St. John's Uniting Church Wahroonga

Jesus is the Bread of Life @ The Growing Place

Today Elly told the kids the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of 5000 men, plus women and kids, with just 5 bread rolls and 2 fish. It was a miracle! Have you ever gone without eating for a whole day? Your body begins to get weak if you don’t get food. Food is one of our basic needs – we all must eat to live. In this story, Jesus met his followers’ basic need for food. But today the children also learned about how Jesus can give us something we need more than food. If we believe in Him, He can sustain us in every way, and He can give us eternal life.

The children discussed questions about what we need in life to live as God’s children. We talked about what ingredients would make the “Bread of Life”? The children suggested Love, Kindness, Hope, Peace, Caring and Sharing. Can you think of others?

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The Voice of the Lord in the Storm

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.” – Psalm 29:3-4

This week at Kids Church we looked at Psalm 29 and talked about the power of our almighty God. We talked about things around us that were powerful – thunderstorms, earthquakes, volcanoes, and dragons (!). And then we thought about different sources of power (electricity, the sun, petrol, food). We thought about what God has done that shows us his great power (eg. created the universe, stopped the sun, raised the dead). We remembered that although God is more powerful than anything else around us, He is not destructive, he is good. And this gives us hope!

We sang a song – “My God is so Big!” and then we made megaphone to remember that the voice of the Lord is indeed powerful (Psalm 29:4).

Messy Church – What a Wonderful World!

Messy Church was back at St John’s for 2015 with ~ 70 Mums, Dads, Grandparents and kids gathering to celebrate God’s wonderful world. We made suncatchers to remember our beautiful Earth, and bird baths to remind us to look after God’s creatures. We planted seedlings to recognize the importance of plants, flowers and food. We explored nature’s wonderful textures with our hands, eyes and noses! We chatted about ways in which we could live responsibly to help save the planet. And we wrote our prayers and praises for God’s world on little colourful cards that then became an awesome praise quilt! Then we had a time of celebration and shared a meal together. What a Wonderful World!

tn_Messy Church collage May 2015

Mother’s Day @ The Growing Place

Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.” – Ephesians 6:1-3

Parents are a gift God gives us. Today the children reflected on what it means to honour and respect their parents through their attitudes and actions. Parents are not always perfect, but we can love them and forgive them because they loved us first!

We made a little Mother’s Day Teapot craft embellished with the beautiful words of Proverbs 31 – “Her children rise up and call her Blessed.

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Psalm 23 @ The Growing Place

The Lord Is My Shepherd, I will have everything I need…
… Even when things look dark and scary,
I will not be afraid,
because God is with me.

When trouble seems to be all around,
God prepares a feast for me.
I am his special guest,
and his blessings overflow!
Psaml 23 kids pic

Curious about faith?

Ever wondered about Jesus? Ever curious if faith can makes sense of your life? Interested in whether God and church are related?

The Growing Place @ St John’s invites you to a series of Sunday afternoons to explore the Christian faith and its meaning in the 21st century.

There are no strings attached. You don’t have to believe anything or commit to anything. Come if you’d just like to check things out, come if you used to have faith but it’s faded away, come if you have a different faith and are curious about Christianity or come if you follow Jesus and would like to re-examine your understanding.

‘Animate: Faith’ is seven sessions exploring God, religion, Jesus, salvation, the cross, the Bible and church. Each session features a contemporary Christian speaker, and an open discussion of the issues raised.

‘Animate: Faith’ will run on Sundays at 4pm-6pm from 4 May to 22 June 2014 (with a break on June 1). There will be a children’s activity running in parallel, and creche facilities for little ones, so bring the whole family. Each evening will end with a light supper. Click here for a more detailed program.

A $10 contribution for the whole series will go towards the cost of supper and the Animate Journal that provides further material to help stimulate and capture your own thinking.

So clear your diaries, and book your place online now or email minister@stjohnswahroonga.org

Download a printable flyer to invite your friends!
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Growing Place Christmas Party

The Growing Place are going to finish the year with a party/BBQ/carol sing at Dayan and Duncan’s place on Sunday December 15th, from 4pm. Everyone welcome, BYO drinks and meat for the BBQ, swimmers for the kids to go on the slip-and-slide (weather permitting!); salad, nibbles and desert will be provided.

An RSVP would help for catering – talk to Dayan or Chris!

Father’s Day week off

Because it’s Father’s Day this weekend, lots of the Growing Place families have other commitments! So we’re going to have the week off…

Don’t forget, next Sunday (8th) we’re having a Porch Party at the Manse!

Thirsty?

dryIsaiah 55:1-9 | Psalm 63:1-8
Listen!
For the first Sunday in Lent, a few weeks ago, the Growing Place congregation did a “water walk”. A water walk is a way of reflecting on the importance of water in our world, the great good fortune that we have to live in a country in which clean drinking water is – quite literally – on tap, and to show solidarity with our sisters and brothers (mostly sisters, since this is a job that in much of the world falls to women and girls) who have to walk, in some cases many kilometres, to fetch water at the start of each day. We didn’t walk far – just across the park to Ted’s house, where we borrowed his outside tap to fill the buckets and bottles we had brought with us, and then we carried them back with us to the Church. On the way back we talked about what we would do if this one load of water had to last us the whole day.

On the way out, we were encouraged to talk about times when we had been thirsty. And this turned out to be really hard to do. Of course we could all think of times when we really needed a nice cold glass of water, after a hot day running around or working outside, but real thirst, the thirst when we simply do not have the water we need, was not an experience many of us could easily relate to.

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters
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Water-Walk

IMG_7566Inspired by UnitingWorld‘s Lent Event, The Growing Place community did a Water-Walk on Sunday 17th February. We did this walk to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have copious access to clean drinking water and as an act of solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who walk incredible distances to get water in situations of extreme poverty.

We talked about what it would mean to live without clean water, and about the people who have to do this every single day. We discussed the projects that our partner churches are running in Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea to help bring clean water to people. We then carried our buckets and bottles and walked across Wahroonga Park to fetch water back. The total distance was only about 1km (we had some very little people), but it really brought home how heavy a bucket of water really is when you have to carry it for any distance. We discussed how much time it took to do the walk, and how you wouldn’t have much time for going to school or playing if you had to walk for miles to just get water.IMG_7564

At the end of our walk, we gathered together and thanked God for all the abundant blessings we enjoy, and reminded ourselves that God is counting on us to make sure that everyone in the world gets to share in these blessings. We agreed to put aside this week’s giving to go towards clean-water projects and prayed for the people doing the work.

Growing bush

This Sunday @ The Growing Place, we’re going to do a little bushwalking and then have our time of sharing in the National Park. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on God’s creation and enjoy a bit of the great outdoors.

We’re meeting at the start of the Gibberagong Track, at the north end of Grosvenor St, North Wahroonga. Park anywhere on the street.

Click here for link to map.

Pack a picnic dinner for your kids and bring along some wine and nibbles for the grown ups. Please wear comfy shoes and bring a picnic rug.
We know everyone has young kids, so we’ll only walk a very short way and then find a clearing to sit together.

As it is the last TGP that the Inkson family will attend, we will also be farewelling them in prayer. If you have an anecdote or a story about the Inksons which you’d like to share, please come prepared to do so! 🙂

(Wet weather plan is to meet at the church, so please check your emails in the afternoon if it looks like rain).

Please let us know whether to expect you so we can wait for you at the start of the track.

Growing Outdoors

Our next service for The Growing Place is this coming Sunday 11th February at 4pm. But we’re doing something a little DIFFERENT! We’re going to do a little bushwalking and then have our service in the National Park. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on God’s creation and enjoy a bit of the great outdoors.

We’re meeting at the start of the Gibberagong Track, at the north end of Grosvenor St, North Wahroonga. Park anywhere on the street.

Click here for link to map.

Pack a picnic dinner for your kids and bring along some wine and nibbles for the grown ups. We know everyone has young kids, so we’ll only walk a very short way and then find a clearing to sit together.

(Wet weather plan is to meet at the church, so please check your emails in the late morning if it looks like rain).