Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bigger Than the Beatles!

Hi Everyone,
Based on today's reading from Phillipians, Pastor John starts with the end of the career of the famous Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe. He quit because he knew there were more things in life than swimming.
Saul (St Paul) knew well that he had a good relationship with God, because he was legendary, even among his own people, an ultra-observant Jew. Yet he too, put it all away because Christ 'opened his eyes' and he finally understood who now knew him!

Click here to download: Bigger Than the Beatles!

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
24th March 2007
Lent 5

Prayer of the Day

Jesus our Saviour, thank you for coming to give us life through your suffering and death. Keep us following you wherever you lead us, because we know that you have promised to take us home to God. For you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points

  • Give thanks for the gift of baptism and for God’s blessing on Maddison & Dylan Warth who become members of God’s family this morning at St John’s.
  • Pray for Maddison and Dylan’s parents and sponsors that they might fulfill the promises they make this morning.
  • Give thanks for the wonderful love God has shown us through Jesus.
  • Give thanks for the newly elected government here in New South Wales and pray for the Premier and his ministers that they would govern wisely.
  • Pray for those who are hospitalized or in ill health: Fritz Tysar, Spodra & Harold Muldins, Wendy & Hardy Blaas, Ellie Nassap, Horst Mann, Wolfgang Gutjahr, Helga Schulz.
  • Pray for Pastor Pauli Huhtinen and the Finnish congregations in Sydney and Wollongong.
  • As we approach Holy Week, pray for opportunities to reflect on what Jesus has done for us.
  • Pray for the work of LCA Overseas Mission director Wayne Zweck and Missions Promotions Officer, Glenice Hartwich.
  • Pray for the spread of the Gospel both in our own country but also in overseas countries.

Services for Holy Week.
St John's extend a warm invitation to join us for our Easter commemoration in 2007. If you are in the Wollongong area during any of our services, you are invited to share this special time of the Church year with our congregation! Come and share Easter as it should be!

Palm Sunday Family Service

Sunday 1st April.

Bring the family as we enter Holy Week and prepare for Easter. Puppets. Live Band.

Maundy Thursday

(Thursday 5th April)

5.30pm at St John’s.

Good Friday

(Friday 6th April)

Holy Cross: 8.45am

St John’s: 10.30am

Easter Sunday

(Sunday 8th April)

Hill 60: 6.00am

See the dawn rise over the ocean from high on a hilltop as we celebrate the rising of our Lord Christ! See in the wonder of the new day and enjoy a hearty breakfast afterward.

(Please contact Pastor John on 4262 7960 or illawarra.nsw (AT) so that we can cater for you.)

Holy Cross: 8.45am

St John’s: 10.30am

Photo credit: 'Beatles Badge' by Radek Bayek, London, UK.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Polly Waffle

We all know many politicians make promises they cannot keep. Do we, as ambassadores for Christ, also make promises we never intend to keep?
Christ gives us his promises to convey to the nations in His Word and Sacraments. As a perfect being, His covenents cannot be broken by Him, despite all the things we do that would make a lesser god walk away from us disgusted.
We can always trust Him to deliver on His promises!

Click here to download: Polly Waffle.

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
Lent 4
18th March 2007

Prayer of the Day
Loving Father, when we were captive in the darkness of sin and death, your Son rescued us and brought us back to you. Teach us to trust in him and to live as your people. 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 Points
  • Give thanks for the continuing recovery of Helga Schulze and Wolfgang Gutjahr.
  • Pray for those who continue to be hospitalized or struggling wit illness: Fritz Tysar, Spodra & Harold Muldins, Wendy & Hardy Blaas, Ellie Nassap, Horst Mann.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would lead us to be good ambassadors of Christ Jesus.
  • Pray for hearts to reach out to those in need and show Jesus’ love.
  • Thank God for his generosity towards us.
  • Pray for those who teach Scripture in schools that their ministry would be a blessing to the young people they are teaching and more young people would come into a relationship with Jesus.
  • Give thanks for the opportunity to vote in the upcoming State elections and for the freedom of a democratic system of government.
  • Pray for Pastor Theo Mackenzie and the Good Shepherd congregation at Sutherland.
Todays Readings
Joshua 5:9-12
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Thought for the Week
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. -Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)

Photo credit: 'Lenin' by Jan Van den Meerssche, Antwerp, Belgium.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Grace Surprises.

Hi All!
Aussies are well known to make creative use of the vernacular. When things go wrong and there seems to be no obvious reason for it, it's quite common to hear "Sh*t happens!"
However, it's how we react to sensless sh*t happenings that makes the difference. These happenings are a result of human sinfulness and our having to live in a fallen, sin-infected world. (As a matter of fact, the universe is so polluted with sin, God has promised us an entirely new cosmos instead of a repaired one!)
A gardener will always put manure on a tree to improve its yield: so it is with us. A bit of sh*t happens in our life will always help us to bear fruit.

Click to download: Grace Surprises.

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
11th March 2007
Lent 3

Prayer of the Day

Holy and merciful God, we thank you for giving your Son Jesus to die on the cross for us sinners. Turn us away from our sins and back to a life of trust in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points
  • Pray for those who are undergoing trials and suffering at the moment that they would be able to see God’s grace at work in their lives.
  • Pray for those in our community who are ill or hospitalized: Fritz Tysar, Helga Schulze, Spodra & Harold Muldins, Horst Mann, Wendy & Hardy Blaas, Ellie Nassap, Wolfgang Gutjahr, Linda Fohrman.
  • Pray for the families of the victims of the Garuda Airlines crash in Indonesia.
  • Pray for faith to put our trust in God and to turn to him in repentance every day.
  • Give thanks for God’s grace and the love he has shown us in Jesus
  • Pray for Pastor Allan Taruste and the Estonian Lutheran congregations in Canberra, Sydney and Wollongong.
  • Give thanks for the blessing of rain over the last week.

Todays Readings
Isaiah 55:1-9
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Luke 13:1-9

Thought for the Week
"I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!" -Tom Lehrer

Photo credit: 'Sh*t Happens' by Kevin Forbes/ Vivian Foster, Hellingly, East Sussex, UK.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Technical Error!

Hi All,
Pastor John's message is not available this week. We apologise to our regular listeners.

Illawarra Lutheran Parish
Second Sunday in Lent
4th March 2007

Prayer of the Day
Merciful God, we thank you for sending your Son to suffer and give his life for all people. Teach us, who have been born again, to forget ourselves and rely only on Christ our Saviour. For he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Points
  • Give thanks for the love and compassion of Jesus who has gathered us together like a mother hen gathers her chicks.
  • Pray that we would show similar compassion to those in need.
  • Give thanks for the recent rain.
  • Give thanks for a successful operation for Christine French and for her continued recovery.
  • Pray for those still struggling with ill-health: Fritz Tysar, Helga Schulze, Spodra & Harold Muldins, Horst Mann, Hardy & Wendy Blaas, Linda Fohrman, Ellie Nassap, Wolfgang Gutjahr.
  • Pray for those attending Pastor’s class and Confirmation instruction that the Holy Spirit would guide them deeper in a relationship with Jesus.
  • Pray for St Mark’s congregation at Epping and their new pastor Mark Schulze.
  • Give thanks for the baptism of Olivia Sewell and praise God for his love and grace he had shown by welcoming Olivia into his family.
  • Pray for Olivia’s parents (Paul & Rebecca) and her God-parents that they encourage Olivia to grow in her faith.
Todays Readings
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Phillipians 3:17 to 4:1
Luke 13:31-35

Major & Minor Festivals This Week

Thought for the Week
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones to death those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you didn't want to! - Luke 13:34.

Photo credit: 'System Error' by Mark Seymour, Canada.