Weekly News

6th August 2022

Thanks for clicking on the link. Welcome to our updated news for this, the first week of August 2022. Our love in Christ Jesus our Lord, and God’s richest blessings to you our church family and mission partners living close by or elsewhere. We continue to lift you all up in prayer, particularly for those of you who are needing God’s healing grace and peace at this time.

We are so thankful to God for the privilege of sharing the responsibility with you for this mission that God has called us to together, locally and beyond. If you would like to know a little more about the process of becoming a partner with us for all that Father God has called this church to be and do, here is a link to a useful 20 minute Introducing Covenant Partnership PODCAST. The written leaflet version is available HERE. We have also started loading up our Podcast Stations with the HOPE Devotionals.

Here is HOPE Devotions Episode ONE (Introduction)

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS SUNDAY 7th AUGUST – Graeme has asked our mate Bob Martin to dive into the ‘How then, should WE live?’ space and share a message that God has laid on his heart.

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

If you missed the ‘Building the Future’ announcement that Mick presented so well and clearly after the gathering LAST SUNDAY (31st July), OR, you couldn’t access the link for one of a number of reasons, HERE IS THE LINK to the recorded version. As Mick shared, there will be plenty of opportunity for all of us to ask questions or bring input to this journey we’ve begun, and of course you can ask questions as you think of them at ANY time via the secretary email or our Contact Us page.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER – As continues to be appropriate during this winter season, PLEASE stay home if you or someone in your household is feeling unwell and IF you are in attendance at one of our face to face meetings for the time-being, no-one will look at you strangely if you decide to wear a mask for your own peace of mind and for the protection of others around you. This is NOT mandatory but encouraged, particularly in close quarters with others where physical distancing is more challenging.

The HOPE Project Mission Situation Reports (Sit-Reps)

HOPE4Kids 2022 Awareness and Fundraising Event – This year’s main focus is the presentation of a ‘Keith Green 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert’ (see more info about the actual concert below). This aspect of the fundraising effort will be shared with Gordon’s ‘Hope and Future – Ugandan Orphans Project’.

We have however, kicked off August 2022: the month of awareness and fundraising for our HOPE4Kids project specifically. Graeme has decided to lose 5-10kgs BEFORE the Concert, through walking as far as he can every day and eating wisely (he has for example, cut down to TWO coffees a day!!!!) Karen, with outside support from Heather and a growing team of fun police, is monitoring this effort closely and will keep you updated. As you may know, sales of Graeme’s music continuously raises funds for HOPE4Kids and each year, dedicated sales funds are added to monies raised through the annual community fundraiser to boost the total giving. WE ARE AWARE THAT NOT EVERYONE WE KNOW WILL GO TO THE CONCERT AND SOME SIMPLY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PUT THE 27TH AUGUST IN THEIR DIARIES, SO, we need to raise awareness and funds specifically for HOPE4Kids throughout August, separate from and extra to the Tribute Concert. We will update where things are up to with our children and their families soon.

IF you would like to encourage Graeme in his efforts into which he is a few grams along the way (outlined above), you CAN give cash specifically earmarked for H4K-22 to Heather or Carol if and when you see them, OR if you are already giving to the church account electronically, you could identify an extra gift deposit identified as ‘H4K-22’, OR DONATE DIRECTLY VIA CARD TRANSACTION HERE (please don’t be put off by the graphic from last year). We have also started updating the journey and talking about this effort on the HOPE4Kids Facebook Group which is accessible via THIS LINK. For the H4K backstory, visit our website’s ‘HOPE4Kids’ page.

Meanwhile … we’ve sold over 50 tickets BUT really need an upsurge in ticket sales soon, so, the Wollongong Concert will be held @ City Diggers in the CBD with a second concert in Sydney not looking like it will go ahead in the near future. Here following are the details we have. 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.

Our Korean Connection – As per last week’s update, the Yoo’s were due home mid this last week but unfortunately they contracted covid and needed to postpone their re-entry to Australia until the 7th August. We haven’t heard from Betro this week, so we pray for a good flight and trip home tomorrow. Looking forward to catching up with Betro and Soyoung soon, and Mum Grace as is possible.

The Sanctuary Illawarra – Our ‘backyard missionaries’ Jono and Nicky Hyratt, will join us for a chat on Sunday 21st August, designed to help inform our prayers about their efforts in the name of Christ, and the people that have begun journeying with them as they follow Jesus’ call to reach the lost through this southern church plant. Nicky has been unwell with Covid and the two are isolating until further notice, Jono has been seeking specialist guidance regarding his hernia, and his son Jake is in need of our prayer support also as he works through his current challenging circumstances. Let’s keep praying and seeking God’s heart for them all as they move forward. Recent online messages can be engaged via their YouTube channel and all the latest news via their Facebook page.

HOPE Communities UPDATE: – Extra to the imminent roll out of study/training content via our new Podcast Stations and supplementary opportunities for tutoring / coaching that will be added to teh calendar shortly, over the next week or so we will advertise a broadening of our current group nurturing and learning opportunities, including some sermon and HOPE devotional round-tables alongside a suggested workshop schedule, so stay tuned for these announcements, or talk with Graeme or Heather (and David and Carol SOON!!) about the varied ways 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. Heather has organized with our OCC Local Coordinator Robyn, for the boxes and other helpful materials to be available from the Hub soon. We will collect the boxes and deliver them to Robyn 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 at Christmas. We’ll start wrapping the drive up EARLY OCTOBER so the team can get the boxes sent in time. Thank you!

STILL EXCITING 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?????

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) 8th August – 10.30am @ the HUB
  • General Bible Discussion (Beverley) 1st September on the verandah at Judy’s place (now the 1st and 3rd Wednesday’s of each month) – NB: No 3rd week meeting in August due to Beverley and Ken being on leave with family.
  • The next Blokes Ministry Event – THIS COMING Tuesday 9th August from 6pm at the Lochhead residence (we hope). Our guest testimony presenter will be ‘Emmanuel’. Ask Alex when you see him for his address or for any other information, use our Contact Us page and we’ll connect you up.
  • The Wollongong ‘Keith Green 40th Anniversary’ Tribute Concert (for HOPE4Kids & Hope and Future Ministries) at City Diggers Saturday evening August 27 … 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 Korimul Gang Show on Friday or Sunday, and our Scripture Teachers/Chaplain on Saturday night. More Details released shortly.
  • Covenant Partner Sunday – AGM – (Save the Date!) scheduled for the Sunday 25th September Gathering.
  • ‘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!
  • 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 Spring 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 pray for Margaret who lost her eldest brother Norm last week by heart attack. We ask for peace and cover for Margaret and John, her brother Keith who has been staying with them and the whole family.
    • We continue to pray for June and her wider family and thank you that the memorial last Tuesday, led by Julie, was wonderful and well received.
    • Please keep praying for our friend Marie and her family as she continues to fight some serious health challenges in hospital, albeit that she was transferred recently which indicates more good news for which we praise God.
    • We are praying also for our friend Audrey who is also facing some health challenges over the coming months. We pray for her health and peace for her mind, her family and her friends as she has many questions and is working through a number of important life issues.
    • We thank you Lord, that Joe and Joanne have felt your healing touch and are recovering.
    • We continue to pray for John and Margaret’s close friend Michael and his wife Judy as Mike battles with ill-health.
    • We pray for Nicky who spent some time in hospital emergency this week. She is now isolating with Covid and we pray Lord for quick and full recovery for this and a few other longer term issues that have flared recently. God bless our sister.
    • We are praying for complete healing in Jono’s body, particularly the hernia that has been an issue for some time now, and this week for his son Jacob who needs a touch from you Lord.
    • We thank you Lord that Christine is on the mend after her broken toe and the recent bout of the migraines she’s been having. We pray 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 (some improvements in this regard), also for her family members who have been inundated with water during recent rains and their daughter with a broken arm.
    • 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 and we keep praying for her general health and well-being.
    • We are praying also for Heather who has been fighting a non-covid / flu related respiratory challenge lately.
    • We continue to pray for Betro and SoYoung. Lord we ask for Your blessing to shine on these two and their families and friends, and for quick and complete healing as they recover from covid so they can return to Australia on their delayed flight now (7th August).
    • 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.
    • Our Evelyn whom it was lovely, indeed inspiring to see again at the HUB last Sunday. She is recovering from a fall at home, having had a pin inserted in her left leg. Please keep praying for a complete and speedy recovery. We thank God for how things have improved.
    • We continue praying for Gwen who is recovering well and was able to join with us at the Hub last Sunday with her son Jason. We are so thankful Lord for what you are doing in these two precious lives.
    • We pray for Maree’s friend Gail who has a suspicious nodule on her thyroid gland. We pray for God’s miraculous healing supernaturally through the surgeon – guide them in whatever they do. Lord bring hope, peace and healing to Gail and all who love and care for her.
  • Please Keep Praying for these Brothers and sisters and situations –
    • 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 thank you for recent full recoveries and better outlooks for Gary, Julie, Ken, Andrew and Emma. We thank you Lord for your protection over other family members of these precious folk.
    • We pray this week for Maggie and Alex who are struggling with bad colds after their terrific anniversary weekend. Lord, restore these lovelies speedily.
    • We continue to pray for Harry, Joy and Greg, Tom, Elsie and Carolyn’s family, Tim, and for Kylie and her family and friend’s needs.
    • We pray for our mate Gordon who has been isolated with Covid this week. We ask Lord for a speedy and full recovery with no lasting impact as he and the team prepare for the Keith Green Tribute Concert in a few weeks’ time.
    • Grant Wilson (Kiama Baptist Minister) whom Graeme saw on Thursday. Doing steadily well. It’s a long way back from such a serious accident but we thank God and continue to pray for his continued good recovery, his family and the church, being led wonderfully by Ally and the team 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 the challenges of term 3. We thank you Lord that Leanne is back at work and pray for an increase in her energy. We thank you too, for good feedback thus far from the investigations and interviews regarding the continuation of chaplaincy funding. We pray for Amanda’s (CHS Chaplain) family needing heaven’s touch and for Jennifer (Scripture Board Secretary) whose family is dealing with more than normal currently.
    • We also pray continuously for health and energy for Rob and Sharon who are heavily involved and busy as, coordinating scouts across the region for an increasing return to activities post-covid AND in particular the Korimul Gang Show, rehearsing to return to the stage (IPAC) this September.
    • 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 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 Your 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.
  • 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