Friday, September 29, 2006

Oktoberfest in the Illawarra!

Photo: Tony Moore (St John's member), Rebecca Byrnes (back) and Sigi Kaiserfeld (front) prepare for Ocktoberfest!

Hi All,
If you're in the Illawarra over the weekend of the 6th to the 8th of October, why not 'drop in' and sample the taste of our German heritage and a celebration of all thing German- Oktoberfest!

Octoberfest is held at the AGA Club Germania, 636A Northcliffe Drive, Kembla Grange NSW, just off the Southern Freeway at Northcliffe Dve exit.

There will be entertainment throughout the weekend including bands, dancers, strong-arm competitions, rides for the kids and stalls.

As always, beer will be the major focus of the weekend, with over a dozen brews to choose from, along with schnapps, wine and German delicacies such as bratwurst, Bavarians sticks, sauerkraut, eisbeins, German cakes and potato cakes!

Come along and enjoy the delights of our cultural heritage in a great family atmosphere!

NOTE: Responsable service of alcohol will be strongly enforced, including 'No More It's The Law'. Due to police orders, NO glass steins will be allowed on the premises.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Does This Offend You?

This week Pastor John speaks on the topic of what do do if you find your hands, feet or eyes making you do bad things. Christ tells us to cut off the offending limb or gouge out the offending eye!

But even if we were blind, deaf, dumb and a quadruple amputee could we still NOT think about doing wrong? No, we cannot: that's the whole point of the Gospel. Without Christ and Him crucified, we can never even hope to be accepted by God.

Click here to listen or download: Does This Offend You?

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
24th Spetember 2006
16th Sunday after Penticost

Prayer of the Day.
Loving and self-giving God, teach us to follow the example of your son, Jesus, who was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. Lead us to be submissive to You and kind and considerate to others. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Prayer for General Synod.
Pour out the Holy Spirit on the General Pastors Conference which begins this week in Toowoomba. Help[ our pastors to come to agreement on wheather women too should be ordained as pastors & enable them to give clear guidence to the whole church on this & every issue before them. Bless them as they study your word & pray in preparation for their coming together, protect them as they travel & return them safely to their families and parishes. Amen.

Prayer Points.
  • Pray for the pastors of our church as they meet together this week that they would be guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for those we know who are suffering illness or hospitalization: Fritz T., Irmgard J., Max C., Christine F., Linda F., Hardy B. and Harold M.
  • Pray that we would know how to put Jesus first in our lives.
  • Pray for St Paul's Lutheran School in Henty and it's principle David Deegan.
  • Pray for farmers still suffering effects of drought.
Today's Readings.
Jeremiah 11: 18-20
James 3: 13-4: 3, 7, 8a
Mark 9: 38-50

Today's Liturgical Colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours This Week:
St Michaels and All Angels
The liturgy celebrates the feast of Michael the archangel who is venerated in the tradition of the Church. Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God.

This day is referred to as "Michaelmas" in many countries and is also one of the harvest feast days. In England this is one of the "quarter days", which was marked by hiring servants, electing magistrates, and beginning of legal and university terms. This day also marks the opening of the deer and other large game hunting season. In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, Denmark, and Austria, a special wine called "Saint Michael's Love" (Michelsminne) is drunk on this day. The foods for this day vary depending on nationality. In the British Isles, for example, goose was the traditional meal for Michaelmas, eaten for prosperity, France has waffles or Gaufres and the traditional fare in Scotland used to be St. Michael's Bannock (Struan Micheil) — a large, scone-like cake. In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare.

Try this recipe: Michaelmas Pie!

This is from the website
It is an old Irish custom to bake a Michaelmas Pie and hide a ring in it, but there was no recipe to be found. The following recipe uses blackberries and apples which would be plentiful at this time of year.

Backberries is a logical choice as an ingredient. According to old folklore, at Michaelmas, the devil spits on the blackberries (or worse!), so it's considered ill-advised to eat them after September 29th.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Prepare the pastry. Place the flour in a large bowl and stir in the cinnamon and salt. Rub in the butter and white fat with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the chilled water. Bring the mixture together using a round bladed knife. Once it has come together, knead for a brief moment and place in a plastic bag in the fridge. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Peel and core the apples. Cut them into large chunks and place them in a saucepan with the sugar, cloves and nutmeg. Cover with a lid and gently cook for 5 minutes, until the apples have softened. Fold in the blackberries and remove the saucepan from the heat. Cool completely.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out two thirds on a lightly floured surface. Line an 8-inch metal pie plate. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork. Strain the fruit, reserving the juices and spoon the fruit mixture over. Roll out the remaining pastry. Lay the pastry over the fruit. Lift back the edge and brush the base with a little egg and seal the edge. Trim and crimp the pastry edges. Brush the surface with the remaining egg and make a couple of slits in the top. Scatter a little more sugar over the pastry and bake for 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold with ice cream or fresh double (whipping) cream.

Recipe Source: Recipes from Various Websites

Thought for the Week.
See if you can try not to think of pink elephants!

Photo credit: 'You Are Told' by Chris Chidsey, UK.

Monday, September 18, 2006

National Church Life Survey

Hi All,
Yesterday was survey time again for the NCLS. We would like to thank those who filled out the forms; there were some tricky questions there! (For me at least!)

It's important that we get a view of how our faith stands in Australia and where it may be headed. Did you know that 80% of leaders in the LCA are university graduates? That we have a rather strong in-to-out ratio of churchmembers?

It's all here and available to read online: National Church Life Survey website.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dying to Live.

Hi Everyone,
Do you find that life just seems to go around in a circle? Get, eat, go to work, come home, eat, TV, sleep. Repeat ad nauseam!
The cycles of life can be comforting, offering a comfortable type of security. However there's a danger in the comfort. Listen to Pastor John as he explores this interesting topic.

Click here to listen or download: Dying to Live.

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
17th September 2006.
15th Sunday after Penticost.

Prayer of the Day.
Jesus, the Christ, we thank you that you obediently suffered and died to give us life. Strengthen us to carry our cross and willingly to go where you lead us. For you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for General Synod.
We pray for our mission field in our local communities, our nation and overseas. As we prepare to debate the ordination of women at General Synod we think of the impact of whatever we may decide on others who don't understand you, your word or us. We pray that your work will not be hindered, but that our witness to Christ will bear the fruit of people coming to faith in Christ. Amen.

Prayer Points.
  • Pray for those in our community suffering illness or hospitization: Irmgard J., Roma W., Fritz T., Max C., Christine F., Hardy B. and Linda F.
  • Pray for the Lutheran congregations in Henty as they look to call a new Pastor.
  • Ask God for the courage to deny ourselves and to follow Jesus wherever He leads.
  • Pray for opportunities to serve others.
Todays Readings.
Isaiah 50: 4-9a
James 3: 1-12
Mark 8: 27-38

Todays liturgical colour is :

Minor Festival and Colours this week:
St. Matthew
He was the publican, the tax collector, and since so few of these were honest, they were despised by all (there is nothing new under the sun). Our Lord was going along His way after curing a paralytic when He saw Matthew sitting in the countinghouse at his table. "Follow Me," was all He said, and up jumped Matthew without even saying good-bye or giving two weeks' notice. That is how we are supposed to obey Him — right away. He is supposed to have been martyred in Ethiopia on a T-shaped cross (called a Tau cross), with his head chopped off with a battle-axe.

Symbols: Angel holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins; loose coins; halberd; inkwell; king; lance; man holding money; man holding money box and/or glasses; money bag; money box; purse; spear; sword; winged man; young man; book; man sitting at a desk.

Things to Do: Try Apostle Cookies!

Thought for the Week.
"Get away from me, Satan!" -Mark 8: 33 (GNB)

Photo credit: 'Yawn' by Hilary Quinn

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Grace-Filled Word.

Hello Everyone!

This week Pastor John talks on the Syrophoenecian woman of Mark 7. Through her we find that grace was available to all people, not just the Jews. Here is the beginning of the 'true Jews' mentioned by Paul: the inheritors of the Kingdom of God through God's unmerited grace, not a racial exclusivity.

Click here to listen to: The Grace-Filled Word.

Illawarra Lutheran Parish. 10th September 2006 14th Sunday after Penticost.

Prayer of the Day.
Generous God, like a loving parent you always welcome us when we come to you. Encourage us to keep on approaching you for whatever we need, knowing that you supply what is best for us. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Prayer for General Synod.
Father, we pray for those who will go to General Synod with their minds already made up about whether the ordination of women in our church is your will. Keep them always open to the Holy Spirit. We also pray for those who will go to Synod undecided and confused. Help us to be sensitive to them, keep us from exerting pressure on each other and lead us together to agreement on the truth of your word and will for us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer Points.
  • Give thanks with Pastor John & Tresma at the birth of son Samuel Isaac Strelan, born 5th September.
  • Pray for much-needed rain in most areas of NSW.
  • Pray for those in our community struggling with ill health or in hospital: Max C., Hardy B., Christine F., Fritz T., Linda F. and Roma W.
  • Pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our parish to lead us into mission.
  • Pray for Pastors Hayden Blaess and Rob Edwards and the Lutheran congregations in Burrumbuttock.
  • Pray for the LCA that delegates at Synod would be guided by the spirit of peace as they decide on the issue of women's ordination.
  • Rejoice with Gaby Gutjahr & Geoffrey Slater joined in marriage yesterday.
Todays Readings.
Isaiah 35: 4-7a
James 2: 1-10, 14-17
Mark 7: 24-37

Todays liturgical colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours this Week.

Thought for the Week.
We are saved solely by faith in our Savior, but a genuine saving faith cannot but show and express itself through attitudes and deeds of love.
From 'This weeks notes on the readings.' (James 2: 1-10, 14-17.)

Photo Credit: 'Poor Beggar Woman-Romania 1993' by Pipp, Germany.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My Dad's a Farmer!

Hello Everyone!
This week, Pastor John celebrates Australian Fathers Day with the message of the Prodigal Son. Do you often think that once we have failed others, that there is no way back to their trust? God shows us that no matter what we have done, once we are His children He will always welcome us home, indeed running to meet us so that we don't turn away again.
Our happiness is His glory, just as an earthly father glories in the happiness and achievments of his own children.

Click here to download: My Dad's a Farmer!

Illawarra Lutheran Parish.
3rd September, 2006.
13th Sunday after Pentecost.

Prayer of the Day.
Holy and faithful God, keep us from piety that is only for show. Wash us completely clean, so that what flows out of us may be pure and good. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer Points.
  • Pray for the comfort for the family of George Wurth who died last Monday, especially for Hedwig as she morns the loss of her husband.
  • Pray for the blessing of the Holy Spirit on our parish as we seek to be faithful to God's call.
  • Pray for those in our community suffering illness: Fritz T. (chemo), Linda F. (bronchitis), Max C. (ill health), Christine F. (pain management), Roma W. (recovering from surgery).
  • Pray for the work of Pastor Howard Schilling, chaplain of Albury Aged Care.
  • Pray for Helga S. as she travels overseas.

Todays Readings.
Deuteronomy 4:1,2,6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7: 1-8, 15-15, 21-23

Todays Liturgical colour is

Minor Festivals and Colours this week:
None this week.

Thought for the Week.
"Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is."
P. J. O'Rourke US humorist & political commentator.

Photo credit: 'Don't Let Go' by Adrian Yee, Canada.