- Who we are
- What we do
As a church, we learn from 1 Corinthians 12-14 that the Holy Spirit gives the members of Oak Flats Anglican gifts for the common good. These gifts are is to be used with self-giving love, so that the church is built up.
One important task in the church is that of pastoral care. In this area, as with all others, God has equipped a number of people for the job.
A strength of our church is the high percentage of people in in Bible study groups. In these, consistent pastoral care happens, where week-by-week people share fellowship in Christ, read the Bible, pray for one another and on occasion meet practical requests.
But outside of this there are a number of others unable to make a Bible study who would benefit from this too. Personally, I meet with some, but I cannot meet with all consistently enough. But I do want to see that this happens, so I’ve invited others to have regular contact with people outside of Bible study groups.
I am pleased to say that many of you have already been doing this, and a number have expressed a desire to ‘fill in the gaps’ and coordinate how we do this overall. Thank you! We have met and begun to plan what we will do.
This team will be led by Rhonda Slocombe, and they will work at keeping in touch with those outside of Bible studies, by regular phone call or visit. But if something out of the ordinary comes up other church members can also be in contact.
I will still call, visit and speak to people across the church. But I plan and pray that within the whole body of the church we all grow in loving and serving one another.
– SAM PURSELL
When we talk about Grace we mostly mean the special favour God shows in mercifully forgiving a person’s sin.
However, the Bible speaks of a more general love and kindness that God shows to everyone. This is sometimes called Common Grace, and while it does not make everybody a Christian, everyone benefits from it.
Common Grace is almost a ‘behind the scenes’ type of grace to which we mostly give little thought. For example, it is experienced in the way God rules the natural world. The Psalmist says:
“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart”. (Psalm 104:14-15).
Similar sentiments are expressed by Jesus in Matthew 5:45 and Paul in Acts 14:17. Saying ‘grace’ before a meal is one way one we can express our gratitude to God for His kind provision.
Another way in which we experience Common Grace is through governing authorities. These are established by God for the primary purpose of restraining wrongdoing and promoting good. Paul says:
“for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer”. (Romans 13:4)
Maybe you never thought that receiving a traffic fine was God’s grace in action for your good, but it is! Let us learn to thank God for all His gracious provisions!
– PHIL PRATT