Weekly News

22nd July 2022

Gidday to all our church family and mission partners living close by or elsewhere. Our love and prayers are with and for everyone of you in the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are so thankful to God for the privilege of sharing the responsibility with you for this mission God has called us to, locally and beyond.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There have been some questions asked of us about the increased instance of Flu and Covid symptoms generally, as well as specifically in a few of our lovelies. We’d simply ask you to continue as you have been, taking the common sense approach, and of course be committed in prayer for each other.

So, the first thing we’d encourage you to do is, PLEASE stay home if you or someone in your household is feeling unwell. This is the least we can do towards responsibly helping our most vulnerable church family members AND to help our close neighbourhood feel confident in connecting with us. The second thing we can do is to encourage you to wear a mask (when practical) at our face to face meetings for the time-being, for your own peace of mind and for the protection of others around you. You don’t have to wear one as THIS IS NOT A MANDATORY REQUEST BUT RATHER A PERMISSION BEING GIVEN. No one will look at you strangely or think less of you or think it expresses extra faith or a lack of faith or whatever, if you choose to wear a mask OR not.

There are plenty of things we each do on a daily basis to protect our personal health and the health of others, and this is no different. Obviously a number of you attend our gatherings with other household members, and you sit with them etc., so this encouragement is aimed at those moments in public spaces when distancing from others who are not normally close contacts, is a challenge – and we all know it happens. Thanks to you all as ever for partnering with heaven and with us, to be the calm in the storm and to continue to put OTHERS first as much as is possible.

THIS SUNDAY 24th JULY – Schools have generally gone back BUT it is still that time of year for us when many of our team are trying to take annual leave before that window of opportunity closes. As such David has asked Graeme to wrap up the reflective THREE – PART mini-series with the working title ‘How then, should WE live?’, and Graeme has decided to do that this week and a little into next Sunday (31st), whilst starting to unpack some of the mission focus, God has been revealing and or clarifying for us recently.

We are praying health and safety for all who are coming and going during this travel season, but IF YOU ARE IN THE VICINITY STILL, PLEASE DO JOIN US face to face at the Augusta Street Hub, or ONLINE via our Live-Stream from 10am THIS and EVERY SUNDAY … (see our Facebook page link OR our YouTube Channel for online access).

And, if you sense a prompting from the Holy Spirit, INVITE someone you know along for the ride as we seek to unpack eternal truth in the context of everyday life.

The HOPE Project Mission Situation Reports (Sit-Reps)

BREAKING NEWS!!! …... Our mate Amber Nichols (2015 ‘The Voice’ Finalist and AKA electropop performing/recording artist LIV LI’) has confirmed her availability to join us for this year’s ‘Carols in the Street’, alongside ‘The Elastic Band, Dene Burton and hopefully more?????

The Sanctuary Illawarra – There’s a lot going on with our ‘backyard missionaries’ Jono and Nicky Hyratt, as God opens doors and fortifies efforts in the lives of this committed couple and the people they have begun establishing a southern church plant with. We will catch up with the latest goings on with these saints at a date to be confirmed in early August. Graeme will interview them so we can have a fresh update on all that’s happening, and it will give us a chance to pray and seek God’s heart for them in what’s to come. Recent online messages can be engaged via their YouTube channel and all the latest news via their Facebook page.

The Korean Connection – The Yoo’s have updated what’s happening for them as they continue to spend time with family and friends in Korea. Most recently they have caught up with old friends and families known from Bangladesh when Betro was just a kid (Mostly missionaries). Also, Betro and SoYoung are finding that the time is a good opportunity to build new and renewed connections, now as a grown adults, and get the latest updates from those who are still on the mission field in places like India, Thailand, Bangladesh and more. We look forward to Betro and SoYoung’s safe and healthy return mid-next week.

Next Blokes Event Confirmed – The next in the progressive series of Blokes Hanging Out and Ministering to one another happenings, has been confirmed for 6pm Tuesday evening the 9th August 2022 at the residence of Alex & Maggie Lochhead (thank you to these wonderful mates). The event will probably include ‘curry’ and a wonderful testimony from local mate Emmanuel.

HOPE4Kids 2022 Awareness and Fundraising Event – Graeme, with Gordon Barr, Mark Matthews, Wayne Gardner, Peter Sharp, Kyle Barr, Robert Sackett, Karen Hush and other wonderful friends, will present a ‘Keith Green 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert’ as this year’s HOPE4Kids Fundraiser. The fundraiser will be shared with Gordon’s ‘Hope and Future – Ugandan Orphans Project’, and we have started updating the journey and talking about ways you can support this effort on the HOPE4Kids Facebook Group which is accessible via THIS LINK. For the H4K backstory, visit our website’s ‘HOPE4Kids’ page.

Meanwhile … the Wollongong Concert will be held @ City Diggers in the CBD with a second concert in Sydney yet to be announced. Here following are the details we have. For now it is important to inform you that the City Diggers venue has limited seating and so BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL. Here then is the DIRECT LINK to the Concert’s booking website and if you don’t like online booking, or are challenged by it in some way, PLEASE contact Heather via the secretary email address OR via our Contact Us page ASAP so she can record your interest and organize a group booking if NEEDED.

HOPE College Semester TWO organization – The JULY Edition of the HOPE College newsletter, ‘HOPE HERALD’, is being distributed as this Weekly News goes to air. The update contains information about how we are producing and providing training and study content when we return for Semester TWO, in this coming week, now that a majority of students and tutors are back on deck. If you would like to be added to the list of email addresses to receive the regular ‘HOPE HERALD’ update, please use the secretary email address or our Contact Us page to let Heather, who is our College registrar, know. THANK YOU!

EARLY SEMESTER TWO EQUIPPING FOR OUR CHURCH’S SERVANT LEADERS – Here at CCC we believe that we need to focus in TWO arenas to sharpen and strengthen our company in readiness for this transition season. FIRSTLY – We will focus on equipping our ‘Heaven’s Ambassador Team’ so we can be more effective in pastoral care and nurture, ensuring people who connect with us can find and engage with all they need for faith development and general well-being. NO ONE other than Jesus Christ our Lord can provide everything for people who have genuine needs BUT we can be better, sharper, more effective and so we will prioritize training options around this over the next couple of months in particular. SECONDLY (and concurrently), we will focus on equipping disciplers in readiness for the harvest that the Holy Spirit has started gathering in a number of fields where we are operating. We all need to become confident (at least less daunted) by the idea of faith sharing, and this first season of equipping will be focused on using simple tools that remove most of the myths about how to disciple. Stay tuned as we share opportunities for equipping in these two vital spheres over these coming days and weeks and don’t hesitate to ASK Graeme and or Heather about how you can engage with these study/training programs.

Operation Christmas Child 2022 – is our hands-on way to bless children in need across the world by filling shoe-boxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and fun gifts. We will collect the boxes and deliver them to our regional coordinator who will distribute them in the name of Jesus Christ to children living in vulnerable situations. We can also take monetary or toy (as per above list) donations that will help pack a shoe box if you can’t work it all out BUT talk with Heather or one of our Hosts if you are at the Hub on any given Sunday OR use our Contact Us page to let us know you are interested in helping and would like to know more and we’ll make sure you have all the information you need. We haven’t been in a position to do this since 2020 but we have been a partner in this effort for a decade so hopefully we’ll break our record of 20 shoe boxes this year. We thank God for your generosity in these efforts to help and bless others, particularly children. We’ll start wrapping the drive up from the end of September so the team can get the boxes sent throughout October. Thank you!

Please use our Contact Us page if you’d like to register for, or get more details for the following

  • Women’s Monday Fortnightly Study and Prayer (Julie) 25th July – 10.30am @ the HUB
  • General Bible Discussion (Beverley) 3rd August on the verandah at Judy’s place (now the 1st and 3rd Wednesday’s of each month)
  • The next Blokes Ministry Event – Tuesday 9th August from 6pm at the Lochhead residence. Our guest testimony presenter will be ‘Emmanuel’. Talk with Andrew Fisher for address and other details OR if you don’t know Andrew’s contact information, use our Contact Us page and we’ll connect you up with him.
  • The Wollongong ‘Keith Green 40th Anniversary’ Tribute Concert (for HOPE4Kids & Hope and Future Ministries) at City Diggers Saturday evening August 27 … Artists include Mark Matthews, Gordon Barr, Wayne Gardner, Graeme Hush, Kyle Barr …. find out more HERE, including our ticket website
  • Korimul Gang (Scout & Guide) Shows – Friday 9th or Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th September (IPAC Wollongong – TBC) for more details contact Rob or Sharon Sackett
  • TRIVIA – Northern Illawarra Scripture Board Fundraiser at C3 Thirroul on Saturday 10th September – so, support the Scouts on Friday or Sunday, and our Scripture Teachers/Chaplain on Saturday night. More Details released NEXT Sunday July 31st.
  • ‘Carols in the Street 2022’ – is scheduled as always for the second Sunday of December (11th). The street closure will occur from 4pm – 8pm. We will gather on that Sunday (11th Dec) morning to PRAY and ALLOCATE tasks for this our annual Christmas Gift to the community and as such there will be NO SUNDAY AM GATHERING that day. More Details after the HOPE4Kids Fundraiser. SAVE THE DATES!

Weekly Pastoral Prayer Update

NB: We leave prayer points up until we either hear about resolutions OR thank God for answers etc. so …

  • Firstly, we are THANKFUL for all the answered prayers that often go unnoticed. Thank you, Lord, for Your faithfulness.
  • Secondly, each and EVERY week we pray for each other and our brothers and sisters representing the Illawarra region’s body of Christ through other local churches who meet around us. And as Jesus prayed 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. We know this is a season when we will need to be combat ready and so we pray for each other that we would stand firm in the victory Christ won for us … AND that the Lord will add daily, those who are BEING SAVED! THIS WEEK we are continuing to pray for Ps Peter Watson and his wife Linda, who were inducted as senior ministers of Northern Beaches Church of Christ last Sunday 17th July.
  • Thirdly each week we pray for the New Season of Mission Effort – We thank you for the first ‘7 years of planting and re-aligning to heaven’ and that we are now working towards the FIRST PHASE of the time we are referring to as ‘The SEED of Sustainability’ (2022-23) so a strategic plan for the 2nd half of 2022 will be released for prayer and response shortly. PLEASE PRAY AS WE PREPARE (Pre-Prayer) and keep tuning in for more.
  • Fourthly, here following are the MOST RECENT prayer requests that we have been given permission to share across our praying network … (please talk directly with the source of the request if you want more info) – we will endeavour to seek updates on all of the following, particularly those points that we’ve been praying for these last few weeks – not always simple, so thanks for your patience.
    • We are sad to inform everyone (particularly those long term members of our church family) of Mardi (Margaret) Hall’s peaceful passing last Monday week. We pray for Sandra and John, Patricia and all of Mardi’s family at this time. Mardi was Colin Hall’s wife. Colin passed away in July 2015 and Mardi has pretty well lived with family up on the north coast of NSW since that time and even perhaps a little before that. May God bless everyone who will be feeling her loss and it seems at this stage that Mardi will be farewelled at a private gathering up in Ballina.
    • We thank you Lord for the life of Margaret Sharp, who’s physical journey on earth came to a close this past Monday evening also. Margaret is Peter Sharp’s Mum – Pete is our Christmas Carols event Bass player and close long time friend of a number of us here at CCC. Please pray for the family, particularly as Dad Ron, only passed away last year. Peter is preparing for the Keith Green tribute concert and is also currently in covid ISO. The thanksgiving ceremony for Margaret is Friday 29th at this stage. Please pray.
    • Please pray for our friend Marie and her family as she fights some serious health challenges in hospital. There was some better news this week for which we praise God.
    • We pray also for our friend Audrey who is also facing some health challenges also, over the coming months, with some better news lately also.
    • We pray for Gary and Julie who are spending the week in Covid isolation. We pray the Lord bring swift healing to their bodies.
    • We continue to pray complete recovery for Joe and Joanne who need your healing touch presently.
    • June’s ex-husband Don (whom she has still been caring for and who has been in her life since she was 16), passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning (23rd). There were dire health issues and it seemed that it was his time. Please pray for peace and strength for June and the family as they, and many others across our church family network, mourn the loss of Don from this earthly existence.
    • We pray for John and Margaret’s close friend Michael and his wife Judy as Mike battles with ill-health. We thank you Lord that Margaret has recovered from recent cold symptoms and that she and John have found some time to get away down the coast in the van for a few days.
    • We pray for complete healing in Jono’s body, particularly the hernia that has been an issue for some time now. We pray for wisdom as all options for remedy are on the table. We pray for the current stress and pain to subside. We thank Lord for opening up a specialist appointment for him in this coming week.
    • We pray for the complete healing of Christine’s broken toe, for the migraines she’s been having and for continued wisdom and strength for her and her two sisters and the aged care consultants helping them care for their Mum in her own home, also for her family members who have been inundated with water during recent rains and their daughter with a broken arm.
    • Christine is also asking for prayer for hers and our friend Treena who has been very unwell recently.
    • We pray for Dot’s knees (she says they are tennis knees – like elbows – but we suspect most likely from prayer and devotion) Dot sends her love to you all.
    • We thank God that Karen is feeling much better after fighting an infection which led to shingles. Please keep praying for complete healing.
    • We thank you Lord, for the good news that David’s Mum Jean is recovering from recent covid related respiratory issues and is home after a stint in hospital.
    • We continue to pray for Betro and SoYoung who celebrated their Korean Wedding last Saturday in Seoul. Lord we ask Your blessing to shine on these two and their families and friends.
    • We have been asked to pray for Wendy from The Sanctuary. Her daughter has a challenging form of epilepsy and is struggling currently. Still awaiting test results from a recent specialist appointment. Please pray for complete healing for this young life.
    • We thank you for the improvement in Maree’s health, and we continue to seek You for complete healing and renewal in all aspects of her life.
    • Kylie’s daughter Rachel, who reached out to Graeme after his call for prayer recently. Rachel is making some big decisions about her future, including work and a potentially BIG move. Please pray for wisdom and clarity for Rachel.
    • Jono’s Dad Richard – we praise you Lord for answered prayer and we ask for your continued peace and protection as Richard prepares for a pacemaker to be inserted.
    • Maggie recently asked us to pray for the daughter of a friend in Qld who was rushed to hospital recently in need of intravenous antibiotics for a compromised immune system. We pray God’s healing peace and power for her AND ….
    • Our Evelyn who is recovering from a fall at home, having had a pin inserted in her left leg. Currently in Bulli Hospital for rehab. Please pray for a complete and speedy recovery.
    • We continue praying for Gwen who is recovering at home (and misses us) and her son Jason who has had Covid recently. We thank God for reports that both are doing better and that Gwen is sounding ‘bright.’
  • Please Keep Praying for these Brothers and sisters and situations –
    • We continue praying for Murray and Julie and the Food for Life Community Care team as they work tirelessly to provide affordable groceries to people trying to make ends meet across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. We pray for our support team who work with the hamper truck on Thursday mornings. (Gary, Christine, Beverley, Ken, Jacki, John, Margaret, Maggie and Alex)
    • We pray for the people doing it tough that our Food for Life volunteers come across weekly when they serve hampers off the truck; in particular we continue to pray for Mich and Hamish.
    • We continue to petition our Lord Jesus for Heaven’s answers to the needs of so many who are struggling in the current economic climate and or have lost significantly in these repeated floods and cold weather snaps up and down the east coast.
    • For all of the wonderful people connected with our church family as we stand together during this new season of the battle for souls. We thank God for His encouragement, His healing touch and His mercy, grace and protection.
    • We pray healing for members of our family who are each dealing with a variety of ongoing health issues currently, including the growing number experiencing cold and flu symptoms and or respiratory infections.
    • We continue to pray for Harry, Joy and Greg, Tom, Elsie and Carolyn’s family, and for Kylie and her family and friend’s needs.
    • Grant Wilson (Kiama Baptist Minister) whom Graeme saw recently. He is now back at home in Kiama and has started a minor regime of work. Pray for his continued good recovery, his family and the church as they deal with challenges in this time of transition. Grant has asked to pray that he has more grace for the long haul.
    • We pray thanks to God for the work of the Northern Illawarra Scripture Board and for answered prayer. We pray that we are empowered to play our part in this kingdom advancing work as it increases across the northern Illawarra churches network. We pray for our scripture teachers and chaplain as they get stuck into term 3 after engaging with the ‘in-service’ national SRE conference in Qld during the holiday break. Pray for a quick recovery from covid for our Bulli HS teacher and mate, Leanne, so she can return to work this week.
    • We pray both thanks to you God and ask for exceeding abundant blessings on all the new people who are determining whether or not to partner with us in the mission You have called us to.
    • We also pray with thankfulness for the wonderful and consistent giving and investment that our family and partners offer to enable this mission to thrive.
  • The World needs our Faithful Prayers –
    • We continue to pray for people in the Ukraine and Russia, for peace, for unity, for a sense of purpose together for the future, instead of the divide and the misdirection that seems evident currently. LORD HAVE MERCY!
    • We pray for hepatitis and monkey pox outbreaks around the world and ask for You intervention Lord, bringing about a speedy restoration of health. LORD HAVE MERCY on those affected and those working out what’s happening, and those working closely with those affected.
    • Please pray for the people who are hungry and helpless. Pray for the church (under persecution in many of these countries mentioned below) that they along with World Aid organizations will be able to be God’s effective hands and feet in that desperate scenario.
    • Pray for the people in many other countries who are dealing with political, religious and military unrest and or are being subjected to violence and persecution; in particular this week we pray for senseless violent attacks on people in Ethiopia, Vietnam, Togo and Ghana, Kenya, Myanmar, Papua (Indonesia), Eritrea, Burkina-Faso (particularly in the East where Jihadists seem hell bent on eradicating Christian facilitated education), Algeria and Indonesia, Nigeria (particularly for recent savage attacks on churches), India, Iran, the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this week our prayer call is for continued and lasting peace along the North-Eastern Syrian border with Turkey (and Syria in general)
    • PLEASE add any concern you have for our world HERE and pray LORD HAVE MERCY!
  • Of course if you have any thing you feel confident to ask us to SHARE in prayer for, please call, send a text or email Gary Padwick if you know his contact details, otherwise via our Contact Us page. We can help connect you, and Gary will faithfully engage our prayer-network. PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH HIM AS HE RECOVERS FROM ILLNESS HIMSELF THIS WEEK.
  • Thank you for continuing to uphold each other and the lives and circumstances of our partners everywhere, in life-empowering prayer.

Love & blessings
Graeme for The Team