Encounters with Jesus 2: Mary (sister of Lazarus) – Extravagant Worship
In our Lent-Easter worship series, Encounters with Jesus, we’re following Jesus from his raising of Lazarus to his resurrection, based on John’s account.
Over the season of Lent, we encourage you to read and reflect on the Gospel of John, taking note of people’s reactions to Jesus’ claims, teaching and miracles. An example from my reading this morning. When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him (Jn 10:30-31). Jesus receives a similar reaction in John 5:17-17, and 8:58-59.
Over these weeks, we will hear stories from people who encountered Jesus. With each character’s name, there’s a tag word/phrase to describe their experience.
This Sunday: Mary (sister of Lazarus) – Extravagant Worship.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind with the word “worship”?
I’d hazard a guess that most died in the wool Lutherans would think of Sunday services: “I’m going to worship.” Through our freewill offerings, we worship God and share in his mission of making Jesus known in our community.
But is worship just what we do on Sunday mornings – or is it what we do in and through our everyday lives?
One thing’s for sure: we don’t worship God to gain his favour. Rather, we worship God because we already have his favour.
Knowing that we are loved, precious, and of such great worth in God’s eyes that he sent his Son into the world to die for us and make us his forever – this brings us into a relationship with God where we love to do life with him and for him.
Our worship is a response to God’s providence for us in creation, his unfailing love for us in Jesus, and the new life we have by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. In our relationship with God, every thought, word and deed can be an act of worship.
Our story this Sunday is an amazing account of worship – of pouring out. It precedes Jesus’ pouring out his holy and innocent blood for you and for me!
In the word of Isaac Watts, “Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.” (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Lutheran Hymnal 54)
Peace in Jesus!
Bible Reading: John 12:1-11
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 ministry team.
Pr Rolly Accepts Call
Recently I announced my acceptance of the call to St John’s Tea Tree Gully. Here’s what I shared with the Good Shepherd family about reaching that decision:
In our Lutheran Church, there are always vacant congregations looking to call a new pastor. For my first 11 years at Good Shepherd, I had a variety of reasons for not being open to a call (e.g. children’s education, things on the go here at Good Shepherd).
During 2021 this changed. So when congregations asked if there was any reason why I would NOT consider a call, my response was that I’d be open to a call in late 2021 or early 2022.
After Pr Reid left in October 2021, I felt some responsibility for pastoring the congregation through the vacancy – and was no longer sure about being open to a call.
Then in late January 2022, I received the call from St John’s. A number of you expressed a desire for us to stay – yet with understanding and support if God wanted us to move on. We have indeed valued and appreciated your love and prayers over these weeks!
About a week or so into the call process, I realised that even if I accepted the call, Good Shepherd would still make its way through this season of transition. Here’s why. Jesus is the Lord of the Church and our Good Shepherd. The life, health and future of this congregation doesn’t depend on me, but on the Holy Spirit and every person who is part of the body of Christ here. From that point on, I felt a freedom to stay; and a freedom to leave.
After 12 years of feeling very much at home at Good Shepherd, with people who have loved and supported us, the possibility of moving from what’s familiar and comfortable to another congregation where we’d need to start from scratch has been challenging.
After praying and wrestling over this decision – with some heaviness of heart about leaving you – we have come to a settled sense of peace in accepting the call to St John’s.
We appreciate this may be difficult for some of you – just as it is for us.
At this stage, my last Sunday as your pastor will be May 1st. Before starting at St John’s, we must take all accumulated annual leave, followed by 2 weeks of relocation leave. Tentatively, this will mean moving across in mid-June, with an installation in early July.
I dearly want us to finish well. Yes, there will be sorrow, snot and tears! That is normal and healthy where there has been mutual love and respect between people. Yet let’s also enjoy and savour the next 2 months we have together. Knowing we are much loved children of Father God, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and encourage one another to keep cracking on!
Joy and Peace in Jesus!
Pr Rolly Stahl
The Board, Ministry Coordination Group and Call Committee of Good Shepherd would like to invite all our members to two consultation sessions.
These will be held on Wednesday 23rd & 30th March at 7:30pm in Good Shepherd Hall.
This consultation is open to the whole of our community and is a listening exercise to discern God’s will for Good Shepherd at this time.
It is hoped that a renewed sense of shared ownership can be held by all in our community. This will help prioritise future actions and activities.
It is not a constituted meeting where decisions are formally made, but a listening and consultation process.
Please keep this in your prayers and make a note of these dates.
Next Grow Ministries Workshop
Our next workshop with Grow Ministries is here at Para Vista, on
Saturday 26th March 8.45-1pm.
We will focus on “Missional Faith Formation”. Look beyond the walls of our church buildings and seek to understand the people in our local communities. Who are the spiritual but not religious in our area? What about church refugees? Why is it important to understand those we are trying to reach? We explore models and approaches for missional outreach and pathways for encountering Jesus.
Everyone is welcome! If you would like to come along, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Tea and coffee will be provided but please BYO morning tea.
Our small group attended the car drive last Sunday. A wonderful opportunity to connect with different generations and share how we’re doing life with Jesus. The fantastic weather and views weren’t too bad either! Well done to the organisers!
“A community which intentionally develops intergenerational relationships to grow faith in Jesus so that He can build His Kingdom here and now.”
Grow Team Leader
Please forward all prayer requests to the church office via email@example.com or phone 8263 5087. 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. Prayer requests are not included in the weekly news online. If you would like to view the current requests please refer to the email that alerted you to this weekly news.
40th Anniversary Commemorative Wines and Video
Your last chance to secure a selection of Good Shepherd Lutheran School 40th Anniversary wines, is now!
Late last year we joined with Prospect Wines to offer a selection of six wines to help raise funds for our school community, and to help commemorate our school’s 40th anniversary.
Thank you for your support! A final opportunity exists to participate.
Order online for delivery direct to your door: https://bit.ly/3sHcJvW
The rich history and stories of the past 40 years also came together in a video documentary. Enjoy! https://bit.ly/34b1Bhy
Have you joined us for Chapel this year? While we are still unable to gather in large groups, our weekly whole-of-school worship remains a priority and is being delivered digitally for classes and families to share in. We invite you to join us: https://bit.ly/3720JNq
This week Pastor Joel from Salisbury talked about three amazing friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You might like to read his reflection in this week’s devotion! https://paravista.org.au/good-friends/
Family Support Coordinator News
Growing Faith at Home
Dear Church Family,
What are you longing for? I’m sure the answer is right there in your mind as you read this.
Today’s Caring Conversations reminded me that we aren’t the only ones who have deep yearnings. Jesus himself longed to gather the people of Jerusalem to himself like a mother hen gathers her chicks. (You can almost hear his heartache and compassion in these words.) What does this tell us about him? Have you ever felt Jesus ‘gather’ you close to him? When and how?
Check out this week’s GFH resource entitled ‘God holds us close’ for ideas and activities to explore with your family. Or, for a Lenten activity, you might like to get creative and make a hessian cross bookmark. You can find them here: https://paravista.org.au/ministries/children-family-ministry/
May God gather you close in his arms today so that you feel his love for you
Little Lambs Update
Dear Church Family,
Do you have a heart for little ones? Our community values opportunities to connect with families with little ones.
Little Lambs Playgroup for 2022 is currently under construction.
If this is something you feel led to be a part of, I would love to hear from you. There are plenty of resources ready to go thanks to the creativity, generosity and love of previous Little Lambs team leaders.
Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with me sometime about this valuable opportunity.
Will keep you posted on Little Lamb’s next chapter. Watch this space!
What is NOVO?
NOVO is the SA-NT District camp for young people in Year’s 7-12, held annually in the April school holidays. NOVO aims to grow our young people I the faith and encourage them to talk about that faith with others. There are daily times of praise and worship, teaching opportunities to unpack and discuss teaching in small groups, awesome games and activities, and plenty of time to forge and strengthen friendships with other young people.
It is held at Cornerstone College, Mt Barker April 20-23. A significant sponsorship is available for first time campers. For others (leaders/ campers) we have a discount code available. See Georgie or the Church Office for details.
For more information or to register: https://www.blueprintministires.org.au/camps/novo/
God bless your week!
Our hospitality restrictions have further eased, and we are now permitted to seat up to 118 people in the hall area for functions, and 55 people in the café. Eating or drinking indoors can now be done so whilst standing. Thanks to all who have respected these requirements and continued to make our place of worship a safe place. Remember to be vigilant in keep the ventilation open and cleaning the facility after each use/spraying with sanitiser (DO NOT wipe as this only spreads the bacteria.)
While we still have restrictions in place (including wearing of masks and distancing) we are still required to QR into the facility at all times.
Professional Standards/Safe Church Training
Good Shepherd will be conducting Safe Church refresher training on Saturday morning 19th March 2022. Registration can be completed here: https://bit.ly/355HK3k
Over the next few weeks, you will be contacted by Tina Pfeiffer if your qualifications are about to expire or require updating. If you haven’t completed Safe Church Training, please make use of the following opportunity to participate in keeping Good Shepherd a place of safety.
If you are a part of any ministry including a small group who engages with children or vulnerable persons, you are required to participate in level 1 training. Any person in a leadership or governance roll is required to complete level 2 training. Further information can be found at https://www.sant.lca.org.au/departments/psd/
Tea Tree Gully Orchestra
The Tea Tree Gully Orchestra are looking for a pianist to join them. They practise in the school music suite on Monday nights, from 7:30pm – 9:30pm. If interested, please contact Ruth Russell for more details, on 0404 629 764.
“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
The church is required to comply with current Covid-19 arrangements as mandated by the State Government. QR Code check-in is a legal requirement for all who enter the facility, as are masks except where exemptions apply. If you do not have the ability to check in using this code, please check in with a host or sign the records sheet with your name and telephone number. Physical distancing of 1.5 metres is required when not seated. This includes entering the building, attending Communion and while served tea & coffee. Please respect the safety of staff and others by complying with current distancing regulations. White floor markings are placed at 1.5m to assist you. Thank you!
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Church Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-3pm
Church Website: www.paravista.org.au Email: email@example.com
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388 Montague Road Para Vista SA 5093 | Phone: 8263 5087 | PO Box 306 Modbury North SA 5092