A Message from Rev Benji Callen – April 14 2019

Today we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, an event we now mark as Palm Sunday. It begins Holy Week on the church calendar. Each day of Holy Week has set readings based on the lectionary that can help us place ourselves in the emotional and spiritual roller coaster of Jesus’ last days before his crucifixion (see details in this newsletter).  One way to think about the entry into Jerusalem through Luke’s gospel is POSITION, PRAISE and PEACE.  POSITION– Jesus enters as a king. Much of the layered symbolism, reaffirms this from the use of a donkey (a fulfilment of an Old Testament prophecy), the laying down of coats, and the words joyfully chanted by the crowds “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”. I wonder, do we consider Jesus to be our ‘King’. What position is he in our lives? Are Jesus’ love and instruction more important than the coats on our backs?  PRAISE– As Jesus entered the Holy City “the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles (or works of power) they had seen”. What ‘works of power’ or miracles do you know Jesus has done in your life or the lives of other people? At the very least, think about his redeeming work on the Cross that we have focussed on over the last few weeks. When is the last time you talked out loud about it?  PEACE– Remember what the angels sang at the birth of Jesus? It’s in that well known Christmas carol, Hark the Herald Angels: Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled. Luke 19v38 has the crowd ushering in peace, thanks to Jesus. Jesus then weeps because the peace he brings won’t be recognised (v41). He’s referring to the wonderful work of reconciliation that will happen on the Cross, bringing God and humanity close and at peace. So, as we come to the Cross this Easter, let us make peace with God and each other. See you next weekend for a great celebration of what the Cross means to us and the world! … Continue reading

for the Week of April 14th

Grant Received from 3DNetCongratulations to our young people for receiving a $1500 grant from 3DNet to support missional projects.  The money will be used to hold a  community fundraiser  at BCUC in May.   All proceeds from that event will be donated to Backpacks 4 SA Kids,  the team’s choice of support.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. Successful Family Fun @ 5We had about 30 part time & full time wonderful helpers who worked together over a range of tasks needed for the evening to flow and to be successful. We had 50 children and their families many of whom had not attended before. It was wonderful that some families stayed till 8pm talking to the new people they had met. Thank you all. BCUC Saturday Friendship ClubThe next meeting is on Saturday April 27. The speaker is Janet Scarfe who will reveal some of the exploits of South Australian women who were involved in World War II. Usual time of 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start. Please bring a basket supper. All visitors welcome. Christmas Bowl Thank YouBCUC’s gift of $1671 will have an immediate impact for Rohingya families in Jamtoli refugee camp in Bangladesh, who have lost everything and are struggling to find shelter, food, and clothing. Entertainment BooksEntertainment Books are again on sale. Books or digital memberships are $70 each, $13 of which goes towards support for mission. To order, call Rita Bottrill  on 0401 838 641 or email bottrill@chariot.net.au. You can also order and pay online here. Uniting Church  e-NewsUC e-News is the weekly email newsletter of the Uniting Church SA. It seeks to connect the Uniting Church SA community and help our church members communicate with each other – it’s part of our core activity of Uniting People. To subscribe to UC e-News, visit here. Dr Jon’s PantryFreshly made FIG & GINGER JAM  has been added to our range; it’s yummy, so do not miss out.  ALSO Easter chickens have hatched! John Bell in Adelaide8-10 May 2019: John Bell is a preacher, hymn writer, composer, lecturer and broadcaster. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and a member of the Iona Community. John is coming to Adelaide for a 3 day workshop in which he is covering such topics as ‘Songs to enliven communities of faith’, ‘Keeping faith in an age of consumerism’ and ‘Exploring Celtic Spirituality’. For bookings and info go to www.trybooking.com/BBNLH.  Supported and endorsed by the Uniting Church. Lent Event 2019This year, our focus is on saving lives through health education, preventing violence against children and raising up new leaders in Timor Leste, Southeast Asia’s poorest nation. Donate directly online at  lentevent.com, or use the Uniting World Appeal Envelope and post it yourself.  Cash donations can be placed in the marked box in the foyer. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – April 7 2019

The classic tale the Wizard of OZ is about Dorothy and her friends wanting to meet the great, powerful, wise “Wizard of OZ” who they hope with certainty will solve all their problems. The problem is they need to get to him by travelling a long treacherous journey following “the yellow brick road” to the emerald city and even then it takes quite some ritual to be able to eventually have an audience with the wizard who sadly turns out to be a fake anyway. The LORD God is nothing like the fake wizard, however for the average Jew before Jesus it may have seemed like a long journey to get an audience with the Lord. To be cleansed of your sins, access to God before Jesus required ritual washing, sacrifices, burnt offerings and finally only a high priest from the family of Levi could finally enter the ‘Holy of Holies’ on behalf of all people and then only on one particular day of the year (read more in Leviticus 16). Jesus changed all that by his sacrifice on the cross. The New Testament book “Hebrews’ has perplexed some biblical interpreters as no-one knows who the author is or who they were writing too. Yet to ignore it is to deny us of a message that has been critical for the churches fuller understanding of the meaning of the cross (particularly the sacrifice of Jesus), the nature of Jesus and in helping us to more fully understand why many Christians have claimed throughout history that “Jesus saves you from your sins”. Today’s sermon will hopefully help us understand this more. I encourage you to read Hebrews chapters 4-10 yourself, maybe in the New Living Translation or with a good study bible. This may seem a bit theoretical and ’teachy’ but the application is life changing and one we should never take for granted. Jesus is our high priest, our access to God, because of his sacrifice made once and for all, we can now boldly approach the throne of God. So “run the race of the Christian life with perseverance keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2). … Continue reading

for the Week of April 7th

Easter Services Maundy Thursday 18th April  5:30pm Creative Worship (Rev Rob Williams) Good Friday 19th April 9:30am Worship followed by hot cross buns (Rev Benji Callen) Easter Sunday 21st April 7:30am  Dawn Service (Ben Randall) 9:30am  Worship (Rev Benji Callen) Other News Entertainment Books Entertainment Books are again on sale. Books or digital memberships are $70 each, $13 of which goes towards support for mission. To order, call Rita Bottrill  on 0401 838 641 or email bottrill@chariot.net.au. You can also order and pay online here. Uniting Church  e-News UC e-News is the weekly email newsletter of the Uniting Church SA. It seeks to connect the Uniting Church SA community and help our church members communicate with each other – it’s part of our core activity of Uniting People. To subscribe to UC e-News, visit here. Dr Jon’s Pantry Freshly made FIG & GINGER JAM  has been added to our range; it’s yummy, so do not miss out.  ALSO Easter chickens have hatched! John Bell in Adelaide 8-10 May 2019: John Bell is a preacher, hymn writer, composer, lecturer and broadcaster. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and a member of the Iona Community. John is coming to Adelaide for a 3 day workshop in which he is covering such topics as ‘Songs to enliven communities of faith’, ‘Keeping faith in an age of consumerism’ and ‘Exploring Celtic Spirituality’. For bookings and info go to www.trybooking.com/BBNLH.  Supported and endorsed by the Uniting Church. Lent Event 2019 This year, our focus is on saving lives through health education, preventing violence against children and raising up new leaders in Timor Leste, Southeast Asia’s poorest nation. Donate directly online at  lentevent.com, or use the Uniting World Appeal Envelope and post it yourself.  Cash donations can be placed in the marked box in the foyer. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – March 31 2019

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at different ways the early church described the world changing events of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We have used such as Justification, Redemption and Reconciliation. We sometimes want to systemise these concepts, working out which one comes first and how they all fit together. I think it’s helpful to see this as the early church using more than one way to describe such a momentous event. Just like if I was asked to describe what it means to be father, I can’t simply answer with one word, it’s a privilege, a great responsibility, a loving relationship, a partnership, an amazing joy, a trial, I am leader, servant, teacher, student etc. no one term describes fatherhood and all are related. It’s similar with the cross. Each term adds another colour to the greater picture. The letter of Romans contains many concepts sometimes within the same paragraph. (see Romans 3:23-26 or Romans 5:1) Here’s a table that I hope helps describe a little more what each ‘colour’ is. Concept God is… We were(without Jesus) We are now(by faith in Christ) Justification (Our legal status before God, thanks to the cross) All knowing, merciful judge who loves justice and despises sin. Condemned and guilty, deserving death. Forgiven and righteous. Perfect and holy! Redemption (We were slaves to sin but now are free) The rescuer who sees’ our plight and is desperate to actively help. A slave to sin. In a vicious cycle, trapped in moral decay and darkness. Without hope. Redeemed, free, given hope, light and a future. Reconciliation (enemies of God become friends of God) The one who reaches out and wants to be our friend. Enemies of God, going our own way, trying to hide from God. Reconciled, forgiven, loved. We have the creator of the universe and the most powerful all-knowing God of life and wisdom and truth as our friend.       … Continue reading

for the Week of March 31st

Entertainment BooksEntertainment Books are again on sale. Books or digital memberships are $70 each, $13 of which goes towards support for mission. To order, call Rita Bottrill  on 0401 838 641 or email bottrill @chariot.net.au. You can also order and pay online here. Congregational MeetingApril 7th 2pm at BCUCBusiness: Audited Financial Statements Minister’s Report Church Council Report KCO NewsLast weekend was KCO and we had a brilliant time. Thanks so much to everyone for your contribution to and support of this annual event. It was marvellous. Thank you particularly for covering the weekend with your prayers. Look for more news in Chats.     – Gaynor Strapp Easter PostcardsToday you will have received our Easter postcard inserted in the newsletter.  Please take it home, note the dates and times of services and prayerfully consider passing it on to a friend, family member, or neighbour.  Extra cards are available in the foyer to be given out to visitors to our building and for you to take as needed. Monday Day FellowshipThe fellowship will next meet on Monday April 1st at 1:30pm. Come  listen to Benji share his story with us.  Afternoon tea is provided.  $3 donation.  Please bring along new members.  We welcome men as well to our fellowship. See Ruth Daws for more information. Family Fun @ 5Easter Family Fun @ 5 on 6th April is seeking helpers! Would you be able to make a tuna bake? (Recipe and main ingredients supplied.)  Can you help sometime between 4.15 to 7.15pm on the day? There are many ways in which you can help: In the kitchen, with craft, talking to families, setting up, cleaning up, as photographer, lighting & sound for the story. Speak to Heather Walraven, Leonie Clarke or Chris Lake if you have any queries. Sign sheets are up in the foyer after church. Lent Event 2019This year, our focus is on saving lives through health education, preventing violence against children and raising up new leaders in Timor Leste, Southeast Asia’s poorest nation. Donate directly online at  lentevent.com, or use the Uniting World Appeal Envelope and post it yourself.  Cash donations can be placed in the marked box in the foyer. … Continue reading

for the week of March 24

Congregational MeetingApril 7th 2pm at BCUCBusiness: Audited Financial Statements Minister’s Report Church Council Report Newcomers Welcome Tea Saturday 30 March 2019, 2pmIf you are new to BCUC this year or were not able to attend the WELCOME TEA we had last year, you are warmly invited to attend the next WELCOME TEA.  Come and meet other new people, meet and make friends with established members of the congregation and become part of the God community of BCUC. Please let Mick know if you plan to attend, 8338 2621 ( for catering purposes). HizbizThe next Hizbiz lunch meeting is at 12 noon on the 26th March at the Marryatville. All men welcome. Dr John’s PantryThis week, one for the connoisseurs: QUINCE JELLY. Also,  a new batch of Fruit Chutney – enjoy ! Lent : The Cross and UsThroughout Lent, we will be using our sermons to explore the theme of the cross and what it means for us in our lives.  We will be looking at this theme through the eyes of different New Testament writers. Monday Day FellowshipThe fellowship will next meet on Monday April 1st at 1:30pm. Come  listen to Benji share his story with us.  Members should invite friends and bring a plate for afternoon tea. See Ruth Daws for more information. Family Fun @ 5Easter Family Fun @ 5 on 6th April is seeking helpers! Would you be able to make a tuna bake? (Recipe and main ingredients supplies.)  Can you help sometime between 4.15 to 7.15pm on the day? There are many ways in which you can help: In the kitchen, with craft, talking to families, setting up, cleaning up, as  photographer, lighting & sound for the story.  Speak to Heather Walraven, Leonie Clarke or Chris Lake if you have any queries.  Sign sheets are  up in the foyer after church. KCO NewsWe know you are missing us but we are at Victor Harbor for KCO and we are having an awesome time. Please remember to keep praying for us. See you all next week! Personal PrayerPrayer is available after the 10:30 service in the Café. Lent Event 2019Cash donations can be placed directly in the marked box in the foyer. … Continue reading

A Message from Ian Olver – March 17 2019

It’s Good News Sunday   In the themes leading to Easter, this week we focus on redemption. We are redeemed, which is good news indeed. The concept of redemption is to gain or regain possession of something through payment. In the time of Paul the idea of securing a prisoner’s release by payment or freeing someone from slavery was well known. In the Bible the Israelites, as God worked through Moses, were freed from slavery. In the business world the Greeks would have been very familiar with a payment in advance for a product as the guarantee that the full price would follow. Jesus on the cross paid the price for our sin that we may be freed from our sin and start again. And that is certainly good news. As we explored last week we are justified, the guilt of sin has been removed through faith by God’s Grace. Furthermore, Paul suggests that our experience of the Holy Spirit in this world is a foretaste of what awaits and the guarantee of the full possession of the joy and blessedness of being with God in the spiritual realm. Our redemption not only sustains us in this world but carries the promise of the world to come. It is good news Sunday for BCUC on a more practical level. At last count we have 47 people including 31 children attending Kid’s Camp Out (KCO). We are indeed fortunate that the life of our congregation is enriched by our children and privileged to be able to help nurture them in the Faith. Moreover, it gives us a great confidence in a bright future. Well may Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring, the writers of the composite hymn “Crown him with many crowns” finish with the lines: “all hail, Redeemer hail! for you have died for me; your praise shall never, never fail throughout eternity” … Continue reading

for the week of March 17

Congregational MeetingApril 7th 2pm at BCUCBusiness: Audited Financial Statements Minister’s Report Church Council Report Newcomers Welcome TeaSaturday 30 March 2019, 2pmIf you are new to BCUC this year or were not able to attend the WELCOME TEA we had last year, you are warmly invited to attend the next WELCOME TEA.  Come and meet other new people, meet and make friends with established members of the congregation and become part of the God community of BCUC. Please let Gaynor, Rob or Merle know if you plan to attend ( for catering purposes). KCO UpdateWe have 45 people going to KCO next week including 30 children. Pray for us. The KCO cash box for donations is in the foyer.  You can also sign up to contribute biscuits or cake to feed those hungry people. Thank you so much for your continued support. We can feel the hand of God guiding the whole process. Lent : The Cross and UsThroughout Lent, we will be using our sermons to explore the theme of the cross and what it means for us in our lives.  We will be looking at this theme through the eyes of different New Testament writers. Family Fun @ 5is on April 6th This is advance notice so that you can book the date! The theme is “Why is Easter so exciting?” As Easter is in the holidays this year, we are not having FF@5 on Good Friday but on April 6th. Dr John’s PantryThis week, one for the connoisseurs: QUINCE JELLY. Also,  a new batch of Fruit Chutney – enjoy ! Pancake Day UpdateThe Junior Church  would like to thank you so very much for helping us raise funds to assist the work of the Uniting Communities last Sunday.  With your wonderful support we raised $319. Easter Puppet Show in Local SchoolsVolunteers needed. Contact Ally at alisonelrussell@gmail.com or 0432 144 912 or as soon as possible if you can help! Non Geographic Presbytery Information NightTeams, Leaders, and Council members are invited to join Benji and Rob in attending  an info night at Playford UC on Tuesday 19 March at 7:30pm to find out all about the vision and heart of the New NGP. This event will help to inform our conversations as we consider whether the NGP is the right home for BCUC in the new Presbytery Restructure.   Please RSVP to our admin email address. … Continue reading