Values to secure a great Christmas
Friday 16th December 2022
Christmas preparations are in full swing… The usual rush of getting everything ready for the festivities is a consuming reality. Then there is the other side of it: The inevitable stocktaking that comes with Christmas. The realities to be faced by some. A first Christmas without someone that always used to be part of it. A first Christmas in a new country. A first Christmas as a Christ-follower. A first Christmas with a sobering diagnosis… It’s truly a time where emotions can wreak havoc, not just in relationships, but in our souls!
A holiday can so easily turn into a dreary affair unless we protect it…
How do you celebrate life in a season like this while navigating the relational, emotional, and social challenges it can bring? How do you safeguard the beauty of what it can be to celebrate Christmas with loved ones against the tyranny of how wrong things can go?
I’d like to propose four values that you can take with you as you engage over these next few weeks with people during festivities. This week we will look at the first two and next week we will do the next:
The gravity of pessimism can easily be a downer in any interaction. As Christ-followers we know that we have our mind, our will and our emotions anchored in a bigger hope (the expectation that His purposes, promises and presence in our lives will sustain us!)
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
Hebrews 6:17-19 NIV
Christmas can unfortunately be an event where old issues resurface. Where the clouds of the past block the sunshine of today. Love has a way of rising above that. Love says: I see your inherent value regardless of your inherent flaws. It attaches value to someone’s being more than to their doing. After all – we are ‘human beings’ first before we are ‘human doings’ aren’t we?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Who needs you to be hopeful this season? Who needs you to be loving this season? Let’s be hopeful and loving in this season!
Playgroup | News
What a great year! Although lots of families have battled with sickness, it has been fabulous to have a whole year without lockdown!
So many highlights – the new baby group we began at the start of the year has thrived, a number of playgroup families have begun attending church and we have had amazing opportunities to have spiritual conversations and pray with people every week. Praise God!
Would you like to partner with us in 2023? All you need is a regular spare morning per week (during school term) and a willingness to be His presence. We'd love some extra child-free volunteers to join our wonderful team, and also welcome families from church in our groups. Chat to Sue 0403 822 324 or click here to find out more!
FUSE Youth | On a break
Well what a year we have had! 2022 has been such an incredible year for FUSE and we can't wait to do it all again next year! While we may be on a break for now… STAY TUNED as during January we have a few things planned (let's be real… we just can't wait until February to see you all again)!
For now, have a lovely Christmas and we will see you in Jan!
Kids Church Online | Sunday 18th December
Thank you to all our Kids Church leaders and volunteers, what a wonderful team we have. While our Kids Church leaders and volunteers are taking a break, you can still watch Kids Church online! Visit our website and tune in for some fun and great teaching.
Sunday Service | Future Church Now – Young Adults
The post-high school and pre-family season in life is where you have to figure out the strategies and values that will help you reach your dreams. In that sense it is a make-or-break season for many young people. How can you navigate your life towards a meaningful and fulfilling life? How can you discern God’s plan for your future? We will look into key biblical guidelines to be taken on board in this phase of life.
We would love to see you at 10am here at Berwick Church of Christ, 446 Centre Road, Berwick, Vic, 3806. Come early and enjoy a hot drink at our cafe. If you can't make it, you can catch up on the YouTube channel.
Mental Health Support Gathering | Getting thru Christmas
The Mental Health Support Gatherings are a ministry of the Berwick Church of Christ. We have been serving our community with support for over 150 years. You may yourself be interested or might want to refer someone you care about to this opportunity.
We have two discussion rooms:
- one for people who live with a mental health issue/s; and
- one for those who are caring for them.
These Gatherings are facilitated by Christians who wish to walk alongside people in their journey, loving and caring for them by providing a safe place to be heard and share life's challenges together, offering friendship and hope. In addition, the Gatherings will provide tools to assist people in dealing with life, with specialist speakers addressing relevant topics.
You are not alone.
The Mental Health Support Gatherings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
NEXT GATHERING DETAILS:
Topic: Getting Thru Christmas
Speaker: Martin Gillespie, Counsellor
Date: Tuesday 20th December 2022
Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Address: 446 Centre Road, Berwick, Vic, 3806
Christmas Day Service | Sunday 25th December
Get ready to celebrate Christmas day! We look forward to seeing you at 9am – 10am.
Office Closed | Monday 26th December 2022 – Tuesday 3rd January 2023
The office will be closed Monday 26th December 2022 and open Tuesday 3rd January 2023. If you are in need of a pastor or support, please call (03) 9702 1011 and leave a message and we will contact you.
No Service | Sunday January 1st 2023
Our wonderful volunteers are having a well deserved break and will be back Sunday 8th January 2023! Why not watch one of our live stream services on YouTube or Facebook that you may have missed in 2022.
ALPHA | Wednesday, 1st February 2023
WHAT IS ALPHA?
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.
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.
Life@Work Conference | Saturday 18th February 2023
The Future of Work: How to love your colleagues and share Jesus in an ever-changing landscape
Life@Work Conference is City Bible Forum’s annual conference to encourage Christians in the workplace. Since 2013, the conference has been equipping and empowering Christians from around Australia, and the world, for their life and witness in the workplace.
Join us at Life@Work Conference 2023 as we discover the answers. Feel confident to be a Christian in your daily work, in spite of uncertainty!
Young Families Camping | Friday 3rd March – Sunday 5th March 2023
Who would like to go camping at Warburton Holiday Park, 30 Woods Point Road Warburton. Located approximately one hour from Berwick? This is a chance for young families to camp together and experience the fun of connecting through camping. You’ll need to provide your own camping equipment, bedding, meals etc. Make sure you book.
Thank you for being His Presence in Every Place!