May 192019

I’ve been so encouraged by a number of things happening recently within our church and beyond, particularly with regard to ministry with young people. Here are just some of the things that are encouraging me.

Partners in Prayer

It is fantastic that there are almost 60 people in our congregation praying specifically for one of our young people. There is no question that this will be significant in the lives of our young people and in the life of our congregation.

CRUWest Partnership Dinner

Last Monday night, seven people from St Philips attended the CRUWest Partnership dinner. It was excellent to hear about the impact of CRUWest’s camps, school groups, Interschool meetings and training. We heard a testimony from a local independent school student who committed her life to Jesus on the Spring Leadership Camp last year, that Kieran and a number of our teenagers attended. She is now looking to start a Christian group at her school.

Family Gatherings

Families, and others who are interested in journeying alongside families, continue to gather over lunch on the first Sunday of each month. It’s a good time of connection and growing in relationship. At the family gathering this month, we used a resource of FaithTalk With Children cards which opened up interesting conversations between people about life and faith. I was encouraged last Sunday to see one of our teenagers and a 1-y-o interacting, proceeding from the deepened connection at the Family Gathering the previous week.

Youth Group

As many of you will be aware, a couple of weeks ago we had our first youth group night which included Year 5s and 6s. It was an excellent night. I was particularly encouraged by the number of young people who invited friends along, and also the desire of our young people to engage with the Bible.

SU Camps

As the SU camps opened for the next school holidays, parents and young people discussed which camps they might register for.  There is eager anticipation amongst these young people of times of fun, faith and friendship during the July school holidays.

North Cottesloe Primary School

Each week six people from our congregation are present within North Cottesloe Primary School, working alongside children there in various ways. Their presence is deeply appreciated by the school. I am also about to start a lunchtime board games group which has been requested by the school.

New City Catechism

We continue to use the New City Catechism as the framework of our learning times for our young people on Sunday mornings. I’ve loved watching our kids drawing on previous questions as we discuss what we are learning. That’s the kind of foundation we are aiming to give them.

I give thanks to God for what He is doing in our midst, through us and in the schools in our area. Thanks for your part in it.


May 122019

This week a number of people with some degree of profile in the Christian world have died. I’ve watched the outpouring of grief and the recognition from many of how these people have impacted them personally, often from a distance, through books, speaking engagements and the significant choices that these people made in how they lived and what they gave themselves to. One of these people, a man named Bruce Chapman, who many of you won’t have heard of, died [continue reading…]

Apr 232019

Good News. Such good news. That’s what we are celebrating this weekend. I wonder what your Lent has been like. I’m someone who finds rhythms very helpful and the rhythms of the church year are often a part of that. But this year, for various reasons, I haven’t engaged strongly in a Lenten journey – well, not deliberately and intentionally anyway. God, on the other hand, has been doing His work of leading me to the Cross! So I’ve come [continue reading…]

Apr 072019

So often we get complacent about praying for those around us who don’t know Jesus and I want to take this opportunity to encourage us all in this. Last Sunday, James Duff reminded us of the immense gift we have been given in the gospel. What a treasure, what a gift, what good news – good news that those around us desperately need! Certainly we need to take every opportunity to share this good news with people, but, as most [continue reading…]

Mar 172019

After my sermon last Sunday, Jenni Hinspeter and I had a long conversation and a good pray around some of the particular issues that arise for us around the Sabbath as single people in vocational ministry. Later in the day, as I was driving home from something where I was the only single person, Brenda, who would often have been there, rang knowing that it is often a transition that I find difficult. It was one of those times when [continue reading…]

Mar 102019 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 23:49 — 8.2MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1        Exodus 20:1-17 Reading 2        Daniel 6:1-18  

Mar 032019

At St Philips we are keen for everyone to be continually living more deeply in a three-dimensional life, individually and corporately, one where we are connecting UP with God, IN with each other and OUT with the world. I wonder how you see your OUT dimension going? Jesus came into the world, lived, died and rose again, that we might have a relationship with God – the ultimate act of self-giving and living OUT for others. He called disciples to [continue reading…]

Feb 172019

Place is important to many of us embodied creatures. This week I’ve been up to New Norcia for an overnight retreat by myself. It was a lovely time. . . stillness, rest, reading, prayer. It’s a quarterly rhythm that brings me renewed life and after a very full few months it was a much-needed couple of days. What struck me is the way in which I quickly went into the space of rest, prayer and reflection. Part of that is [continue reading…]

Jan 272019

I thought I’d follow in Kieran’s footsteps and reflect on my top books of 2018. Two of my favourites were also in Kieran’s top 5: Jack Deere’s personal memoir, Even in our Darkness (a complete page turner) and This is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel by Trevin Wax (so good that I read/listened to it twice in a few months). I had a year of series/authors. Here are three authors / series that had me engaged [continue reading…]