We have moved to being a house church, and meet most Sundays in Howrah at 10 a.m. We are a small, welcoming, relaxed and dedicated group of local people, seeking to learn and grow in our walk with Jesus Christ.
We have a simple service, and focus on communal prayer, and study of the Scriptures as well as singing songs of praise and worship.
You are invited to watch our new series about Jesus Christ. Who is he? We are going through many of the “I am” statements Jesus spoke in order to learn more about who he said he was. We start with Jesus’ question to his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” in Mark 8. We will then work our way through many of the “I am” statements in John’s gospel.
Check back every two weeks for new studies in this series.
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The Internet is never short on new conspiracy theories about this, that or the other. We have had conspiracy theories seemingly as long as humans have been able to communicate.
Why is it that Christians seem to gravitate to conspiracy theories?
D.L. Mayfield suggests it is because,
“People believe conspiracy theories because it is psychologically easier to believe a singular and unlikely narrative rather than engage in a hard and complicated reality where your own long-term participation is needed.
There is a wonderful old adage from renowned US Supreme Court Judge, Oliver Wendell Holmes who said: “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity; but I would give my life for the simplicity the other side of complexity.”
But it is so much easier to have a one idea fits all, solves all, and explains all approach. It is hard and time consuming brain-stretching work to sift through the full reality of even relatively simple issues and arguments in families, school and work places, let alone wider political, scientific and religious matters. There is also a matter of our ego, wanting to be right and to be respected. Many of us also like to be in control. Fear is often of things unknown, different or foreign. How “nice” and comforting it is when we sit back with an all knowing, full explanation of why things are the way they are in our world. Conspiracy theories feed the need. They are like “comfort food” for many. Worse, they often fuel division, prejudice and exclusion of others who think, behave or look different to us, or our “group”.
Jesus opposed those who separated, persecuted and excluded others over such grounds. But too often, religious people become fundamentalist and exclusivist, claiming to be the “true believers” but “fundamentally” going against who he was, and what he taught. Why is it that historically the main source of opposition and persecution of minority groups has come from conservative Christians? Yet Jesus deliberately went to, helped and associated with the “unclean” of his time, the immoral and excluded. This is so clear when we take the time to read through his story, found in the Gospels.
Here are a couple of articles that explore why so many of us, including Christians, tend to have an appetite for conspiracy theories.
You are welcome to join us each Tuesday evening at 7pm for a Zoom meeting in which we share our lives and pray for each other as we live through this current upheaval to our lives and society. We also read and discuss a short passage of Scripture.
If you would like to join us or have any prayer requests, please phone Phil on 03 6243 1231.
You are invited to attend our annual Retreat at Camp Clayton, Ulverstone on Tasmania’s stunningly beautiful northwest coast (in the hope the COVID-19 crisis and necessitated restrictions allow it).
This year our focus is on Paul the Apostle, his life and teachings. He is the outstanding character in the New Testament outside of Jesus. And it was Jesus who became the total focus of his life. How did this fiercely militant and religious Jew, self-described as a Pharisee of the Pharisees–who brutally persecuted Jesus’ work and people–become its chief champion, selfless servant and passionate proponent? Join us in this time of re-acquaintance and discovery, as well as time for worship, fellowship, food and rejuvenation.
Please let others know who might be interested in sharing this time with us.
At present we are only able to meet in small groups under 10, following government requirements for religious groups under the COVID-19 guidelines. We also hold ZOOM services. prayer and share meetings and Bible studies nationwide, as well as locally. Please let us know if you would like further information.
If you haven’t seen any of the work by the Bible Project, take a look. They provide short animated presentations that are informative, inspiring and wonderfully produced. You have a choice of hundreds of short videos on books of the Bible, overall themes, theological concepts etc. Great for all ages. https://bibleproject.com/
This is a good time to be spending time on those things which are most important to us, particularly our prayer and studies. It is sad we are not able to meet, fellowship and worship, but the more we all self-isolate as much as possible, or at least restrict going out to an essential minimum, and then keep a 1.5-2 metre distance from non-family members, the sooner the pandemic will start to decline and hopefully be less of a risk.
We are blessed in Tassie that the COVID-19 situation has been dealt with in a proactive manner. We can do our part to help reduce the spread by following the guidance we are being given.
Grace Communion International in Tasmania is planning a celebration for our fiftieth anniversary on June 9th, 2019.
Our first church service was held in Launceston on June 21st, 1969.
The first service in in Hobart was July 15th, 1972, and the first in Devonport was on March 2nd, 1974.
We invite anyone that has been associated with GCI, formerly Worldwide Church of God and before that Radio Church of God, to join with us at the Ross Hotel, in the Antler Room on Sunday June 9th at 11am. There will be a service celebrating the birth of the Christian church at Pentecost as well as our the beginning of our church in Tasmania. A special communion will be included in which we join with other Tasmanian churches in the annual Breaking Bread celebration.
After lunch we will have a time to remember and celebrate our life together as a fellowship. There will be photos to look at and several members will share some of their memories of our past fifty years.
For more information please contact Phil Hopwood at email@example.com or call 03 6243 1231.