Mornington Community Church (GCI)

Change of meeting location.

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.

Mornington Community Church – In a word picture

For more information please email,

phil.hopwood@gci.org.au,

or phone 03 6243 1231,

or 0407 566987.

Or you can use the contact form below.

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=928

New Study Series: “I Am” –Who is Jesus”

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.

Phillip Hopwood - May 29, 2020

Who Do You Say that I Am?

Who was and is Jesus Christ? In this series we explore what Jesus said about himself in a series of what are termed "I Am" statements. We start in Mark 8:27-34.

From Series: "Who is Jesus?"

More Messages Associated With "I Am Statements of Jesus"...

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Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1355

Want to hear the latest on Conspiracy Theories?

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. 

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1319

Church Service Videos

You can watch our most recent sermons below, including Easter and the Ascension celebrations below or by going to the Video page from the top or right menu.

Phillip Hopwood - May 29, 2020

Who Do You Say that I Am?

Who was and is Jesus Christ? In this series we explore what Jesus said about himself in a series of what are termed "I Am" statements. We start in Mark 8:27-34.

From Series: "Who is Jesus?"

More From "Who is Jesus?"

Powered by Series Engine

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1178

Bible Study Philippians 3:1-17

Other videos will be added soon, so please come back and visit us again.

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1163

Prayer & Share Zoom Meetings

Prayer & Share

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.

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1158

Retreat – November 2-8, 2020

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.

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1154

Stay Being Church while Staying at Home

Hello everyone,

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.

Recordings of these and other services are available here on our website  Church Service Videos.

In the light of our turned upside down world and personal lives due to COVID-19 here are some links to keep being church while staying at home.

GCI Worship and Sermon links

Local sermons can be found in the Sermons section of this site.

An excellent place for GCI sermons is GCI Equipper

  https://equipper.gci.org/

 

Other Resources

Door of Hope, Oregon

https://www.doorofhopepdx.org/sermons/

They have a great series on Living in the Light of the Resurrection at; https://www.doorofhopepdx.org/sermons/new-day/  

The Bible Project

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.

Blessings to all,

Phil

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=1129

50th Anniversary Celebration

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.

Lunch can be ordered before the service from the hotel. The menu is available at https://www.rosshotel.com.au/menu/.

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 phil.hopwood@gci.org.au or call 03 6243 1231.

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=958

Breaking Religious Patterns

Matthew 9:9-17

 “On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’” (Matthew 9:12-13).

 

Jesus calling Matthew
The call of Matthew
illustration by Alexandre Bida

Jesus’ purpose and mission is centered on his redemptive work of bringing salvation to sinners. This upsets the status quo and often calls for a radical break from traditional religious norms.

The passage before us (Matthew 9:9-13) describes Jesus’ call to Matthew, a despised tax collector. Matthew worked in Capernaum, where Jesus lived (4:13; 9:1). He would have undoubtedly seen Jesus or at least heard of him before their encounter.

Matthew was probably a customs officer working on Capernaum’s trade route. He was hated and despised by his own people for being a collaborator with imperial Rome. Jewish tax collectors were not allowed in the synagogues. They were an unscrupulous class that had bought or bribed to get their appointments to become very wealthy. They burdened their own people with excess tax, while bribing the wealthy and declaring less tax for them.

It is easy to see why the Pharisees were furious with Jesus’ apparent lax attitude in sharing a meal with Matthew and his kind (sinners). After all, Scripture says that righteous people should not sit with deceitful people or with the wicked (e.g. Psalm 26:4-5). Jesus responds in the opposite of traditional norms. What the self-righteous Pharisees did not understand, and what many churched people today do not grasp, is that Jesus’ redemptive activity must be thrust into center stage. The Pharisees have no reason to accuse. It is like telling a doctor not to get close to the patient because he might get contaminated with the same condition as the patient or get blood on his hands!

The next passage is linked to the previous controversy, but this time it deals with the disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 9:14-17). It seems that not all of John’s disciples were fully convinced that Jesus was the Christ. Yet they were sincere, and this is probably why Jesus takes time to explain to them new changes already on the horizon of his redemptive mission. The disciples of John and the disciples of Moses (Pharisees) fasted on a regular basis. The Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Thursdays, and the disciples of John apparently did, too. The Pharisees were religious fundamentalists who sought to separate themselves from everything they deemed “worldly.” John’s disciples were probably gloom and doom last-days prophets.

But Jesus’ disciples were radically different, because they were filled with the presence of their Master’s joy! Who can fast when sinners are being saved? Who can separate themselves from the world when salvation is laid at its front door? Who can preach gloom and doom when the message of salvation is good news? The old religious patterns of yesterday will not hold the new wine of today’s new covenant gospel of Jesus.

In both the above passages, Jesus is not concerned with maintaining past shadows for ritual’s sake alone as much as he is concerned with the reality of showing mercy by sharing the good news of God’s saving grace (9:35-38).

Questions to Ponder:

1. As committed followers of Christ, what can we learn from Jesus’ availability and approach in sharing the good news to Matthew and Zacchaeus?

2. What kind of negative response can we expect from some within our own church community? Can you give a discrete example?

3. How did Jesus follow up his call in each of the above cases? What can we learn from this in integrating new believers into the community?

4. Is Jesus’ message to sinners one of condemnation, or one of acceptance? Why can’t old traditions hold the new wine of the gospel? Give examples.

5. What is Jesus’ motive for seeking the lost, and what challenge does he lay at his disciples’ front door and to every generation? See Matthew 9:35-38.

Conclusion

Jesus’ purpose and mission is the salvation of the lost. His encounters with despised sinners and society’s outcasts are centered on sharing the joy of his presence. He wants to live with us; he does not want to exclude us.   We are disciples of this good news!

Lorenzo Arroyo

Permanent link to this article: https://hobart.gci.org.au/?p=620