Dear members and friends of St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hobart.
St Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:19 ‘If only for this life we have hope in Christ we are of all people most to be pitied’. We are to be thankful for God’s gifts, providence, protection and many blessings here, but we know that we are only visitors and that there is much that is wrong with this world and with ourselves. It is a fallen existence with much that is in opposition to God. Perhaps various current circumstances are removing the false facades of our recent fleeting, unparalleled era of peace and prosperity which gave rise to the false promises and distortions of the prosperity Gospel and the new Churches that have peddled this. Unfortunately, this was often not countered by some of the older Churches that have languished in a ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ theology or gospel that is often no different to many of the distorted and failing values of the fallen world around us. Our greatest need as always and only boast is Jesus Christ and our deliverance by Him from sin, death and the powers of darkness. Christ centred Bible-based Christianity is again, and not surprisingly, proving the test of time just as it has for the past 2,000 years. This is what I have been and am committed to and this is what you will get at St Peter's!
St Paul wrote in last Sunday’s second reading from Romans 8, which was also the text for the sermon ‘For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently’. What Christ has in store for us, which his beyond our comprehension, is a sure hope, but we do not have it now. We only have a small part according to 1 Corinthians 13:12, or the gift of the Spirit who is like a deposit guaranteeing that the full instalment is yet to come (Ephesians 1:14). God has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), but this incredible, beautiful love coexists with our often cold and failing hearts. It is only in the age to come that not only we but all will be made new and we will be filled through and through with perfect love, joy and peace as we exist in a totally transformed new heavens and new earth where there will be nothing false, just perfect harmony in a realm where God will be all in all.
The departure of the following past members mentioned below and other recent deaths remind us that we all have an appointment that none of us can escape, and we do well to be prepared to meet our judge and to help others prepare for that day which will publicly reveal our ultimate destiny. None of us are worthy except for Jesus Christ. Let us persevere and continue to cling to Him, covered by his grace and, as disciples, follow in His ways through the leading and replenishing of His Spirit. ‘Behold’ this glorified Jesus says in Revelation 21 ‘I make all things new’.
Geri Bitt: Our deepest sympathies to Erika Plashke following the death of her brother Geri. Geri’s health deteriorated in recent times. Funeral details will be announced Sunday and placed on our website’s announcement Page once available.
Vera Hoffmann funeral link: Again, our sympathies to Sonia and her family following the death of her mother Vera. The funeral will be live-streamed. It will be held Monday, 27th July, commencing 11.30am Hobart time (AEST) or 11.00am South Australian time (ACST). The following information was provided by Charles Berry and Sons Funeral Directors:
When you click the link, it takes you to a title page that will show the name, time, day etc of the funeral.
This will have a start time also, displayed in the time zone of the country that you are watching the link from.
When it gets within an hour or so of start time, this automatically changes to a countdown timer.
When we go live the page will automatically change to the live broadcast, there is no need to log in or do anything other than click on the hyperlink below.
If people get lost with the link it is also on the Funeral Director’s web site berryfunerals.com.au where there is a box ‘View Services’ which takes you to a list of all their funerals. Click on Vera Maria Hoffmann.
Next 'To the Point' 4th of August.: Due to the commencing of the Bible study, these will occur on a more ad hoc basis. We have one on ageing in the pipeline that got postponed due to my mother's death. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday 4th of August at 7.30pm and will feature Catherine Heidenreich, Lorraine Semmler, Pastor Alwin Schirmer, Rev Dr Lance Steicke and myself.
Bible Studies: By video conferencing commencing Thursday the 13th of August at 7.30pm. (This is a fortnight later than originally planned due to a clash with the College board meeting on Thursday 30th of this month). We have had a request to study the book of Revelation. Please click here to join the Bible study. Help with accessing for the first time available if needed on the night by phoning Pastor on 0417 811 706. If people do not have the technology they can arrange to go to a member's home who does. To be held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month during the school term.
Last Sundays sermon: I deliver a variety of sermon types depending upon the text, circumstances and other factors. Last Sunday's was somewhat extraordinary as it went for much longer than usual. It addressed a controversial subject matter that we need to be informed about. We have also edited the service so that the sermon stands alone for easy sharing. I have already shared it with some groups in the wider Church and will share even further in the near future. I have received some very appreciative feedback with one or two others saying it has prompted them to think deeply and ask questions, which can only be good. While addressing climate change it also addresses so much more and touches on other equally controversial subjects. While many have said it was fair, balanced and very informed, they were appreciative that it did not simply just come from a secular perspective, but offered the unique Christian perspectives that people want and expect from their Church and Pastor! You may watch the sermon here.
Thanks to Kim for another contribution along with some input from her work colleague Philippa. We need wisdom to know when to make waves and when not to, a subject she addresses in the following piece. Wisdom will also be the theme for this Sunday's sermon which will look at its great value and benefits, it’s broad range of application, where or how we get it, the limits of human wisdom and how ultimately Christ is our wisdom or how we are counted wise by God in Christ!
When to rock the boat and when to sit still
Dear members and friends of St Peter's,
This week I wanted to start with the often-quoted poem of Pastor Niemoller, (A Lutheran Pastor who was very outspoken against Hitlers regime during WW II spending years incarcerated in a concentration camp). Anyone who has visited my office might have seen the poem attached to the side of my filing cabinet. It’s a poem I look at often and it always reminds me that sometimes you just can't stay silent.
But how do you know when to speak up and when to stay silent? This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. It’s also something Philippa and I have been discussing in great detail this week.
This weeks Bible verse from Philippa comes from Psalm 19.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
- Psalm 19:14
I think here we have the answer. As Christians, it's not a question of should we speak up, but rather how we do it.
As we read in James 1:19 “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”. If something is wrong we should not stay silent, we should be prepared to listen to each other, and sometimes if something is wrong we have to speak up. But, if we do we need to make sure that what we say is acceptable to God.
If we see something that is wrong it is very easy to either ignore it, or to fly off the handle and creates a larger mess by our response. Each response has a consequence and risks us being judged by each other. But societies judgement isn’t what is important, only the final judgement matters. If our words and conduct are acceptable to God, then sometimes we need to have the courage to speak up.
I hope that you are encouraged by this piece, as I said at the start its a topic Philippa and I have been discussing over the week and one we wanted to share.
I hope that everyone is coping with our restricted existence. It has been good for us to be able to worship together again. We continue to discuss and develop the services in line with our requirements.
I wanted to extend the congregations sympathies to Sonia and family on the passing of Vera. Many of us will remember Vera and her devotion and service to the congregation for many many years. We wish Sonia, Max and Annalise safe travel as they head to South Australia for the funeral. We hope that you will be comforted by the certain knowledge that Vera has won the final victory.
I wish you all a safe and blessed week.
Chairperson, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Leanne, Harrison and I had some relaxing time away during the first couple of weeks of the school holidays, visiting the beautiful West and North West of Tasmania. It was refreshing to get out of our normal routines and enjoy some of God’s magnificent and fairly unspoilt creation that this State has an abundance of.
Also great to see people at worship in recent weeks. If you are registered but can’t attend please let us know. If you are not registered please do so before attending by using the online registration facility on the Home Page of the St Peters website. If you need help with registering contact another member or myself.
Thanks to you all for continuing to support God’s work so generously during this time.
Warm regards and blessings,
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
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