Restrictions lifted…?

Sep 10, 2021

Melbourne…the most liveable city in the world for 7 straight years…dropped to the second most liveable city in the world in 2019…then plunged to the 8th most liveable city in the world in 2020! The main reasons? “Healthcare availability” and “Culture and Environment”. Both reasons brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the various responses to it. The verdict is still out on the 2021 rankings and it would be an interesting read! Why is this significant? 

There are still only seven other cities in the world that has it better than us


This should fill our hearts with gratitude! The continuing lockdown will soon be something of the past if current vaccination trends continues. This means the time for the rebound, reclaim, reengage…almost re-everything will start in all earnest. Are you ready for it? What should we expect? A parable will help you in this regard:
 
I remember standing on a beach in what is known as the “Wild Coast” in South Africa. I was watching its wild tumultuous waves crash as it was ‘high water’ during ‘spring tide’. Which basically means you will only swim if you have a great displeasure in staying alive! The waves just kept coming. Then…out of nowhere a sudden turn of events. The ‘low tide’ came about and the battering waves pulled back about 300 meters from where the ‘high tide’ waves crashed. Spectacular…not because of the sudden, massive outstretched piece of sand between me and the water, but because of the amount of debris left behind on the sand. From everywhere people arrived on the beach…not with towels, beach-umbrellas and picnic baskets…but with refuse bags to clean up the mess left behind after the extraordinary events preceding the low tide. I recognized celebrities, scholars, surgeons, almost every kind of soul being part of one of the most beautiful expressions of mankind I have ever seen: In the aftermath of the damaging waves…all became equal…all became SERVANTS!
 
The season lying ahead will demand an enormous amount of resilience from us as a church, a movement, a community and a city. We will take hands in one big, enormous clean-up operation! We will not divide, but unify in order to be a light in the darkness left behind by the pandemic. The best way to prepare is to build your resilience…and stay focused on what Berwick Church of Christ is called to be: His Presence In Every Place! 



It is in the light of this that we will take a one week break from our “Work is Worship” series and will share a very important message on resilience this coming Sunday. It will be a seminal message that we will expand on in during the fourth term. The theme of the series will be: Resilience – address the mess!
 
This will empower us to “restore” what was lost…and soon we will be able to enjoy the life Christ has promised us…in the beautiful city of Melbourne. We will exchange the refuse bags for the beach towel and sun umbrella! Or in the words of the prophet we will soon say:
' ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” '
Haggai 2:8-9 NIV


Olympics | Absolute blessing



What an absolute blessing it was to follow the Olympics. In some circles it is referred to as the “Faith Olympics”…not because it was pulled off in the most adverse circumstances…but because so many athletes used their talents as a platform to give glory to Jesus Christ! Here are three links to some of them to refresh your soul in this season. Glory 1   Glory 2   Glory 3


Father’s Day | Competition entries



Look at these fantastic photos from last Sunday’s Father’s Day celebrations. We love to celebrate the Father figures in our lives! Watch this Sunday live stream from 10am to see if you are one of three winners of our Father’s Day competition on YouTube or Facebook.

Care Campaign | Pray for us



In the last couple of weeks, we've embarked on a Care Campaign where we've reached out to a significant number of people and basically asked them how they are going and prayed for them. In line with this, you would have noticed that our socials have been focusing on care and prayer as well. In this season of our lives, it's important to be kind and compassionate with one another (Ephesians 4:32) and to continue to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
 
So don't forget to check in on your friends and loved ones and ask them what you can pray for them. Further to that, please pray for the following:
  1. Pray for our government leaders that they would make wise decisions
  2. Pray for our health workers that they would be protected from COVID
  3. Pray for the healing and wellbeing of everyone who has tested positive to COVID
  4. Pray for those struggling with their mental health in this season.
  5. Pray for our teachers, students, and parents of school-aged children as they cope with remote learning and teaching
  6. Pray for families and extended families who are struggling because of isolation 
  7. Pray for individuals, families and businesses who are going through financial hardship 

We need care (kindness and compassion) and prayer, now more than ever.
 

Living Springs Counselling Centre | We are open!



Our living Springs Counselling Centre is still open during this lockdown providing an essential service to our local community.  In August the counsellors had over 150 face to face sessions at the centre as well as phone and zoom sessions.  If you are in need of counselling, please don’t hesitate to contact the centre on 97026687.  We have male and female counsellors with availability daytime and evenings. For more information, visit our website.


Fuse Youth | Friday 7pm YouTube



This week on FUSE TV (Live at 7pm) Alec and Chetser battle it out with the "5 Second Rule" Challenge. Oh and of course the loser gets dunked in water. Then we will be hearing from one of our amazing youth interns, Ryan, as he shares with us how to overcome loneliness. Follow Fuse on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Kids Church | Sunday 9am YouTube



This week on Berwick Kids TV we explore the heart of worship and encourage the kids to connect their hearts with Gods heart when they worship Him.


Sunday Service | Resilience live stream



Vaccinations, lockdowns, border closures, new variants of Covid-19...the challenges we face just keep accumulating. How do we remain resilient and positive in an environment like this? How can we continue to make good decisions? How do we keep our mentality healthy? This Sunday we are looking into these aspects. We will take a break from the current series "Work is Worship" to empower you to come out the other side of this challenging season better and not bitter! Do make a date with yourself and Christ to come and receive His wisdom for living - for now online only via YouTube and Facebook.


Playgroup | Pray



Playgroup families are really missing the connections and fun of our playgroup sessions, but we are doing our best to keep in touch with them and respond to any needs we are able to assist with.  I delivered and posted Father's Day craft and a message to all the families recently (while out on my daily exercise on my bike) and many of them have expressed appreciation for the gesture.
 
In these challenging times little things really do make a difference and show people we care.  I would appreciate your prayers for our playgroup families, particularly for those who are struggling with toddlers plus home-schooling children, those who have lost loved ones recently and those with new born babies. 
 
BRAAM BOTHA
Senior Pastor