Dear Friends,

a) When I became a father I began to appreciate my Heavenly Father even more. Everything that I felt or thought or said or did for my children that was loving – I realised my Heavenly Father did for me infinitely more. I learned of Him by being a Father.

Jesus taught this in Matthew 7:9-12 and Luke 11:11-13 as He taught that just as a (good) father can plan good gifts (and yet is ‘evil’!) how much more will our Heavenly Father give good gifts (even Himself – His Spirit!) to His children? In other words take the best of a good Dad – and our Heavenly Father is sinlessly and perfectly superior.

May this truth impact you as you (perhaps) seek to be a godly Dad knowing that:
– your Heavenly Father is a perfect Father
– He will help you to be a faithful father

b) I remember hearing that a man at a nearby church – I think with no children – had actually left his house (when he died) to his church.

The minister and wardens had the incredible joy of being able to do for their church what had been out of the question till then. Imagine the Parish Council having the funds to finish projects and fund gospel initiatives!

I say this to you – with great sensitivity – that we should consider the church that has blessed us (or blessed our family) by thinking how to bless back. [John Chapman – who many of us knew and loved and was a single man – left some of his money to Moore College to fund a preaching school – what a lasting legacy!] Why not consider a simple adjustment to your own will to enable people and/or property to be carried by your generosity? It may be a certain sum you allocate to St Thomas’ or ‘I give the residue’ or ‘the whole estate’ as some may be able to do. There are leaflets at the back of the church to help this.

c) Speaking of funds (and our finances – I am not asking for anything!) we were reminded at Parish Council on Monday night how considerable the management of our finances has become. Consider for example:
– the watchful eye on 25 staff and all the ministry expenses and bills that get handled
– the negotiation for our heritage property and the dealings with National Trust
– the care of residential and commercial properties (our units and the 90 people who park here)
– tax deductible issues and dealing with the Diocesan requirements and the Australian Taxation Office
– setting and keeping a budget with the fluctuation of giving
– decisions regarding property expenses, upkeep on old buildings, special projects and the existing loan ($2.1 million)
– gospel causes, initiatives and special events that get put on through the year

No wonder our Treasurer (Jenny Chu) and our wardens (Paul Drew, Andrew Eatough, Andrew Eastwood, John MacLeod) and our finance staff members (Tracey Laming with Sandra de Lange helping) are busy and needed. We thank God for them.

d) Finally we rejoice with Jonathan and Lindsey Youssef [and maybe this week Vlad and Anna Kostory – but not yet!] in the birth of their little boy Isaac Ebenezer last Tuesday (29/8/17). What skill to have him arrive in time for Fathers’ Day – and to all dads or children of dads may the Heavenly Father bless and keep you with His perfect love.

Simon Manchester