Pastor's Blog 13 Apr 2021 David Leo
It's Tuesday evening, and it's 9.45pm. I'm still awake because I'm excited to tell you about what's been happening this past weekend and the start of this week. I'm currently in Orford at the churches Youth Centre. The leadership weekend was held from last Friday to Sunday lunch and we had two guest speakers. Pr Darius Jankiewicz and Pr Justin Lawman. Pr Darius has been giving us presentations based on the study of Salvation and the deep history of how Seventh-day Adventists have landed we are in our current thinking and views. He went right back into the apostles and the Catholic Church and how the reformers like Luther, Calvin and Arminius have heavily influenced our theology. It has been startlinkg. Pr Darious has been giving us more intimate sessions over the last few days and it's a wonder that we have been counseled "we have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history." - Counsels for the Church p359 E.G White. I have more to share on these topics and wonder when I can share them and whether you would be interested? In any case, I am convinced that the journey of SDA's has brought us into an interesting time in history to synthesize the balance of law and grace which can only be found at the foot of the cross. (Psalms 85:10)
Pr Justin Lawman has been encouraging us to find tangible ways to measure the health of our church. There have been confronting questions like
As a pastor, these are scary questions, but necessary nonetheless. I believe me as a pastor and our leaders should be prepared to be evaluated. And more importantly, take action when the results reveal we need help. He has presented a tool that could help us and I'll talk more on this at some stage also.
In a nutshell. I can safely say that I enjoy being your pastor and working with you. I believe in my heart of hearts that God is leading us toward something magnificent in our church. Not because of me, or you, but because we are willing to be used by God and are prepared to be challenged by things that we may not be comfortable with. But Jesus is our captain and He knows how to steer this boat. We will always have challenges as a church because Satan refuses to see us succeed. God has brought us this far and has preserved his word and his movement. Let us refuse Satan from making inroads into our church community and let us make inroads into our wider community for the sake of Christ and for the sake of the salvation of others.
Pr David Leo
Pastor's Blog 18 Mar 2021 David Leo
The communion has been practiced in the Christian community since Jesus instigated the ceremony from the last supper. This Saturday morning we will be performing this ancient tradtion. Some of you may not be familiar with how this works so this write up is to help you navigate through what to expect. First and foremost, we do this because Jesus told us to do it in rememberance of Him. You will find his instruction in John chapter 13 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. I'd also encourage you to read chapters 71 and 72 of Desire of Ages. You can find chapter 71 by clicking here and you should be able to link to chapter 72 from there.
The morning service will begin as you would usually expect.
Communion is meant to be a solemn but a joyous occassion. As it reminds of Christ's sacrifice, resurrection, and soon return. In turn, it makes us remember our commitment to Christ, the mission and to each other.
You may be asking:
Q. Can I participate although I am not baptised in the SDA church?
A. You should only participate if you understand what you're participating in. Seventh-day Adventists practice open communion which means that we welcome anyone who has committed themselves to Christ whether they are Seventh-day Advenist or from anoher Christian denomination. If this is your first time, perhaps you could observe the footwashing and the taking of bread and wine to get a grasp of whats going in.
Q. Can children taken part in the communion?
A. We encourage parents or guardians to teach and demonstrate to their children what communion means. We leave it to the discretion of the parents as to whether their children will partake of the communion. Please understand that it is important that children have a grasp of what is taking place. If this is their first communion, they should observe the communion ceremony to ascertain what it all means. Ways to assist in teaching our children is telling the story at home, and leading a communion service in our homes so they get a first hand experience.
Q. Do I have to do have to wash my feet..it's embarassing?
A. To have the full experience of understading humility (root word for humiliation) I would encourage that you participated in the footwashing. More information to follow during the sermon.
Q. Are churches allowed to perform the Communion in light of the Covid-19 restrictions?
A. Yes. However it will be conducted differently to what people are use to. (For those who have done Communion pre Covid-19). When performing the footwashing, participants must wear gloves if touching somebody who is not family OR you can just pour the water over the feet and avoid any touching of skin. Also, the facilitators of the bread and wine must wear gloves when distributing them. Other than these aforementioned changes, all other restrictions will be ahdered to as normal.
If you have any other questions. Please do not hestitate to send through a text to my number 0432 454 548. Also, ensure to read the significant references mentioned above. This is an event we can look forward to. It is a time where we recommit ourselves to Christ and to each other. Spend time in prayer as we prepare for self-examination as we look to Jesus Christ.
"Grace will hurt your feelings and humble your heart and then infuse you with joy like you've never had before." - Paul Tripp
p.s: Please note the start times for the service (website is pending update for service times). The morning service begins at 10am and the Sabbath School Program begins at 11.15am.
I'm looking forward to doing this ceremony together with you.
- Pastor David Leo