Covid Update 26th June

Hi Bothers and Sisters in Christ at APAC,

it is with a sense of sadness, that I advise you of the following. Church will be cancelled for Sunday the 27th June and the 4th July. While we will still stream our 9.30am service, there will be no physical gatherings at 9.30am or 6pm for this period. Like you, I am very disappointed at this turn of events, as Rhonda and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time with you all. However, for the safety of all, I consider that even though I have not seen Shellharbour LGA mentioned in the latest announcements I believe that this is the best decision to make, which has been made in consultation with our Wardens. During the course of next week I will provide a further update. So, as I am about to say tomorrow, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Eph 6:10).

Ian Barnett Acting Senior Minister APAC 26th June at 3.30pm.

Easter Sunday – This Day Changed Everything

Welcome to Easter Sunday. On behalf of the church family here at Albion Park Anglican, we hope you have already experienced a blessed Easter with your family and friends.

If you were part of our Good Friday services, it is great to have you back on this most amazing of days. While Good Friday saw us see so much tragedy, today we gather to acknowledge that the effects of Good Friday are felt powerfully on this day.

Let me pick up the conclusion to Friday’s most terrible moment, with Jesus readying himself to conclude His life. We read in John 19:28-30, “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

It is finished … such a profound moment. The work that was required of Jesus had been completed. The sacrifice that was required had been fulfilled. Humanity no longer had to look to themselves for salvation, they only had to look at the cross to fully grasp the sentiment … it is finished.

God had made His final statement of love. As Billy Graham expressed, “God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’

If there is anything we know in this life, it is that love – to be loved and to love someone – always involves responsibility and no matter what the world tells you, love always involves sacrifice. Easter is God’s love fully expressed. Furthermore, this love has now been cemented in the reality of the resurrection. This is now where hope is found. The sadness of Good Friday is replaced with the hope of heaven. All that Jesus said, all that He stood for and all that was expected has now turned out just the way God had planned
it from the beginning.

Forgiveness is real and not cheap. Hope is real and not hidden. No matter what you are thinking, no matter what situation you find yourself in, and in particular, no matter how your life has turned out, this day has changed everything forever. Like me, your tears may not have ended just yet, your nights of weeping and days of heartache may still be with you for a while, but this I know, Easter is here! My suffering, my broken dreams, my shattered hopes are now also resurrected because this day brings new light on my life, on my future and on my future journey. Jesus lives!

One Christian writer captured this well, when he said “Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations
of life.

So here you are in church, and no, I do not know your story. Maybe you might share it with me one day. However, this I do know. God brings beauty from the ashes. All our suffering is temporary when the hope of the resurrection is eternal. Our pain experienced will not be wasted; good can come from bad, even when we cannot see it.

There comes a day in everyone’s life when we must face the truth of the Easter story. It is my hope that if you have not yet done that, then this is the day you will.

Yours living with the hope of heaven and the joy that Easter is here!
Ian Barnett

Good Friday – A Day When Everything Changed

Welcome to Good Friday. On behalf of our church family here at Albion Park Anglican, I extend to all of you a safe, happy and blessed Easter.

It is my hope and the hope of many who gather here today, that by the time you leave the service you will have gained a greater understanding of what this day is about and why many others and I believe that Good Friday is a day when everything changed. Yes, I know it is a big statement, especially when we know there have been many things throughout history and in our own lives that we could point to and say, “this is the day when everything changed.” Think of any day in 2020 for example. Of course, we could list them; from wars to the depression, to plagues or incredible disasters where thousands of lives have been lost. We could make it personal and point to the loss of life, especially our sons and daughters or to the pain when a relationship breaks down.

However, when I stop and think about Good Friday, I am continually moved. It is a day unlike any other day in the calendar. It is a day filled with sorrow yet mingled with joy. It is a day when, maybe unlike any other day, we stop and think about our lives; who we are, what we do and ask, “Is there more to life?” It is when many will gather and grieve over the state of our nation; the state of politics or even the state of sport. It is a day when even if we do not want to use the word, we grieve over the state of humankind; we grieve over our sin. Why we might ask, is it so hard to get it right?

The great Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it into perspective when he says, “Good Friday and Easter free us to think about other things far beyond our own personal fate, about the ultimate meaning of all life, suffering, and events; and we lay hold of a great hope.” This is what I often think of as a rare conundrum and I am not surprised that many people find the reality of Good Friday such an obstacle to faith. As W.H.Auden said, “Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot.”At a personal level I always prefer joy, but over the past couple of months and throughout 2020, I often found myself with a sense of a low grade feeling of sadness. When I ponder the meaning of Good Friday the words seem so strange, “Good Friday”. I think “Bad Friday” would be more apt. When I think of those who walked with Jesus, who placed so much faith in him, had their hopes grounded in him, saw him hanging on a cross … well I believe this would have destroyed them. The sky was black and their
dreams had died. This must have been the darkest day they had ever known. For them this was the day when everything changed.

Yet …

For God and humanity to be one again, there had to be an action on behalf of God by His Son, Jesus, which would allow the world to have their sin dealt with once for all. A sacrifice made that would not just cover the world sins at that point in time, but all sins for all time and especially our sins of this time. This is what Good Friday is about. God dealing with our rebellion once for all. A rebellion that would lead Jesus to call out to His father and say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:32-34). This is amazing grace. This is forgiveness discovered at the foot of the cross. May you also find His forgiveness on this day.

Yours realising there must be a Good Friday for there to be an Easter Sunday. Ian Barnet

Church Services (1st March 2021 update)

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We’re pleased to announce that it is no longer necessary to book a seat to come to church.

Please feel free to attend whichever service suits and use the QR Code (or sign in sheet) to register your attendance.

Ushers will still welcome you and guide you to your seats.  

The 3 chair gap between households is still required.

 

The Wardens

Church Services Update (4th Feb 2021)

Dear Families,

What a wonderful tsunami of people returning to church and the children’s group on Sunday, 31st January! The Lord has certainly been moving in the hearts and lives of us all during this past difficult 12 months of separation and is now graciously drawing us back together in fellowship.

Following that exciting development, the Wardens met after the service and again on Monday to discuss and plan the way forward without being caught unprepared.

The following decisions have been made:

  • Bookings can now only be made by using TryBooking (or by personal arrangement with Julie or Natasha)
  • Maximum capacity is now set at 120 per Sunday.
  • Book early. If you are unable to book due to maximum being reached you may come on Sunday and wait outside in case of any cancellation or non-attendance.
  • Please cancel your booking by means of the TryBooking ticket receipt (or phone a Warden and inform them if unable to cancel electronically). There may be people waiting to take your place.
  • Please strive to arrive at church BEFORE 9:15am. Trying to process 120 people with check-in, QR code and allocation of suitable seats (by group size, not personal preference) can be slow and time-consuming. We are endeavoring to start services at 9:30 sharp which is not possible when people are still coming into church.

Please note that ALL people INCLUDING Service team members must book in using TryBooking.

Returning to Church Jan 2021 Update

Hi church family,

As we settle into the New Year and begin making plans, a few reminders if you would like to attend the 9:30am Service on a Sunday:

Book-a-Seat:

  • please head to our APAC Website to book-a-seat for upcoming services. Bookings close 9pm on Saturday night.
  • If bookings have closed or you can’t book on-line and you would like to attend, please call a warden.
  • If you need to cancel your seats before bookings close, head back to the site using the email confirmation to cancel the seats.
  • If you need to cancel on the morning of the Service please ring a Warden.

Arrival on Sunday morning:

  • Please try to arrive between 9am and 9:20am to allow time to check-in and be seated.

Check-in

  • Please scan the QR code on your phone. If you can download the Services NSW app that will make it easier.
  • If you can’t scan the QR code please write your name on the sheet in the foyer.
  • Please use the Hand Sanitiser and wait for an usher to take you to your seats.
  • Please don’t move from these seats as we need to continue Social Distancing.

Following the Service

  • Please maintain social distancing. Stay seated or stand at your rows which are 1.5m apart.
  • Please don’t move around the building to connect with other people as this is considered to be “mingling”.
  • Parents please collect your children from the Courtyard and do not return to the Auditorium.
  • After a short time the Warden on duty who is the COVID Marshall will ask the congregation to leave the building to allow the Hygiene Team to clean all seats and hard surfaces.
  • Please don’t congregate or mingle outside but arrange to catch up off-site to continue conversations and fellowship at another venue such as a private home or park.

We hope that these restrictions won’t prevent you and your family from attending.

Although our meeting together on Sunday’s has changed so much from COVID, how wonderful it is to see other faces as we sit together to hear God’s Word, be taught, join in prayers, singing (when allowed) or worship silently.

Blessings,

Julie on behalf of the Wardens

Holiday Kids Church

We are welcoming families back to church by offering a 4 week Kids Program for children between Preschool and Yr 6 which will run during the sermon time, commencing 10 Jan.

If you would like your child/children to be included in any of these sessions please complete the attached Permission Form or contact Julie in our Church Office to register.

Registration

Returning to Church Nov Update

We have increased the limit to 55 people in the Auditorium and Hall.

Bookings on the website will close at 9pm on a Saturday night.

Note: Service team members (including Cleaning And Ushering team members) do not need to make a booking to attend the service at which they are serving.

If you need to cancel, just do this via the TryBooking site.

Returning to Church Information (Oct 2020) – Updated 22nd Oct

To our church family

Albion Park Anglican Church will be open for members of our church family to attend from Sunday 1st November 2020 with all services being held in the main building and at this stage there will be just the one service at 9.30am.

We would like to warmly invite you to come to church, albeit at this stage with restricted numbers.

Remember though, that while we still gather for the same purpose – to meet God through His word and to praise and worship Our Lord Jesus Christ, church will not look or at times not feel like it did before Covid 19.

As in many settings there are requirements we must follow in line with Public Health Orders and Diocesan directives – following these directives will help us to care for and love each other and ensure the health and safety of everyone returning to church.

As we slowly re-open the church to meet together, also please remember that services will continue to be live-streamed, recorded and available on DVD/CD.

To attend a service, you will need to book your place beforehand. We are currently limited to 35 people in the main church building.

Please do not attend church unless you have booked in.

Process for booking attendance at church
Before booking to attend a service please follow the link to the COVID rules and requirements which will be found near the “Book a Seat” button on the APAC Website. Bookings for a Service will close on the proceeding Friday at 9pm.

  1. On our APAC Web Page (very front page) we will have a booking link (eg “Book a Seat”)
  2. This link will take you to a TryBooking website with a big orange “Book Now” button on the top right of the page – you can use this “Book Now” button or proceed to the available sessions showing at the bottom of the page
  3. Click next to the session/day you wish to book for
  4. You can use the + or – to change the number of seats you want to book (maximum 6) – Click Next
  5. Enter your details – first name, last name, E-mail address, E-mail address again to ensure you typed it correctly the first time
  6. Click Purchase (there is no cost and you will not be asked for any banking/credit card details)
  7. You should then be advised that your transaction was successful
  8. An E-mail will be sent to you confirming your booking

Click the below link to see the requirements:

COVID Requirements

The Word – One to One

As promised, an introduction to this exciting plan for sharing the Bible with our friends and relatives as we pray for opportunities to introduce them to Jesus.

God will prepare the way. He will prepare people to accept the invitation to read the Bible with us and He will bring people to faith. As Rico says, we simply need to have confidence that the Bible is the actual Word of God, that Jesus is who He says He is and that He will convict people of the Truth and open their eyes to trust in Him. He changes hearts and lives. Do we believe that? Has He changed your belief and life? He’ll do that for others also.

Our church has purchased resources to get us started in “The Word One to One” tool. In the coming weeks opportunity will be given for those interested to participate in a group meeting and be introduced to the plan as we seek to make Jesus known.

Here are a couple of video links: