24 Hour Prayer Event

Dear friends of BCUC, As we re-engage with face-to-face ministry and open the church to individuals first, then to small groups and eventually gathering together as a congregation to worship, we feel the need to come to the Lord in prayer and fasting. We can make all the plans we want but Jesus is the foundation of everything worthwhile. We have this gift of re-shaping our future as a church at BCUC, as a community and for the world. Prayer is needed for decisions to be made, for giving thanks and for those still suffering around the world during this unprecedented crisis. It is also exciting that we are partnering with InVia church during this call to prayer (see below). We have much for which to be grateful – the SA and BCUC communities have responded and fared very well, but there are many decisions ahead of us to place before God, including when and how to come back together. Prayer is an integral link in the Christian spiritual life and is the key moment when we have communion with God. It needs us to quieten, open our hearts and call out to Him: STARTING Saturday 16th May @ 10amwe launch the 24 hour period with a YouTube live worship and preparation time. Click here to view the live event. ENDING Sunday 17th May @ 10amFinish with the weekly YouTube worship and live communion. How you can participate Connect with both the Saturday morning launch and the Sunday morning worship/communion services online.We have prepared a helpful guide to focus your prayer.  This can be downloaded here.Pray where you are, when you are able and feel moved to pray during the 24 hours.You might choose to commit to a 1-hour block (or a time-frame that best suits you).You could create a physical prayer space to assist in creating quietness and focus for your thoughts and prayers.Connect for group prayer at a special Zoom prayer meeting at 4pm Saturday 16th May.Consider using this for a time of prayer AND fasting. Whether that is total (but please take fluids) or maybe giving up 1 food/activity you particularly enjoy and seek each day. Benji and Ashlee will talk more about this on Saturday morning before we begin, but this is optional and won’t be the chief focus and goal of the 24 hours in prayer. Fasting can help bring focus and is a response to God’s grace and goodness rather than a way of ‘earning God’s favour’. For more information on fasting check out this page.Spend time listening to the Holy Spirit. Maybe God is saying something to you personally about who you are a child of God, what your passions are, what your commitments are to serving Jesus in the church and in the community, whether it is time to re-assess your service to best fit with your passions, the community needs, your giftings and the call of God for the church and yourself. Write down what God is saying and please email it to us so we know how God is speaking to a community that … Continue reading

BCUC News

This Sunday – Pentecost Breakthru Worship : Live Tune is this Sunday morning at the normal time of 10am to watch and be part of our LIVE Pentecost worship service.  As you know, our Breakthru Worship services have til now been pre-recorded and launched each Sunday morning.  This week, however, we will be streaming our service live and direct from the BCUC worship space to your living room (or wherever you watch from).  Join us! Worship Service viewing at BCUC now for 20 people at a time! For those in our congregation who have been unable to view our worship services online, we are now showing the videos at BCUC.  We will air a repeat of the Sunday worship service on Monday, 2pm at BCUC.  Call the office to book a space (8331 3914).  Space is limited to 20 people,  Please help spread the word to those in our congregation who don’t use the internet and have been missing out on church services these past ten weeks. BCUC Open for Larger Meetings BCUC is now open between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday for individuals and meetings of up to 20 people (80 people maximum in the building).  The following conditions apply : All those entering the building will need to sign in at the front door Do not come if you are feeling unwell Maintain 1.5m distancing and good hygiene Individuals coming for only a few minutes can drop by without appointment All meetings will need to be scheduled by contacting the office Posted room capacity limits must be adhered to Food is strictly BYO for the time being Meeting participants are responsible for sanitising the space they have used after their meeting Momentum Webinar Series – Thursdays in June A partnering of Generate Presbytery and Propel Network Tune in each week as we look at our core business of Evangelism, Discipleship, Raising Leaders and Church Planting and Renewal.  In each webinar we will hear from local and national practitioners sharing their thinking around questions like… “What are we learning in this moment?”, “How are we reshaping our understanding” and “What key lessons will we be taking into the future”. Benji will be speaking during Discipleship week.  see the Generate facebook page for more information and to register. Breakthru Youth We finished our four weeks of zoom youth with some amazing online origami and teaching from the parables of Jesus. It’s been a great time of connection but we’re all keen to meet face-to-face.  After a planning break this Pentecost weekend we encourage youth to engage with the YouTube live service. Then stay tuned for meeting in person soon. Masterclass Livestream Event What does the Bible have to say to students about issues in our world? And what does it mean to live a bold Christian life that makes a real difference? Masterclass is an event for students in Years 9-11 which allows them to explore contemporary issues from a biblical perspective.  Tuesday, 11 August.   Click here for details. Are you having money worries? Do you have family or friends in … Continue reading

This Sunday @ BCUC

This Sunday is Pentecost – a great celebration of the sending of the Holy Spirit to the early church, breathing life and power to a group of people who had been given a big vision to change the world but no real clue how to do it. Pentecost 2020 is Breakthru time. As the world continues to grapple with the massive upheaval COVID-19 has brought, we need the gift and power of the Holy Spirit as much as we ever have. When the Holy Spirit first came to believers they began speaking in different languages and people from many nations heard the Good News of Jesus in their own heart words. This week a new video of Amazing Grace was launched with Christian’s singing in their heart language from 50 COVID-19 affected countries. It’s a great prelude to Sunday’s worship.  Enjoy and please join us live on Sunday! – Benji … Continue reading

Why “Breakthru Worship”?

Dear friends of BCUC,On one level its sad times, I miss meeting people face to face and being an extrovert, I will struggle. However the new opportunities are exciting if we can rise by the power of the spirit to meet the challenges. My heart hurts for our vulnerable in the community who won’t be able to access online materials but we will endeavour to serve and minister to them as best we can with God’s help.Although we have suspended face-to-face worship, let’s not stop meeting together. I want to introduce you to our new online worship experience we’re calling “Breakthru Worship”.Why Breakthru?  It’s based on John 20:19. The disciples are hiding in fear in a locked room, (sounds a lot like social-isolation), and the resurrected Jesus breaks through their isolation and miraculously appears in the room. The first thing he says is “Peace be with you”, then he breathes on them the gift of the Holy Spirit, the comforter! Isn’t this what we all need right now, Jesus to break into our fear, to bring peace breath the comfort and gift of the Holy Spirit. So we are then empowered to be the children of God for the present and the future.Breakthru WorshipWe start with Breakthru Worship this Sunday March 22nd.Grab a cup of coffee. Dress up in your Sunday best if you want to. Then follow the link here or on the churches website for an exciting interactive experience.We start at 10 am from our lounge room to yours. You can always log on later if you missed it.For many of us giving is an important part of worship. Many of us already give regularly using E-give, for those who like to give each week you can do this online from the church’s website. Alternatively for people who like to use the envelopes, you can place them in the churches mailbox during the week or give them to Stuart during office hours.Breakthru Kids and MinisWe haven’t forgotten about kids ministry. Our great team have put together 2 videos to sit down and engage with. These will be streamed on Sundays. 9am Breakthru minis (ages 5 and under)9:30am Breakthru kids (5 and up) Click on and engage. Some of our kids ministry team will be online to interact with you.  It’s a great way to engage the whole family and grow as children of God together. Breakthru Care Just like you, I really love getting together in person and will find this next period hard. It’s important during this time to be creative about keeping in contact with other. Phone calls and emails will be our primary means. If you are a pastoral contact I encourage you to find a way to connect with those on your list. We are also very conscious of those who will find it difficult to access the internet. Care comes in many different forms. The following is how we hope to provide Breakthru Care in the coming weeks: Spiritual: regular emails from us.Pastoral: phone calls utilising our … Continue reading

Dear friends of BCUC, On one level its sad times, I miss meeting people face to face and being an extrovert, I will struggle. However the new opportunities are exciting if we can rise by the power of the spirit to meet the challenges. My heart hurts for our vulnerable in the community who won’t be able to access online materials but we will endeavour to serve and minister to them as best we can will Gods help. Although we have suspended face-to-face worship let’s not stop meeting together. I want to introduce you to our new online worship experience we’re calling “Breakthru Worship”. Why Breakthru? It’s based on John 20:19. The disciples are hiding in fear in a locked room, (sounds a lot like social-isolation), and the resurrected Jesus breaks through their isolation and miraculously appears in the room. The first thing he says is “Peace be with you”, then he breathes on them the gift of the Holy Spirit, the comforter! Isn’t this what we all need right now, Jesus to break into our fear, to bring peace breath the comfort and gift of the Holy Spirit. So we are then empowered to be the children of God for the present and the future. Breakthru WorshipWe start with Breakthru Worship this Sunday March 22nd.  Grab a cup of coffee. Dress up in your Sunday best if you want to. Then click on the Breakthru logo above for an exciting interactive experience. We start at 10am from our lounge room to yours. Come early and have a chat with me or another host. You can visit the Breakthru Worship site now and take a look at my introductory video. Giving For many of us giving is an important part of worship. Many of us already give regularly using E-give, for those who like to give each week you can do this online from the church’s website. Alternatively for people who like to use the envelopes, you can place them in the churches mailbox during the week or give them to Stuart during office hours. Breakthru Kids and MinisWe haven’t forgotten about kids ministry. Our great team have put together 2 videos to sit down and engage with. These will be streamed on Sundays. 9am Breakthru minis (ages 5 and under)9:30 am Breakthru kids (5 and up) Click on and engage. Some of our kids ministry team will be online to chat with you.  It’s a great way to engage the whole family and grow as children of God together. Breakthru Care Just like you, I really love getting together in person and will find this next period hard. It’s important during this time to be creative about keeping in contact with other. Phone calls and emails will be our primary means. If you are a pastoral contact I encourage you to find a way to connect with those on your list. We are also very conscious of those who will find it difficult to access the internet. Care comes in many different … Continue reading

Church Service on Sunday 22nd March

Wednesday 18th March 2020 Dear BCUC family, Last night, at an special meeting, the Church Council took the difficult decision to suspend all face-to-face worship services, meetings and activities where we gather together as a group, effective immediately and until it is safe to resume them. We did this as an expression of love and care for our people, many of whom are in vulnerable groups in the setting of a viral pandemic. We are working on other ways of presenting worship and of ensuring that we provide pastoral care for our people. We are sending this message to all who have email and we would ask each of the pastoral carers to phone those in their groups who do not use email to communicate. In fact, we suggest that the initial strategy to maintain pastoral contacts is by regular phone calls, and relaying this message will be the first opportunity. In terms of worship this Sunday March 22nd, we will be broadcasting our service at 10am on Sunday morning on the BCUC YouTube channel.  You can take a look at our channel now by clicking here.  We will email you more about this in the next few days. We will also be mailing sermon notes, readings and prayer notes to those who cannot access live streaming. More details will follow. We have a number of plans for different ways of presenting worship over coming weeks. Council is meeting again next Tuesday to continue to plan how we can engage with each other over coming weeks. We will be establishing video conferencing platforms so that committees can meet virtually and so that people can keep in touch with each other. We have begun planning how we will provide programs for our children and youth so they can continue to engage while being protected by adhering to a social distancing policy. At this stage, the church building will remain open as before for individuals to pray in the open spaces while practising good hand-washing hygiene, social distancing and keeping away if you are at risk or unwell. This is an anxious time. Please contact your pastoral carer, the church office or myself if you feel particularly distressed over the rapidly changing world around us because we will need to support each other. But our reassurance and hope comes from Christ, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. We pray God will use this new period at our church for unexpected fruitful opportunities to raise Children of God. I encourage us all, while we are in the community, to be the peaceful presence of Christ to our friends and neighbours. If you missed my sermon on a Christian response to COVID-19, you can listen to the sermon here on our website. Your brother in Christ, Benji Callen Minister Burnside City Uniting Church benjic@burnsidecityuc.org.au 0427 792 869 … Continue reading

for the week of 8 March 2020

Digital Entertainment BookSupporting Dr John.  Visit here to purchase your subscription. BCUC Netball Players NeededBCUC Netball is looking for players born in 2005, 2006 or 2007. Matches are on Saturday afternoons commencing in April.  Training is on Thursday night.  Contact Cathie or Ruth. Generate Presbytery NewsThe next meeting of the Generate Presbytery is on 14 March atSeeds Uniting Church. The meeting is open to all member of our congregation. Click here to register. Family Fun @ 5 – Saturday 14 March 5-7pmFF@5 relies on a variety of helpers. If you can help with prepared craft, outdoor games, organizing a simple meal, welcoming visitors and helping with setting up or cleaning up please write your name on the  roster in the foyer. If you have any queries please ask Heather Walraven (0414 055 160) or Chris Lake (0417 848 315). Support for KCOMonetary donation to support sending our kids to KCO can be made in the foyer between services this Sunday and next (by cash or credit/debit card).  You can also donate online via the green ‘give’ button at the bottom of this page.  A form for donations of cakes and biscuits will be in the foyer and… thanks so much for your never-ending prayers. KCO NewsKCO is nearly here. Normal registration closes this Wednesday so please don’t delay (late registration will still be possible). Lisa Price has the iron transfers for our yellow T-shirts, so catch her on Sunday morning between services. BCUC Saturday Friendship ClubThe meeting for 21st March is a special one. We have a large number of boys coming from Prince Alfred College, to give us an evening of musical entertainment. Usual 7:15 for a 7:30pm start. Basket supper and all visitors welcome. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Rob Williams – March 8 2020

Today we will Commission Elders you elected at our last AGM to serve on our Church Council. They are Valerie Aloa, Annette LeMay, Tim Piper, Thomas Pruszinski, Nirmal Robinson and Christine You. Our continuing Elders on Church Council are Gil Cibich, Chris Lake, Ian Olver, Gaynor Strapp and Anne Wierenga. Church Council Officers for 2020 are Chair – Ian Olver, Deputy Chair – Nirmal Robinson, Secretary – Anne Wierenga and Treasurer – Tim Piper. Their ministry is vital to the spiritual life and well-being of our congregationas you can see from the following paragraphs:  The ministry of Elder is one of spiritual oversight and may also be exercised in pastoral visitation, teaching, encouraging members of the congregation to share in mission, and assisting the minister in leadership of worship and administration of the sacraments. Elders who serve on the Church Council have a particular responsibility to ensure that such matters have priority in the work of the church council. The Church Council shall give priority in its life to building up the congregation in faith and love, sustaining members in hope, and leading the congregation to a fuller participation in Christ’s mission in the world. The act of Commissioning includes several questions to the congregation: Will you, the members of this congregation, accept these brothers and sisters as elders serving on the Church Council? Will you encourage them in love and support them in their ministry, serving with them the one Lord Jesus Christ? Your positive, practical response to these questions not only supports those serving on our Church Council. It also strengthens our sense of community as together we serve our Lord and his Church using the gifts he has given each one of us. It greatly assists our mission together in Raising Children of God. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Dr Benji Callen – March 1 2020

The season of Lent has begun. This is the time of preparation, 40 days before the church celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus (technically 40 days starts at Ash Wednesday and doesn’t include Sundays). For this period at BCUC we will looking at the gospel lectionary readings. They are all wonderful stories or Jesus interacting with people. We are loosely calling this the “God connects” series as we discover different ways that God through Jesus personally interacts with people. For those who are Nick Cave fans (an Australian singer who was big in the 90’s) they may remember a love song called “Into your arms” that begins “I don’t believe in an interventionist God”. Well these stories show that if Jesus is God with skin on, then God is very interested in the everyday person like you and me. He is not absent in his ivory tower, too important and too clever to stoop down and notice little ol’ us. God of Jesus Christ is very interventionist.  Each week will reveal not just how much and in what way God connects with us but also God’s friendship. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’” Luke 5:20 Here’s an interesting exercise: use a website or app called ‘bible gateway’ and use the search engine to see how many different references in the New Testament there are to the word “Friend”. It’s quite beautiful and rich. Jesus refers to those who trust and believe in him as ‘friends’. Friends to eat with, to cry with, to celebrate and party with. Not subjects of the great king useful only of distant grovelling, but friends. At BCUC we love worship to engage all the senses. That’s why for lent we will be able to see the unfolding story of Jesus friendship with silhouettes of at first Jesus and then all the other friends he makes along the way go the cross, finishing at Easter with us. Keep an eye out for them in all three services and thanks Michelle P for your handiwork. Use them as visual reminders of each weeks stories. I pray we will enjoy the adventure with Jesus together and be challenged, inspired and full of gratitude that God does indeed connect! … Continue reading