“I am the Lord’s Servant!”
Our 21st Century culture has a way of fanning into flame our love of comfort, wealth, pleasure, power, entitlement, success and amazing experiences. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on advertising campaigns with the premise: “It’s all about you!”
When we swallow that lie, the story we live is way too small. It’s about my efforts, my goals and plans, and building my kingdom here on earth. The assumption: “I am in charge of my life and destiny – and can do whatever I want in pursuit of it.”
Religious practices can even be done to keep in God’s good books, so he can bless me. It’s another form of consumerism… where the most important person in the world is me!
The Good News is that the Creator God has a much greater story for us. His story is all about a relentless love for humanity that will never give up on us. His story is about the full restoration of everything that’s messed up and broken in this world.
God wants you and me to be active participants in what he is doing: in his BIG story.
The Lord has always chosen to do his work in this world with people! Think of Adam and Eve; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses and the people of Israel; the kings and prophets of Israel. All these were invited to play their parts in God’s big story. And in spite of their frailties and vulnerabilities, many of them did!
And then the Lord chose Mary. The angel’s appearance was intimidating enough. But then I wonder how she felt about Gabriel’s announcement?
Yes, being the mother of the promised Messiah was a great honour. Yet there were also significant challenges ahead.
- What would this mean for her plans to marry Joseph?
- How does she explain what happened to her family?
- What will the villagers of Nazareth think?
Yet she raises no objections. Her response: “I am the LORD’s servant.” There is no resistance or resignation – rather trusting and surrendering to what God wants.
For all who confess Jesus as LORD, we do well to take a leaf out of Mary’s book.
“Since Jesus is my LORD, I now march to the beat of his drum. I am the LORD’s servant! By the Holy Spirit, I seek to live out his will for my life.”
It’s not all about me. It’s all about Jesus!
Pr Rolly Stahl
Bible Readings: Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 1:26-38
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.
As we adapt to our new way of living 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.
Grow Ministries Faith at Home
Things have been shaken up this year. We have been given the opportunity to examine our priorities. Usually our lives are filled with commitments that leave little time for the unexpected. I wonder what our response might be if someone unexpected knocked on our door. (I guess the gamut of covid-19 safe questions come into play these days…) But seriously, what would our response be? Could the conversation be life changing? Have a look at the GFH resource for some ideas to discuss (and Christmas activities to engage in).
And now for some good news!
I am really looking forward to seeing you at our Family Christmas service at 5pm on Christmas Eve. Praise God! Let’s celebrate together this truly good news, Jesus coming to us.
Christmas Day Service
Please note there will be no morning tea served after the 10am Christmas Day service.
Time Out Devotionals
There are three Time Out Devotionals left at $25 per book. If you would like one, they can be paid for and collected from the Church Office.
Facilities Maintenance…the Critters are Increasing!
While we are in a state of flux there has been lots of movement within our building. This has been in the form of tiny critters that have decided to make homes in the corridors and other places. Servant hearts are required to assist these little critters in finding new homes as soon as possible.
Please contact Stephen firstname.lastname@example.org or turn up while the front office is open to help.
The church is required to comply with current Covid-19 restrictions as mandated by the State Government. From 1st December the updated plan requires us to display a location-unique QR Code. Anyone attending the premises (for whatever reason) is legally required to check-in using this QR Code. If you do not have the ability to check in using this code you are required to sign the visitors’ book with your name and telephone number. Please note the telephone number must be written on the sheet if you are registering your attendance in this manner.
Please respect the safety of staff and others by complying with current social distancing regulations.
The competition is open again this year on Thursday 24th December at 8.30am to find the best dust blowing machine on the block. The competition assists in giving the church grounds a bit of a dust off and the facility a bit of a spruce up!
For free entry, please bring along your best blow vac machine with safety equipment and join the group to create an inviting appearance to our church facility for Christmas. If you don’t have a blow vac and have the time, still come along as I have a few spare.
Cobwebbing will also be completed so if you don’t have a competitive machine maybe you can compete for the longest broom handle. The little critters will also require assistance to move home from the interior of the building via the sucking machine and hands will be indispensable in ensuring this happens.
Car parking attendants are required to assist with traffic and parking on Christmas Eve from 4:14pm-6:45pm, Please contact Stephen on 0403 180 814 or email email@example.com to assist.
A Parking Blessing for Christmas
Should numbers permit this year and we require extra parking the school oval will be available leaving the parks close to the entrance of the church as a blessing for our visitors. These arrangements will be in place for all Christmas services. Parking signs will be in place and your assistance in following directions is appreciated.
Office Closure over Christmas
The office will be closed for an extended period to allow staff to exhaust leave. Times will be
24 December 2020 9.00am to 2.00pm OPEN
25 December 2020 to 11 January 2021 CLOSED
Office Opening Times in 2021
Tuesday to Friday OPEN 9.00am to 3.00pm
Every Thursday, staff meets at 9.00am and the office will be closed till 10.30am.
For urgent ministry contact during closing times please call 8263 5087 and leave a message. Messages will be retrieved as soon as practical.
The last Weekly News for 2020 will be published on Thursday 24 December and the first edition for 2021 will be published on 15 January.
Please continue supporting our congregation’s mission and ministry through regular offerings as our facility and staff continues to operate in a different way.
Electronic Deposits can be made to the following bank account details:
Account No. 100354939
Account Name GSPV REG; or
Click on the GIVE button on our website.
LLL REG: Download the form here and use the same bank details as above in the “account to be credited” section, and email back to address shown on the form. Alternatively contact the LLL on 83607200 or 1800 556457.
Online Training and Registrations – Christmas Closure
Please be advised that registration and all processing of online Safe Church Training will be closed from Sunday 20th December 2020 until Sunday 10th January 2021.
We understand that many members may take the opportunity to complete their training online over the Christmas break. All registrations will need to be completed prior to Sunday 20th December in order to receive the relevant enrolment codes and access to their training.
This includes for those who completed training in 2017 and are eligible to complete the refresher prior to 31st December 2020.
After 10th January 2021, processing will recommence and those who registered during the break will receive access to the training at this time.
Please follow this link for more information. https://www.lca.org.au/departments/ministry-support/professional-standards/training-prof-standards/
Please check your currency and take the opportunity to update it. If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
Gardening Appliances Needed
Do you have any older or unneeded gardening gear that is not being used? Thinking of upgrading some of your outdoor appliances? Please don’t throw them out – our asylum seeker friend Arsha is looking to establish a gardening business and has a lawn mower, but needs some other gardening tools. He is excited about getting started and making a difference in the lives of others!
Please set aside anything you are willing to pass on (whipper snipper, blower vac, or any other appliances or tools) and call Aston on 0415655393, or contact the church office.
Enormous Thank You from the Family Hub
Kathlene and the staff from the Family Hub say a great big thank you for the congregations support throughout 2020. This support has assisted the Hub to continue helping families in need in the local district.
2020 assistance included:
- Very generous monthly food collections
- Donations of such items as quilts, blankets and child car seats
- Utilisation of skills in direct assistance
- Cash donations of $2407 (plant stall $910, Drakes shopping tags $427 and cash donations $1070.) An amazing amount, considering the year that was 2020.
We look forward to your continued support in 2021.
Family Hub Support Team
We still have Christmas cards and Christmas stock available for you, or for gift-giving.
“Gift Vouchers” are also available, for any $ amount.
We have joined in with the Gawler Business Development Group to Shop Local and have entered in the “Best Christmas Display” Competition. Voting is via Facebook for your chance to win a $50 shopping voucher – see details on our fb page.
Give a Gift of Life this Christmas
For Christmas in 2020, Maranatha Health is sharing Gifts of Life with our Ugandan community. We invite you to donate and receive Christmas Gift Cards to share with friends and family – and give a Gift of Life that lasts long into the future.
At this time more than ever, access to high quality compassionate health care and community health literacy is so important!
Your gift of a donation to Maranatha Health can provide life-saving medical care, increase community understanding to prevent ill-health, and help build a more accessible and just health care system that will bring lasting change to people’s lives.
To give a Gift of Life and order your cards, simply follow these simple steps:
- Choose and order your cards via the simple online order form on the MH website at maranathahealth.org/christmas. Or have a look at the display in the hall to make your selection. Then fill out an order form, which is pinned to the display. Give the order form to Wendy Hampel or Julie Freund so that your order can be processed.
- Make your donation to MH via Give Now: https://givenow.com.au/mhchristmas
- Receive your cards within 2 weeks!
News from Maranatha
The world is still dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic and Maranatha Health in Uganda has been impacted to. In fact, with lock down easing, the Clinic is quite busy again, seeing patients and their families who have been waiting for come to the Clinic. Programs like the nutrition classes and community health workers are gearing up again to inform local communities of ways to increase health in the local communities.
For more information on giving, head to https://maranathahealth.org/give/
Thanks for your ongoing partnership with Maranatha Health!
Free range eggs are available from the church kitchen, $4 per dozen. Come and grab some before Christmas!
RENEW Young Adults Camp is a Christian camp for young adults in the SA-NT District. Special discounts are available for year 12 school leaders in 2020. It aims to provide a welcoming, safe and fun Christian environment for the young people of our communities to gather in Christian fellowship, refresh after a busy Christmas and New Year season and prepare for a year of study or work, and network with Christian friends their own age. Young people of all backgrounds are welcome, from people who have been regularly worshipping members of a church community for many years to those who have never set foot in a church before.
RENEW is administered by the Lutheran Church of Australia, SA-NT District. Members of all denominational backgrounds are very welcome and encouraged to attend and participate.
For more information head to https://www.blueprintministries.org.au/camps/renew-2/
Here you can register for camp, and find promotional material for camp to invite your friends!
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Weekly News Submissions should be made by the Wednesday
prior to Friday publication.
Church Giving via Electronic Funds Transfer:
Regular Electronic Giving (REG): BSB 704 942; Acc 100 354 939
Church Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-3pm
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388 Montague Road Para Vista SA 5093 | Phone: 8263 5087 | PO Box 306 Modbury North SA 5092