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MarionLIFE Month June 2024

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4 June, 2024New Year

Loving Lord, we give you thanks for MCC and ML being placed here in this mission field. May Your community and church flourish—where neighbours learn to love each other and come to know Jesus. We pray that we can be good stewards of Your love to each one of our neighbours, community and church. Fill us with your grace, Lord God as You help us to learn from our community, and it may be a place where all are welcomed.

We give thanks to You Lord for MarionLIFE and the hands and feet of the team that work and volunteer in the Community Centre. Grant them Your wisdom, discernment, and humility as they serve the needs of the people. May they be guided by Your truth and by Your love.

 

More from 'New Year'

Common Grace Lent Series 2024

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Following up from Aboriginal Sunday 21 January

Here are some prayers and blessings written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians

Aboriginal Sunday is observed in your church or faith community the Sunday before January 26 (therefore the date changes each year).

Pray for justice, healing and true reconciliation in these lands

Blessing by Uncle Vince Ross

May the God of creation warm your heart like the campfires of old

Bring wisdom and peace as shown to the first peoples of this land

Shake off the dust from the desert plains by the refreshing rains

Followed by the glow and warmth of the sun

Let the light of God show us the right path and stand tall like the big

River gums drawing life from the ever flowing waters.

An Aboriginal Prayer For Truth and Hope by Brooke Prentis

May the God of all wonder who set the stars in the sky,

bless you with relentless unsettledness –

that drives you to seek truth.

May the God of all justice who gave motion to the rivers,

bless you with righteous anger –

that drives you to seek freedom for all.

May the God of all love who placed laughter in the kookaburra,

bless you with the friendship –

that looks like the love where one lays down their life for another.

May the God of all comfort who determined the height of the mountains,

bless you with tears from shared pain and mourning –

that shows you hope.

Now with wonder, righteous anger, sacrifice, and lament –

Go in truth, justice, love, and hope –

to Change The Heart of Australia.

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"When I'm afraid I put my trust in You" Psalm 56:3

Our Prayer for Israel and Palestine

Loving God, we come to you in this time of tragedy, after the sudden loss of loved ones

due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine. For those who have been injured, captured,

and for those whose homes have been destroyed. Father, we ask for your loving arms

to embrace our brothers and sisters who are in so much pain.

Loving God, we pray for a miraculous de-escalation of this dangerous conflict. Terrible

things are being done, many hundreds have died, hospitals are overflowing, many are

suddenly grieving. Violence is provoking violence but we pray for reason to prevail over

rage and revenge.

Loving God, as the people grapple with the severe loss, the injury and destruction that

is all around them. God, we remember that you are higher than any other, we ask you

to hold them in their time of anguish and uncertainty. May your presence and your

compassion bring them peace.

Loving God, we lift up the people of Israel and Palestine. We pray for all those

impacted, and we pray for active and effective peacemaking. Lord we also pray for the

first responders, the medical professionals, the rescue workers, and for all those who

volunteered to offer a helping hand. We pray that you grant them strength and courage

in the hours and days to come.

Loving God, we pray for all Christians in the Holy Land, that they would be your hands

and feet in this time. Give them strength to love both Jews and Muslims in their time of

despair. May they be your peacemakers and a witness to your faithfulness and never

ending love for all people.

Loving God, upon you we rely, and to you we turn. You do not waver, and you do not

abandon. Be with the people of Israel and Palestine in these days, and the weeks

ahead as they face the tragedy of loss.

We bring you all of these prayers, and ask them in the precious name of Jesus Christ.

Amen

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Compassion Australia

Thank you David Helyard for joining our Sunday 10am service from Compassion Australia.

Join Compassion’s Prayer Partners Network and become a prayer warrior on behalf of children living in poverty.

Each month, you’ll receive prayer updates outlining specific issues affecting the lives of children, families and Compassion staff all around the world.

There are thousands of Compassion Prayer Partners across Australia. Together, we can believe God for an end to poverty, abuse and exploitation—all through the power of prayer.

https://www.compassion.com.au/get-involved/prayer

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Did Jesus Exist - Alpha Week 2

We had many people come along last Sunday to Cafe Church where we enjoyed a wonderful meal of winter soups (3 types), watched a video and enjoyed a chat with those on our table. There were new faces and others we knew!

We came with an open mind - to sit around a table and explore the question: Did Jesus exist?

The video looked at the evidence outside the New Testament about Jesus and evidence within the New Testament.

What did Jesus say about himself?

What evidence is there to support his claims?

Check out the link to the video from last Sunday if you were unable to come along, and consider joining us this Sunday at Cafe Church. We'd love to have you come along. Everyone's Welcome. :)

God Bless

Church Office Team

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Prayer Night Wed 19 July 2023 7.30-8.30pm

We welcome you to join us inperson or online for our monthly prayer night.

Come - YOU are welcome!

Wed 21 June 7.30-8.30pm

Marion Church of Christ

As a church one of our core values is connecting with God through prayer and worship. With your church family, we gather together to lift up needs in the church and around the world, believing God is going to move in mighty ways. Won’t you please join us this for our July Prayer Night as we pray with faith that the Lord will help us in every area of our lives!

God Bless, see you there!

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Is there more to life than this? Alpha

We had many people come along last Sunday to Cafe Church to have a meal, watch a video and have a conversation. There were new faces and others we knew!

We came with an open mind - to sit around a table and explore the question: Is there more to life than this?

What, if any, has been your experience of Christianity? Boring? Untrue? Irrelevant?

At the heart of the Christian faith is the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (JOHN 14:6)

Each week Nicky Gumbel tackles key questions people may be contemplating.

Watch the video link attached and plan to come along to this Sunday at Cafe Church at 6pm as we look at the next question: Who is Jesus?

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Pastoral Care—what does that look like?

There are many different ways to show we care, and caring is a privilege and responsibility of every member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:24-25).

Sometimes just showing up and being there for someone is a powerful way of comforting others. This brings comfort in simply knowing that when hurting, people can tangibly see that they are not alone.

Being present requires us to put our own concerns aside and give our full attention for that moment you are needed. Being with others and acknowledging the fact that they are precious and valued, is a wonderful and practical way to show God’s love and an incredible and timely reminder that they are not forgotten by Him. He promises us He will never leave, nor forsake us (Heb 13:5b).

As well as ‘being’, there are some ways to be ‘doing’ pastoral care.

Pray– Like all things we need to open our hearts to the Lord’s leading so we do as He would have us do. So we start with prayer.

Call– Get in touch, phone first. Depending on the circumstances, people may only be ok with a call at first. Allow them to guide you as appropriate. Perhaps offer to meet for a cuppa, or deliver a meal?

Resist-Sometimes we care so much we simply want to fix things. Here is where we need to resist the urge. Our role as pastoral care is to support and to show empathy, not to try and solve.

Empower and Encourage– Everyone is different and we will respond in a way often unique to us and our circumstances. In our being present for people, we need to encourage people to be ok to make their own decisions and do what they can for themselves. In some circumstances it may mean encouraging them to seek professional help in one form or another.

Trust– Confidentiality is imperative—we must not disclose personal information without the express permission of person/s involved. (Exceptions would only be due to requirement of the law or risk...speak to a Pastor if you are unclear on this.)

Pray– Just as we start with prayer—we continue in prayer. Offer to pray with people you are caring for. Sometimes people find it hard and intercession for those hurting allows God to do only what He can.

Pastoral Care month is a time to highlight that we need each other and ways we can do that. If you would like help, or learn more about Pastoral Care or perhaps joining the team. Please seek out a Pastor today, or contact the Church Office during the week.

Tender and compassionate God, You are our steadfast companion in the joyous times of our lives. When we rejoice, You celebrate with us; when we are anxious and afraid, You offer us a relationship where we can find courage to face the unknown; when we weep with sadness, You are our comforter. We give You thanks and praise for the wonderful God You are. We ask You to full us with Your Holy Spirit to love and serve one another. Bless us with wisdom and understanding and the courage to speak hope into despair. Thank You for Your Church, a family united by Your Son, Jesus. It is in His name we pray, Amen.

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VISION SUNDAY DEVOTIONAL

“Anything is possible if you have faith.”

Mark 9:23 NLT

One might read this and think, wow! All my problems are fixed. Well, yes and no.

Last week we looked at needing to read the Bible, God’s Word. One of the key things we need to know about doing this is, not to take things out of context. In other words, don’t get the wrong meaning of verses, by just pulling them out because they sound good and convenient.

God’s wisdom is far beyond ours and so He gave us all the Bible to help us gain insight of Him and His purposes. His main purpose is to have a living, working, and genuine relationship with us. To do this, we needed Jesus. Jesus is our way, our truth and our life, leading us back to God.

So when we read sections of God’s Word such as our verse this week; we need to keep in mind, it is about God and our relationship. Not our wants.

This verse is the response from Jesus who is being asked by a desperate father to heal his child. The verses around it read…’Oh, have mercy on us and do something if you can.” 23 “If I can?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if you have faith.” 24 The father instantly replied, “I do have faith; oh, help me to have more!”

This gives us a clearer picture; Jesus was showing us that whilst anything can be possible if we have faith, it is more about the whom we have faith in, rather than the request in the first place.

On this occasion, the son was healed and Jesus cast out the demons that had taken over his body. But the result wasn’t only healing, it was about a God loving man, yearning and seeking to have more faith in God. That is relationship.

This Vision Sunday as we explore the theme for the year, may we always remember the fact that God desires for us to have a heartfelt relationship with Him.

Ephesians 1:4-6

Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. 5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to! Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favour that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son”

May we each rise to the challenge that our Lord calls us to. It might look a little different for us as individuals; but for as a church family—let us unite in the direction we are being called to and work towards increasing our knowledge and understanding of our Lord along the way. When we need help we know we can still ask, God encourages us to ask—especially if it seems beyond human capacity.

Remember Jesus’ words are not a promise that we can do whatever we want; rather, He makes it clear that the believing one has power only due to whom he believes in; namely, Jesus, the Son of God. The power is God’s, accessed through faith and prayer according to His will. It is because of God that the believing one can accomplish much. As we live for Jesus, let us focus on the object of our belief.

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Why do I go to church?

Last week Leighton raised some interesting questions for us to ponder and reflect on. Here is someone’s thoughts on why they go to church….

“In a culture that minimizes commitment and maximizes self-indulgence, I have learned the precious gift of church attendance or, more specifically, the church gathered. I do not see church attendance as a burden or legalistic commitment. I view it as a joy—a place where I can give and serve, a place where I can focus more on others than myself. I could name many but here are ten reasons I attend church:

¨ I attend church to serve others

¨ I attend church to encourage others

¨ I attend church to encourage my pastor

¨ I attend church to state my priorities

¨ I attend church to participate in worship

¨ I attend church even if it doesn’t meet all my needs

¨ I attend church with frequency, not on occasion.

¨ I attend church to set an example for my family.

¨ I attend church because the Bible tells me to do so.

¨ I attend church because I love my church

I love to attend church. I attend church for these reasons and many more. I thank God for my church.”

Do you attend church regularly? What are your reasons? Let us pause and thank God for His church here at Marion Church of Christ.

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Baptism

At our Sunday 10am service, we were delighted to be able to witness Noah go through the waters of Baptism.

Water Baptism is an act of obedience to the commands of Christ. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28-19.20

Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of your faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for the Christian life.

Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. It shows that you love, trust and have put your hope in Christ.

“Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross.” Colossians 2:12-14 MSG

If you have any questions or are interested in exploring your faith or baptism further, please either put a note on your Care Card or contact the Church Office during the week, so we can arrange for you to meet with a Pastor.

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