Manoah House

Manoah House

Hi church family.

We are living in exciting times. God is stirring the hearts of so many people in our church to live lives for his glory. One example of this was seen last week when we had a visit from Gerard Goiran, Director of Manoah House (our W.A. Reformed Churches Old Age Home based in Gosnells.) Gerard shared in our Sunday service how they are desperate for new board members to continue the work of Manoah House. I met him after church and he excitedly shared with me that 3 capable men put up their hands to get involved as board members. He said “we went from a desperate situation of lack into one of abundance – all in the space of one church service.”

On a different note – I need to update you about our Kalgoorlie Church Plant. After 14 years we will be closing this church plant when Pastor Jaco Classen leaves end of October. Over the years the work has proven to be meaningful as Sunday services, pastoral care and practical help was afforded to folks there, most of them new migrants from South Africa. Pastor Jaco was also able to make a big difference as an area chaplain for the district. However, since the migrant influx wained, and many of the core people moved out of Kalgoorlie, the church has lost a lot of its momentum and has shrunk significantly in numbers – to the point where it is now unsustainable. This was compounded by the fact that Pastor Jaco Classen accepted a call to a Reformed Church in Tasmania. Since making public his acceptance of the call, most of the folks remaining in the church plant indicated that they would be moving to other established congregations in Kalgoorlie. While over the past few years the church plant was able to cover all their ministry costs, of late the burden has fallen on Grace Church to pick up the shortfall of the declining giving. After much prayer and deliberation between our Church Council and the Leadership in Kalgoorlie, it was decided to wrap up the work as it became clear that it’s no longer sustainable. This would also allow Grace Church to look at an alternative church plant initiatives in future – perhaps somewhere in the Northern Suburbs of Perth (where we only have one Reformed Church vs 7 in the Southern suburbs.) *Next Sunday Pastor Jaco Classen will visiting Grace Church as we say goodbye to him prior to him taking up the work in Tasmania. We’ll also commit him and his family in prayer.

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens.” Rev’ 3:7-8

God bless you all

Pastor Joe

Celebrate Lord’s Supper

Celebrate Lord’s Supper

Hi church family

Planet earth. It’s a tough place to live in sometimes. Sin stained and filled with brokenness. Even God’s people – those who are saved and made new – feel the strain of this world. It makes us realise we aren’t home yet. We are simply pilgrims passing through on the way to our heavenly dwelling.

Yet every time we notice beauty in this world, perhaps the wild flowers, or our children smiling, or listening to a stirring song – it’s like we are given glimpses of heaven. A small deposit of something greater and more majestic to come. If like me, you’re having a challenging week, look up, notice the flowers as your drive home and be reminded that there is still much to be thankful for in world. Let’s celebrate the small mercies of the Lord while we wait for the big breakthroughs to come. Life can be tough, but we are a tough people. In Christ we are over comers.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the church wide training day held last Sunday. It was such a blessing to see so many ministry groups meet all around the place. Training was held in some groups while others held team meetings to review and plan ahead. We’ve also had a few more volunteers sign up to join a ministry team. It was a big step in the right direction to better equip and strengthen our church. May the Spirit of God stir us to continue building stronger and more effective ministry teams so that God can use us in greater ways to build and advance His kingdom.

Last Sunday I kicked off a 3 part series on Freedom. We looked at Freedom in the heart – how Christ sets us free to be freedom agents in this world. This Sunday we will look at Freedom in the church.

Church is all about Koinonia – the gathering of the saints. As a church we are also called to gather in the lost and broken. May God help us to see that we are to live in such a way that we will impact the people around us. Jesus is our best example how to accomplish it. He shows us what it means to be a church that is free to ‘win, build and send.’

This Sunday we will celebrate Lord’s Supper together. It’s a special time where we can reflect on the Grace of God, be reminded of our duty to be gracious to others and find renewed strength in the Lord.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42

God bless you all
Pastor Joe

Church wide training

Church wide training

Hi church family.

This Sunday we will be celebrating Father’s Day with a special ‘Donuts with Dads’ treat available to enjoy over a cup of coffee after the service. Sunday will also be the 2nd day of Spring which means we’ll be seeing more wild flowers and blossoms on display in nature. May this Sunday be a day where our hearts are filled with inspiration and thankfulness for our fathers and the beauty of creation around us.

Please remember our ‘church wide training day’ scheduled for Sunday 9th September. It’ll be at most an hour after the morning service – from 11.30am to 12.30pm. As mentioned before, it’s an opportunity for our different ministry groups to get together as teams, to give input how we can improve what we do, as well as the opportunity to provide some training related to our different areas.

This week we will host a prominent speaker – Martyn Iles – at our Sunday service. Martyn is a young, gifted speaker from a conservative Christian background. He is also a preacher who speaks with passion from God’s Word and how it relates to a world that is becoming more and more hostile towards Christianity. Myles started the ‘Human Rights Law Alliance’ (defending Christians who are prosecuted in AUSTRALIA for living out their Christian convictions.) He is also the managing director of the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby.)

The following Sunday I will start a series in the lead up to September 23rd where we will join other churches across Australia to host a Freedom Sunday service. More details to follow in the weeks ahead.

In closing I want to speak a word of thankfulness to our church for helping with the funeral arrangements of Jan (jnr) v d Laan. As many of you know Jan & Joy v d Laan (previous members of our church) received the sad news last week that their son ‘Jan Jnr’ had passed away. They hastily flew back to Perth to make funeral arrangements. In a few short days so many logistics had to be sorted out, but thanks to the support of family and friends – and our Grace Church community – we were able to assist the family in this time of need. Yesterday we had the memorial services for Jan. Though it was a sad occasion, much comfort was given and received as many people gathered to remember his life and to say their good bye’s. May we all continue to prayerfully uplift Jan and Joy in their time of grief.

God bless you all

Pastor Joe

Pastor Dave Groenenboom

Pastor Dave Groenenboom

Hi church family.

We have a special guest speaker with us this Sunday. Pastor Dave Groenenboom from Gateway Community Church will be visiting us and preaching. He has recently been appointed to a role at IJM (International Justice Mission) and will be relocating to Sydney later this year. It’ll be a blessing to have him minister at our church before wrapping up his time here in W.A. Alex Thompson, our Youth Coordinator, will be traveling down to Gateway to preach at the church of Pastor Dave – so basically we are doing a pulpit swap. Let’s pray for both of these men as they prepare for Sunday.

Please remember our ‘church wide training day’ scheduled for Sunday 9th September. It’ll be at most an hour after the morning service – from 11.30am to 12.30pm. We are still sorting out where all the different groups will. It seems the best plan would be to finalise the ‘meeting points’ the week of the 9th Sep’ so we can see what the weather is doing. If the forecast that week is for good weather we can use the outdoor places around church as well – so saving on the cost of renting lots of meeting rooms.

Why is this ‘training day’ so important? In our recent NCD survey – the one theme that kept on repeating through the results is that our members indicated they ‘are not being trained/equipped for their task at church.’ While we know that informal training was being done as needed, our leaders also agreed that we need to be more purposeful about training/equipping our teams. This church wide training day is simply a first step in the right direction. In a way we are starting the conversation within our teams to asses how we are doing, what can we improve, and how are we going to improve. It’ll also help us connect with one another and “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrew 10:24

This ‘training day’ is not a compulsory event, but I would love for all of us to be a part of this initiative. If you are not yet in any of our “specialised” ministries – then consider coming along to hear what they are doing and asking question, so consider becoming involved. Also – check out the new small group starting with details listed on p4 of the newsletter.

Lastly – we are looking for someone who could help us with ordering printed T-shirts for some of our ministries. If you are good with something like this – please let me know. We need you to champion this project.

God bless you all

Pastor Joe

What about the future

What about the future

Hi church family

Many of us spend hours of our day fretting and worrying about the future. The irony is that this ‘mindset’ robs us of joy and energy for the present. We sometimes loose out on the blessing of ‘today’ because we are too busy stressing about future problems and challenges. Jesus saw this very thing in the lives of people when He said;

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matt 6:34

How then should we live? The verse just before Jesus encourages us; “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” He also encourages us by saying “your heavenly Father knows what you need.” May we all be in the moment. Let’s give ourselves fully to today and reap the blessings contained in the now.” This reminds me of the Latin word ‘Carpe Diem.’
‘Seize the Day!’

Last week I wrote about the importance of making meaningful connections with each other as a church family. One such area where folks are hungry for more connections is our Young Adults. Recently Cecile and I counselled such a young adult. We asked this young person “do you have friends at church?” The reply was“no.” It broke my heart to think that we have many awesome young folk in church – but they aren’t connecting with one another. And I’m sure we’ll all agree that having Christian friends from your own church is a blessing and necessity in life.

Further on in the Newsletter you see that Alex Thompson has arranged for a ‘get together’ for our Young Adults at Dome this Monday. If you as a Young Adult read this, please make the effort to go along. If you as a parent of young adults are reading this -please strongly encourage them to attend. Let’s make a big effort to help our young folk connect with each other. Carpe Diem.

In closing – remember the Rally for Life this Saturday. We’d love to see you there.

God bless you all.
Pastor Joe

People are seeking meaningful connections

People are seeking meaningful connections

Hi church family.

Can I ask for your prayer support? Not just for me, but for us as a collective people – the whole congregation of Grace Church. Over the past two weeks I’ve had many coffee meetings, friendly conversations and even some counselling sessions with folk. One thing that is becoming clearer to me is that people are seeking meaningful connections (friendship/fellowship/koinonia/Acts 2:42) and we all need to be a part of the solution to this need. Being a “bigger” church has many benefits to it, but a growing challenge is how more people can share in these – God intended – connections.

On a personal level it takes for us as individuals to “walk across the room” on a given Sunday to meet and greet people we don’t know. If I have young children or even young adult children, it means inviting similar families over for coffee / dinner so our children can also make connections with young folk their age. Forming new small groups and inviting people to join them is a huge need in our church. I cannot overstate enough the importance to have christian brothers and sisters who journey with us through life. I was reminded of this recently when we visited Francois Kruger in hospital. (as you probably know Francois is terminally ill with cancer). Despite the challenge of dealing with a deadly decease, both Francois and his wife Lizelle have thankful hearts to the Lord for his goodness. Time and again they would tell me how loving and caring their small group and the church is towards them. Even while we were there visiting a member of their small group popped in to check in on them. We’ve heard so many stories of meals being made and practical support giving in and around their house. So many people from the wider church is showing love and support in very practical ways. And that is what church is all about. Be we can only show love in such a practical way if we are connected with one another. Let’s all be praying about this, and seeing how we can all be a part of the solution. To everyone who is already leading small groups and already making the effort to help connect with people at church, thank you. And may more of us follow your example.

On Sunday 20th May – we will start a 4 part series on the book of Judges. Kids church will be doing a parallel series with us in the main church. We hope that parents and children can have many meaningful conversations about the Bible as you reflect on the Sunday teachings. We will also celebrate Lord’s Supper this Sunday. Let’s take courage and strength from the Lord as we are reminded again we are a part of His Body, so illustrated

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday when we remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all peoples as described in Acts 2. If you can please join me at the special Pentecost service being held for all our Reformed Churches at 4pm this Sunday. Details in the newsletter. through the bread and wine we’ll partake in.

May each one of you experience the grace and favour of God in your lives.

Pastor Joe