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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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10.00am and 5.30pm

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Cnr Rothesay Ave and Dorene St
St.Marys SA 5042

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    Building Treasures in Heaven

    Thursday, September 05, 2013


    A week ago last Sunday someone approached me to say the ‘Balanced’ series had proven to be very helpful to him personally and in his small business. He added that historically, he stood against programs being implemented in church, but this series had been a blessing. This testimony is one of a number of recent blessings God has enriched us with. Whether attributed to the series or not, we are blessed to see God move amongst us to bless His people and make His Name known in the Community.

    Wayne Burgan, chairman of the elders, has been running a financial small group for the community in conjunction with the Balanced series. He has interacted with up to 12 people through the 6 weeks. This is EBC putting its ‘toe in the water’ to connect with the community to meet relevant issues head on. This Friday evening we have a men’s movie night and in a few weeks we will be running the Harmony (Marriage) Seminar, with both events open to community participation.

    EBC often gets visitors checking out the services and facilities, which are a blessing, given by God’s ongoing grace. Recently as well, EBC folk have been inviting friends and acquaintances to church. This reflects well, the sense of peace and security in a healthy Church environment, where the flock is being cared for and we begin to consider others too.

    God’s Spirit has been working inside and outside the congregation, drawing many to step up, step out, or step in to more that He wants to open for His family. This has resulted in lives seeking transformation, disciples becoming obedient and seekers asking questions of His kingdom. We have recently seen individuals and families seeking church membership. The current membership is considering joining in with Baptist Churches SA, a historical decision that would have direct influence in the future of EBC. We baptised two believers last week at the Marion Aquatic Centre and Ps Jarrod has a bunch of youth ready to take this step of believer’s obedience. God given opportunities to share His generosity has EBC currently meeting its budget commitments and becoming free to be generous toward areas of need as they are presented.

    The support and connection with the Conway Foundation for education to Aboriginal youth is becoming fruitful. The kids who visit the house in Dorene Street on the weekends cite Friday night Youth as a weekend highlight. Bek Abley, the house ‘mum’ will have several with her this Sunday morning in church.

    Balanced opened in Matthew (6:20) inviting us to consider storing up “for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, …” and concluded with “… seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, ...” In this will eternal treasure be laid up (1 Timothy 6:18-19).

    We are now back, looking at following Jesus through the gospel of Mark. Tom will be presenting in the am service and Ps Jarrod in the pm.

    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor







    Fathers Day

    Thursday, August 29, 2013


    With Fathers' Day occurring this Sunday I have been looking for examples of Fathers in the Bible. The first human Father was Adam. He had God as a role model but he slipped up and the sin corrupted the world. Noah was a father who obeyed God in spite of all the wickedness that flourished around him. Abraham was anointed by God to be the Father of all the nations. He made mistakes, as all fathers do, but still embodied the character that all Fathers would benefit from. King David was truly a struggler - an adulterer and a murderer. He sinned in many ways, but repented and found forgiveness and favour from God. Joseph was the adoptive Father of Jesus. He went to great lengths to protect Mary and baby Jesus. He ensured that Jesus had an education and learned a trade.

    Most importantly there is God the Father. When we acknowledge Him as our heavenly Father, our provider and protector, it gives our life a whole new perspective.

    For some people Fathers' Day is a great time of thanking their Dad for the role and impact he has in their life. For others it is not such a good time as they haven't been blessed with a good relationship with their Dad. Fathers' Day can often be an emotional time for many people. Sadly some men have not been able to be parents, some have experienced the loss of children and others have experienced growing up with their fathers not present in their life. Others may have experienced the death of their father. It is important that as a church family we endeavour to be aware of our brothers and sisters who may be struggling on the day.

    When I look around EBC I see some wonderful examples of Fathers, both young and older, and it gives me cause to reflect on my relationship with my own Father. I must confess that I have envied the relationship some men have with their children. Unfortunately I didn't have a good relationship with my Dad. We made some steps towards reconciliation before he passed away just over twenty years ago. Our relationship was always negatively impacted by his alcoholism, however as an adult, I was able to come to an understanding as to why he struggled with his awful addiction.

    Please pray for all Dads, that they will have the strength and courage to be the Father their children need and deserve.

    Please also remember the Harmony seminar which will take place on September 21st. It is a great opportunity to fellowship with other couples in the church.

    Next Monday night will be the webcast promoted by the Australian Christian Lobby. It features prominent Christians discussing the upcoming Federal Election. It will take place here at EBC Monday 2nd September at 7 pm. Please be here by 6.45pm.

    This Sunday we will be having a number of parents dedicating their babies to the Lord.

    Travis will lead us in the final sermon in the 'Balanced' series.

    See you in church...........

    Barry

    Barry Bennett

    Pastoral Assistant





    The Power of Christ and our Christian Influence in Friendship

    Thursday, August 22, 2013


    We have for a time now had been praying for the Muslim World. It was a thirty day of prayer for God’s blessings in the lives and affairs of people from countries in the 10/40 window. These were communities of people like us who have been displaced because of war and disasters, seeking for refuge and a place of safety to start a new life, to live in peace in another city or country.  Not only those who suffered persecutions and hardships are seeking opportunities for a better life and tranquility in another country, but also the scholars, students and skilled individuals looking for jobs overseas and in this land which they consider and call Australia home.

    Like the many privileged families who came to Australia, we are just one of them who made it by God’s grace alone.  Through the Christians who shared God’s love to us the day we settled in Adelaide in 2004 and accepted us as members of the EBC Family, it was a joyful experience.

    As I reflect on things that matters most to me now, that is how I would treat those whom I meet daily from another country, another culture, religion and beliefs. As Jesus Christ’s disciple, how will I show God’s love towards someone who is new in the country, and different to what I believe? I was reading the 30 days of prayer for the Muslim World 2013 and this article from Mission Canada grabbed my attention:

     “Welcome newcomers: hospitality opens hearts”

                Jack fled. A brother had informed him that he would be poisoned. Jack’s father – a Muslim cleric—had discovered that his 17 –year old son had become a follower of Jesus. A few years later Jack arrived in Canada to pursue theological studies. Extreme loneliness and the pain of being a newcomer without a family in a strange land haunted him.

    War, ethnic conflict, religious persecution, natural disasters and the longing for freedom and opportunity are just some of the reasons why people uproot and come to North America. How do these unprepared newcomers fare in a foreign land, where often they are not really welcome?

    In 2008 a newcomer centre (which Jack helps at) opened in Canada. The idea was simply to welcome Muslims and give them practical assistance in their new country. Friendships were forged as the newcomers got help with home-building, child care, tutoring, homework, or to learn English. Today, baby showers for new mothers, football camps for boys and girls and community festivals for the whole family are but a few more things the centre does to welcome newcomers.

    Heart- to- heart connections are made as Muslims begin bonding with their new Christian friends. Some have already become followers of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah). Others are on the pathway to the Prince of Peace. The seed of the gospel is being planted as the international team ministers to them.

    San was in training to become a Muslim cleric. At the age of 22 he became a follower of Jesus. His mother considered him dead. She buried him. Today, San is a member of the international team that is working with newcomers.

    Many of the people that San meets at the centre, come from his home country. His mother, still living back in Africa, is now proud that her son is helping his people survive in a foreign and strange land.

    {Befriending Muslims is the best form of outreach}

    We are privileged as a Church to have facilities. And they were given to us for the gospel outreach. Like San in the story above, Nasser (from Libya) and Sakiko (from Japan) became followers of Jesus whilst in Malta. And both of them have been bringing others from both countries to Jesus through their friendship. Nasser’s contacts of Muslim families from Libya are coming to this property and are having family gatherings at the Community Centre occasionally on Saturdays at 4pm. Helga, Sakiko, and some other women would meet with the women and children while the men play indoor soccer at the gym with Nasser, Johnny and Sunil at 6:30 pm. These families have expressed their gratitude saying “Thank you for making your facilities available for us to use and hope you’ll allow us for a long period”.   How shall we respond? By coming on Saturdays either to play or just being there to share Christian love and letting them know that we care like Jesus cares for them.

     

    Edwin Del Pilar

    Pastor, Multicultural Ministries





    In a Mission for God

    Thursday, August 15, 2013


     

    I have been watching “The Bible” TV series every Tuesday and I think it is awesome to have the message of God broadcast in prime time television.  For me it only means one thing, the message of God will reach more people around the world.  Last month, when I arrived at my other work, at the Vietnamese Community, my manager and four other co-workers asked me to sit down for a moment because they had some questions for me.  So I sat calmly and thought in my head “Here we go, what is it the problem this time?”.  My manager started the first question and she said “We know you are a pastor and we want to know more about the Bible and God”.  I looked at the five of them staring at me and asked, ”What do you want to know?”  One explained that they had been watching the Bible TV series and wanted to know more why God allowed all those things to happen (they were referring to Moses and Pharaoh, God striking the first born of Egypt; then the scene with Sodom and Gomorrah)  WOW!  I had to quickly gather my thoughts in excitement and bring them back to the context of the story.  The discussion about God and His love for us took more than an hour with these five colleagues of mine who are foreign to God.  The discussion ended with me challenging them to investigate and read the scriptures.  But anyway, they asked if it’s OK with me to have another follow up discussion as they continue to watch the series, and I said, “YES!”  Praise The Lord!

    The Lord reminded me that as disciples we are to be ready “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2).  We don’t know what is around the corner, but it helps if we continue to remind ourselves that we are in a mission for God; and we are ready to testify for Him anywhere and anytime.  One thing I can assure you, people who do not know God are watching us.  So I encourage fellow disciples to be ready always for Christ.

    Back here at home, I am so thrilled to learn much about balance in life. I am so enjoying to be reminded from the pulpit and the DVD’s at night that all we have belongs to God.  All that we have is a blessing from Him.  I like what Andy Stanley said “God does not want something from us (our finance and stuff means nothing to him) but God want something for us, by giving His only Son for us to have life eternal (our soul means everything to Him)”.  What a fantastic reminder!

    This week, we look forward to hearing Tom as he teaches us more from the Balanced series.  In the evening we have the DVD from Andy Stanley.  Enjoy the Balanced series and have a great week ahead of you! God bless! 

    Julio

    Julio Alejo

    Pastoral Care Pastor

     





    Back in the Black - Balanced

    Tuesday, August 06, 2013


    When was the last time you heard anyone teach at church on the subject of debt? Yet for most of us debt is a reality of life. It is the rare person who is able to buy a house or purchase a car without it. Most of us have credit cards and many of those cards are maxed out and smoking from use! Retailers depend on us to use debt to keep them in business and encourage us to buy whatever we want. No cash? No problem! Get it on credit interest free! Most western economies rely on debt to keep on rolling. (We won’t talk about entire countries that have gotten themselves trillions of dollars in debt.)

    Does the Bible have anything useful to say on the subject? Why does it happen? What does it say about our view of God? What are the consequences to our life of discipleship? Is there another way?

    Debt is one of those things having the potential to throw our lives completely out of balance. This Sunday we will continue to seek out God’s perspective on our finances. I will be preaching in the morning. Then in the evening we will again be using the DVD series “Balanced” by Andy Stanley. Life groups will also be discussing the same material during the week. So there are several levels at which you can plug in. Hope to see you in the black!

    Tom

    Tom Golding

    Principal, ACM





    Experiencing the Story of God

    Thursday, July 25, 2013


    It shouldn’t have been a surprise - It was a Friday night only a few weeks back, outside it was cold and dark but, inside on this mountain top gathered about 70 people. A young man only about 15 stands up and says, “I’ve been a Christian for some time, but today is the first time I have felt Jesus speak to me and fill me with a passion and joy”. The atmosphere was thick and heavy with a sense that God was here.

    Another stood and shared about his broken family and the harshness of his life and concluded, “I can now see that in God’s Story and my own that beauty comes out of brokenness.” Another, “This camp has helped me discover my identity with God.”  Story after story was shared about how God had revealed Himself, places that God had brought healing; God had given a new perspective to life or new discoveries about who God is and how to relate to Him.

    I sat back in my chair listening and reflecting on my own journey that week. What was happening in this moment seemed to be the most natural and genuine time of reflection and testimony I had experienced. As the night slowly finished and we all headed back to our dorms I was asking myself, “How did that just happen?” It wasn’t hyped up and there was no emotionally charged music in the background, so my general cynicisms to youth response times weren’t present.

    It really shouldn’t surprise me, because what had begun earlier that week as 70 people gathered was a journey to discover and experience the Story of God….quite simply to open up God’s word and be exposed to the heart of God through stories from Genesis to Revelation.

    Why was I so surprised that the Word of God was so powerful and able to change people’s lives? Didn’t Paul say in 2 Timothy 3;

    16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    That night I experienced this verse in a room of love and grace as stories were shared and no one got the credit except the God of The Story and of our personal story. It was personally impacting as the familiar became new again. It was also a good reminder that the only story we have to tell is God’s.

    I was in Perth at a camp called Immerse, run by Youth Ministries Australia, with Travis Johnson and a team from Adelaide, Sydney and Perth. I am really looking forward to seeing how we can engage our youth in this style of Biblical engagement.

     Jarrod

    Jarrod Flack

    Youth Pastor





    Discipleship - Joe Gray

    Friday, July 19, 2013


    The Bible – did you see it on Tuesday night? It’s not a trick question, I haven’t lost my Bible. On Channel Nine Tuesday evening, there was the first program in a mini-series called ‘The Bible’. Produced by husband & wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who also stars in the series, this ten hour project has been seen by 95 million people since it was first aired in March 2013. The Wikipedia review reports the producers were asked to tell the story but not mention Jesus, but they refused, showing their genuine desire to bring God’s story with integrity to today’s culture. Rumoured reports speculate the popular reception of the series overseas forced Channel Nine to show it now during the present ratings season.

    It was fast paced for today’s viewer, the acting and cinematography was professional and there was an element of real emotional energy. This was most evident when it showed Sarah’s concern at Abraham & Isaac going off to sacrifice to God without a lamb. If there was a ‘Big Idea’ from the first instalment, it would be Trust God, He takes care of His children. We watched it at home, as did 1.18 million other Australians and will continue to do so because it offered great opportunity for family discussion. And while Michele & I would comment, “Oh! It didn’t show this or explain that,” the program did get me searching the Word the next day to clarify a truth that I had missed previously.

    The Rev. Billy Graham says, “Let us always remember that Christ calls men and women not only to trust Him as Saviour, but also to follow Him as Lord. That call to discipleship must be part of our message if we are to be faithful to Him.” As we have uncovered through the presentations of Mark’s gospel account, discipleship to Christ will lead to the question, “Is Jesus the Lord of my life?” Mark is showing us, following Jesus will take us into a new life that includes diversity and challenge.

    After this Sunday we take a six-week break from Mark’s gospel to look at an important area of our daily life as a disciple that asks the question, “Is Jesus the Lord of my stuff?” By stuff I mean my finances and the things money can buy.

    Michele & I have been through programs like Crown Ministries, which gave us biblical principles and perspectives in handling the finances God trusts us with. But like attending a Marriage Seminar to refocus our attention on our relationship, we are looking forward to participating in the Balanced series to refocus our attention on how we’re handling “our stuff.” “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matt 6:21) So please join us, along with many others in groups and families for the next six weeks, as the Lord guides us in community.

    I will be speaking on Mark 8:22-26 in the AM service and Les Crawford will present Mark 8:27-38 in the evening.

    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor





    The Sacrament of Marriage

    Thursday, July 11, 2013


    Each time Michele & I engage in any aspect of marriage counselling, I am reminded that marriage is a God given gift to humanity. Adam realised the full depth of God’s creative gift in knowing that Eve came from his own flesh and bone. He recognized Eve (woman) as a gift to him and all humanity following. The scriptures reflect, even before Adam & Eve became parents, that marital union was the reason for leaving home.

    “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”  (Genesis 2:24)

    I believe in the Sacrament of marriage. Not as Orthodox Tradition would hold marriage as one of seven Sacraments, but like them in the way they highly esteem Marital Union. In our effort to be assured we are following biblical perspectives in Church above traditional ones, I believe we have lost some of the powerful influence and testimony those traditions had. This loss may be a significant reason the Church in our culture has become less relevant to many outside and voiceless to us inside. I say this to the Church generally rather than specifically, but accept the challenge for me as a pastor and Church leader to esteem and proclaim God’s blessings as He has given them. With this in mind, there are two things I am currently passionate about, the current (ongoing) marriage debate in our political environment and opportunities for marriage enrichment within our community.

    Last year the Australian Parliament voted two-to-one to preserve the natural definition of marriage in Commonwealth law.” (Australian Marriage Forum newsletter, www.acl.org.au) That was 2012. Now the issue has again entered our State political arena with a Bill to legalize same sex marriage introduced to the South Australian parliament, which will be debated on July 25th. Some political commentators would promote the passing of this Bill is a given fate similar to what happened recently in New Zealand. Why? This needn’t be. However, if we who believe in the God given gift of Marriage remain voiceless, it could be. Let’s make contact with our local member representatives and let them know ‘with grace filled words’ our support for existing laws to remain unchanged.

    Chuck Swindoll reflected, “In marriage, anniversaries are great occasions for reflection and evaluation. For Michele & me anniversaries often become a time of celebration or just a rest from the busyness of work and life. So while there’s not much reflection or evaluation done at that time, we select other intentional times to do this. Marriage Seminars are a good intentional time for every couple to do this and is why with Lorraine & David Mitchell, we began running the Harmony Seminar a few years ago. Plans for 2013 are well underway, so please save the date, September 21st to join us.

    This week Don Priest (am) and Ray Williams (pm) will be presenting Mark’s gospel on who Jesus really is and what it means to be His disciple.

    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor




    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor





    Persistent Praying

    Thursday, July 04, 2013


    This week at our youth leaders’ meeting I shared this little parable from Luke 18.

    1He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: 2 “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. 3 And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’”

    I remember the chuckles as I got to the end of the reading as we imagined the persistent lady annoying the judge. This widow was so desperate for justice that it consumed her. She went to the only person who could change the situation and it became painful for the judge.

    As I reflect on my own prayer life and passions, this short parable is very challenging. It challenges my view of the world, as one of God’s greatest concerns is for justice. We are often faced with the complicated issues of injustice around the court system, refugees and homelessness. When I see it on TV it is easier to switch channels, than invest myself into praying pestering prayers about these issues.

    As a community who are mobilising for the mission of God, we (particularly us younger people) need to recapture this heart of prayer that doesn’t give up, that sees that world as God sees it and be consumed enough to take our concerns to the only One who can really change the situation.

    On the topic of prayer, please continue to pray for our young people. We have from 60 to 100 youth attending our programs on Friday nights and Sunday mornings (Blast). We spent term 2 discussing how God’s plan for us is to know Him, join Him in His mission and use the gifts He has given us. Please pray for our youth leaders, for our families and parents and for our youth that God would continue to work in them and through them.

    I trust you can join us for Balanced in term 3. Lifegroups will be involved and you can join a group just for the six weeks to walk through the material. See the Information Desk in the foyer for more details.

    This Sunday we continue our series in Mark with Ray Williams preaching in the morning service and Pastor Joe Gray preaching in the evening. Look forward to seeing you then.

    Jarrod

    Jarrod Flack

    Youth Pastor





    Being a Disciple of Christ

    Thursday, June 27, 2013


    Being a new dad is exciting, rewarding, fulfilling, satisfying, but challenging and daunting at the same time. As a first time dad, I found that changing nappies, giving milk, putting the baby to sleep, sleep deprivation and all the work that goes with growing and caring for a baby is not the challenge at all. As I look at my daughter and pray for her, the challenge that God brings to my heart as a disciple is, how can I model Jesus’ love to her while she grows up; how can I bring influence, so that one day, it will lead her to make her own conscious decision to accept and worship Christ into her life?

    In our study in the book of Mark, one thing that resonates loudly with me as I listen to the preaching series is “the importance of faith as a disciple of Jesus Christ”.  Jesus is busy teaching the apostles and disciples around Him the significance of faith in His ministry to us. Through the book of Mark, Jesus challenges us to model this faith in our lives. In chapter 5:21 - 43 we have stories about two people who showed fearless faith in Jesus that lead to their salvation and healing. First to stand out was the lady who was healed of her bleeding. In the start, she did not know Jesus personally, but believed that Jesus can heal and make a difference in her life. Jesus did not disappoint her faith. Second was Jairus, a synagogue ruler. He came to Jesus believing that Jesus can heal his sick dying daughter. Again Jesus did not disappoint Jairus’ faith in Him. In fact, in two occasions in the story, Jesus acknowledged that their faith opened the door for him to make a difference in their lives.

    Why does Jesus require great and fearless faith from his disciples? Because being a disciple of Christ is not easy. Being a disciple requires discipline; requires sacrifice; requires obedience and requires consistency in growing in “faith”. This is one of the important points in the story of Jairus. Despite the distractions around Jesus to get to his request, his faith was steadfast, never doubting in Jesus. In the midst of those distractions, Jesus reminded him “don’t be afraid, just believe”.

    As disciples of Jesus, we have His Word and those words and promises are not empty. I’m reminded of a verse in Joshua 1:8-9 “Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  As Disciples of Christ, we are commanded to be strong and courageous because our God, Jesus Christ, is with us all the way. Keep the faith growing…

    In addition, we have our family service and a baby dedication this Sunday morning.

     

    Julio

    Julio Alejo

    Pastoral Care Pastor







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