Pastor's Newsletter 11 May 2021 David Leo
The launch of the Livemore program will begin on the 27th of May 6-7pm. This will be run every Thursday for 10 weeks at the Devonport Church. This is a community program to encourage healthy living and well being. Every week we learn something about the way we think and feel and given a specific task to action what was learned. For example, one of the weeks teaches us about how brain responds to what we see before we make decisions. We are then challenged to see as much sky and grass to train our brains to make healthier decisions. See eliawellness.com/livemore for more information and to register.
Also coming up is a Bible Marking course that will begin on Friday 24th of May 6.30 - 7.30pm. Bible marking is a quick way to learn the teachings of the Bible and also learn how to navigate and understand how Bible can be read for referencing. If you are not familiar with the bible, or you have just started opening the Bible to learn about Jesus. Then I highly recommend you attend this course. Please see our facebook page as I will post the registration next week.
This week is communion. The communion has been practiced in the Christian community since Jesus instigated the ceremony from the last supper. This Saturday morning we will be performing this ancient tradtion. Some of you may not be familiar with how this works so this write up is to help you navigate through what to expect. First and foremost, we do this because Jesus told us to do it in rememberance of Him. You will find his instruction in John chapter 13 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. I'd also encourage you to read chapters 71 and 72 of Desire of Ages. You can find chapter 71 by clicking here and you should be able to link to chapter 72 from there.
The morning service will begin as you would usually expect.
The sermon will be shorter than normal as the service depends solely on our actions than the word being preached.
After the sermon, the men and women will seperate into two groups to perform the footwashing.
Everyone will rejoin to take part in the eating of unleavened bread and the drinking of wine. (grape juice)
Communion is meant to be a solemn but a joyous occassion. As it reminds of Christ's sacrifice, resurrection, and soon return. In turn, it makes us remember our commitment to Christ, the mission and to each other.
You may be asking:
Q. Can I participate although I am not baptised in the SDA church?
A. You should only participate if you understand what you're participating in. Seventh-day Adventists practice open communion which means that we welcome anyone who has committed themselves to Christ whether they are Seventh-day Advenist or from anoher Christian denomination. If this is your first time, perhaps you could observe the footwashing and the taking of bread and wine to get a grasp of whats going in.
Q. Can children take part in the communion?
A. We encourage parents or guardians to teach and demonstrate to their children what communion means. We leave it to the discretion of the parents as to whether their children will partake of the communion. Please understand that it is important that children have a grasp of what is taking place. If this is their first communion, they should observe the communion ceremony to ascertain what it all means. Ways to assist in teaching our children is telling the story at home, and leading a communion service in our homes so they get a first hand experience.
Q. Do I have to do have to wash my feet..it's embarassing?
A. To have the full experience of understading humility (root word for humiliation) I would encourage that you participated in the footwashing. More information to follow during the sermon.
Q. Won't the Covid-19 restrictions prevent churches from peforming the Communion ?
A. No. Communion will be conducted differently to what people are use to. (For those who have done Communion pre Covid-19). When performing the footwashing, participants must wear gloves if touching somebody who is not family OR you can just pour the water over the feet and avoid any touching of skin. Also, the facilitators of the bread and wine must wear gloves when distributing them. Other than these aforementioned changes, all other restrictions will be ahdered to as normal.
If you have any other questions. Please do not hestitate to send through a text to my number 0432 454 548. Also, ensure to read the significant references mentioned above. This is an event we can look forward to. It is a time where we recommit ourselves to Christ and to each other. Spend time in prayer as we prepare for self-examination as we look to Jesus Christ.
"Grace will hurt your feelings and humble your heart and then infuse you with joy like you've never had before." - Paul Tripp
Pastor's Newsletter 13 Apr 2021 David Leo
It's Tuesday evening, and it's 9.45pm. I'm still awake because I'm excited to tell you about what's been happening this past weekend and the start of this week. I'm currently in Orford at the churches Youth Centre. The leadership weekend was held from last Friday to Sunday lunch, I was so happy to be joined by our head elder, Rod Jefferies and our Associate Pastor Ray Codling. We had two guest speakers. Pr Darius Jankiewicz and Pr Justin Lawman. Pr Darius has been giving us presentations based on the study of Salvation and the deep history of how Seventh-day Adventists have landed we are in our current thinking and views. He went right back into the apostles and the Catholic Church and how the reformers like Luther, Calvin and Arminius have heavily influenced our theology. It has been startlinkg. Pr Darious has been giving us more intimate sessions over the last few days and it's a wonder that we have been counseled "we have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history." - Counsels for the Church p359 E.G White. I have more to share on these topics and wonder when I can share them and whether you would be interested? In any case, I am convinced that the journey of SDA's has brought us into an interesting time in history to synthesize the balance of law and grace which can only be found at the foot of the cross. (Psalms 85:10)
Pr Justin Lawman has been encouraging us to find tangible ways to measure the health of our church. There have been confronting questions like
"is the culture of the church healthy?"
"are people comfortable with sharing personal problems in our community?"
"do the leaders feel empowered?"
As a pastor, these are scary questions, but necessary nonetheless. I believe me as a pastor and our leaders should be prepared to be evaluated. And more importantly, take action when the results reveal we need help. He has presented a tool that could help us and I'll talk more on this at some stage also.
In a nutshell. I can safely say that I enjoy being your pastor and working with you. I believe in my heart of hearts that God is leading us toward something magnificent in our church. Not because of me, or you, but because we are willing to be used by God and are prepared to be challenged by things that we may not be comfortable with. But Jesus is our captain and He knows how to steer this boat. We will always have challenges as a church because Satan refuses to see us succeed. God has brought us this far and has preserved his word and his movement. Let us refuse Satan from making inroads into our church community and let us make inroads into our wider community for the sake of Christ and for the sake of the salvation of others.
Pr David Leo
Pastor's Newsletter 17 Jun 2020 David Leo
Great News everyone!
Our church board committee met on Monday night and agreed to reopen or church building starting Sabbath 20/6/20. However, it is important that we comply with a few stipulations from the state governement to ensure the containment of the virus. Please ensure you take notice of the posters that will displayed around the church building, and signs and aarows that need to be followed also. The following directives are below:
I understand that our fellowship will be so unchurch-like, but unfortunately these are the steps we need to take so that we can open up our church building and our church mission. Our board meeting was very pleasant. We spent time in thanksgiving and also shared thoughts on how our Sabbath morning services maybe done differently for the sake of worship and mission and now that we know things can be done differently with modern technology. Perhaps spend some time in prayer and fasting this weekend to see what God wants for our church family in the city of Devonport. We are all navigating new ways of doing things. These current events are a stark reminder that we are on the verge of Jesus' return. At times like this it is easy to be overwhelmed but God's peopl are, "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:25
Sabbath this week will be a Sabbath School meeting at 10am led by Pastor Ray. And a service at 11.30am which I will lead, but will ask you to participate. Make sure to bring your smart phones.
I look forward to seeing you all.
Pr David Leo
Pastor's Newsletter 05 Jun 2020 David Leo
Good Evening All,
The premier has brought stage 2 forward one week ahead of schedule. This means we can meet in a group with no more than 20 in the building/s. (This includes the hall or any seperate buildings.) Unfortunately the church needs to follow a criteria set out by the government to ensure that we are following the stipulations when we open. It is my aim to have the church opened by next Sabbath, but it will be determined by how much we are willng and able to follow the guidlines that have been set out. The board will meet ASAP and you will be informed as soon as we have resolved how we can feasibly set up for a smooth and compliant transition.
I know many of us are looking forward to getting together in person again (including myself). But please hold on a little longer so that we can all come to a reasonable recommendation so that we can fellowship and follow the government stipulations. Please do make the effort to get together and meet in other venues for the sake of fellowship and worship. In the meantime, you will hear from me soon when a decision is made. God's blessings for now. I look forward to when we can sit down together again and expore the "new normal."
What remains the same is our committment to the mission to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to a world that desperately need Him.
Pastor David Leo
Pastor's Newsletter 06 Apr 2020 David Leo
What a crazy time it has been in the last few weeks. Easter weekend is coming up and we are heading into the fourth Sabbath where we haven't gathered together in person. As I've contaced church members by phone (not in person) it seems that this break has come as a bit of a relief. Because, it has relileved our respnsibilities on a Sabbath morning and church services (and also some programs during the week) as they've come to a stand still. This includes me! Admittedly, doing services from behind a computer is quite convenient, but I've also had to grapple with how to do it with various methods to factor in. For example, what kind of systems to use to have a clean presentation, who is my audience? Making sure messages match accordingly. etc. I prayed that God would give me insight in to what to do during this time and I belive the answers are coming hard and fast. I've woken up at 4 and 5 am on some mornings as new ideas come to mind and I have to write it down. You may hear about some of them as I filter them through the leadership and make sure it's from God.
I've been encouraged that some of our church members have been contacting others and some of you have grappled to use programs like "Zoom" as we try to communicate with one another. There will be more challenges to push your mind to learn more technical things for us to minister to one another and others. So although it seems like a bit of a holiday from church services, please remember your commitment to Christ and the calling in your lives to minister to others.
Please do your best to drop in to our website, Facebook page, emails and check your text messages to find out the how we can stay in touch and how we can share with others. Also our elders and myself are doing our best to contact you by phone to visit and encourage you all in this time.
We are currently meeting by Zoom for prayer meetings on Wednesday evenings. And check the Website to be updated on what will happen in our Sabbath services.
Below is a YouTube link to a video that I made last Sabbath. I attempt to refresh our understanding on what it means to be a living church with shut doors.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”