Oh What A Night
One question keeps running through my mind as Christmas 2020 is gifted to us: What kinds of things do I want to remember?
As I grow older (and many can resonate with me, I think), I find myself pondering why I remember certain things and why others only pop up sporadically. Most research would say that the sense of smell is most closely linked to recall. At Christmas: the smell of baked goods; for some, the smell of real pine trees. Each of these scents makes us close our eyes and remember something of the past – usually good.
Taste: Grandma’s biscuits.
Touch: the feel of sand under your feet as you play beach cricket.
Sound: the delightful strains of wistful Christmas anthems longing for the Saviour to be part of this coming year.
And, of course, sight: the lights and decorations reminding us of yore and when things seemed lighter.
In our undeniably hectic world, in the strain to prepare for that significant ‘one day event’ where we gather together with family and friends and place enormous amounts of pressure on the perfect Christmas: Lots of (desirable) presents, good food, good conversation, no one fighting about politics, religion or news.
So, this Christmas, what do I want my children to remember? What do I want to remember?
This was the year we celebrated the birth of the Christ child with a gratefulness like no other. To be with people in worship (this used to be something we took for granted) is now something we treasure. This was the year we sang Christmas carols together and felt the same kind of pondering that Mary did as she ‘treasured these things in her heart.’ This was the Christmas when the gift of presence was of far greater value than the presence of gifts.
When you read Luke’s account of the Christmas story this year, ask this question: What kind of things does Luke want us to remember? Are they the same as the 21st century?
God’s peace and blessing to you this Christmas season.
Bible Readings: Luke 2:1-20
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.
Breaking News!!! A Miracle Response for Arsha!
Thank you to all who have responded to Sunday’s request for assistance for Arsha Noroozi, in his quest for permanent residency in Australia – whether through prayer, letters of encouragement or most importantly at this time, financial assistance. At the time of writing, donations are still coming in, and as of Wednesday morning 23 December 2020 total donations & pledges amount to $5,785.00. This response has been heart-warming! If anyone has photos of Arsha’s involvement with GSPV, can you please send them to the office: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you still wish to contribute you can do so in the following ways:
Electronic Funds Transfer
Acct No: 100713424
Acct Name: Para Vista Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Operating
Place in an envelope marked ARSHA (we have Mission Vision Ministry Support envelopes available in the office or the ushers’ desks). May be handed in to the church office or placed in the Collection Bowl after service.
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
Dear Church family,
As this is the last Weekly News for the year, I’d like to share a few of the upcoming GFH resources with you.
They contain ideas and activities to do with your children, or grandchildren! Conversations to consider as you are being together at home, or perhaps as you travel in your car somewhere…
What were the highs and lows of this year? What is something that you have waited for? Where is the furthest that you have travelled in your life so far? When is your Baptism birthday?
When I reflect on this year, there is much to be grateful for:
Stuart and Carol who have helped with cleaning folders and children’s toys; everyone who helped out with Little Lambs Playgroup this year, at the beginning of the year, then later when we had to start again; for Mardi’s dedication to the Transform group; for the Transform leaders who helped our young people; for people who showed generosity; for the many prayers that have been prayed; for our Little Lambs, our Transform Youth, our young people who draw, dance and join in on Sundays. For encouragement. For the creativity and people’s willingness to share gifts and talents (like those you will be seeing this afternoon in the Christmas Eve service.) For our amazing staff. For all of you! For God’s unfailing faithfulness and promises! Thank you!
God bless you all abundantly with His Love, Peace and Hope this Christmas!
This New Year’s Eve, join with people from across the age spectrum (from one to ninety-two, as the song goes) as we gather together to celebrate the coming of the new year.
We’ll begin with worship at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. As we have done in the past two New Year’s Eve celebrations, the worship will be free-flowing and light-hearted. We’ll have a spontaneous band. If you’d like to play an instrument, bring it along. Last year we had a saxophone, trumpet, piano accordion, drums as well as guitars and voices.
Here are the songs we’ll be singing as the night goes (if you want to practice up)
Angels We Have Heard on High
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Joy to the World
Away in a Manger
O Little Town of Bethlehem.
Go Tell it On the Mountain.
As for the rest of the night, here are some of the highlights:
Life-size board games (Jenga, Battleship, Chinese Checkers and more…)
TWO Escape Rooms (these will run for only the first two hours of the night)
Bring your own cards, board games, drinks and food (due to COVID restrictions, we still are not able to share food, but enjoy!)
Conversation and Laughter
We look forward to a fantastic night to bring in 2021!
Time Out Devotionals
There are four Time Out Devotionals left at $25 per book. If you would like one, they can be paid for and collected from the Church Office in the new year.
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.
Christmas Day Service
Please note there will be no morning tea served after the 10am Christmas Day service.
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.
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
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388 Montague Road Para Vista SA 5093 | Phone: 8263 5087 | PO Box 306 Modbury North SA 5092