Dear members and friends of St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Greetings in the name of Christ our crucified, risen and ascended King, who will soon return in glory to judge the living and dead and to take his own into his eternal kingdom.
Our readings are currently focusing on the end of all things as the Church year draws to a close, and as we then enter the season of advent. The end will also be a glorious new beginning for Christ’s chosen, repentant, forgiven and faithful followers.
Last Sunday's second reading from Hebrews 10 contained the following exhortation:
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
Where possible meeting together should be our aim. We are embodied people and our Lord became flesh and comes to us through the sacrament of his body and blood. We will be raised with spiritual bodies like Christ’s risen body. Where this is not possible due to health, work, lockdowns or for a whole host of reasons, the videos and stream is on offer, which we are so blessed to be able to offer and access. God comes to us through his word and sacrament with his grace in order to renew and strengthen us in faith.
Through his teaching on the end and eternity, our Lord is lovingly warning and calling us to be prepared for the great reversal to come, where the humble and those trusting in a childlike manner listen to his voice and will reign with him forever and ever, while those currently proud, arrogant, unbelieving and rebellious will experience ‘shame and everlasting contempt’ (Daniel 12:2). Let us, therefore, in loving obedience respond to our Lord's voice, seek his grace and life-giving presence, and patiently persevere. It is astounding how accurate the Scripture’s description of human nature in ‘the last times’ is. See, for example, the following from 2 Timothy 3 below which could describe many today. Do we see something of ourselves here? Yes, we desperately need our saviour and thank God for Him:
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."
I was recently invited to write something on the Reformation for the College newsletter. I prepared something I titled ‘Monk married nun to make point’.The full article can be read on the Pastor’s Page of our website which is found here.
Our online Bible study resumes this Thursday evening and will focus on a crucial yet quite simple distinction that helps Christians better understand and communicate the faith. This distinction and the link to join the study are found in the notice immediately below. Please join us for this study if you are able. Below that is a notice about our last prayer breakfast for the year on Saturday week and below that is a notice confirming we will have one last daytime bible study and luncheon for the year on the first Tuesday in December.
Online Evening Bible study: Thursday 18th of November, 7.30pm. We will look at the value and importance, yet limit of general revelation (the revelation of God in creation) and the absolute necessity of God’s revelation of Himself in the Word (special revelation), with a special focus on Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20 (along with surrounding verses). Please join via the link here or on the St Peter’s website.
Prayer breakfast: Saturday 27th of November, 7.30am at the St Peters Centre. Topical faith and Scripture informed discussion followed by prayer for the congregation, College, Church, world, the festive season services and celebrations as well as much, much more.
Daytime Bible study and lunch: Our concluding study and luncheon for 2021 will be held Tuesday, 7th of December at Erika Plaschke’s home (address available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org). Coffee from 10.30am, study 11.00am and lunch from midday. We will be looking at John 13. All are welcome to attend these encouraging, uplifting gatherings.
On Sunday the 5th of December Kim will be installed onto the General Church Board during our regular Sunday 10.00am service. Pastor Stuart Kleinig from the north will be present to conduct that rite as the Church-wide Bishop’s representative. All are invited to stay and join a luncheon that will follow the service (meat supplied, pooled salad or sweet welcome).
May the love, peace and joy of the Lord be with you all.
In joys and sorrows,
Warmest regards and blessings,
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church Hobart.
Dear members and friends of St Peter's, Hobart,
From the beginning of May, the ‘Check-in Tas app’ will be the only way that people will be able to enter various public places such as restaurants, business, venues and events. This includes places of worship. In John 6:37 Jesus says ‘All that my Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who comes to me I will not cast out’. We will not be turning anyone away from worship. Harrison can put the app on your phone. He has done so for a number of us already. If your phone is not compatible, other members can check you in on their phone. Both Harrison and Garry are there early and are happy to do so.
Good news! The heating is being attended to. So with winter approaching, we should have a cosy St. Peter’s Centre.
Evening Bible study: We will trial continuing this on a Wednesday evening. We will look at Rev 14 on Wednesday 28th of April, 7.30pm. A link will be made available. If people also want the option to meet in person please let me know.
Daytime Bible study and lunch: This will be held Tuesday May 4th at Erika Plaschke’s home, Unit 8, 2 Moirunna Drive, Lindisfarne. From 10.30am for coffee, study 11.00am and lunch from midday.
Prayer breakfast: We hope to resume this in May. Just need to sort out some other commitments first. I Will update when details confirmed. During winter it is good to meet in homes. If you can make your home available for any of these please let me know.
Every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection: We rejoice in God’s blessings and providence, but as we know so much in this fallen world is marked by the fall, curse, sin, evil, cross, suffering and death. In many ways trying to deny and avoid this only eventually and ultimately makes things worse. The good news is that our loving God, in the person of the eternal Son, has overcome all of these by His sinless life, sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension for us. We celebrate this each Sunday as each Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection. We celebrate life, forgiveness and eternity. We receive life and salvation along with a renewal of our Lord’s presence through the life-giving Word that permeates our service (liturgy and hymns, readings and preaching) and the beautiful, cleansing, life-giving sacrament of the altar. Come, join the celebration and participate in the victories of life over death, grace over condemnation, faith over futility!
Easter blessings to you all.
Pastor Mike Steicke.
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Dear members and friends of St Peter's,
We are reminded of life’s mystery, transitory nature and ultimate questions when we hear of or think of death and our mortality. Last Friday, Elisabeth Kossmann, one of God’s saints (those in Christ are saints as we are covered over by his holiness and righteousness) here at St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hobart, died. Elisabeth, along with her husband Waldemar were long-standing members of St Peter’s and faithfully served and supported the Church here over many decades. We thank God for Elisabeth and all that has been received through her. The funeral will be held at the St Peter’s Centre this Thursday, 5th of November at 10.30am. The service will contain an opportunity to light a candle in remembrance of Elisabeth and all of the saints and our loved ones who have gone before us. For those unable to make it the service will be live-streamed and also be able to accessed subsequently here.
On Sunday the theme of grief and loss, resurrection and hope, adjustment and comfort will continue as the second reading from Thessalonians deals with these topics. In Christ and Him alone do we have the answer to life’s mystery, transitory nature and ultimate questions, although we may not yet have every specific answer to every specific question or ‘Why’? However, because of God’s gift of himself in Christ and through his death, resurrection and ascension we can sing with the writer of hymn 876 in the Lutheran hymnal:
‘God is love; and he redeems us
in the Christ we crucify;
this is God’s eternal answer
to the world’s eternal why;
may we in this faith maturing
be content to live and die’.
As mentioned at worship and in previous mail outs, there have also been deaths associated with the College community. A special Chapel service at around 9.00am next Monday, 9th of November, will focus on this and be lived streamed. All are welcome to watch the Chapel service live or subsequently here.
Last Sunday’s sermon focused on the abuse of office or position by religious leaders and Jesus’ strong warnings and condemnations regarding this. In case anyone missed it, it can be viewed here. In the sermon, I said I would forward a new clip from Lutheran Satire that was very relevant. Playing live might have infringed copyright law. Unfortunately, as many have a comment on various forums it has been posted on, it is hardly satire in today's extremely distorted environment and culture. However, it makes an important point in a creative way. Do watch it and be spurred on to continue to access the truth through the Scriptures, the Confessions of the Church which we believe to be a true exposition of Scripture and the worship and studies provided by our faithful congregation here at St Peter’s. Here is the link to watch the video.
We have a new episode of ‘To the Point’ available and already there is overwhelmingly positive feedback about the relevance of the topic, the content being discussed and insights provided. It is about the technological revolution, its benefits and dangers and discusses everything from the use of social media, its necessity in today world, its impacts on relationships and families, parental issues, the potential for addiction, and how to respond. Harrison Steicke makes his debut and joins psychologist, addiction studies and family counselling expert Rev Dr Don Wicklman. Watch it yourself and make up your own mind about how each one contributed and what helpful and noteworthy points are made. Watch it here.
Remember that this Thursday, 5th of November is Bible study night. Go to the St Peter's website and scroll down to the grey section to find the button to click on to join. The study begins at 7.30pm.
Once again, please remember to contact me if you want a home communion, visit, or pastoral care of any form.
Warmest regards and blessings,
Pastor Mike Steicke.
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
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