Friday 30th September 2022

I was brought up in a religious environment. It was filled with sincere devotion to well developed and formulated rites and rituals. These created a deep sense of security (for some) and sometimes even a sense of pride as you would progress through the different levels of assessment. This would build up to the point where you were “adopted and presented” to the local church as a formal member of that specific denomination. In our minds, we saw the denomination and its rituals as our relationship with God. A kind of mediator that allowed us to close the gap between us and God in a cognitive, impersonal manner…but never in a personal way. Religious knowledge and liturgical (religious process) skills paved the way for access, acceptance, and adoption into a system.

I have no doubt that those who created the system started off with the purest of motives.  I am thankful for the knowledge bestowed on me. It did however lack a crucial element:

Religious systems hardly ever draw man’s heart to God!

I would come across scriptures that unsettled me because of the relational desire they communicated. Scriptures like these:

“For I desire loyalty rather than sacrifice, And the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Hosea 6:6 NASB2020

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”

Revelation 2:2, 4 NIV

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

Matthew 15:8 NIV

I would ponder the lack of desire I had to personally relate to my saviour while at the same time desire to be religiously accepted by the church. Something was wrong with this. Very, very wrong. I was connected with Christ’s body…but my connection with Christ himself was not one of “the heart". My faith was all “head” and “hands”…but no “heart”. A scripture that stumped me completely was an actual quote where Jesus described the nature of our relationship with Him when He would not be on earth anymore:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:16-17 NIV

I pondered: “Advocate…helper…forever…in you”. His plan was always to see me as His address. That is relational…even intimate! The Holy Spirit in me should be God’s presence here on earth. That’s why  – as a religious boy – it was possible for me to leave the church building and in a sense “leave Jesus at the door”. I still had to “accept”  His Spirit – something the world cannot do! What does it mean to “accept him”? It means going beyond just “knowing about” him. It means going beyond “having seen him work”. It means opening your heart and relationally embracing him like you would embrace your spouse or family member who came for a visit. It means expressing with your soul the desire to carry Him everywhere with you. Not going where he won’t want to go. Going where he would want to go. Maintaining a posture of hosting the Holy Spirit everywhere in every possible way.

Why don’t you renew your relationship with God afresh by accepting the Holy Spirit as his presence in your place. Pray this prayer:

Come Holy Spirit. Come and live in and through me. I present my body to you as a living sacrifice. I accept you into my heart, body and mind as my advocate and helper. Amen!

Sam Childers | Highlight

Guest speaker Sam Childers visited us last Sunday. His life was the subject of the Hollywood movie The Machine Gun Preacher. Sam shared how he has built one of the largest orphanages in Southern Sudan, which has fed and housed more than 1,000 children. With the orphanage finished, he began to lead armed missions to rescue children from the Lord’s Resistance Army – which led to villagers calling him ‘The Machine Gun Preacher’.  Sam would like to thank everyone for their kind donations.

Operation Christmas Child | Thank you!

We just want to give a big shout out to those who have brought their boxes back. Thank you so much! To date, we have 166 Christmas boxes. That’s 166 little children that are not only blessed with gifts but will hear about Jesus. And we pray that these little gifts to little people will transform their lives and their communities. One volunteer noted, " I love that we can be His presence in another country even when we are not physically there".

For those who are running behind with their box, we have good news. We will extend the collection till Sunday 9th October so get those boxes back to the church as soon as you can! 

Daylight Savings | This Sunday!

Don't forget to move your clock forward one hour at 2am Sunday 2nd October 2022 (Australian Eastern Standard Time) so you don't miss out on church at 10am. Come early and visit our cafe to get ready for pastor Michael to preach on Loving Relationships!

Your Story | Should I get baptised?

I was brought up in a Christian household surrounded by a Christian family, but I've never really cared about God or anything about Christianity. I grew up to be a teenager I faced many things that caused me to try a lot of bad things. I’ve lived my life in hatred and secrecy, I thought I was going through life alone. I thought I was going through my sadness, regret and addictions alone, but now looking back I see that God was by my side the whole time.

A couple of weeks ago I began to feel like I should get baptised, so I said to God okay give me a few signs that this is you. I knew it was God when I walked into a public bathroom and saw a poster that said “Get Baptised", I said okay God one more sign then I’ll be for real. Then I walked into church last week and Pastor Braam started to talk about baptisms. My jaw dropped and I said, yep gotcha. I was super scared about getting baptised, and even more scared to share this testimony, but the truth is I’ve never felt better, I feel happy and I feel at peace.

Although I couldn’t have done it alone, I want to thank a few people. First is my parents, they brought me up by example. They have been faithful for many things and put their absolute trust in God, even when I thought they were crazy for it. They have always been there for me but I just didn’t see it because I was so blinded by my own pain and hate, so now I say thank you. I also want to thank my best friend, through your help and your positive energy it’s you that led me back to the church, and finally, I thank God for everything.

We love to hear inspirational stories about how individual lives have been changed! If you would like to share 'Your Story', please email: [email protected] and inspire others!

FUSE Youth | On break

There is no FUSE Youth this week. Term 4 will start on the 7th of October.

Walking Group Clyde | Saturday 1st October

Get ready to put on your walking shoes! If you are looking for a social walking group in Clyde, you have found it. We are of all ages and fitness levels. Bring your family and friends. Make new friends, build a support network, have fun, and work on your fitness.


  • Date: Every Saturday, weather permitting. Check the iConnect Facebook page for updates.
  • Time: 8.30am – 9.30am
  • Address: Casey Fields Playspace car park
>>>iConnect FACEBOOK PAGE<<<

Kids Church | No program

Our volunteers are taking a well earnt rest today so there will be no Kids Church program onsite. We will be providing colouring at the back of the auditorium. 

We can't wait to see you all again when Kids Church returns Sunday 9th October!

Sunday Service | Sunday 2nd October

COVID19 has affected the way we relate to each other. Yes, more people are coming back to normality but still there is a wall preventing us from connecting like we used to. What does the Bible have to say about our relationships within the church and the community? Find out this coming Sunday!

Alpha | Course

Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that create a safe and honest space, where people can explore life, faith and meaning.
Enjoy a meal with others, watch a video and have an open discussion and conversation in a friendly and non-judgemental environment.

Dinner costs: $15 (plus a 30c booking fee)

Connecting with others is important; friends gathered around the kitchen table, meeting for coffee or catching up online. It’s no different at Alpha.  All sessions start with a time to connect, relax and build friendships – whether in person or virtually.

The Alpha talks are designed to engage and inspire conversation. Each one is around thirty minutes long and played as a video. They explore important issues around faith and unpack the basics of Christianity, addressing questions from Who is Jesus? and How can we have faith? to Why and how do I pray? and How does God guide us?

One of the most important parts of any Alpha is the chance to share thoughts and ideas in small groups. There’s no obligation to say anything and there’s nothing you can’t share (seriously). It’s an opportunity to hear from others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Exploring Partnership | Tuesday 4th October

You may have been attending our events or even become part of a close-knit group of people in our community. We would love for you to consider taking up a partnership with us in fulfilling God’s call on our movement. Exploring Partnership is an important step in discovering how you can fit into Berwick Church of Christ. It is an orientation towards what makes us unique and how we function as a community. You will get to know the leadership and we will talk about how you can partner with us to make our vision a reality.

Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

GTM 1 Course | Tuesday 4th October

GTM is the ideal follow-on course to ‘Search To Find’ or ‘Alpha” and is perfect for those who:

  • are hungry to grow in their relationship with God
  • want their faith to move from head knowledge to life experience
  • desire to learn how to live out the Christian life in a practical way

Growing To Maturity (GTM) is a unique discipleship course that combines the use of:

  • participant workbooks
  • DVD’s
  • weekly inspiring audio talks
  • group discussion and sharing
  • special weekends
  • personal challenges

Watch the trailer on our website.


Time: 7.00pm – 9.30pm
Date: Tuesday 4th October 2022
Where: 446 Centre Road, Berwick, Vic, 3806

For further details, please email [email protected] or phone (03) 9702 1011

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

GTM 2 Course | Tuesday 4th October

GTM 2 is aimed at developing deeper levels of intimacy and obedience to Christ and is an option for further growth for those who have completed the first unit.

Growing To Maturity (GTM) is a unique discipleship course that combines the use of:

  • participant workbooks
  • DVD’s
  • weekly inspiring audio talks
  • group discussion and sharing
  • special weekends
  • personal challenges
Watch the trailer on our website.


  • Time: 7.00pm – 9.30pm
  • Date: Tuesday 4th October 2022
  • Where: 446 Centre Road, Berwick, Vic, 3806

For further details, please email [email protected] or phone (03) 9702 1011

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Vision Sunday & Baptisms | Sunday 9th October

This Sunday our worship team will take us all to heavenly places. We will bring you a fantastic message which you can implement into your own life.  Why not come early and enjoy a coffee at our cafe. 

Also we are having Baptisms that day, which is the complete immersion into water of those who have confessed their faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and their Saviour. 

Complete the expression of interest form if you would like to be contacted about being Baptised.

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Seniors Ministry | Wednesday 12th October

Our Seniors Ministry Caitlin Healy will speak to us about the work of Destiny Rescue, an organisation which rescues children from sexual exploitation & trafficking. A Freewill Offering will be taken.


  • Time: 1.30pm – 4.00pm
  • Bring: please bring a plate for everyone to share

Next Steps Lunch | Sunday 16th October

Would you like to meet and spend some time with the Pastors and Ministry Directors? If you have not been to a Next Steps lunch, we invite you to join us beginning Sunday 16th October 2022, 12.20-2.30pm. The Next Steps Lunch is a 3-Sunday Lunch event (Sunday 16th, 23rd, and 30th October) where you will get the opportunity to get connected, learn more about the movement, discover your potential, and take the next steps in your faith journey whilst enjoying a sumptuous meal.

You do need to RSVP before Thursday 13th October. 

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Child Dedication Q&A & Briefing | Sunday 23rd October

Child dedication Q&A and briefing
If you’re interested in Child Dedication, there is a brief Q&A and briefing session.

Please contact the church office to register your interest.


  • Date: Sunday 23rd October 2022
  • Time: Directly after the service in room 6
  • Where: 446 Centre Road, Berwick, Vic, 3806
>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Thank you for being His Presence in Every Place! 


Senior Pastor