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is to worship God, and to glorify Him, through caring, equipping and mobilising people for mission.

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Living God's Story Together

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Cnr Rothesay Ave and Dorene St
St.Marys SA 5042

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    Merry Christmas Everyone

    Thursday, December 22, 2016


    Today we remember, and celebrate the event where God became flesh, and “dwelt among us”.

    In the southern hemisphere, it is celebrated it in the Summer heat.

    In the northern hemisphere, it is celebrated in the cold of Winter.

    In some families, it is celebrated around a meal.

    In other families, it is celebrated as a vacation.

    In some churches it is celebrated somberly, and respectfully.

    In other churches it is celebrated with boisterous songs of rowdy praise.

    In some hearts, it is celebrated with wonder.

    In other hearts, it is celebrated in its mystery.

    In some marriages, it is celebrated by attending a worship service.

    In other marriages, it is celebrated with a time of reflective prayer.

    In some homes, it is celebrated with the giving of gifts.

    In other homes, it is celebrated with the giving AWAY of gifts.

    But the common refrain is …. It is celebrated.!!

    Luke 2.10-11  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

    May God’s richest blessings be yours in this Christmas season.  May you walk in the fullness of His love, and in the reality that you are precious to Him.  May you know the fullness of Him who fills all things, to the praise and honor of God the Father, through Jesus the Son, by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

    Dale

    Dale Green

    Equipping Pastor





    Reality

    Thursday, December 15, 2016


    Last Monday at our staff meeting, we were masterfully challenged to reflect on the birth of Jesus.

    Were our reflections influenced by the sanitized worldview of the season?  Christmas cards depicting lovely scenes of a clear star fuelled night; a beautiful clean stable with a selection of well placed domesticated animals; royal visitors from the East, robed in kingly attire bearing gifts in precious containers; and the parents, Mary & Joseph, suitably placed for the photo shoot.  Or could we consider the probabilities of a Northern Hemisphere winter’s climate accompanied by the usual cold wind and overcast conditions whistling through an animal shelter that would have been far less protective 2000 years ago.  Far from their best were the visitors who had travelled overland for possibly months to bring gifts.  And then Mary & Joseph; a young mum having her first child, with no assistance other than her husband, who with bumbling hands and fearful heart could only do what was needed when required.

    The story is beautiful, not because of its scenic proportions or probable vulnerability, but because God in His sovereign design came Incarnate to humanity.  This was the chosen time; place and season to give His “indescribable gift” (His only begotten Son) that humanity could find healing and be restored into relationship with Him, our Creator.

    So thanks be given to God for this truth!  Thanks be to God for this reality that will again be presented this season in Christian churches around the world He is seeking to restore.  May this reality touch you afresh this year, “because it deserves full acceptance, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.” (1Timothy 1:15)

    Please join us this coming week as we gather each evening to bring “Carols by Streetlight” to the local district.  Sign up at the Information Desk, age and experience doesn’t matter.  Then don’t forget to invite folk to our Christmas Eve celebration (5.30pm) and Day service (9am).

     

    Joe

     

    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor





    Gods Plan

    Friday, December 09, 2016


    This will be my final opportunity to share a Thought for the Week with you all following a change in my working circumstances.  As you are probably aware there has been a change in the Pastoral care positions brought about by the budget or the staffing for the Vision of EBC, going forward into 2017.

    My intention is to take the month of January off to consider my future options and spend time talking to God about what plans He has for me.  My  initial disappointment and confusion over the Elders’ decision, which also affects others, caused me to realise (with God's help) that  I was stuck in the plan I had for my life and I wasn't focusing on His plan for me.

    If I'm being really honest, this news came as a complete shock to me, but now I am moving forward. I intend to continue ministering at EBC in a modified role (in consultation with Pastor Joe) and on a voluntary basis.

    I would like to say the past 6 years have been an absolute blessing to me and my Christian journey. There have been a few lows, but many highs in my time at EBC and I would like to thank all of you who have encouraged and supported me.

    It has been an amazing blessing to me to share with people in times of their deepest need and to also be around in their times of greatest joy.

    It has been exciting for me to be involved in and see the growth in our Foodbank ministry.  We have gone from serving ten families a week to assisting around forty families.  I believe this presents great opportunities to connect with the community around us and to share Jesus where He is not yet known, through their life needs.

    If you haven't already given, please consider donating to our Heartbeat of Hope, which supports three wonderful causes.  The three areas we are seeking to support are Goats for Kids - a SIM project in Zimbabwe, Gojini women - supporting former temple workers in India and Genesis Pregnancy Support - to set up a retreat centre for women.

    This Sunday morning Travis Johnson will be sharing with us, while in the evening, Pastor Dale will be leading us.

    Looking forward to seeing you in church,

    God bless

    Barry

    Barry Bennett

    Pastoral Assistant





    Living Gods Story Together 1

    Thursday, December 01, 2016


    Words are easy to speak out and we enjoy hearing comments that inspire and challenge us.  However it is not always easy to hear stories that are uncomfortable or sad, but as we do life together, it is inescapable to avoid these conversations.

     

    It was great to see so many ladies sharing stories and chatting on Saturday night at our ladies night.  Gal 6 :2.  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  It is interesting to me that we have this calling on our lives, both men and women.

     

    Philippians 2:4  “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  Most recently I have had the privilege of conversations that have again reminded me that it is easy to read or sing so many of these truths, and yet we find ourselves so busy, especially in this Christmas season, that we don’t do what we know is good.

     

    As you live God’s story this Christmas may you “discover, nurture and act” as you spend time with family and friends.  May you enjoy this opportunity to speak of the hope that you know in Jesus.

     

    Lea

     

    Lea Berry

    Pastoral Assistant





    Investing in the Future

    Thursday, November 24, 2016


    Matthew 6:19-12 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    Recently, I have been looking at the topic of “Consumerism” as part of our preaching series. As Christians, we always assume that consumerism focuses on the dangers of idolatry - the temptation to make material goods the centre of life rather than God.  This, however, misses the real threat consumerism poses.  My concern is not for materialism, strictly speaking, or even the consumption of goods - as human beings, we must consume resources to survive.  The problem is not consuming to live, but rather, living to consume (over consuming).

    The Lord Jesus warns us early in the gospels about storing up treasures on earth.  Jesus knows that these treasures can blind us and can distract us from the real goal.  In Matthew, Jesus is trying to encourage us to focus on the more important goal, our future with Him.

    Over consumption of goods for us to live comfortably on earth is not the end goal of our life. As we all know, these goods will be left behind.  But what we can reach for, as our end goal, is to develop healthy relationships with our family, neighbours and with Jesus.  These relationships are lasting and are things that we can all look to as solid investments of our time and resources whilst we live.

    This Sunday, we will hear more about “consumerism” from Dale in the morning and then I will be speaking in the evening.  Looking forward to seeing you in Church!

    Julio

    Julio Alejo

    Pastoral Care Pastor





    Living Together in Harmony

    Thursday, November 10, 2016


    Reflecting on the Festival of Nations that we celebrated recently, I kept thinking about the message that the Indonesian Angklung  Instrument Group and the Songambele Choir shared with us, WORKING TOGETHER in HARMONY brings good RESULTS.

    Conductor, Ferry Chandra of the Angklung instruments spoke of HARMONY.  One small part of the angklung supports a big part and is held together by a cord and it can be played by rattling the piece which then produces a sound or a musical note. Played by itself won’t produce good music. It needs other Angklungs to produce a song or music.  Angklung is a musical instrument made out of bamboo, tied together by a rattan cord and played by rattling it.

    The Songambele International Choir from the Burundi Community inspired us with their joy of singing and WORKING TOGETHER in proclaiming the gospel through their music, songs and dance.  The choir are members of the Amazing Grace Gospel Church in Salisbury.

    The same principle applies to the body of Christ, the Church.  A congregation of diverse and unique individuals, with certain gifts given by the Holy Spirit, to create harmonious fellowship, and working together to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.  Harmony comes from our fellowship with God in prayer and with one another, our relationship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. As we work in partnership with God, it will bring good results.

    Things we can do together……

    • Join a prayer group or start a prayer movement today.
    • Join a life group and live life together in building the fellowship and proclaiming the gospel in the neighbourhood.
    • Meet new people in church and invite them for coffee or a meal and build relationships.
    • Apply the Luke 10 principle as the Lord sends you out to serve Him
    • Watch and see what God will do through you.

    Blessings of harmony and peace,

    Edwin

    Edwin Del Pilar

    Multicultural Ministries Pastor





    Forgiveness a

    Friday, November 04, 2016


    This morning we’re discussing how God changes us from the inside.  One of the ways God has continually changed me is through understanding how God has forgiven me and helped me to forgive others.  I love Rick Warren’s thoughts on forgiveness....

    “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a NIV).

    Forgiveness may be the most misused, misapplied, and misunderstood quality in our culture.  We think we know what forgiveness is all about, but we really don’t.  Before reading further, take a minute to do this little quiz by deciding if each statement is true or false.

    1. A person should not be forgiven until he asks for it.
    2. Forgiving includes minimising the offence and the pain caused.
    3. Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship.
    4. You haven’t really forgiven until you’ve forgotten the offence.
    5. When you see somebody hurt, it is your duty to forgive the offender.


    When you read the Bible and see what God has to say about forgiveness, you discover that all five of those statements are false. How did you do?

    Real forgiveness is unconditional.  There’s no attachment to it.  You don’t earn it.  You don’t deserve it.  You don’t bargain for it.  Forgiveness is not based on a promise to never do it again.  You offer it to somebody, whether they ask for it or not.

    When Jesus stretched out his hands on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” nobody had asked for it (Luke 23:34a NIV).  Nobody had said, “Please forgive me, Jesus, for what we’re doing to you.”  He just offered it.  He took the initiative.

    Remember that God will give you the grace to forgive as you walk in faith with Him.

    Jarrod

    Jarrod Flack

    Youth Pastor





    A Weekend Away Together

    Thursday, October 27, 2016


    The weekend of Oct 14th-16th was a wonderful weekend of fellowship for those women who ventured up to Nunyara Conference Centre.  The scenario was beautiful – the food was wonderful – the fellowship was rich and encouraging – the messages were both edifying and challenging!

    Kimberly Smith, a pastor from Werribee Baptist Church in Melbourne, was our speaker.  She is the author of the book What We Cannot Be Alone and she brought messages on ‘being’ God’s community to and with each other’.  Kim exemplified “community” as she was open, approachable and had a GREAT sense of humour.  She spent the first session helping us understand how our own temperaments form us.  Then she focused on understanding how others’ temperaments could impact us – both strengths and weaknesses - and how much we need each other in order to be in community together as the Body of Christ.

    For those who were there for the Sunday morning session, we were challenged, in light of the material, to say, “I will…”  It wasn’t’ enough for Kim that we just ‘think’ “I will…”  She wanted each one of us to stand up and say before God, and to the rest of the women present, what God had laid on our hearts to do.  God spoke to each of us through Kim’s sessions, through workshops, and the Panel of Q&A that we had on Saturday night.

    Let me take this opportunity to remind the women who made “I will…” statements, to be faithful to what they promised to do before God and the other women present.  God will richly bless and encourage you in your walk with Him as you do so.

    We gathered and God met us!  Thanks to all involved – upfront in worship and workshops, as well as behind the scenes in planning and doing.  Most of you functioned out of a place of challenge and stress – but were faithful anyway!  Thank you ladies!  Praise God for the work He is doing in our community as women of EBC!

    In Grace with Gratitude!

    Marti

    Marti Williams

    Women’s Pastor





    Living Gods Story Together 2

    Friday, October 21, 2016


    A part of the “Together” aspect of God’s story will look a little like our morning celebration at EBC this Sunday!  Today, we celebrate the diversity and the wide inclusiveness in God’s plan.  Especially as we think of race, ethnicity, and nations of origin.   It’s a beautiful picture of God’s creativity, his diversity.  Regarding “diversity”, He even reveals himself to us as an embodied “diversity” in the Trinity.

     

    And it’s a relational diversity.  It is a diversity that is distinct, yet interconnected. 

    Father… Son… Spirit.

     

    And so are we connected.  Relationally.  Whether our skin is black, brown, yellow, white.  The common connection is that we are all made in the image of God.  And our lives are meant to be the means by which God engages this world with a message of grace and truth.  This expression of who He is, and what He does, is shining out of people with different native languages, different cultural backgrounds, different shades of skin pigmentation, different styles and types of music, different types of clothing, and different types of dietary custom.

    We also share the same basic need… to be reconciled with God, with each other, and with ourselves.  The power of the message, death and resurrection of Jesus addresses this need.  The thing that has separated us, the sickness that has divided, twisted and poisoned us against God, and each other (which has also been toxic to our own souls), has been definitively dealt with.  God did for us, what we could not do for ourselves.

     

    At the end of history, when God has reconciled all things to himself in Christ, the Bible says there will be a song that is sung (Rev 5.9-10):

     

    You are worthy to receive the scroll and open its seals, because you were killed.
    And with your own blood you bought for God people from every tribe,
    language, nation, and race.
    10 You let them become kings and serve God as priests, and they will rule on earth.”

    Maybe it will sound little like our gathering today…

    Dale

     

    Dale Green

    Equipping Pastor





    Small But Powerful

    Thursday, October 13, 2016


    Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20).

    God loves to show His wisdom, might and power in the simplest of things.  It could be an inconsequential meeting with someone for the first time that plants a seed for a great encouraging friendship.  It might be an offhand comment in a conversation that turns over in your mind until you are forced to follow through by making a phone call. We regularly hear of how great things can happen because perseverance pushed through the first rejections.  I read this week that Haddon Spurgeon was rejected when he applied to study ministry at Regent’s Park College.  This reveals God’s heart, as He delights in taking the person who has been hurt, or idea rejected, misunderstood, or underestimated, to produce bountiful fruit for His kingdom.

    Our Christian faith is built on a most unpromising situation, Golgotha, to reveal the greatest event in history.  Paul recalls this principle with,  “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;… the weak things… to shame the strong…. The lowly things…and the despised things – and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that none may boast before him.” (1 Cor 1:27-29)

    What has God been planting in your life lately?

    An idea?  A conversation?  A goal?  Is He urging you to pursue it?  Has He strengthened you to persevere with it?  

    Victor Hugo said, “Like the trampling of a mighty army, so is the force of an idea whose time has come.”

    History is strewn with little thoughts that have become great movements.  We are safe when God’s hands are sowing seed and our hearts are fertile soil.

    Joe

    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor







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