God’s Comfort

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In the early hours of last Sunday morning, the city of Orlando became the scene of America’s largest ever shooting massacre.

We read with great sadness the accounts of the madness and evil perpetrated by the gunman in the name of his religion.

In the face of tragedies such as this one, or countless other events going on around the world, what hope, what comfort is there to be found?

This Sunday we are commencing a new series in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians; a letter that is more pastoral than theological in its content.

It is a letter than the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians to reassure them of the good news of the gospel and to reassure them of his ongoing love and affection for them as a church.

In the midst of their personal situation, this letter offers us profound comfort and hope; a perspective that goes beyond our momentary afflictions. It speaks of the loving presence of God who comforts us in the middle of our suffering and points us towards our eternal hope.

If you are feeling downhearted and discouraged, come and hear the good news of the gospel afresh.

Come and be reminded that while people might fail us or do unspeakable things, we have a God who always keeps His promises.

We have a loving Father who will never let us down.

– Pastor Jono Smith

Buddhism why is it so trendy?

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This week we conclude our series on World Religions and we are looking at Buddhism. Buddhism has almost become a fashion statement in the western world; so many celebrities have come out publically to say that they have embraced or are sympathetic to the teachings or the Buddha. Buddhism predates Christianity by about 500 years and offers its followers a pathway to life that many in the West find attractive. When the Dalai Lama come to Australia (he’s been 10 times) he pulls huge crowds. Why is this?

In many senses the Buddhist religion is a fairly closed shop to many in the west. What is at the very core of Buddhism is not well known by the average person. However parts of Buddhist teaching has seeped into our vocabulary. Words like “karma” and “mindfulness” are becoming more and more common in day to day language. At the recent Mind, Body and Spirit festival at Olympic Park, you could visit the Mindful Meditation Centre and where you were told that by doing so you could increase your positive thinking and feelings of joy. Buddhism has done a superb job in marketing itself to the western mindset. Today many now see the Christian religion as simply an institution that has been compromised by scandal and therefore people have abandoned the faith in droves, it appears that Buddhism has how rushed in and filled up the void. This is because Buddhism offers the very thing that the Christian faith offers. Peace, calm, tranquillity, happiness joy etc.

Yet is there more to this than meets the eye? If so we will attempt to unpack some of these things this Sunday.

Pastor Warren Griffin

Christianity & Judaism

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Of all the world religions, Judaism is the one that Christians are most tempted to think they understand.

We worship the same God don’t we? We read the same Holy scriptures?

Surely it’s just a simple matter of explaining the good news of Jesus in order to help Jewish people understand.

While these two world religions come from the same source, appreciating modern Judaism is far more complicated than we might think.

Jewish people have endured unbelievable suffering and hardship for over three millennia. They have endured undoubtedly by the grace of God. They have endured also because of their incredible tenacity and sense of family loyalty to one another.

To be Jewish is more than ethnicity or belief. To be Jewish is to be a part of a worldwide family that traces its ancestry all the way back to Abraham.

This Sunday we are going to learn a little about how Judaism evolved into what it is today; focusing not on a history lesson but the development of ideas and practices following the destruction of the Jewish Temple c.70AD.

We will spend some time hearing from someone’s personal experience of Judaism.

All of this will serve as a foundation for exploring how Christian people can engage in respectful, meaningful dialogue with those of Jewish faith.

We’d love you to join us!

Pastor Jono Smith

New Website

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Hi Everyone,

This is a big shout out to Andy and Mike for all their hard work on getting the new website LIVE!

Well done guys!!!

Keep up the good work.