Breaking news Washington, Pastor’s New Year’s resolution, Chaplaincy, A special touch this Sunday and much more!
Dear members and friends of St Peter’s, Hobart.
There just hasn’t seemed to be a dull moment at St Peter’s for a fair while now. We had great Christmas and New Year’s services. I mentioned the plural for New Year services because in addition to New Year’s Eve I used the readings for New Year’s day last Sunday, the third of January. This minor festival focus’ on the naming of Jesus. In addition to those in attendance over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we had a large number of unique views of these services with people spending a fair bit of time watching (we can analyse the data). The very well done Christmas Eve service with the children went viral with over 550 views (thanks Melissa and Gundars for organising this), Christmas Day has at the time of me writing this 183, and even the minor festival of what is a fairly secular evening, New Year's Eve has 119. All of the sermons can be viewed by clicking on the previous streams button in the fairly large blue strip not all that far from the top of the Home Page of our St Peter’s website.
BREAKING NEWS, CONGRESS, CIVIL UNREST, NYE SERMON, ALMOST PROPHETIC?
I have been sharing this with various groups and forums I am involved with. I have just sent an updated edition of this mail out to Harrison to format. I share it here also. ‘As fellow forum members you would be aware that I have been warning of growing extremism for some time, and calling for caution. Firstly I exposed the anarchistic communism and destabilising tactics of the hard left and BLM specifically, and also warned of the conspiracy theories and extremism of the far right. In light of the unfolding situation in Washington, my New Year’s Eve sermon seems not only highly relevant but perhaps also verging on the prophetic. It can be viewed here. It is based on the Gospel reading using the parable of a gardener being like God and in his grace and mercy giving an unproductive tree one more year to produce fruit. Feel free to share. I consider all of my sermons in the public domain as they are on our St Peter’s Lutheran Church Hobart website. I encourage keeping a cool head, right heart and do not be deceived by the subversive agendas of both the hard left and far or alt-right’
In addition, our inaugural New Year’s Eve Karaoke night was thoroughly entertaining and I suspect it will grow legs and become a tradition. Getting people of all ages up together and burning energy doing air guitar and creative (crazy) dancing to up-tempo music was pure gold!
My New Year's resolution is one that I will be speaking of repeatedly throughout the year for the congregation, college and the interaction between the two bodies. It is the 3 T’s. Building trust and transparency based on truth. No doubt many of you will hear me reciting these wonderful virtues quite frequently throughout the year ahead.
This Sunday we will be observing the Baptism of our Lord. Not only is there much of significance to unpack regarding this wonderful saving act for us and our Triune God’s revelation of Himself and His purposes through it, but there will also be some special and meaningful little liturgical touches to the service.
Dr Jodi, our college board chairperson has forwarded the following. Eastside Lutheran College has an open recruitment campaign for a College Chaplain. The senior school leadership and the ELC Board noted a recurring theme in the strategic planning sessions was the need for a College chaplain. This role will work with students and their families as well as build closer relationships between those at the College and St Peter’s Church.
This role needs to understand the teachings of the Lutheran Church and Biblical backing of our faith but will also be able to relate to students and families. While a qualification that allows the candidate to teach in a classroom is highly desirable, there may be circumstances where the person recruited contributes to the teaching sessions and religion session planning. For more information see this page here. Simply scroll down and you find it under employment opportunities. It is titled College Chaplain 18 January.
We have a very important ‘To the Point’ in the pipeline with a very experienced and informed panel. The implications of the topic we are discussing are potentially enormous. Keep an eye out for our mail-outs and other promotions of it over the coming weeks.
Many hands make light work. From around 10am this Saturday, 9th of January, we have our annual take down the Christmas tree and clean up of the St Peter’s Centre working bee. These are usually quite pleasant occasions as we bond together a bit by working together and then have a BBQ lunch from about midday to finish off with.
Holidays: We are very grateful for the congregation so generously gifting Leanne, Harrison and I a Gordon River cruise as a Christmas gift just over 12 months ago. We could not use it when we wanted to last year due to COVID restriction and fortunately the expire date was extended. We will drive to Strahan after worship this Sunday in order to do this and have a short break in lieu of days worked over Christmas, returning later on Wednesday 13th of January. In a late development, I will take a week's annual leave and join Leanne and Harrison who had already booked and visit family and friends in South Australia for the week from late on Friday the 15th of January, returning later on Friday 22nd January. Garry Semmler will lead worship on Sunday week, the 17th of January. Please contact one of our Pastoral Assistants should you need pastoral care during these times. I will be contactable by phone in case of an emergency.
This is a quieter time of the year for many, and we give thanks for that. For those going through trials of any kind do draw on the strength and incredible power, wisdom and faithfulness of our Lord and patiently wait on him, building yourself up with frequent reading of Psalms and drawing also on other parts of His Word.
Lovingly extending to you all every blessing for the New Year,
Warmest regards and blessings,
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart
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