‘The unpopular (but still very true) truth’ (Matthew 7:13-29)

Jesus was a popular preacher when he spoke these words in Matthew 7:13-29, but his words are very unpopular today. He spoke of the road to life being one that has a narrow gate, of those who profess faith but do not have the fruit to show that their profession is true and of those who hear his words but do not do them. The end result of all this remains that some people who might profess to be believers, may be deluding themselves! All that Jesus taught remains the truth, no matter how unpopular it has become.

‘Contentment in a world that never has enough’ (Matthew 6:25-34)

Matthew 6:25-34 is well known and loved because it contains truth that the world often denies or forgets. Because God has promised to look after the needs of His people, we can live free of the love of money and this will enable us to live worry free under God’s care, confidently under His hand and entirely for His Kingdom in this world. In a world that promotes the idea that you can never have enough, Jesus reminds us that putting God’s Kingdom first in our priorities will reap a different kind of riches that will last for all eternity.

News of gospel ministry in Malawi and Zambia

Presbyterian ministry couple, Rev Dean & Mrs Sandy Carroll will share about their experiences on the PCV’s ‘STAMP’ (Short Term Africa Mission Partners) trip in July 2012 on two occasions near the end of the month.

Wednesday night November 28th: Open House at the Manse, 7:30pm. Please bring some supper to share.

Thursday morning November 29th:  With the Ladies of the Bendigo PWMU Lones and guests in the Upper Room at 10am. Light lunch to follow at 12noon

All are welcome.



Playgroup & Sunday School end-of-year celebration

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when we welcome the children of our Playgroup and Sunday School (and their parents!!) for a special end-of-year celebration at at our 10:30am service. Looks like ‘Hot Dog’ will be coming too! 🙂

Lunch will follow in the hall. All are very welcome!

‘Heaven or earth? Treasures true and false’ (Matthew 6:19-24)

In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus gives some counter-cultural teaching in relation to the way God’s people ought to view money. He spoke of a different place to invest, reminding us that heavenly treasures will never be stolen, eaten or fade away. He also spoke of a different Master to serve, reminding us that we cannot serve God and money. It should be obvious to the world that believers do not view money the same way as the world does, simply because we are called upon to have a whole different set of values to the world and give as much as we can for the advancing and growth of the Kingdom of God.

From start to finish: The highlights (and lowlights) of the renovations to the Bendigo (St John’s) Presbyterian Church Hall

Here’s our tale…if you’re interested, read on!

May 2011: The Ministry Development Committee (MDC) of the PCV announced that $1.2 million worth of Capital Grants would be available. PCV congregations were encouraged to apply.

June 2011: The Board of Management submitted an application for a Capital Grant of $150,000 to upgrade kitchen and toilet facilities (one of many applications from numerous PCV congregations that totaled $6 million!).

August 2011: The Board was advised that their application had been short-listed and requested to submit a more detailed application with plans and funding proposals. The Board resolved to apply, subject to a good response to an appeal for pledges toward the project from the congregation.

October 2011: Noting that $38,200 was pledged, the Board agreed to continue with the application process. Kevin Slater (building designer/draftsman) was engaged and plans were drawn up and approved by the Board.

November 2011: Congregation and Presbytery approval was obtained for Stage 1 works and the Board submitted its application to the MDC. It was agreed that Stage 2 works (the lowering of the hall ceiling) be considered at a later date. The application was successful (rated by the MDC as ‘one of the best’) with $140,000 awarded for the project. The Board began the process of getting quotes from builders.

February 2012: The Board applied to Presbytery for permission to apply to the PCV’s Board of Investment and Finance (BIF) for $50,000 of the monies available from the sale of the Wycheproof Manse to ascertain if Stage 2 could be funded. Firm quotes for Stage 1 were received and clarified by the Board.

March 2012: Robert Phillips’ quote for Stage 1 works was accepted by the Board and arrangements were set in place for the works to begin in April. Active termites were discovered in Upper Room and the project was indefinitely postponed until the termites had been treated.

June 2012: After some months of slow progress, a new pest control company was engaged and it was confirmed that the termites had been eradicated. A starting date on the project was set for July 9. A working bee was held to remove furniture and items from the Hall, Upper Room, stage and kitchen to facilitate this commencement. The Board engaged a structural engineer to assess the possibility of Stage 2 works.

July 2012: Stage 1 renovation works began. Regular fortnightly meetings between Board reps and Robert Phillips began and a green light was given by the engineer for Stage 2.

August 2012: The Board resolved to recommend that Stage 2 works proceed and a quote from Robert Phillips was accepted by the Board. Approval to proceed was also obtained from the congregation and the Presbytery.

September 2012: Despite being informed that its application to use some of the Wycheproof monies had been denied by the BIF, the Board resubmitted another application to Presbytery to be forwarded to the BIF for these funds. Stage 2 works were completed!

October 2012: Use of the new toilets was permitted and the old toilets were demolished. The Board called for a working bee to put furniture and items back into the hall, new kitchen and Upper room. Finally, approval from the Presbytery and BIF to use $50,000 of the Wycheproof monies 🙂 The new kitchen and the renovated hall were used for the first time by the congregation on October 21. The large cupboard in the hall was removed and the concrete ramp with rails followed. Everything completed – inside and out (except kitchen roller shutters)! Opened 28/10/12!

“Thanks be to God!”

End footnote: The Kitchen roller shutters were installed on Monday October 29 🙂