- 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
Often in life there are many things which we want to become or do, but cannot because we are held back by something else. The same is true for Christians.
This might particularly be felt by those who have been Christian for a while. Early on, you are in awe of everything that God has done for you in Christ, and all that he has planned. This gives you energy and drive. But as time goes on, you recognise that there is a dragging weight of the consequences of sin, and past and current failures.
So, in the Lord’s prayer having been given a vision for God’s good reality:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.’
Our daily needs:
‘Give us today our daily bread.’
We pray for freedom from that which holds us back from honouring God’s name, desiring his kingdom and doing his will:
‘forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
True freedom is to be released from sin and temptation, so we can live for God who is completely good.
Do you pray to be free?
– Sam Pursell
The first chapters of Acts are remarkable in many ways.
The risen Lord Jesus reaffirms to the apostles his teaching on the kingdom of God (1:3). He promises the Holy Spirit, who will empower them for the work of testifying about Christ from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Then he ascends to heaven (1:4-8).
Having been given this kingdom-expanding task, the apostles and other disciples get to work by praying.
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)
Even after Pentecost, where the Spirit was poured out and 3000 people followed Jesus, the believers continue to devote themselves to prayer:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
The two descriptors of their prayer life stand out to me – constant and devoted.
Prayer was their powerhouse. Relentless was their calling out to God in prayer, that he would expand his through them.
At Oak Flats Anglican, we want to see the kingdom grow and we do pray for it.
But let’s be constant and devoted in our prayer life for the expansion of the kingdom. God-willing, we may see many come to Christ under his hand and through our proclamation of Christ.
– Sam Pursell
It is a tough world. Humanity’s fallen nature, a self-centred and materialistic culture not to mention COVID-19 are all having a powerful effect on a vast segment of the population, and nowhere is this more evident than among young people.
Even with the best intentions in sharing the gospel to others, it is not enough. Ultimately, the battle for the hearts, minds and souls of (young) people is spiritual. One thing I’ve learned in children/youth ministry is that I just don’t have the means to win that battle. There is nothing I can do to ensure a young person will turn from the lures of this world and toward Jesus. But God can!
Programs, plans, mission statements and activities on a human level have little effect. But when we humbly bow and ask for God’s intervention, awesome things begin to happen.
Regardless of whether we are working with children/youth or if we are raising them, prayer for should be central to all of our lives.
Here are just three simple actions to prayer to help you along:
Remember that there is power and peace to be found in calling on his name through prayer!
– Valerie O’Regan