Unlocking the Mystery of God’s Generosity
In our 21st Century culture, we’re urged to strive for success, to win, to have the latest and best of everything, to make something of ourselves – and to not be left behind. We expect rewards for our efforts. If a sibling or colleague receives a greater reward than us with less effort, we are quick to complain: “That’s not fair!”
In Matthew, Mark and Luke, we read of the constant banter between the disciples about who among them is the greatest. Their ongoing jockeying to be “top dog” is utterly at odds with Jesus’ talk of going to Jerusalem to give up his life. Talk about an irony!
In Matthew 19, after the rich ruler rejects Jesus’ invitation to follow him, Peter says to Jesus: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (Matt 19:27) It is just my imagination, or is Peter expecting a greater reward for his time and efforts?
Jesus outlines that when the he returns, they will share in his glory. Yet Jesus concludes: “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matt 19:30). What on earth is Jesus telling his disciples – and us?
Then Jesus tells this strange story about a landowner who employs workers in his vineyard. Some work the whole day; others part of the day; and still others just one hour. Yet at the end of the day, all receive exactly the same pay: a day’s wages.
It’s a hard lesson to learn that God loves each person equally. Every single person matters to Jesus, and therefore should matter to us. It doesn’t mean agreeing with dysfunctional behaviour, or approving choices that are at odds with what God wants for us. Rather, it means not assuming we are better than anyone else on account of receiving God’s grace.
And again Jesus concludes with the enigmatic statement: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16 NIV)
Come along this Sunday as we wrestle with Jesus’ story. Please join me in asking him to unlock the mystery of God’s generosity to us – and through us to all!
Pr Rolly Stahl
Bible Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
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Over the last months, we’ve recognised a dramatic shift in culture. In some ways, we didn’t see it coming, but in others, we always knew that the world would shift. After decades of digital revolution, the contemporary church has encountered a divergence of mindsets on how pastoral care, evangelism, worship and ministry will look in the future.
Now, at the precipice of a new era of the Church, it is imperative that we imagine through the Spirit’s vision what change means for Good Shepherd Community.
Beginning Sunday, 20 September, after the 8:45 and 10:30 services, we’ll be gathering in the library to discuss the Marks of the Post-COVID Church: Imagining the Ancient Church of the Future. These forty-five minute discussions will be helpful as we look into the years ahead.
Across these discussions, we’ll dig into the scriptures that give us vision and hope for the future and how we can understand and see the importance of our changing church Culture. We’ll be meeting in the church library to start with, but if there is large interest, we’ll move over to the school.
Pr. Reid Matthias
Dear Church Family,
We seem to have an inbuilt ‘fairness filter’ that is constantly measuring what happens to us and others around us. God’s desire to lavish his love and generosity on everyone, that is everyone, can create some interesting discussion!
This week’s GFH resource offers some great ideas and activities to do as a family.
Next month we will be offering ‘Step Up- Preparing for First Communion’ course. This program is designed to prepare children aged around 10 years for Holy Communion. Starting date will be Sunday October 18, followed by four consecutive Friday nights. If you would like to join us, please register your interest with the Church Office (8263 5087) or email me (Georgie) email@example.com
God bless you and your week!
Family Hub News
Your continued support for the Family Hub has been amazing. Last month’s donation of cleaning materials was exceptional.
The donations of beds and fantastic quilts have already found new homes and were really appreciated by those who received them. Tears were shed!
As our support has been so generous Kathlene says at present their limited storage means that they would struggle to store our September donations. However with government support being reduced at the end of this month they are predicting there will be a big increase in request for assistance. Therefore our October food collection will be back in operation.
If you have already purchased items for the September collection they can be delivered to the church office or brought in on Sundays. They will be delivered to the Family Hub.
Family Hub Support Team
The folks with the yolks are back! Come and get your free range eggs – $4 per dozen. Please bring your spare cartons. Get ‘em while they’re (not) hot! Ed.
As we adapt to our new way of living please forward all prayer requests to the church office via firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
At the 10.30am service this Sunday we will be welcoming into God’s family through Holy Baptism Nina Victoria Taylor, daughter of Anika and Leigh, and Henré Wynand de Wit, son of Wynand and Marilene and brother of Wian, Divan, Miané and Anmaré.
A volunteer to assist in replenishing all the Covid-19 cleaning supplies and ensure signage is still correctly positioned. Up to two hours per week is required.
A ‘chandler’, to service the candles in the church, on a weekly basis. This can be done at church or from home, to keep the candles trimmed and burning bright.
No experience needed for these positions – training is provided.
Together Magazine is Here!
The latest edition of Together Magazine is out – copies are available in the church and office.
Mission Vision Report
Offerings are still down on budgeted amount for the year by $-33,807.00 to end of August
All ministry areas are resourcing only what is necessary.
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 home page.
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.
Offering Envelopes can still be dropped in at the church office during office hours.
COVID-Safe Requirements for Worship – please observe these guidelines:
• Entry through front foyer and exit via rear courtyard – exceptions for people with mobility issues. If you’re an able walker, consider parking away from front entrance.
• Register names and contact details.
• Please maintain physical distance 1.5m.
• People from the same household can sit next to one another. Otherwise we need to keep 2 chair spaces between people
• Follow the directional arrows for entry, exit, and Holy Communion.
• 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.
• Please follow directions of worship hosts
• Early service attendees will need to vacate the building to allow a clean before second service attendees can enter the building.
• Worship hosts and welcomers are now nominated Covid Marshalls.
• Children will sit with their families. Please feel free to bring activities.
• Playground next to Revive Café is open after the service. Children need to be supervised at all times.
• Parenting Change Room is open again.
Need something to lounge on in front of your chiminea? Nowhere to park yourself at the fishing shack? Toddlers who’d rather bounce than sit? Or maybe sluggish teens slacking over social media? Well do we have a deal for you! Two sofas and a single seater can be yours for ZERO dollars! Take one, or take ‘em all! We’re looking to upgrade some of our furniture, so contact the office to see how you can start sprawling today! Ed.
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2
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
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388 Montague Road Phone: 8263 5087 PO Box 306
Para Vista SA 5093 Modbury North SA 5092