The Parable of the Talents

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What is the goal or purpose of your life?

The point of the Christian life is not to sit around waiting for Jesus to return, ignoring or burying the gifts God has given us.

One day, we too will stand before God. On that day may hear Him say “Well done good and faithful servant!”

Join us for this week’s parable of Jesus at 10am this Sunday:
https://youtu.be/M5Nwz9TiRT4

Venezuelan refugees in Arequipa receive weekly food aid

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Concord Baptist Church members David and Christine Jeyachandran work with university students in Arequipa, Peru.

Finding himself unable to go into the universities because only those doing essential work are allowed a work permit, David is helping with SIM‘s Disaster Relief project in Arequipa. Christine and their three children remain locked down except for the very recent approval for children to be allowed out for thirty minutes exercise a day.

With a curfew and quarantine of all non-essential workers, the coronavirus has created a desperate situation for many Peruvians, especially for Venezuelan refugees, who number more than 12,000 in Arequipa and have no access to government help or any family support. They’d normally make their living selling on the streets or cleaning windscreens, but since the streets are empty they have no source of income.

To support this most vulnerable group of people through this critical time, SIM Peru has launched a relief project to provide emergency food relief to this most vulnerable group of people as well as to some Peruvians in extreme need.

In the first week of the project, the team distributed 150 packages but this has increased to 800 and the list is still growing. A food bag costs about 40 to 45 soles ($18-20) and contains:
– two kg potatoes,
– two kg rice,
– one kg spaghetti,
– one kg lentils,
– one kg oatmeal,
– 500 gr beans,
– 500 gr sugar,
– three cans of milk,
– two cans of tuna, and
– a bar of soap.

The team also inserts a copy of John’s Gospel, Christian literature and sometimes a handwritten note of encouragement.

Where possible, workers look for conversations with the Venezuelans, many of whom are open to the gospel. SIM Peru is now planning how best to stay in contact with the refugees after the crisis.

SIM Peru project – 91155 COVID-19 Emergency Relief if you’d like to donate.
https://www.sim.org.au/Donate/Project/Uncategorised-Projects/COVID-19-Peru-Emergency-Relief

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

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Forgiveness. In theory, everyone loves the idea of forgiveness. When we make a mistake, we love it when other people are gracious and kind and forgive us straight away.

But what happens when someone hurts us?

In the parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus is teaching us two key lessons about forgiveness.

Join us at 10am on Sunday to find out more.

https://youtu.be/7-Mk6BKVhBQ

 

The Prodigal Son

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Have you ever been in someone’s bad books? Have you ever been on the wrong side of someone? In relationship with people, we can sometimes find ourselves in dangerous territory. And it’s in these moments we remember the difference between having a good relationship with someone and a bad one.

Sometimes we need to ‘get right’ with people to have the right relationship with them.

Join us at 10am this Sunday for a story where a relationship is righted.

https://youtu.be/HqVUeLcdl1Q

Spoiler alert: it teaches us important things about the relationship between God and us.

Interview – Brigitte Rakow

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May is a month where we highlight the activities of our members locally and globally.

Brigitte Rakow is a long term member of CBC and you can meet her on our About Us page,  but with current restrictions on meeting in person we thought we’d do a virtual interview to learn even more:

Concord Baptist Church:
We hear you’ve been involved with Fusion for 36 years. (ed. Wow – that’s awesome!) Tell us about Fusion and who they are?

Brigitte Rakow:
Fusion is a not-for-profit Christian Youth and Community organisation and our vision statement is “bringing young people and communities together with hope”. Fusion started in the 1960s and currently have 15 centres around Australia and are in over 15 countries including Albania, Canada, England, Ghana, Greece, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, India, Nepal, Indonesia, and Jamaica. Currently we are working in Japan where we were preparing for the Olympic Games. Our work overseas began when we were asked to provide training in running festivals at major events such as Olympic Games or World Cup soccer. It was a way that the churches could contextually engage with their local communities.

CBC:
That’s a lot of different places! Can you give some more examples of activities Fusion is involved with running?

BR:
Every centre differs with the services they provide, depending on the needs in that area as well as availability of staff. Programs vary. There’s drop-in centres, youth cafes, lunchtime programs in schools, op shops, day trips, accommodation and programs for young families, crafts and social activities for isolated women, parenting programs for young single parents, mentoring and other special programs for teenagers who are not fitting into the school system and employment training schemes. Other activities include outdoor education programs, community festivals connection in fragmented towns and suburbs, vocational rehabilitation, radio and print media and contributing to social policy development and action.

CBC: Sounds very much like there’s something for anyone. What are some things you’ve been involved with during your 36 years at Fusion?

BR:
I started off as a youth worker when I was 30 and then did the Diploma of Youth and Community Work. Actually also I did it a second time years later :-). I then continued on with youth work followed by office work, hospitality, accounting, staff support officer, PA to various centre leaders, assisting with organising Easter marches, Global March & Advent Pageants, State secretary, and recently finished as a cafe manager in Sydney.

Now I just help with whatever needs to be done at our student accommodation house in Campsie when I’m in Sydney and while in Poatina (Tasmania) I mainly help in the chalet kitchen and serving the different groups who were coming in ….. before the virus.

CBC:
If we wanted to find out more information about Fusion or get involved, where should we go?

BR:
Best place to go is to head to www.fusion.org.au 

 

Hidden Treasure and an Expensive Pearl

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This Sunday’s stories come from Matthew chapter 13. They are the stories of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price.

Jesus talks here in story form to bring shape and reality to the abstract notion of the kingdom of heaven.

He shows us that the kingdom of heaven is valuable and hidden and involves sacrifice.

Ideas that might seem strange at first, but make sense when we unpack them.