388 Montague Rd Para Vista SA 5093 Australia
+61 8 8263 5087

Joy in God’s Favour

Joy in God’s Favour

“Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

Do those words ring a bell? If an angel of the LORD spoke those words to you, would you believe them?

Finding favour with God – isn’t that something we all long for?

Sometimes we might wonder whether it’s even possible.

  • We may have grown up in a family where any favour needed to be earnt.
  • We can live for days, weeks or years without any reference to God at all.
  • We may be striving so hard to make something of ourselves that we ignore the needs and hurts of others.
  • We make mistakes, give into our desires, say and do things that inflict pain on others.

To be honest, I don’t deserve God’s favour. In fact, none of us do!

Yet in his compassion, God looks at us with fondness – and extends his favour to us in Jesus. In his unconditional love, God treats us with grace, kindness and mercy!

“Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” These words are not just addressed to Mary, but to you and me… and to every person you know!

The Son Mary carries will bring God’s favour to all! At the cross, her Son will carry all our blame – so we can be forgiven and brought into a right relationship with God. Through his resurrection, we are given a hope and a future in God’s restoration story for his world.

In Christ, you are greatly loved. In Christ, you are fully forgiven. In Christ, you are totally accepted. In Christ, you are favoured by God – and the LORD is with you!

Joy in Jesus!
Pr Rolly Stahl

Bible Readings: 2 Sam 7:11b-16  The Lord’s promise to establish David’s dynasty

Luke 1:26-38  The angel Gabriel announces Mary as God’s favoured!

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.

Prayer Requests

Please forward all prayer requests to the church office via churchenquiries@paravista.org.au 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.

Community Carols, Saturday 11 December, 7:00pm

Can those assisting as ushers and carpark attendants please come at 6.15pm on Saturday 11th for a pre-Community Carols briefing. If you can’t make this please contact Merv Thiele 0429009847.

Christmas/New Year Services 2021

Christmas Eve:           5:00pm Children & Family Service; 6:30pm and 8pm Carols, Readings and Message.

Christmas Day:          10am ONLY – combined service with Holy Communion.

Boxing Day:                10am ONLY – combined service.

New Year’s Eve:         7:30pm intergenerational service “Songs of the Heart”, followed by a fun evening of games, carpet bowls, and connecting. BYO food & drinks.

Songs of the Heart – 7:30pm New Year’s Eve 2021

For our worship time on New Year’s Eve, we’re hoping to get people from various generations to talk about their favourite Christian song, hymn, or carol.

After sharing why this song is special and what it means to them, we will all join together in singing it!
Please note: for us to all sing with gusto, the song needs to be singable – and a bit familiar to our Good Shepherd community.

To make this intergenerational, the age brackets are: 0-15, 16-30, 31-45, 46-60, 61-75, 75-90, 90- 105.
Please let me know if you’d like to share your favourite song of the heart.

Our praise and worship will be followed by a fun evening of games, carpet bowls, and connecting with one another.  BYO food and drinks.

Joy in Jesus!
Pr Rolly

Family Zone: Great Support Throughout 2021!

Thank you for your continued support of the food collections for Lutheran Care. Last month’s response will bring joy to many at Christmas as they open their hampers and discover among other items a wide range of nibbles and delights made available by the members of Para Vista.

Food collections will recommence in February 2022.

Besides the monthly food donations we donated $2295 directly the Family Zone at Ingle Farm to support their work among the disadvantaged families in the area. Considering the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, this was a very pleasing result. Main sources of fundraising were the plant sale ($1289), BBQ ($418) and Drakes shopping tags ($571). If you shop at any Drakes supermarket and show your key tag before processing your purchases, a percentage of your purchase is donated to the Family Zone. Key tags are available in the church cafe or from the church office.

Grow Team Update

The Grow Team met two weeks ago to discuss planning for the future.  It is exciting to see where Holy Spirit is leading us.  Thank you for your prayers.  Please chat to one of us about what was discussed – Lindsay, Georgie, Mardi, Tina or Peter.

Recently we were blessed to hear of a connection that has blossomed into a beautiful relationship.  You can view this video here https://paravista.podbean.com/e/growing-together-in-jesus/

Our small group has decided to begin visiting other small groups as a way of furthering our connections.  We have joined the Monday night Prayer Team and the Meet n Eat small group to share together and find out what has been happening in our groups.  This has been a blessing for both groups.  Now we know more people to say hello to each week.  What a blessing!  We will continue to visit other small groups next year to continue connecting.

The Village area on Sunday mornings is a wonderful place where connections like these can continue to be made.  Anyone is welcome to sit close to this area and assist the younger ones with the activity that Georgie has provided.  After worship is a wonderful opportunity to then connect with children and their families.

Let’s continue to encourage one another to make new connections and share stories to grow our faith in Jesus.

“A community which intentionally develops intergenerational relationships to grow faith in Jesus so that He can build His Kingdom here and now”.

Kathy Liebig
Grow Team Leader

Family Support Coordinator News from Georgie

Advent Resources

Dear Church Family,
As we continue our walk through Advent we are reminded of God’s gift of peace. In this week’s GFH the Caring Conversations create an opportunity to talk about this with your friends and family. What makes you anxious? What are you worried about? What is God’s promise to us in Philippians 4:6-7? How does this reassure us? There are other Advent activities to explore with your family too. Also, a reminder that there are loads of Advent ideas to unpack with your family in the Christmas Family Faith Trail. Activity suggestions range from pre-school, primary to people of all ages. So have fun cooking, checking out maps, praying, decorating, creating, reflecting, reading the bible, watching videos, making music, and singing! Pick up a booklet at the church office or from the stand in the café! Great for connecting with children and grandchildren!

Good Shepherd School News

In the year we celebrated our 40th Anniversary, the school has invested time thinking about what it means to Live your Legacy. Check out and enjoy this short video of reflection. https://vimeo.com/655110570
What blessings will you leave behind?


Miraculous things are coming to Camp Kedron in Barmera this January…
SPIN kids camp is an opportunity for children in Year 4-6 in 2021 to gather as God’s people and grow their relationship with God in Christian community. This year our theme for camp is “Miraculous.’ There is a discount code available for Good Shepherd members. Please see Georgie or contact the church office! For more information and to register head to:    https://www.blueprintministries.org.au/camps/spin/ *** Please note registrations close Sunday 12th December.

Office News

Office Closure over Christmas

The office will be closed for an extended period to allow staff to exhaust leave. Times will be:

24 December 2021 9.00am to 2.00pm           OPEN
25 December 2021 to 10th January 2022      CLOSED
Tuesday to Friday 2022                                  OPEN 9.00am to 3.00pm

For urgent contact please call 8263 5087 and leave a message. Messages will be retrieved by staff as available over this time.

Weekly News

The last Weekly News for 2021 will be published on Friday 24 December and the first edition for 2022 will be published on 14 January.

Christmas Whirlwind Competition

The competition is open again this year on Friday 24th December at 8.30am to find the best dust blowing machine on the block. The competition heats up this year to see if the electric machines can outdo the petrol ones and will greatly assist 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 equip and join the group in creating an inviting appearance to our church facilities for Christmas. If you don’t have a blow vac and have the time, you can still come along as I have a few spare.

Cobwebbing and small garden maintenance will also be completed so if you don’t have a competitive machine maybe you can compete for the longest broom handle.

A Parking Blessing for Christmas

Parking for members will be in the Good Shepherd early learning centre car park (old Alliance church) and can be accessed via Hillary Cres without having to enter the church grounds. Please consider leaving the parks close to the entrance of the church as a blessing for our visitors. Overflow if required will be on the school oval. These arrangements will be in place for all Christmas services. Parking signs will be in place and your assistance in following directions of the car parking attendants is appreciated.

Car parking attendants are required to assist with traffic and parking on Christmas Eve from:

  • 3pm till 6.45pm.

Please contact Stephen on 0403 180 814 or email churchenquires@paravista.org.au to assist.

Handy Man Maintenance – Help Wanted

Good Shepherd care team are looking to build a group of volunteers that can assist other members in small home tasks such as changing light bulbs, tap washers or other small jobs. If you are able to assist please let Stephen or the office know at stephen.zanker@paravista.org.au or churchenquiries@paravista.org.au or phone 8263 5087.

AED Device

A Defibrillator (AED) is located rear school alcove next to the Café playground. A key is on an orange tag next to security keypad in the café (small entry exit door). All members holding keys to the complex are to add to their security procedure the visibility of this key and if it not hanging on the hook to advise either the church or school office as soon as possible of its absence. First Aiders Please note where the unit and key are located, in case of emergency.


We give thanks for all those who have contributed to our online devotions this year. Now we are looking for more! If you have one or more of your own that you would like to share, please send them through to the church office via churchenquiries@paravista.org.au

Open Door – Christian Books & Gifts

Now available – Calendars 2022, The Australian Christian Diary 2022 and other Daily planners.
Christmas stock including Advent candles for home or church, Advent calendars, nativities, gifts, Christmas cards, books, music, DVDs.

Shop 5, Gawler Arcade, Gawler. Ph 85221677; E opendoorbook@gmail.com
Fb: www.OpenDoorGawler.com.au

Trading: M-F 10-4, Sat 10-1


Living with COVID: A Statement from the SA-NT District Bishops

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for individuals, families, congregations and other ministries in the LCA SA-NT District. In addition to common issues that we have all faced, the SA and NT government responses have varied, impacting individuals and ministries differently at times. Vaccination mandates for employees have been far broader in the NT than in SA for example and have included pastors.

We share the following statement on living together in these challenging times with you for your encouragement and guidance. We pray that God will bless you with wisdom, patience, faith, hope and love as you work through the practicalities of ‘living with COVID’ in a Christ-like way.

Download the full statement or go to https://bit.ly/3dE78hK

The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”

Genesis 49:10


We are a Covid-Safe Church

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!

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
Church Website: www.paravista.org.au Email: churchenquiries@paravista.org.au

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388 Montague Road Para Vista SA 5093  |   Phone: 8263 5087 |  PO Box 306 Modbury North SA 5092