A L L
S A I N T S
P E T E R S H A M
A (Sometimes) Quarterly Newsletter
Volume III, Issue No 11: April 2012
AT THE HEART OF EASTER IS A SACRIFICE. But the trouble is, we don't really know what sacrifice is, because we’ve never really seen one. When we hear the word "sacrifice" it is usually our parents reminding us for the three hundredth time just exactly how much they have sacrificed for us to have the opportunities they never had. The Beatles sang about it in "She's Leaving Home".
30 Seconds with.... Who has the hot spot in The Chronicle this quarter? Fine out who on Page 2!
Or we may speak of soldiers as paying the "Supreme Sacrifice" - that is, by laying down their lives for their country in battle. They have paid the ultimate price. For a good cause (hopefully), they have risked the shedding of their own blood. You might make a sacrifice out of thanks, out of a sense of gratitude. Or you might make a sacrifice out of a need to say sorry or make amends. This type of sacrifice is what you might call an atoning sacrifice.
atonement must be made
Why do we need to know? What has this to do with anything? Because the Bible speaks of Easter as an atoning sacrifice between us and God. In most religions, it is recognised that human beings are not perfect and have a difficulty in approaching whatever god or gods there are. In some way, atonement must be made, whether by leaving food in front of statues or by paying money to temples. In the Old Testament part of the Bible, there was an elaborate system of sacrifices, and it was quite gory: it involved the killing of animals as a substitute for human beings. If you had lived in Israel, you would have popped up to the temple and bought a young lamb or a goat, and had the priest perform a sacrifice by killing it on the altar in the temple. The blood of the animal would then be Find us online:
sprinkled around in order to make purification. Your sins would be symbolically transferred onto the animal so he wouldn't have to bear the guilt for them - the animal would become a substitute for you. It is a very powerful and vivid and costly symbol - to slaughter something truly innocent, to see a creature lose its life for you would certainly remind you of the seriousness of what you had done (it would certainly make church a bit more exciting if we tried it!). In the letter called 1 John, it says that there is a problem between us and God. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." We are seriously kidding ourselves if there is no problem, if there is no need to make an atoning sacrifice of some kind. ! !
What’s what at WOW The Chronicle plunges into Club WOW’s Friday night fun to get the lowdown on what happens there. Page 3 So what’s Beth really up to at Youthworks? The Chronicle interviews our newest staff member Beth Haralambou, and gets a look at what life as a theology student is like. Page 3
Inside this issue Missed the movie night in February? Catch up with this review on The Help, a story about the racial turmoil in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and the brave women who endured it. Page 2
- Continued Page 2 ... allsaintspetersham.org.au
atonement must be made
Continued from Page 1 ... But there's a problem: what kind of sacrifice can do the job? What can mend the fences with God? Does the blood of animals really make a difference in this case? Is it the right kind of sacrifice? Is it actually effective? Is it enough? The answer is "No". Us trying to buy God off is in end silly like buying a bunch of flowers to say sorry for a murder. We can't buy God off - and yet we need to make atonement. But look what John says: "if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous one. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." The truly amazing and weird thing about the Christian message of Easter is that the sacrifice comes from God. In Jesus God is the one who makes the sacrifice. On the cross on which he died Jesus paid the price for us. He bore our sins in his body as he hung pinned like an insect on two bits of wood.
A REVIEW OF
IN FEBRUARY ALL SAINTS HAD ITS FIRST OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT, and in the cool night breeze of the dwindling summer, we watched The Help. The film, directed by Tate Taylor, is based off Kathryn Stockett’s book of the same title. Set in civil-rights-era Mississippi, The Help follows 23-yearold aspiring journalist Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (played by Emma Stone) as she looks for a way into the journalism business after graduating college. The editor of Harper & Row suggests “write about something that disturbs you – particularly if it bothers nobody else”. And with that, Skeeter sets out to write a book from the anonymous point of view of the help – that is, the black maids working for the white families in her town. These undervalued, underpaid, underestimated women raise white children to make ends meet while somebody else has to look after their own kids.
In this fictional tale with a real-world backdrop, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is one of these women. She’s been a maid since she was fourteen years old, and “ain’t nobody ever asked me what it feels like to be me”, until Skeeter Instead of us trying to make some kind of atoning sacrifice for comes along. But writing down Aibileen’s stories are more dangerous than Skeeter first realises. The subject is our sins, God himself in Jesus pays the price. Unlike any religious system humans have ever come up with, Christianity completely taboo, and the women face many dangers like Queen-Bee-of-Jackson Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas says we can't pay off God by being spiritual or by killing something or by being good or by making a food offering. But Howard), and the KKK. But Aibileen is a driven character, spurred on by the white civilians‘ disregard for her son, we can accept God's sacrifice in Jesus - the sacrifice that which ended in his tragic death. actually works. Will you accept it? !
Jade, Seconds with...
Hi Jade! You’re in Sunday School here at All Saints, and we’d love to get to know you better. What do you like best about coming to church and sunday school? ! Playing with my friends Lily and Holly. Your favorite thing to do after school is ... ! ... swimming. No, well, yes and also going to gymnastics and ballet and hip hop. Do you have any pets at home? ! Yes, a dog called Hamlet. He is medium sized, and black, and cute. And we have 5 fish. Anything else you’d like to tell us? ! My favorite color is black!
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Perhaps most moving of the characters’ intertwining lives is the subplot between Minnie (Octavia Spencer), Aibileen’s sass-mouthed best friend, and her Marilyn-esque employer Celia (Jessica Chastain), the newest resident in Jackson who can’t get in with the ‘in’ crowd no matter how hard she tries. Celia doesn’t understand how things work in Jackson, and so for her there are no lines drawn between black and white, and an unlikely friendship forms between her and Minnie. In terms of pure emotional storytelling, Tate Taylor, who also adapted the screenplay, has done an exceptional job. Although the complexity of racial turmoil is sugar-coated and simplified, the film is unapologetic about it. The Help is not a “racism movie” – it’s a story about character, and about heart, and uses the 1960s Jackson as a vehicle to forge a film that connects with the audience in a touching and effective way. It’s rare to find a film that is as funny and simultaneously heartbreaking as this one, and with an incredible cast leading the way it’s impossible for The Help not to work its way into your heart. ! ! ! ! ! Erin Latimer allsaintspetersham.org.au
T TH H E E
The Chronicle: Tell us a bit about your background, and growing up in a Christian family. Beth Haralambou: Growing up in a Christian household was such a blessing. My parents taught me about the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus as soon as I was old enough to understand, and I always loved him. My mum told me she first knew I adored Jesus when she caught me, on my own, sitting on my tricycle praying to Jesus that I ''wouldn't fall off my tricycle and scrape my knee.'' In fact, one of my very first memories was playing 'house' with Jesus in pre-school; making Jesus his bed, and preparing him his playdough dinner.
TC: So now you're at All Saints as part of the staff. What does an average week look like for Beth? BH: My weeks are pretty hectic at the moment, but busy is good! I go to Youthworks college on Mondays and Tuesdays, which is full-time study, and then lead Girls Bible Study on Tuesday evenings. Wednesdays include staff meetings, staff lunch, teaching 2 scripture classes at Dulwich Hill Primary, and Bible studies. I tend to work Thursday through Saturday, and attend church with my boyfriend on Saturday evening. Then of course Sunday includes the two morning services here at All Saints, and leading at SALT in the evenings. So I'm very busy, but doing lots of wonderful things I thoroughly enjoy! TC: Tell us more about SALT and Scripture. What do you enjoy most about kids' ministry? BH: This is my second year leading at SALT youth group. I actually attended SALT all the way through my high school years, so to be able to finish and then have the privilege of leading is amazing. I've seen first hand the effort that Mike and the other leaders have put in over the years, and the work done at SALT is invaluable. I've just started teaching scripture this year, which I feared would be a challenge since I'm quite new at it, however I've found it to be nothing but enjoyable! Dulwich Hill Primary hasn't had a protestant scripture class there for about 4 years, and they actually approached us for teachers, praise God! I don't know if I can pinpoint a single thing that I like most about being involved in youth and children’s ministry; I've just loved doing it all in the past 5 or so years! Being involved in Club WOW, SALT, Sunday School, and Scripture has just been the greatest privilege. The fact that I get to build so many relationships, and visibly see the impact that the gospel message has on the youth and kids over the years has been one of the greatest joys.
I I C C L LE
TC: How has God used kids' ministry to change you as a person? What's something you've learned over the past couple years? BH: The added responsibility that I've been given in teaching the gospel has definitely spurred me on to develop my abilities to do so, so my studying at Youthworks has been extremely beneficial. My passion for kids and youth has only strengthened over the years and I just desire to teach them the very best I can. I guess something the kids themselves have taught me is to be fully relying on God for everything, no matter how small; God really does care, and we can bring everything before him in humble prayer. TC: About your studies at Youthworks. What's life look like at college? Got favorite study subjects? BH: College life is amazing, I absolutely love it. It's quite a small college, very intimate, so I get a chance to know all the students and lecturers really well. I know the relationships I form there will last me a lifetime. I'm blessed to be taught my such wise and experienced people, and every lecture I hear just reinforces the fact that there is so much I don't know. I have to say that at the moment I love my theology classes, which are taught by Graham Stanton, the Dean of the college; I'm really getting to cement all of my beliefs, and I'm just falling more and more in love with my Saviour, the more I get to learn about him. TC: Share with us a Bible verse that God has used to encourage you. BH: I'm going to have to say that it's the verse that SALT youth group probably know best, as we learn it every year! It's the perfect verse to recollect when life can get a bit too much sometimes; for both large, and seemingly trivial problems. It also just reinforces the love that our God has for us; that he wants to know what we're going through, and is going to guard both our hearts and our minds through his Son. What an excellent promise to hold on to. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
TC: And one last personal question. Favorite flavour of icecream (or favorite dessert, if you're not the ice cream type)? BH: Cookies and Cream, or Hokey Pokey for sure. So if you're in a generous mood, I won't refuse any!
So what’s really the WHO the WHAT and the HOW at
“ It’s fun, we learn about God. I like playing with my friends. ” - Jade, age 8
“ We do stuff.
“ It’s about God! ”- Will, age 10
My favorite thing is craft. ” - Tom, age 8
“ Club WOW is great! We learn memory verses and do a special occasion, and we read parts of the Bible - one was about how Jesus died and one was about the fruits of the Spirit.” - Ben, age 10
“ My favorite thing is
games, we play
stuck in the mud and tips! ” - Henry, age 9
“ We get dinner and do fun activities and play games and learn about Jesus! ” - Adara, age 10 allsaintspetersham.org.au
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It’s been 10 Years at All Saints for ughs! the Barraclo
KATE AND I ARE VERY GRATEFUL for the warm celebrations and thanks we received on our 10 years at All Saints. We thank God for each and every one of the members of the church and especially for all who helped make the celebrations such a great day. It has been wonderful to see God at work in this little part of the world, bringing people to faith, uniting them together in love and stirring us to reach out to those who do not yet know Christ. We pray that God would be pleased to do this more and more in the years ahead. In Christ, ANTONY & KATE
Dear Mr Dawkins… 1. We agree, your god is a ‘delusion’. a.
3. If evil doesn’t exist, how can religion be evil?
The god you create and then deny isn’t the particular God who’s there.
b. Why should God be made of the same stuff as us? c.
First, you say the universe appears to have ‘no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, for evil in the world’. Please be consistent.
God is not an equation. He’s a person.
b. It is ironic that you have strong moral convictions.
d. God is entitled to reveal Himself when and how He chooses. Some scientists may not like this. e.
Belief in God neither ‘subverts science’ nor ‘saps the intellect’.
Where’s the epistemic humility?
4. Atheism is not unbiased. a.
There is no such thing as neutral territory.
2. Jesus is the best evidence for God. is empirically derived. a.
Christianity isn’t ‘blind faith’, it’s based on evidence...
b. … perfectly acceptable evidence called History. c.
There’s a lot more evidence for Jesus than ‘fairies at the bottom of the garden’.
d. You may not like the God of the Bible, but that doesn’t mean he’s not there! e.
When consistent atheists rule the world, life is not pleasant. Consider the cost in lives and freedom of atheist ideology. Remember the Communist regimes of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.
d. You don’t seem to believe in free speech. Richard, why so angry?
Jesus continues to set people free to love, not hate.
Outreach Poster April 2012 Dear Mr. Dawkins...
Find out more: www.doubtingdawkins.com www.thatposter.org
WHO ARE THE CHURCH STAFF?
The Staff Team
Senior Church Minister Administrator Antony (Bazz) Sally Barraclough Hutchinson 0413 933 838 0402 918 123
If you have id eas for the ne xt issue of The Chronicle or feedback on issue, email th this e editor, we’d love your feedback and comments! Student Minister Claire Norton 9569 4635
Trainee Youth Trainee Youth Minister Minister Beth Daniel Haralambou Higgins 9569 4635 0434 290 245
Youth Minister Michael Dicker 0400 308 112
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erin@allsaintsp etersham.org.a u
The All Saints Petersham Chronicle is a quarterly newsletter of church life and personal stories.