Mannum Baptist Church on the move again.

Mannum Baptist Church was founded in 1888 when Rev Silas Meed came to Mannum and formed the church with 17 members. The church quickly flourished, and in 1890 the first chapel was opened in Randell Street.

This building served the church well for over seven decades. But in the 1960’s the church building needed renovation, and it was considered more practical to move to a new location than to repair the building. Things fell into place for us to purchase the Zion Lutheran Church in William Street, next door to our Manse. On Sunday 12th March 1967, 120 people gathered to give thanks for the blessings received as we moved to our new home.

The building in Randell Street was demolished and the land excavated to street level. It is now the site of Male’s Butchers.

As Mannum Baptist Church continues to look forward into the future, we are keen to update our facilities and develop a worship centre more in line with modern expectations. After considering all the options available to us, we have decided it is again time to move.

To commence this process, we are seeking expressions of interest for our current Chapel in William street. The Chapel is being offered on its own or in conjunction with the Tea Rooms next door.

Rev Nieass said, “This is an initial step in a positive plan to move forward and grow God’s Kingdom through better connections with the community.

The next step in the process has not been determined. Should we sell the Chapel alone we can consider redeveloping on the Tea Room site. If both properties are sold there are many other options available to us within Mannum.

This is an exciting time to be part of Mannum Baptist Church as we look forward to what God has in mind for us.”

Prospective purchasers should contact Michael Nance at Mannum Estates.

Ph 85692635, Mob 0428 294 141

 

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One In Worship – 26th February 2017

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From the Pastor’s Lap-top – February 2016

If we look through history, we find the records of many Christian revivals. There was the Great Awakening that began in Germany in 1734.  During 1863 and 1864 the “Great Revival” occurred in America. Perhaps the greatest of the modern revivals began in Wales in 1904. Today we hear of God’s Spirit moving in revival power, in South America, in Cuba and even in China, literally millions of people are being won for Jesus every year.

We can look at these events and be excited by what is happening in other times and in other places. But isn’t there part of you saying “What about us?” “What about revival in the here and now?”

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to make revival happen, but there does seem some consistency of events preceding revival. Over the next two months we will look back to the history of Israel to look at the ups and downs of some of their kings. Some did well, leading the people closer to God. But unfortunately, most were judged by God as doing evil.

Pastor’s Pen – January 2017

Here we are at the start of another year. 2017! Who ever thought we would make it that far. I remember a school Head Master talking about the turn of the century. It was so far into the future we could hardly even imagine it. Now it is so far in the past we can hardly remember it. There are now people driving on the road who weren’t even born then.

So, what do we hope for in 2017. Whether the past year has been a good one or something not so good, we all hope the next year will be something better. What then will make the next year a better one? I came across a recipe for a Happy New Year written by that famous author called Anonymous. It went like this:

“Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancour and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past – have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavour of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing – don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaped cupful of good humour.”

Pastor’s Pen – December 2016

O Christmas Tree

Trees were used in various pagan religious celebrations throughout history, but contrary to popular belief, there does not appear to be any direct link between the pagan rituals and the Christmas tree. Rather, the Christmas tree almost certainly has its roots (no pun intended) in Christian practices.

The Christmas tree almost certainly originated in Germany. There are three stories of its origin spanning from the 8th to the 16th century.

(1) In the 8th century, St. Boniface was a missionary in Germany. He is best known for “Felling of Thor’s Oak.” It is said that upon entering a town in northern Hesse, Boniface learned that the people worshiped the god Thor. They believed that Thor resided in their great oak tree. Boniface announced that he was going to cut down the oak, and he openly challenged Thor to strike him down. Miraculously, as Boniface began to chop the oak, a mighty wind blew and hurled the tree to the ground. Tradition holds that a fir tree was growing in the roots of the oak, and Boniface claimed the tree as a symbol of Christ. The tree served as a reminder of the mighty God who was humbly born into the world as a man on Christmas day.

(2) Among popular medieval religious plays was the “Paradise” play. It started with the creation of man, acted out the first sin, and showed Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden. It closed with the promise of a coming Savior, which made the play a favorite during the Christmas season. In the play, the Garden of Eden was most often represented by a fir tree hung with apples and surrounded by candles. By the 15th century, Christians started to decorate their trees not only with apples (the symbol of sin and the need for a Savior) but with small white wafers (the symbol of Christ’s body, the Savior). These wafers were later replaced by little pieces of pastry cut in the shape of stars, angels, bells, etc.

(3) A third tradition attributes the Christmas tree to Martin Luther. One Christmas Eve, Luther was walking through the woods near his home. He was struck by the beauty of how the snow shimmered in the moonlight on the branches of the trees. To re-create the magnificent sight for his family, he cut down the tree, placed it in his home, and decorated it with candles.

Interestingly, in the Bible, God compares himself to a tree. He says, “I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me” (Hosea 14:8b). This is a relevant analogy to consider during the Christmas season. The fruitful lives of Christians can serve as the “ornaments” that draw others to admire the “tree” – God himself!

Pastor’s Pen – November 2016

There are three words that changed the course of history. In the summer of 1940, Adolf Hitler was desperate to quickly subdue Britain and so be free to turn on his main goal – Russia. The British army had only just escaped at Dunkirk – and without its equipment. England was a sitting duck for invasion, and all Germany needed was control of the skies. Since the Luftwaffe greatly outnumbered the Royal Air Force in planes and especially in experienced pilots, this was not expected to take long.

Instead, it lasted nearly four months and was a decisive British victory. Germany invaded Russia anyhow, and in the end could not sustain the war on two fronts. History looks back on the Battle of Britain as a key turning point. So how was the battle won?

Britain had a secret weapon – radar. It showed them when, where, and in what force the Luftwaffe raids were coming, well before they arrived. Efficient communications systems enabled the RAF planes to be in place and ready for them.

But here’s the remarkable thing: German scientists had also developed radar. What’s more, theirs was more advanced than the rudimentary British system! But the critical difference is: The British system was in the field, and the German system was still being perfected in the lab. Sir Robert Watson-Watt, leader of the British research team, used “Second Best Tomorrow” as a motto against perfectionism. Better a basic system in the field tomorrow than the perfect system next year (or the year after).

I think this has application for us as a church. We could spend forever working out the perfect way to share God’s love with our community, and still have it not quite right. What we are currently doing may feel as if it is second best, but the important thing is that we can be out there tomorrow, before the war is lost.

Community Wellbeing Street Stall

We took part in the Community Wellbeing Street Stall with our Gratitude Tree. 20161013_103223_resized

People were invited to think of  something they were grateful for and write it on a leaf, which was then added to the tree.

It is harder to feel down when we are focused on things we are grateful for.

Pastor’s Pen – October 2016

Happy birthday to Mannum Baptist Church.

As we pass our 128th anniversary it is a time to both reflect and to look forward.. On 30th September 1888 Rev Silas Meed came to Mannum and formed the church with 17 members.. The first chapel was opened in the main street on 24th August 1890 on the site now occupied by Male’s Butchers. On 12th March 1967 we moved to our current location in William Street, and 120 people gathered to celebrate.

We thank Our Lord for the blessings many people have received in this place and for the loyalty of those past and present who have given and are giving of their best to keep Mannum Baptist Church a place of Worship to the glory of God.

But what of the future. Like much of the western church we are struggling for numbers. But God seems to like small. Throughout the Bible we see a remnant of faithful people who God uses. This remnant is not a leftover piece, but those selected not to be the new beginning. From this we can be encouraged and face the future with hope, knowing that as God has been in control in the past, so He is in control today and will be into the future.

Pray that God will guide us as to how we can best serve Him today and into tomorrow.

 

Pastor’s Pen – September 2016

For some weeks now we have been continuing our study of Luke’s gospel. Luke tells us that the purpose of his gospel is to give an orderly account so that we can know the certainty of the things taught about Jesus. So just what have we discovered about Jesus in our current study?

We have seen that Jesus has authority over nature, as He calmed the storm (Luke 8:22-25).

We have seen that Jesus has authority over demons (Luke 8:26-33).

We have seen that Jesus has authority over illness (Luke 8:40-48).

We have seen that Jesus has authority over death (Luke 8:49-56).

We have seen Jesus give authority to His followers (Luke 9:1-9 & 10:1-23).

We have seen Jesus feed the 5000 (Luke 9:10-17).

We have seen Jesus revealed in His glory (Luke 9:28-36).

The question for us is then “who do you say Jesus is?” Will you join with Peter in answering “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” If so, what effect does that have on your life?

Pastor’s Pen August 2016

Who is Jesus? This is the most important question we will ever have to answer.

In Luke 9 Jesus asks the disciples who people were saying He was. Most people then thought He was someone who died in the past come back to life; John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the other prophets.

Today few people would have thought He was a dead person come back to life. Rather, Jesus is often dismissed as simply a good guy who got caught up in the political intrigue of the day and so got Himself executed. But the people today are just as wrong as the crowd were 2000 years ago.

Peter identified Jesus as the Messiah, Gods son. That is important, but more importantly Jesus identified Himself as God’s Son, and hence equal to God (Matthew 14:62). So why does that matter?

Jesus identified himself as God, which leaves only two options, either He is or he isn’t. If He isn’t, there are again only two options; either He knew he isn’t or He really thought He was.

If He knew He isn’t God, but claimed to be, then He is a liar, an absolute con man. But everything in Jesus’ ministry indicates that He placed an importance on truth, so that is unlikely.

If He thought He is God when really He isn’t, then He is delusional; a mad man. Everything in Jesus’ ministry indicates that He was cool, calm and collected, certainly not deranged.

Jesus is either God, a con man, or delusional. Just being a good man is not an option. Since we have already dismissed the options of con man or delusional, the only option remaining is that He is God. Now we know who Jesus is we each need to determine how we will respond.

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