A Message from Rev Rob Williams – July 7 2019

Today and next Sunday I’ll be preaching from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It’s four chapters of joy! Its key verse is chapter 4, verse 4: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again, I will say it – Rejoice!’ Today we’ll be thinking about Joy in Community – four characteristics of a joy-filled community from Philippians 1:1-11. It’s quite amazing that this theme should flow throughout this short letter from Paul:  he’s a prisoner in chains in Rome when he writes to the Philippian church – not the ideal environment to produce a joy-filled letter! Next Sunday the theme will be Hope for the future. So, on today’s theme, what is ‘joy’?  Some think that ‘joy’ and ‘happiness’ are the same. ‘Joy’ and’ happiness’ are wonderful feelings to experience but are very different. ‘Joy’ comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are and how you are, whereas happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events. ‘Joy’ is listed as one of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ in Galatians 5:22. John Piper writes, ‘Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.’ The giant redwoods of California are among the world’s largest living things, towering over 100 metres above ground. You would imagine that such forest giants would have huge root systems, burrowing deep into the earth to provide stability for their massive canopy. In fact, redwoods have a very shallow root system. They support themselves by sending out their roots laterally, so they intertwine and interlock with other redwoods nearby and together stand strong against buffeting winds.  Like many trees that grow in a forest, their close proximity to each other makes them grow taller, straighter and faster as together they seek and strive towards the light. Today we’ll consider life situations and the Christian understanding of ‘joy’ to grow into a deeper appreciation of ourselves as a ‘community of joy’. We can learn a lot from Philippians – and from the redwoods! … Continue reading

for the week of July 7

BCUC Congregation SurveyThe Church Council is keen to continue to promote those aspects of church life at BCUC that result in a passionate, committed family of God’s people, with vibrant worship and unified in pursuing God’s plan for us. As part of this process we have created a survey to gain feedback from the congregation that will help to guide our planning.  An email with a link to the survey was sent to members of the congregation on July 8th; please follow that link and submit your survey.  For those who have no access to the internet or are not comfortable with this method, volunteers will be on-hand to help them fill out the form after Sunday services. A paper version of the survey form is available on request. News from the Uniting ChurchOn 28 and 29 June, the Synod and Presbytery of the Uniting Church in SA met and made some important decisions including: •  changes to some of the organizational structures (Presbyteries) within the Church in our State; and•  the Church’s vision for a just and compassionate Australia (and world). Next month’s New Times will report on the meeting, but if you’d like to know more in the meantime, have a word to Benji, Rob, Valerie Aloa or Peter Shackleford who were at the meeting. Alpha at BCUCAlpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone’s welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes – you name it.   Alpha is coming to BCUC with the first session on  Wednesday  July 31 at noon.  Signup in the foyer after service on Sunday. Psalms Sermon SeriesA six weeks series starting July 21 : “God’s Broad Shoulders: Praying the Psalms”. Seniors Second Sunday Lunch14 July, 12noon. Join us for friendship, fun and food. See Anita Wheaton for more information. Collection of Giving PacksCompleted reply slips can be dropped in the collection bag, mailed, or delivered to the office. Library Book Give-Awayin the foyer today. Church Library overflow AND from private collections. BICC Quiz NightRaising funds for Chaplaincy in local schools. The Burnside Inter-Church Council is hosting its annual Quiz night at BCUC on Friday July 26.  Arrive at 7:15pm. Tickets are $20 and are available from Rex King or the office; BYO drinks, nibbles, & coins.  Saturday Friendship Club – 20 JulyWarren Bourne, a retired music teacher from Adelaide University will be speaking on Ralph Vaughan Williams & an Illustrated talk about church and other music. Usual start time of 7:30pm, basket supper & visitors welcome. BCUC CaresYour continued donations of food and toiletries for people in need is greatly appreciated. Please consider donating more toiletries as they are regularly in short supply. … Continue reading

for the week of June 30

Alpha at BCUCAlpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone’s welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes – you name it.   Alpha is coming to BCUC with the first session on  Wednesday  July 31 at noon.  Signup in the foyer after service on Sunday. Saturday Friendship Club – 20 JulyDue to unforeseen circumstances, we shall not be having the scheduled speaker for July. The speaker is now Warren Bourne, a retired music teacher from Adelaide University. His subject will be Ralph Vaughan Williams & an Illustrated talk about church and other music. Usual start time of 7:30 pm, basket supper & visitors welcome. Retirement Offering – Sunday 7 JulyTo support the building of a worship and ministry centre at Oodnadatta. Together we can make a difference. Transformation 2020 Giving renewalThere are just a few Giving Packs left in the foyer regarding Transformation 2020 to be taken away. It would be appreciated if you are able to deliver any to people who are not here this week. Any enquiries regarding giving may be directed to Ray Nicholson, the Recorder, at the Sunday church services or by phone or email (8193 0309, rayjocni@theashbrook.com.au). Members Survey – Next SundayThe Church Council is keen to continue to promote those aspects of church life at BCUC that result in a passionate, committed family of God’s people, with vibrant worship and unified in pursuing God’s plan for us. As part of this process we want feedback from the congregation that will help to guide our planning. The survey will be held online, though a paper option will  be available.  More details next Sunday. Monday Day Fellowship – Birthday Meeting – 1 JulyIt will be a pleasant afternoon with lovely entertainment by Louise, followed by a Devonshire afternoon tea commencing at 1:30pm.  Members are encouraged to bring a friend or invite a member of the congregation.  You will receive a warm welcome. Hospitality Sunday – TODAYA total of 83 people will be sharing lunch in 8 homes. In keeping with our recent study, Surprise the World, we trust you all have a time of warm fellowship as you share a meal together. Family Fun @ 5Three cheers and many thanks to all those who helped at the recent Family Fun @ 5 where the theme was David & Goliath. Monday Day Fellowship – Annual Fundraiser Film DayThank you sincerely for all the support for the fellowship film day.  It was a most successful day with a good movie. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – June 30 2019

This week we talk about giving our service to the Lord.  Think about where we hear the word service: a worship ’service’, the service industry, goods and services tax, “at your service” and “service with a smile”. You may have heard of the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was busy getting dinner ready for Jesus and the disciples while Mary seemed to be the lazy one sitting and listening to Jesus teaching. Yet when Mary was chastised, Jesus said ‘Hold on, Mary has done the better thing by listening to me’. We can sometimes take this message too far and think all we need to do is sit at Jesus feet and listen and learn. Jesus also said “teach them to obey all I have commanded”. Jesus parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30) is often interpreted to mean putting into action the gifts God has given you. Paul is often writing about each person of the church being gifted by the Holy Spirit in many different ways and that we need to use those gifts to help the body of Christ. I love the distilled message from this verse in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Even in a reasonably self-focused western society people often get a sense of wanting to serve in community, that we are here for each other. Over the last few weeks we have been challenged into re-assessing giving our time, treasure and talents in service to the Lord. The Uniting Church basis of union states “the one Spirit has endowed the members of Christ’s Church with a diversity of gifts, and that there is no gift without its corresponding service: all ministries have a part in the ministry of Christ”.  Later today many of us are having lunches together (its not too late to join in). We will be serving each other, eating together and sharing life together. I encourage you to take the conversation to another level by asking some of these questions: What has the risen Christ done in your life over the last week? What is your favourite bible verse or book of the bible? Tell a story about a memorable baptism. What has been a significant sermon you have heard? When did you realise the loving God was real in your life? What is key in encouraging your faith? How does the loving God excite the daylights out of you today? How do you love to serve others and Jesus? What about it gives you the most joy? … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – June 23 2019

Today we’re talking about giving. There are many ways to give. Consider the three T’s: Time, Treasure and Talent. Towards the end of the book of Acts, Paul is reflecting on his ministry planting churches and raising followers of Jesus. He did this while working in the tent making business to fund his own way across the Roman Empire. He says : “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35. People seem wired differently. There are some who love getting presents; there are others who love giving away gifts and in fact giving away anything. Then there are others who are so used to overflowing with generosity to others that it’s very hard for them to receive anything back. Even to the point of accepting the gift that Jesus died to give them life. Today we’re particularly talking about what we do with our money. This can be a ‘testy’ topic full of scepticism within churches. Some of this is due to poor examples of people abusing their position for financial gain. It seems so contrary to what Jesus teaches. For example: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”  Matthew 6:24. A quick scan through the stories of Jesus and you realise Jesus is concerned with our attitude towards money. One Article from Christianity today says: “Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.”  For Jesus, money and possessions seem to be considered a spiritual issue of the heart. When it comes to finances I love what John Wesley, the founder of methodism teaches: “Having, first, gained all you can, and, secondly saved all you can, then give all you can.” This is a practice he put in place himself. Today some have distilled it to a workable 80:10:10 guideline. Spend 80%, save 10% and give away 10%. But as you will hear in today’s sermon Wesley himself went way beyond this. He lived by the hope that as his wages increased each year his standard of living did not increase but rather his standard of giving. Inspiring. Please take the time to check out the information in the stewardship packs. Thanks for all you do to be part of a great community of people who love God and love others. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – June 16 2019

Having an Attitude of Gratitude –  If you have ever been involved in kids ministry and helping young people learn how to pray, usually the first and most flowing prayers they have are prayers of thanksgiving. “Thank you God for my family, for friends, for food, for people in the church, for my pets, for my teacher, for your love and that you made us.” If you were to go to a counsellor today they often prescribe a diet of thankfulness. Write a list each day for some of the small and big things you can be thankful for. Being thankful as we grow up seems to be harder for some. Yet an attitude of gratitude lifts us beyond ourselves, acknowledges God’s graceful presence in our lives, takes us out of our sense of entitlement or being ‘owed’ something from the world and helps us find joy. Paul writing to the church in Thessalonica encouraged them to “Give thanks in all circumstances”, whether in times of persecution and suffering or times of peace.  I once ran a youth group night looking at giving thanks no matter what. I split the group in two and asked them to stop and give thanks to God every five minutes. One group went to the youth room to play video games, air hockey and have fun for 30 minutes. The other group had to sort ‘hundreds-and-thousands’ (or sprinkles) into colour groups… and that’s it. I then asked how easy it was to give thanks. The group having fun generally forgot to stop and give thanks to God unless I reminded them, the other group were full of thanks. Right now at BCUC I think we are generally in a season of good news and anticipation. As we embark on a three-week stewardship program “Thanks-Giving-Service” I wanted to begin with thanks. Give thanks for what God has provided for the past financial year, give thanks for the people He has placed in your life, the love he has shown and the faith that has grown. I want to personally give thanks on behalf of the leadership of Burnside City for your sacrificial giving to our church over the last year and much more. Many give generously with their treasure, talent and time. This church would not be a beacon for the Gospel and a place of discipleship without these significant contributions. Thank you. For all you have done both noticed and unnoticed, BCUC is richer for it and we thank you for helping us shine the light of Christ to a community that needs it. I encourage you this week to find someone, even during morning tea at church to say thank you to. … Continue reading

for the week of June 23

Transformation 2020 – Giving renewal 2019-2020Giving packs regarding Transformation 2020 are available in the foyer for you to take away. It would be appreciated if you are able to deliver any to people who are not here this week.  Any enquiries regarding giving may be directed to the Recorder at the Sunday church services. Hospitality Sunday : June 30thThis event is a wonderful opportunity to share lunch in each other’s homes. Please consider participating or hosting a group of people in your home. Families are most welcome. Sign up sheets are available in the foyer today. Transport can be arranged. More details in June CHATS. HizbizHizbiz men will meet at the Marryatville Hotel for their usual monthly 12 noon lunch meal on Tuesday June 25. Please contact Leigh Duffett or Rex King if you plan to attend. 3Dnet Celebration at BCUCBCUC will be hosting a final 3Dnet gathering on Thursday June 27, 6pm at BCUC. This night will be a time of feasting, worship and prayer.  Dinner provided by Adelaide Woodfired Pizza and Rev Josh Scherer will be leading in worship.  Anyone that attends BCUC can come celebrate with us.  RSVP @ https://3dnet.org.au. Monday Day Fellowship : Birthday Meeting – July 1stIt will be a pleasant afternoon with lovely entertainment by Louise, followed by a Devonshire afternoon tea commencing at 1:30pm.  Members are encouraged to bring a friend or invite a member of the congregation.  You will receive a warm welcome. Alpha at BCUCAlpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone’s welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes – you name it.   Alpha is coming to BCUC with the first session on  Wednesday  July 31 at noon.  Signup in the foyer after service on Sunday. BICC Quiz NightRaising funds for Chaplaincy in local schools. The Burnside Inter-Church Council is hosting its annual Quiz night at BCUC on Friday July 26.  Arrive at 7:15pm. Tickets are $20 and are available from Rex King or the office; BYO drinks, nibbles, & coins.  Oodnadatta Church Building AppealDonations can be made by EFT to:  BSB – 704095,  Account # – 193668,  Account name – “Oodnadatta Building Fund”. Psalms Sermon Series6 Weeks series starting July 21 : “God Broad Shoulders: Praying the Psalms” … Continue reading

for the Week of June 9th

Live Life Loud @ BCUCFriday June 14, 6:30pm – 9:00pm.  How can we be Lion-Hearted as we live for King Jesus in out crazy world. Gear up for a great night of fun, food, worship and teaching. Ages 12-18. Gold coin donation.  For more info contact Benji at 0427792869. Hospitality Sunday- June 30thThis event is a wonderful opportunity to share lunch in each other’s homes. Please consider participating or hosting a group of people in your home. Families are most welcome. Sign up sheets are available in the foyer today. Transport can be arranged. More details in June CHATS. Family Fun @ 5will be on June 22. Book the date, spread the news & invite your family and friends. BCUC Saturday Friendship ClubFor our theatre night this year, we will be seeing the Therry Dramatic Society Broadway version of Pirates of Penzance at the Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide on Saturday June 15 at 8pm.  Cost is $22; please pay Peter Foord. There will be a council bus available at $7 (first come first served) Bookings close today. Intercultural Theology ForumBCUC is a CALD congregation – a Culturally And Linguistically Diverse congregation.  What strengths does this give us?  How can we make the most of this opportunity? To discover and explore new ways of participating in the transforming mission of God join others to hear Rev Dr Grace Ji-Sun Kim at the Uniting College, Monday June 17, 7-9 pm.  Book online at sa.uca.org.au/cald.  See the flyer in the brochure carousel in the foyer for further details. BICC Quiz Night @ BCUCFriday July 26, 7:30pm.  Silent auction, trading table, table games. Tickets $20.  BYO drinks, nibbles, and coins.  Presented by the Burnside Inter-Church Council raising funds for chaplaincy in local schools. Personal PrayerPrayer is available after the 10:30am service in the Café.  If you would like confidential personal prayer for healing or anything else that may be troubling you, please contact either Sally Andrew or Colette Williams and we will arrange a convenient time and place to pray with you. Monday Day Fellowship – Annual Fundraiser Film DayThe movie Red Joan is showing at the Regal on Monday June 24. 9:45 morning tea; 10:30 film.  Tickets $15 from Ruth Daws or Fellowship Members. We encourage you to support this  fundraiser. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – June 9 2019

Ever tried watching TV without the power switched on? Chances are it’s going to be boring and lifeless. In some ways that’s like us without the Holy Spirit. After Jesus died, he rose again and appeared to his disciples, teaching, feeding, and eating with them. He blessed them and gave them instructions to go into the world to make disciples, baptising them, and teaching them. He also said to wait for the Holy Spirit to give them the power they needed to do the job. The Greek word used for power is ‘dynamos’ which is not an oppressive, authoritarian kind of power. Instead it is the word used for ‘dynamic’ and ‘dynamite’. It is an energy that is explosive, creative, and exciting. That kind of tingling, electrifying power energised a small band of scared, uneducated misfits to start a church movement that has now spread to all parts of the world. This same power is at work in us today for the exact same purposes. It’s a power that increases the size of our hearts (just like the Grinch). “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:5. By increasing our power to love, the Holy Spirit helps us see everyone around us as people God deeply loves and people who need the abundant, eternal life God offers through Jesus. Will you let God break your heart for what breaks God’s? Will you allow yourselves to be used by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit to bring healing and purpose to others? Your Brother in Christ Benji … Continue reading

for the Week of June 2nd

Welcome David DienesMarryatville High School Pastoral Care Worker, David Dienes is joining us for a spot in the Contemporary and Classic services this morning.  Learn more about David’s missional work with the  youth in our community by reading the BICC newsletter, or catch up with him during morning tea. Hospitality Sunday- June 30thThis event is a wonderful opportunity to share lunch in each other’s homes. Please consider participating or hosting a group of people in your home. Families are most welcome. Sign up sheets are available in the foyer today. Transport can be arranged. More details in June CHATS. Live Life Loud @ BCUCFriday June 14, 6:30pm – 9:30pm.  Live Life Loud is a high energy regional youth worship event that endeavours to bring young people together.  There will be a live band, guest speaker, food, games, café, and more.  See Benji for further details. BCUC Saturday Friendship ClubFor our theatre night this year, we will be seeing the Therry Dramatic Society Broadway version of Pirates of Penzance at the Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide on Saturday June 15 at 8pm.  Cost is $22; please pay Peter Foord. There will be a council bus available at $7 (first come first served) Bookings close on Sunday 9th June. Community FeteThanks and congratulations to the youth and helpers involved in the community fete held at BCUC last Sunday. Over $2000 was raised to support Backpacks for SA Kids.  Despite the rain, there was a great atmosphere with music and plenty of kid’s activities. Family Fun @ 5will be on June 22. Book the date, spread the news & invite your family and friends. Monday Day FellowshipJoin us for our next meeting on June 3 at 1:30pm when will meet artist Kirsty Shadiac. Kirsty is Margaret Morey’s granddaughter and is a successful artist and entrepreneur. Her business is helping children learn to draw. She will share with us how her childhood passion became a world-wide phenomena and global enterprise.  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. Monday Day Fellowship – Annual Fundraiser Film DayThe movie Red Joan starring Tom Hughes and Dame Judy Dench is showing at the Regal on Monday June 24. 90:45 morning tea; 10:30 film.  Tickets $15 from Ruth Daws or Fellowship Members.  We encourage you to support this  fundraiser. … Continue reading