we are in God, what gifts he is growing in us, his plans for us – and so we become more aware of ourselves, how we operate, what makes us tick, where we fit, what God wants us to do. We aren’t seeking God through prayer just to achieve some sort of personal self-actualisation for our own benefit. We are doing so in order to become our God-created selves for his glory and for the growth of his kingdom in us and in his world.

Questions to Consider
How is prayer helping you become more self-aware? How is your prayer life contributing to personal change in you?

Prayer
Lord God, thank you for not only making me, but for shaping me and helping me see who I really am in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

SWBC Newsletter May 13 & 20

Find new ways to connect with God…

May 13 & 20

Kia Ora Whanau,

At the AGM Ed Warrington spoke on behalf of the Grotto Team saying how much they have enjoyed the 16 year journey of the Grotto: Their surprise and delight as it grew and grew, and their deep appreciation of all those who supported, volunteered and helped. He finished by saying that after having a year off last year the present team cannot continue to lead and bring the Grotto together. The appreciation and honouring of the team was evident in the sustained applause of all those present. From the whole church, thank you to the Grotto Team. To all those who have been part of the team through the years and especially the core team who have dreamt, prayed, created, set-up, run, and packed down the Grotto each year.

We are wondering if there is a way to build the Grotto sets in containers or on pallets or something similar which could allow the Grotto to be set up very quickly, in different venues. This could enable the Grotto to continue, even be further developed in a new way. If you are interested in this idea or developing this idea, please let me know – aj@swbc.org.nz.

I feel the distinctive of Christian relationships and Christian communities is confession and forgiveness. This is the essence of God’s love to us and the essence of what builds Christian depth. We can confess that we are broken, sinful and make mistakes. And the community in God’s goodness can forgive. With that in mind I am very aware we over cooked the AGM. We had too much information (a positive sign of all that is happening in the church) and tried to fit too much in. Sorry. But thank you to those who came and the huge support and engagement that was evident throughout.

This new series – Prayer Changes Us – feels timely and significant. Make the most of it.

I’m away for the next couple of weeks with the team in India and at LIFT International meetings in Thailand.

With my prayers,

Alan

Our new Alpha course begins tonight, please keep this in your prayers. Heathcote River Clean Up happening this Saturday. For more info contact Craig. Family Fusion this Saturday at our Balcain Street site. For more info contact Claire.

PASTORAL CARE
We are saddened this week by the passing of Janet Bensemann. Our love to Paul and family. The funeral will be held on Tuesday May 15, 1.00pm at our Lyttelton St site.Our love and sympathy also to Sharon & Tim Healey and family on the passing of Sharon’s father.

We also acknowledge the passing of Russell Dick whose funeral was held at SWBC last Saturday. Russell was a loved member of the Tuesday Night Christian Fellowship.

Expressions of Interest  are welcomed for an additional Chaplain to be appointed to Stepping Stone. The position will be for 8 hours per week. If you are interested in talking more about this position contact Warren Read wread@swbc.org.nz.

Mercy Basket –Thank you for continuing to support this important ministry. This fortnight we require canned fruit, long-life milk, long-grain rice and soup. God bless, Jordy.

LEADERSHIP
Discovery Lunch for Newcomers
is happening on May 27, 12.30pm at our Lyttelton St site. If you would like to come along and hear about the church, places to belong, learn, grow or to contribute, please leave your name at the Info Centre or email Grace Le Heux at newcomers@swbc.org.nz.

Going Deeper in the Gospel of John Professor Paul Trebilco from the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Otago is running a free two night biblical study on the Gospel of John. Happening from Thursday June 7 – Friday June 8, 7.00pm – 9.00pm at our Lyttelton St site. Spaces are very limited, so please contact Michelle mritchie@swbc.org.nz to register if you are interested.

0-18 MINISTRIES
Family Fusion
 is a new ministry based at our Balcairn Street site. It’s a place where families can come and learn about God together using craft and other creative means, finishing with a meal. It runs one Saturday afternoon a month and is for families that live in the wider Halswell area, that wouldn’t usually go to church. The next session will be held this Saturday May 12, starting from 4.00pm. For more information about the programme and if you’d like to join the team please contact Claire crussell@swbc.org.nz or phone 3384163 ext 242.

Toolbox Parenting Courses –   Primary Years (5-9 years) course running Tuesday evenings, beginning May 29. Baby + Toddler course running on Thursday mornings, beginning May 31. Both courses held in our Cobham St Hall. For more information or to register contact Lidwina on 027 274 1686 or lclarke@swbc.org.nz.

SBC Early Learning Centre:
We currently have a position available in our 2 ½ to 3 ½ year old team for a NZ Registered ECE teacher. If you are interested and would like more information please contact Chris Reid at creid@swbc.org.nz.

MINISTRIES
Pre-Winter Men’s Breakfast –
Happening on Saturday May 26, 8.00am – 10.00am in The Living Room. Walter Lewthwaite and Richard Watson will be sharing. Tickets available from the Info Centre or Reception. $15 adults, $10 youth. Enquiries to Kevin Stevenson, phone 027 567 7118.

Sharon & Jack Brown Visit – Sharon and her husband Jack will be with us from May 18 – 27. We have a number of opportunities for men and women to engage and learn new ways to connect with God.  Evening sessions will run from 7.30pm – 9.00pm, with a suggested koha of $10. These include:
Developing Healthy Rhythms:
Tuesday May 22 | Balcairn St site
Processing Grief:
Wednesday May 22 | Lyttelton St site
Transitioning through Stages of Faith:
Friday May 25 | Lyttelton St site
For more information on the other sessions planned, please head to
our website www.swbc.org.nz/sharon. Books are available for sale from the Info Centre and Reception, hurry before they run out again!

Healing Rooms –  Together we seek God for your healing. We invite you to prayer on Saturday May 26, 10.00am at 248 Lyttelton St. Call Karen for more information 3384163.

Healing Rooms Seminar/Training – Saturday June 30. All are welcome. For more details contact Karen 3384163.

GLOBAL
Global Night –
Happening on May 14, 7.30pm in The Living Room. Come along and pray for our people and places around the world.

SENIORS
New Horizons
for Seniors and Younger. Please contact Ruth or Alison 338 4163 ext 221 with queries or see Info Centre for our timetable.
Monday May 14 –   Quiz with Leitha Adams, 12.15pm – 2.00pm. $5 lunch provided at our Lyttelton St site.
Thursday May 24 – Let’s explore Rangiora! Wheelchair friendly wetlands walk, shopping, coffee, art gallery – bring your lunch or moeny to spend on lunch out. 9.00am – 2.30pm.

Keep Active –  Circuit Exercise Sessions. A fun social setting with a choice of times.
$4 per session. Contact Ian & Irene for more information, phone 338 1674.
Lyttelton St site – Monday 9.30am and 11.00am, and Thursday 1.00pm.
Balcairn St site –  Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.30am.

OTHER
Grace Vineyard Singles Event –
Come along for viewing of ‘Soul Mates: Fact or Fiction’. Open to anyone who is single, separated, widowed or a single parent.  Happening on Friday June 8, from 7.30pm at Grace City Campus, 150 Ferry Road.

CHINAFor years, China has been the world’s largest importer of waste. In 2015, 70% of global plastic and 37% of waste paper was shipped to China, with most of it originating from the United States and Europe. Although recycled waste lowers production costs, it contributes to unregulated and hazardous working practices. It has also taken a toll on the environment. In China people facing poverty have borne the brunt of these injustices.

China is now moving to reduce the amount of waste it imports. For the rest of the world, this means rethinking how waste is managed.

Pray for justice and freedom for those who work in hazardous and unregulated working conditions. Pray that God would be at work in the lives of those people in power to work for justice.

Pray that the church in China would be a strong and united voice that demonstrates the values of the Kingdom of God. For the church across the whole world, pray that we may be good stewards of God’s creation.

Attachments

Come along to hear about and pray for our people and places around the world. Saturday May 28, 8.00am – 10.00am. Book at the Info Centre or head to our website for more info. Baby + Toddler and Primary Years Courses starting soon! Contact lclarke@swbc.org.nz.

SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH

244 Lyttelton Street
Spreydon, Christchurch, 8024
03 3384163
info@swbc.org.nz
swbc.org.nz

, All rights reserved.

Prayer Changes Us

Readings for this week April 30 – May 4
Click here for a pdf of this week’s readings

Day 1 – Being Prepared to Listen

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – 1 Samuel 3

God is passionate about speaking to us. His desire is to meet with us, talk to us, and be with us. We are not trying to get in touch with an absent God who is so unwilling to talk to us that he keeps running away from us or ignoring us when we call. The Bible is full of examples of God speaking to people: he spoke to Balaam through a donkey, he talked to Moses through a burning bush, and he got King Belshazzar’s attention by writing on a wall. And, of course, his ultimate word to us was the embodied Word of his son Jesus, incarnate among us. God has a huge variety of methods available to him. Scripture is essentially a record of God’s desire to be with his people.

We don’t need to worry about whether God wants to talk to us—he will do whatever it takes to get through to us. What might need work is how well we listen, how well our lives are set up to allow us the time and space to hear him. A life oriented towards anything other than the loving presence of God will be a life in which the loving voice of God calling to us is slowly drowned out. God called Samuel several times before Samuel was eventually primed to respond to him appropriately. We need to learn to know God’s voice and listen to it; and we do this by making sure we allow ourselves space to hear him, as Samuel eventually did. When God speaks, it’s vital that we are ready to hear.

Questions to Consider
How do you ‘prime’ yourself to be ready to listen to God? What steps do you take to make sure your life is turned towards God and hearing his voice?

Prayer
Lord God, thank you for wanting to talk to us and be with us. Help me listen harder, longer, deeper to your voice in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 2 – Preparing Ourselves

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 119:148

Deeper communion with God isn’t necessarily automatic. We cannot make it happen, like flicking a switch. We can’t manipulate God like that, turning the relationship on and off like that. A better way of understanding engaging with God is perhaps supplied by the analogy of when we are going to sleep. We cannot make ourselves fall asleep. We cannot just lie down in bed, close our eyes and will ourselves to fall asleep immediately. Sleep does not happen that way. We cannot make ourselves sleep, but we can create the conditions that allow sleep to happen, we can create an environment that is conducive to sleep occurring, so that when it comes time for us to go to bed, all is in readiness for us to fall asleep quickly.

Communion with God is like this, in that we can create the circumstances in which connecting with God can occur, we can set up our internal focus and our external environment in such a way that conditions for connecting with God are highly favourable. An encounter with the God who wants to be known is still an act of God, not an act of ours. But we can position ourselves and prepare for an encounter; it is up to God to make it happen.

But remember, God is always with us. He is always there, even in times of emergency and stress when we cry out to him. He hears us always, no matter the circumstances of our call. But for sustained, deep, regular, meditative communion with our God, we need to be ready.

Questions to Consider
What is God saying to you? How has he been talking with you today/this week?

Prayer
Heavenly Father, help me deepen my relationship with you through deepening my time with you. Help me widen the spaces in my life where you can grasp more of me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 3 – Centering Ourselves

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 46:10

Regular users of these daily readings will have noticed the phrase “Silence, Stillness and Centering before God” near the top of each page. Silence and stillness, yes, that makes sense; setting aside some time and (quiet) space in order to devotionally attend to these (or any) readings or passages of scripture seems sensible. But what about that word ‘centering’? What does that mean? Is it just another word for ‘stop and be still’? Or does it hint at something else? Are we encouraging something more than just sitting and reading quietly, with a short prayer at the end?

Centering prayer, as recorded and written about, has been part of Christian practice and tradition since at least the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century. Different groups use different practices when it comes to centering prayer, but a simple definition of its function is to cultivate interior silence and stillness in order to facilitate greater openness to God. It is not a replacement for other prayer, but is rather an aid to deeper prayer and connection with God and his loving presence. Thomas Merton described centering prayer as “prayer centred entirely on the presence of God.” As has been stressed in previous readings this week, if we wish to hear from God, we need to attend to him, allow time and space for us to be open to connecting to and hearing from him. Centering prayer, where we stop, relax ourselves, perhaps mentally focusing on a sacred word or phrase, the repetition of which allows us to be more than usually focused on the presence of God, is designed as an aid to this end.

Questions to Consider
What do you think of the idea of centering prayer? Do you already do something similar? How does it help you prepare?

Prayer
Lord God, may I know more of you and experience more of your presence in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 4 – Meditating on Scripture

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Philippians 4:8-9

One of the main tools Christians have used throughout the centuries to aid their prayer is, of course, the Bible. (It is not the only tool; many people engaging in meditative or contemplative prayer have used other devotional writings, paintings, nature, sunrises or sunsets – or have just luxuriated in the loving presence of God.) The Bible, as a record of the revelation of God, culminating in the incarnation, is a key source for prayer. Meditative prayer uses the Bible, yes, but not as a text book, or a dictionary, or collection of inspiring stories. Meditative prayer focuses on personalising and internalising a passage of Scripture as a way to God.

A very simple way (one of many) to meditate prayerfully on Scripture is through the use of our focused imagination. We meditate on the passage in question. We reflect on the passage, on the story or situation or thoughts described. We imaginatively put ourselves in the picture, think ourselves into the situation, into the story. What do we see? What can we hear? What might we be thinking and feeling as the situation we have put ourselves into unfolds around us? What are our reactions to the passage and what it contains? As we do this, we will begin to learn things about ourselves – our hopes, fears, desires, needs – that maybe we weren’t fully aware of, or that we had been denying, ignoring. But most importantly we will encounter God in the story. What is he saying to us? How does this passage reveal who God is and what he is like? What truth is therein contained that he wants us to grasp? What is he revealing about himself?

Questions to Consider
What role does Scripture play in your prayer life? How does it grow your relationship with God? How does scripture (trans)form you as a person?

Prayer
Almighty Father, take me deeper into your word, so that I may be taken deeper into you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Day 5 – God at the Centre

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 119:9-16

Remember, in Meditative Prayer God is always addressing our will. Christ confronts us and asks us to choose. Having heard his voice, we are to obey his word. It is this ethical call to repentance, to change, to obedience that most clearly distinguishes Christian meditation from its Eastern and secular counterparts. In Meditative Prayer there is no loss of identity, no merging with the cosmic consciousness, no fanciful astral travel. Rather, we are called to life-transforming obedience because we have encountered the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Christ is truly present among us to heal us, to forgive us, to change us, to empower us.

There is a technical word for what I have been describing, and it might be helpful for you to know it – lectio divina, (divine reading). This is a kind of reading in which the mind descends into the heart, and both are drawn into the love and goodness of God. Henri Nouwen once pointed to a lovely picture hanging in his apartment, and said to me, “That is lectio divina.” It depicted a woman with an open bible in her lap, but her eyes were lifted upward. Do you get the idea? We are doing more than reading words; we are seeking “the Word exposed in the words”, to use the phrase of Karl Barth. We are listening with the heart to the Holy within. This prayerful reading, as we might call it, edifies us and strengthens us.

-Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, pp.157-8

Questions to Consider
How do you experience God in Scripture and in prayer? How have these experiences evolved over time? How have you changed as a result?

Prayer
Loving Father, change me through prayer. Deepen my relationship with you through the time I spend in prayer. Expand my heart and mind, and make them more like yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

SWBC Newsletter April 29 & May 6

Be involved. Have your say. Come to our AGM!

April 29 & May 6

Kia Ora and Welcome

‘Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!’ Psalm 66:1-2

As I am writing this the sun is streaming through the window of my office. What a wonderful time of the year! In the past week I have spoken to people who have enjoyed refreshing times in places like Hanmer and Queenstown where the autumn colours are at their best. To think that our Creator made all this for us to enjoy is pretty amazing!!

This past week has also been a time of praise and thank you to God for the sacrifice that was made for us by the ANZAC soldiers and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. At Tuesday Christian Fellowship we also took the opportunity to say thank you for all the provisions that God gives us with a Harvest Festival celebration.  God certainly deserves all the praise that we can muster!

This Thursday, May 3, is our church AGM. We would love you to be a part of this important meeting as we look back over the past year and look forward to what God has for us in the coming year.

Our next Alpha course begins on May 10. This is a fantastic opportunity to invite friends and family. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact Janelle alpha@swbc.org.nz.

Blessings,
Warren

Family Movie Night. Friday April 27, 6pm at our Lyttelton St site. Details of nominees are available on our website. Find out more about becoming a member of the church, contact membership@swbc.org.nz.

PASTORAL CARE
Mercy Basket – It’s great to see the donations coming in thank you, the need always increases as the weather gets colder. This fortnight we require baked beans, spaghetti, pasta, canned vegetables, and biscuits. God bless, Jordy.LEADERSHIP
You’re Invited to Dinner! Alpha is your chance to explore some of the big questions of life in a relaxed and informal way. If you  are still deciding whether to attend, take up our dinner invite, find out what it’s all about and decide from there. No pressure! The new course starts Thursday May 10, 6.30pm. Chat to Janelle or contact alpha@swbc.org.nz to find out more.

Heathcote River Clean Up – On Saturday May 12 from 10.00am until 12.00pm, you’re invited to join our Re-Genesis crew as they participate in a clean-up of the Heathcote River. We’ve been assigned the area of the Heathcote River between Centennial Park and Rose Street and the Spreydon Domain area. There’s no expectation to enter the river, but please bring sturdy shoes and gloves. To find out more, contact Craig at regenesis@swbc.org.nz.

Prayer for Syrian Immigrants – If you would like to receive prayer points once a month about the Syrians Immigrants arriving later this year, please email Nick nregnault@swbc.org.nz, or talk with Shirley McKenzie.

Membership is a personal commitment to being part of decision making inthe life of our church. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a member of the church, contact membership@swbc.org.nz.

Donation Tax Receipts for the year ending March 31 2018  are available for collection from the Info Centre or Reception during the week.

The Living Room team are looking for donations of board games to help create a fun and welcoming environment. Donations can be left at the Info Centre or Reception during the week. Thanks in advance for your support!

MINISTRIES
Craft night –
Monday April 30, 7.30pm at our Lyttelton St site.  Contact Lynette on 338 1324 for further info.  All welcome.

Healing Rooms –  Together we seek God for your healing. We invite you to prayer on April 28, 10.00am and May 7, 7.30pm at 248 Lyttelton St. Call Karen for more information 3384163.

Sharon & Jack Brown Visit – Just a few short weeks until Sharon and her husband Jack will be with us (May 18 – 27). We have a number of opportunities for men and women to engage with topics such as spiritual disciplines, grief, stages of faith and going deeper with God. For more information please head to our website www.swbc.org.nz/sharon or refer to the attched flyer. Books are available for sale from the Info Centre and Reception, hurry before they run out again!

Cross Over Trust – If you would like to find out more about what we have been up to, please pick up a copy of our 2017 Annual Report at the Info Centre or Reception during the week. For more information on how you can be involved, please contact Roy Kenneally on 021 889 199 or email rkenneally@swbc.org.nz.

GLOBAL
Prayer Meeting –
Join us in prayer for Phil and Chris Carr for their work in PNG. Next prayer meeting on Wednesday May 9 from 7.30pm at 18 Honeysuckle Place. Any queries call Evelyn 021 0291 6084.

Global Night – Happening on May 14, 7.30pm in The Living Room. Come along and pray for our people and places around the world.

SENIORS
New Horizons for Seniors and Younger.
Please contact Ruth or Alison 338 4163 ext 221 with queries or see Info Centre for our timetable.
Thursday May 3 – Coffee Morning &  Bring & Buy “COW” Table with produce from our garden. A donation  for the child we sponsor is appreciated. 10.30am, at our Lyttelton St site.
Monday May 14 –   Quiz with Leitha Adams, 12.15pm – 2.00pm. $5 lunch provided at our Lyttelton St site.

Keep Active –  Circuit Exercise Sessions. A fun social setting with a choice of times. $4 per session. For more info contact Ian and Irene 338-1674.
Lyttelton St site – Monday 9.30am and 11.00am, and Thursday 1.00pm.
Balcairn St site –  Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.30am.

OTHER
World Vision 40 Hour Famine Fundraiser
– Izaac Wilson is hosting a breakfast to raise funds for South Sudan. Happening on Saturday May 12, 8.30am – 10.30am in The Living Room. Cost: $20. To sign up, contact Izaac izaacwilson123@gmail.com.

GLOBAL PRAYER FOCUS

The Sahel RegionTo the south of the Sahara desert is the vast Sahel region, a belt of grassland and savanna that stretches from Senegal to Sudan. This area faces huge challenges from climate change, political instability, and insurgency. We hear of kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, the drying up of the Lake Chad basin, and ongoing instability in Sudan. These are just a few examples of the issues this region is facing.

Please pray for world and regional leaders as they continue to try to work together to find solutions for this area. Pray for strong voices that can speak for peace. Pray that the world can work together to tackle climate change so that the most vulnerable in our earth can live. Pray that God would work in this area so that all people would know His peace.
Pray for the Wright family, who live in the region. This year they are primarily involved in language study. Pray for perseverance, good health, and good friendships in their community. Pray that God would continue to lead them as they are a part of His work in the area.

The new course starts Thursday May 10. For more information contact alpha@swbc.org.nz Sharon and her husband Jack will be visiting us from May 18 – 27. www.swbc.org.nz/sharon Donation tax receipts available from the Info Centre and Reception.

SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH

244 Lyttelton Street
Spreydon, Christchurch, 8024
03 3384163
info@swbc.org.nz
swbc.org.nz

, All rights reserved.

SWBC Newsletter April 15 & 22

Begin your greatest adventure!

April 15 & 22

Kia Ora

I don’t know about you, but I find that some weeks flow well and others are more demanding and draining. Some weeks I’m pretty OK at my personal disciplines and keeping focused on the ‘moment by moment’ presence of God. This week hasn’t been one of those weeks for me. To top it off, this week I’ve been teaching those training to be pastors on ‘leading yourself’.

The great news is that God understands our good weeks and our not so flash ones and yet God’s love and presence remains the same. Talking with the students about ‘falling forward’ has been helpful for me too. By falling forward I mean being honest and gentle with ourselves and choosing to keep going forward despite tripping up or not getting everything right. That is what Easter is all about. The promise that out of death and failure God brings new life, hope, meaning and power.

Coming up is our church AGM. We will hold the AGM on Thursday May 3 and would love you to be part of it. These are encouraging evenings involving looking in more detail at our experience as a church over the last year and casting our minds and hearts forward for the year ahead. I hope you can come!

Grace and peace,
Alan

A place where families can have fun and learn about God. For more info contact Claire. A personal commitment to be part of the decision making in the life of our church. Be active. Be there.
We’d love to see you!
Thursday May 3, 7.30pm

LEADERSHIP
You’re Invited to Dinner!
Alpha is your chance to explore some of the big questions of life in a relaxed and informal way. If you  are still deciding whether to attend, take up our dinner invite, find out what it’s all about and decide from there. No pressure! The new course starts Thursday May 10, 6.30pm. Chat to Janelle or contact alpha@swbc.org.nz to find out more.Prayer for Syrian Immigrants – If you would like to receive prayer points once a month about the Syrians Immigrants arriving later this year, please email Nick nregnault@swbc.org.nz, or talk with Shirley McKenzie.

Membership is a personal commitment to being part of decision making inthe life of our church. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a member of the church, contact membership@swbc.org.nz.

Donation Tax Receipts for the year ending March 31 2018  will be available for collection from the Info Centre from Sunday April 22 or Reception during the week.

Heathcote River Clean Up – On Saturday May 12, the weekend of Mother’s Day, you’re invited to join our Re-Genesis crew as they participate in a clean-up of the Heathcote River. More details to follow – save the date!

Contact Details Update – Have you  changed your email address? Connect is our church database system, and one of our key communication tools. Please check that your email address in Connect is up to date, so that you’re not missing out on important information! If you’ve forgotten your log in details, please email connect@swbc.org.nz, or to sign up for Connect head to our website, click the ‘Login’ button, and then the ‘Sign Up’ option.

The Living Room team are looking for donations of board games to help create a fun and welcoming environment. Donations can be left at the Info Centre or Reception during the week. Thanks in advance for your support!

PASTORAL CARE
Mercy Basket –
Thank you for your donations, the items we are low on are canned fruit, biscuits, tuna and pasta. God bless, Jordy.

Knowing God – Head along to the Ellel Ministries workshop to understand more of God and connect with him more deeply. Friday May 4 – Saturday May 5 at Grace Vineyard Church, 150 Ferry Road. Cost is $55, to register email info.newzealand@ellelministries.org or phone 021 2698384.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Alpha Organiser/Co-ordinator  –
Expressions of interest are invited for someone with a passion to make things happen! This is a flexible support role which includes co-ordinating volunteers, food and communication  through various channels. This role is a paid position  of up to 10 hours per week including one evening. For more information contact alpha@swbc.org.nz.

MINISTRIES
Healing Rooms –  
Together we seek God for your healing. Every fourth Saturday, 10.00am, and every first Monday, 7.30pm, at 248 Lyttleton St. Call Karen for more information 3384163.

Sharon & Jack Brown Visit – Sharon is a spiritual director and the author of the ‘Sensible Shoes’ series.  Sharon and her husband Jack will be visiting us from May 18 – 27.  Head to www.swbc.org.nz/sharon for more information and to sign up for the day retreat they will be running. We have currently sold out of Sharon’s books, however orders can be placed with Manna Christian Stores.

SENIORS
New Horizons for Seniors and Younger.
Please contact Ruth or Alison 338 4163 ext 221 with queries or see Info Centre for our timetable.

Monday April 16 – Come along and “Write your Memoirs” with Shirley McKenzie. 11.00am – 12.00pm in the Board Room.

Thursday April 19 – Join us for morning tea at Terra Viva. Leaving our Lyttleton Street site at 9.45am. Please RSVP by Monday April 16.

GLOBAL MISSION FOCUSBANGLADESH

Bangladesh is a majority Muslim nation in South Asia. Although in their constitution Bangladesh allows freedom of religion, in reality Christians face increasing persecution. The Pope visited Bangladesh in December last year. Pray his message of peace between people of different religions would continue to resonate around the country, and that there would be an end to religious persecution.

Bangladesh continues to host hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees. Pray for the government as they make plans to repatriate them: for wise decisions that will work for the good of the refugees. Pray that the world would continue to support the Rohingya so they can return to safe homes.

Pray for Vijaya who heads up the Christian Discipleship Centre (CDC) in Dhaka. The Centre trains Christian leaders from around Bangladesh. At present Vijaya is in Sydney undergoing surgery and will return to CDC in May. Pray for healing and ongoing good health.

Attachments

Join us May 14 for our next Global Night, The Living Room, 7.30pm. Sharon and Jack Brown are here May 18 – 27. For more details click here. For more information on our local communities check out our website.

SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH

244 Lyttelton Street
Spreydon, Christchurch, 8024
03 3384163
info@swbc.org.nz
swbc.org.nz

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