Dear brothers and sisters,

Renée Kramer 
Jesus said to Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Whenever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.’
John 11:25-26

I begin with the sad news that Renée Kramer died this week. Many will have had the privilege of knowing her as a long-standing and much loved member of St Thomas’. Please pray for the Kramer-Maier family that they would have great assurance in the midst of their own deep grief that Renée is now with the Lord and so more alive than ever before.

There will be a service of thanksgiving today at 2pm which the family have warmly invited all who knew Renée to join if they are able (details in the notices below).

Life: in Jesus’ Name
We begin our new preaching series listening to John chapters 1-4 on Sunday which takes us up to Easter.

John states his purpose in writing explicitly at the end of the gospel: these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (20:31).

We have called the series Life: in Jesus’ Name.

Please ask the Lord to grant life through his word as we listen to it in the coming weeks:

Staff Arrivals
A few weeks ago we welcomed Paul Dudley to the staff as our 10am congregation minister. I am so glad to be able to announce the arrival of a number of others to our staff team and to the St Thomas’ family:

Jack Stileman joins us from London as a Student Minister while starting at Moore College. Jack is married to Sophie and together they will be looking after a Uni Students group at our Wednesday Central Discipleship Group (CDG) evenings.

Jackson Burt is also a Student Minister starting at Moore College and comes to us from Christchurch, New Zealand. Jackson is married to Annalise and they have a one year old son, James. Jackson will be looking after one of the CDG Leaders’ groups and Annalise will be involved in Women on Tuesday.

Liz Fong begins with us next week to work on our Communications. Liz has been with us in the past and her gifts in this area are much needed and widely appreciated. Liz is married to Rohan and they return to Sydney from Lismore where Rohan was on placement as part of his medical training.

Please welcome them warmly to our fellowship and pray that they settle into life and ministry with us well. We can be very grateful to God for bringing each of them to us.

Staff Farewells
After 20 years Len Saville will be retiring from his role on the staff team. Len together with Barbara has been an enormous blessing to St Thomas’ and especially the 8am congregation thorough their teaching and personal care. I am glad to say that Len and Barbara will remain at St Thomas’ and are continuing to lead their Bible Study groups. Indeed, it seems they will not be slowing down very much at all!

Matt Collins finishes his time on MTS and has started a Masters in teaching at UNSW. In his year on the staff Matt contributed enormously to us especially in Lights and as he took responsibility for welcoming across our congregations. He is a gifted teacher of the Bible, and I am so pleased that he will be continuing to deploy these gifts as a Lights leader.

Mike Clark has moved on from the staff team and St Thomas’ and is now in the process of looking for new ministry opportunities. Mike and Caroline and their children, Tom, Ben, Joel and Abigail, have been much loved members of the church family since their return from Germany in 2018. Alongside leading the 5pm congregation Mike’s ministry has included the important pioneering of a new phase of MTS, starting the Jesus 101 evangelism courses and initiating Dads and Kids Weekends. As a church we are assisting the family financially in their transition and I’m very glad that the children will remain key members of Lights going forward.

We are planning a Farewell Sunday on February 27th for Len Saville at the 8am, Ali MacIntosh at the 10am and Mike Clark at the 5pm services. If you would like to contribute to a leaving gift to any of them and Matt Collins, please email Amanda in reception who will be able to advise you how to do that.

I so look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Your brother in Christ,