Dear Friends,

A   Let me remind you of the new student ministers joining us this year (in alphabetical and services order)

  • Peter Blair from Ireland, is married to Jodie and is in 4th year Moore this year helping us at 10am
  • Sam Darmo (originally) from Iraq, is married to Tania (children Grace, Marcus and Matthew) also helping at 10am – he is in 3rd year at Moore.
  • Michael Freeman (born Botswana) is married to Thalia – helping at 5pm and going into 3rd year at Moore.
  • Mike Woo (born Malaysia) married to Eunice and going into 2nd year at Moore – helping at 5pm
  • Jo Watts is not new to St Thomas’ – married to Ian and going into 1st year at SMBC and helping at 5pm.
  • Jotham Booker is not new but going into 2nd year at SMBC and helping Lights and 5pm

Our priority with student ministers is to give not get – to welcome them to St Thomas’ and to see them learn and grow as well as contribute and bless. Over the years we have been privileged to see so many come and bless us – and go on to great ministries in different parts of the world.

As you meet and greet these new friends you might find out:

  • which one is a doctor?
  • which one gets ordained (Rev) in Feb 2019?
  • which two worked at Kings?
  • who went to Hillsong?
  • who played rugby for Norths?
  • who came as a refugee?
  • which one is over two metres?
  • whose wife is a teacher? nurse? businesswoman? homemaker?

B   Let me plead with you to file some dates in your diary for this year.

  • The Prayer Meeting dates: Feb 27, April 10, June 26, Aug 28, Oct 30, Dec 11
  • The “Invitation” weeks: March 17-24 and September 1-8 – when we plan to provide helpful talks and seminars for our community.
  • The Home Houseparty Weekend (which comes round every two years)
    May 17-19.  I’m  planning to give these talks myself but it is a great opportunity for the three congregations to meet together.

C   I know for a fact that many in the church are feeling weaker than ever in their convictions – doubt, unbelief and even carelessness easily creep in.

  • Make it a specific prayer to your Heavenly Father to ask Him to renew and refresh you.  Ask His help.
  • Be a disciplined disciple in the area of church attendance – it’s hard enough to grow on weekly attendance alone, so falling into fortnightly, monthly or bi-monthly attendance will make you a cork in the secular sea. Set an example.
  • Reading your bible can be revolutionised in 6-7 minutes if you get a small notebook and – choose your book (e.g. 1 Peter) and write down (e.g. 1:1-9)

Title: Living Hope Key Verse: 3
Key person: God the Father
5 facts:

  1. We have new birth
  2. There is ian inheritance
  3. God shields us now
  4. We may suffer now
  5. Faith (like God) is tested

Lesson today: Help me trust and rejoice (etc.)

You have no excuse for dull (or non-existent) bible reading.

Stuck for prayer ideas? Write these in your bible!

  • thank Him for His blessing – tell God how you are
  • ask Him to renew us – pray for gospel advance
  • remember leaders – intercede for a few missionaries
  • may loved ones grow in faith – help us to be a witness
  • pray for sad, sick, struggling – may God use our plans

The Lord has 2019 “prepared in advance” (Eph 2:10)

Let us trust Him!

Simon Manchester

P.S. Andrew Browning received an AM in the recent Australia Day awards. Gerard, Luke and Peter (Blair) are being ordained on Feb 16 and Jum Naden is being ordained (in Armidale) on Feb 23.