Pastor's Piece

The Senior Pastor writes his Pastor's Piece each week to connect with the St Alban's Community and its Alumni. This section of the website contains the current and past editions.

New Year Update

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Welcome to St Albans as summer holidays end and the new school year begins. We warmly welcome newcomers to join our community of Christ's body, as we support one another in our living for Jesus in 2012.

Much has happened in January - a birth, a wedding, two funerals, illnesses and two of our young people headed overseas, as you will read about on the back page. The Grant family have returned safely from Nepal via California and are adjusting back to life in Palmy. We've received the news that the Poulton family will return to us here to have their third child in March.

Then there's been another successful 'Buzz' holiday programme with a great team of helpers and the biggest number of attenders ever in January - about 50 kids! We had a wonderful New Wine Camp last weekend at Waikanae, attended by about 850 people (24 from St Albans). Around 1100 adults and children attended the open night last Sunday.

I want to thank you for your generous financial giving to the Christmas Appeal for our mission partners, the Salisburys and Beit Immanuel Congregation. I will confirm the figure this week but the Appeal will remain open until Sunday February 12. Thank you for your generous support of God's mission overseas.

This term we begin a new Discipleship Series called "Come let us worship" - thinking about worship as a way of life; our whole-of-life response to God. This will be an integrated 12-week focus with one personal study per week, discussion in small groups, and Sunday sermons on the theme. There is a book to buy for $15 and if you cannot attend a small group you can still buy a book and work through the studies. If you would like to join a small group for term one plz contact Small Group Coordinator Mike Edwards (356 2553) or me.

The series has four aspects:
1. Participation in a small group if you can. If you cannot be in a small group, you could arrange to meet with one or two others each week.
2. Doing the weekly study prior to meeting, either in one sitting or considering the material and a couple of questions over a number of days.
3. Memorising a Bible verse each week so that, like Jesus, we can recall verses in challenging times of our lives. The Psalm writer said, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Ps 119 v11).
4. Complete a project. Most weeks there is a practical application to engage with. This course is not just about information but spiritual formation, aiming to help shape our living as disciples of Jesus.

I really hope that you can participate with us in this series. It is part of the Omega Discipleship series developed in Australia. During this term small groups can consider the other booklets in the series and consider doing other topics after this one.

May we live as true worshippers in all aspects of our lives as we get back into our regular routines.

Shalom, Steve