In The Lord of the Rings, a hobbit named Gollum discovers a ring which he refers to as “my precious”. He is glad to have found it. Yet sadly, his devotion to it changes him for the worse.
I wonder, what’s the most precious thing you’ve ever discovered?
What were the circumstances that led up to your discovery?
How has your “precious” changed your life?
I think of the miracle of coming to know Jesus. Looking back, I marvel how the Lord kept sowing seeds into my life through people he sent across my path. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the fellowship of his Church, I came to trust, follow, and serve Jesus. I believe he is changing me for the better. If that’s hard for you believe, please be assured that He hasn’t finished with me yet!!!
Looking back, I also think of the mystery of how I came to meet a pretty Qld girl in 1983 – who became my girlfriend, fiancée, and precious wife. Our lives have never been the same since!
The mystery of courtship and marriage is mentioned in Proverbs:
There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman. (Proverbs 30:18-19 NIV)
Discovery often involves an element of mystery.
We cannot always predict or control what we will find.
Sometimes we search without finding.
Other times we find without searching.
And at times, we finally find what we’ve been searching for.
Yet the result of discovering something precious is always JOY!
In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus tells two short stories about “the mystery” of how people “discover” the kingdom of God – and how the joy of that discovery changes their whole lives.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we share in the revealed mystery of the Father’s love for us in Jesus; and celebrate how this new life in Christ changes our lives for the better.
Pr Rolly Stahl
Bible Reading: Matt 13:44-46
Please check the website www.paravista.org.au for podcasts and video archives of weekly messages or head to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/goodshepherdparavista for regular updates and encouragement from our pastors.
Good morning, Good Shepherd Community,
These two sounds, then, give us opportunities to listen and pray.
Over the last four months (it’s strange how quickly they have gone), we have been blessed with the incredible faithfulness and talent of the tech team at Good Shepherd, the song selection team led by James Przbilla and Jason Clarke and the Good Shepherd staff which have continued to provide an option for worship that was truly inconceivable even as of last year. Through the gifts of the people, we have been able to be connected, be the Church, from afar and to sense God’s presence even in separation and experience the hope that we have in Jesus.
Especially on the technology aspect, I wanted to thank Lindsay Freund and Jonathan Woithe for their creative and incredible efforts to piece together equipment and knowhow to make live-streaming possible. Not many would know that they built a computer, used two different cameras (one of them was an old iPhone placed on a tripod) and connected them all to our sound system to allow us all to hear and see God’s word on Sunday mornings.
As we are about to return to the physical space of the church, we know the tenuous nature of what is happening: recent surges in COVID cases in Victoria and New South Wales leave us with a sense of anxiousness: ‘When will it reach us again?’ So, we want to be prepared in that eventuality. In order to facilitate worship for the present and the future, the Good Shepherd board and Good Shepherd pastors believe that now is the best opportunity to purchase video and sound equipment to facilitate worship, Bible study, Thursday interviews and connection with Good Shepherd Primary School. Due to the generosity of Good Shepherd congregation and the recent bequest, there are funds available for this purchase. This week, the board proposed, seconded and voted for up to $35,000 for technology upgrades for the present and the future.
I wanted to thank you all, and the Good Shepherd Board, for visioning for the future as well as the present. If you have any concerns, questions, comments or ideas, please contact me, Pastor Reid, Pastor Rolly or Good Shepherd Board members.
God’s peace to you,
• Hand sanitising on entry.
• Register names and contact details.
• No passing the peace or physical touch – apart from elbow taps.
• Follow the directional arrows for entry, exit, and Holy Communion.
• Social distancing required – 1.5m. There will be a notice on the ends of seating rows to be left vacant.
• People from the same household can sit next to one another. Otherwise we need to keep 2 chair spaces between people.
• Singing is OK.
• Holy Communion (HC) will be offered at both services with wheat/gluten free wafers; and individual cups (wine/grape juice).
• For HC Distribution, please follow arrows along rear sections of sanctuary and proceed up the middle aisle to the front, receive HC, then return to your seats via side aisles.
• In August, we’ll be offering HC at the 8:45am service on the 1st Sunday of the month; and at the 10:30am service on the 2nd Sunday of the month.
• Freewill offerings will be received via a retiring offering on the way out of the sanctuary.
• No tea and coffee afterwards at this stage. Social distancing still required while on site.
• Children will sit with their families. Please feel free to bring activities.
• Due to cleaning requirements:
• Playground next to Revive Café is CLOSED.
• Parenting Change Room also CLOSED.
This Sunday July 26th is our next food collection in support of the Family Hub. This is also our first time back together as a community. What an opportunity to celebrate this wonderful occasion by supporting those in need in our community. Donations can be brought to either service or delivered to the church office during office hours this week (Tuesday thru Friday 9-3:30).
Thanks for your continued generous support during 2020!
Food requirements for this month:
• Pasta sauce
• Muesli bars
• 2 minute noodles
• Pancake mix
• Tins of baked beans
• Tins of spaghetti
• Biscuits – sweet or savoury
• Pancake mix
• Breakfast cereal
• Cheese slices
Blankets and quilts are in great demand in this cold weather. Any donations are gratefully received and soon put to use. Thank you so much!
The Family Hub Team
The SALA Online Program will be going live on Monday, 20th July. There is no printed program this year. To view other SALA virtual exhibitions, go to the online program via this link: https://www.salafestival.com/
Alternatively, the SALA app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Dear Church Family,
What do you treasure most in the world? How much is it really worth? The answer might reveal more than you think… e.g., where you might invest your time…
Check out this week’s Growing Faith at Home talking points and activities and share them with your family!
We are hosting a 6 week Toolbox Primary Years Parenting Course at the school beginning August 4. This course offers practical strategies and insights to inspire and equip you on your parenting journey, wherever you’re up to! Registrations close Thursday July 30. Please see flyer at the end of this newsletter for more details.
God bless you and your week!
Mission Vision Report
Year to Date Variance
Thank you for your continued support towards our congregation’s mission and ministry through regular offerings as our facility and staff continued to operate to keep the community alive and the message spread.
Account number 100354939
Account Name GSPV REG
Connect cards will not be used during services so any requests can be forwarded to the church office via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 8263 5087. Alternatively the care link button on our website can be used. If you know or have spoken to anyone who does not have access to a computer, please assist them to submit their request and offer to pray with them or offer care.
Thanks from Maranatha Health to Good Shepherd
Just a shout-out to all the generous individuals who gave to Maranatha Health before the End of the Financial Year!
It has been a tough few months in Uganda (as it has been in many places around the world), and like many organisations, it has been difficult to plan for the various potential challenges we are facing. But despite the economic downturn in Australia, you responded with generosity and care.
Thanks everyone, for standing with us and the children of Uganda during this time.
If you would like to become an MH partner and set up regular donations to ensure the long term sustainability of our work, please visit www.givenow.com.au/maranathahealth to set up a monthly donation via credit card or direct debit.
News from the Social Club
Three years ago the Good Shepherd Social Club had less than six participants in their Indoor Carpet Bowls activity. Active promotion of the club has seen those numbers increase significantly, with the club now catering to 29 active players! With only enough equipment for 20 players, the Social Club urgently needed to acquire another bowling mat and set of eight bowls. The club applied to the City of Tea Tree Gully in its recent round of Community Grants and was delighted recently to have that grant approved. The new equipment has now been purchased, and the Good Shepherd Social Club wishes to extend its appreciation and thanks to the City of Tea Tree Gully for its support as it continues to offer an avenue for healthy, active participation and socialisation to the local community.