21st November 2021

It is challenging and also comforting to remember the famous words of Jesus from today’s gospel reading: “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).  The Lord asks us for childlike faith.  It is foolish to think we have anything of value to offer him.  In Jesus’ presence, we are so small and needy, the only way to come to him is as a child.

Today’s sermon will be the last instalment in our series from the letter to the Ephesians: Paul, an ambassador in chains.  Next week, Advent Sunday, we begin to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere with the first chapter of Luke’s gospel.

Thanks to everyone who brought in a box for Operation Christmas Child. About 15-20 boxes came in from St Jude’s, together with many from other churches. This was a little down on our usual number of physical boxes, but many will have given online.

To bring before you another giving opportunity, I would like to pass on a message I received from Rev. Tim Swan, the head of Anglican Aid.

Dear Andrew,

I promised that I would let you know when Anglican Aid was able to respond to the tragedy that is unfolding in Afghanistan. I understand that this is a very busy time as you plan for reopening, but I wanted to update you as soon as I could.

Afghan Refugee Resettlement: A number of Christian Afghan families fleeing the Taliban have secured places in Brazil’s refugee intake. They will be cared for by Anglican Aid’s long term partner Sami Nagib (himself a Muslim-background refugee), together with the Anglican Diocese of Vitoria in Brazil. Due to a lack of government aid, we will be supporting the church as they care for those refugees, and help them begin their new lives with strong community and church support.

Bibles for Afghans: Anglican Aid has also partnered with Megavoice to provide 1000 audio-Bible players to Afghan Christians currently suffering persecution.

These players are secure, pocket-sized, solar-powered devices that have the Bible recorded in the local language.

Megavoice players have a number of advantages over physical Bibles, including making the scriptures available to people with little or no literacy, and being much less obvious in situations where the Bible could be considered contraband. They can also be played out loud, allowing multiple people to listen simultaneously, and can serve a whole family or group. Megavoice players are an effective and robust mechanism for getting the Bible into difficult places.

With these two projects, Australian churches are able to make a lasting difference to Christian Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

You can help by going to www.anglicanaid.org.au and clicking at “HELP AFGHAN REFUGEES”.

In brief:

  • Because of some delays (which we will blame on COVID!), we are not able to complete the National Church Life Survey this year. We will now be doing the survey during February 2022.
  • I am pleased to announce that Archbishop Kanishka Raffel will be a special guest at St Jude’s on Sunday 13th March 2022, for a special Service of Dedication of our splendid new slate roof!