In a world where atheism tends to drive the media, we often wonder if our efforts for Christ make any difference. But every now and then we hear things that remind us that they do! What follows is part of an article written by an atheist called Matthew Parris. Fascinating, encouraging stuff!
Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work. It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God. Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good. I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith. But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing. First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.
Keep Glowing and Growing and Going for him! It is not without effect!
This Sunday 29 September…
How Christ Is Revealed In Colossians: Come along this Sunday as we look at Colossians 1 to see who Christ is and how He has reconciled us to God.
Next Sunday 6 October is our monthly prayer service in the church. Next week, the service will focus on prayer for our family and youth ministries next year with the long-term outlook of hiring a part-time Youth Pastor. This service will begin at an alternative time of 6pm so that more of the congregation are able to come.
Family Fun Night and Dinner
Saturday 28 September 6 pm – 9 pm
Cost: $10 Adult / $20 Family / under 5 free
Fun & Games for Everybody PLUS Prizes!
RSVP to the church office.
Kids Programs This Sunday
Spark is our program for older preschool to year 2 kids, led by Margaret Stewart.
Blaze is for kids in years 3-5, led by Olwyn Dickson.
Ignite (years 6 and above) will be staying in for the service this Sunday.
mainly music for young kids has finished for term 3 and will begin again on Tuesday 15 October at 10am in the church.
Men’s Breakfast, will be the second Saturday next month Saturday 13 October from 8am. Our Speaker will be Bruce Patrick, former Pastor of Orakei Baptist Church and Pastor of Auckland Baptist Tabernacle. Share a cooked breakfast, coordinated by chef supremo Lindsay M. We'd love to see you there. Please consider inviting a friend.
Last year, we had over 1000 people come along to our Alternative Halloween event, the Trick-or-Treat Drop-In. This year, we are doing an exciting new theme for this event - Remuera Baptist and the Lolly Factory! Make sure you mark it in your diaries for Thursday 31 October.
Young Adults Group
As young people, we believe it is super important to have a network of like-minded Christ followers surrounding us. The Remuera Baptist Church Young Adults Group meets every Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. We alternate between bible studies and social nights each week. If you are interested in joining us, or would like more information, please email the church office or message us on Facebook @remuerabaptistchurch
Faith @ 6:30
Come along next Sunday 29 September to our monthly all-age evening service from 6:30-8:30pm. We will be looking at social justice. There will be interactive content, worship and of course ice-cream! All are welcome.
Wednesday Night Home Group
Home Group at the home of Paul and Ruth Ungemuth every second and fourth Wednesday at 7:30pm. Each week we share in supper, do a bible study and pray for each other. Will begin on Wednesday 13 February. Contact the office for more information.
Wednesday Morning Home Group
Home Group at the home of Joy Galt on the third Wednesday of the month at 10am. After morning tea we do a bible study and pray together. Contact the office for more information.
Young Adults Home Group
Every Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us!