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Christmas a time of thanks

DECEMBER 2 o 12 - JANUARY 2 o 13

A TIME OF THANKS.... “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Contents About Menai Anglican Church Two Versions of Christmas by marg hudson

Gingerbread House Making by margaret icke

Daisy Hill Craft by stella brown

Daisy Hill Craft Activities

by tracie grundie & belinda parker

Events Calendar She’s a Real People Person: Mary Pickford - Children’s Minister by emma deacon

Christmas Traditions by trish koutrodimos

Welcoming 101 by phil scott

Tear 2012 Christmas Appeal When Christmas Barely Registers by the hansens - missionaries in asia

Upcoming Events Classifieds Colouring Competition

ABOUT MENAI ANGLICAN CHURCH If you have picked up a copy of this magazine and you are a visitor to our church, welcome! We hope that you have enjoyed your visit and that you also enjoy reading our magazine. We are a church that you can belong to, no matter what your background or the stage in your spiritual journey. We’d love to help you get to know Jesus and make the most out of life. Menai Anglican Church (MAC) offers programmes and activities for people in all stages of life: groups where you can get to know people, experience community, and explore the Christian faith. We offer 4 church services each weekend. Our aim is for people to learn about the God of the Bible in a way that is enjoyable, accessible and useful. Saturday 6pm Saturday Night Church (SNC) Relevant, heaps of fun and a bit loud! Sunday 8am For the more mature among us Sunday 10am Family Service with children’s programme and crèche Sunday 6pm Relaxed

FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit or call 9541 0990 or email


by marg hudson

pastoral care worker

There are two versions of Christmas. Both involve excess. One includes too much spending, too much food, too much busyness, too much worry and for some too many relatives. The excess can highlight our impatience, our lack of grace, our selfishness and greed and sometimes our deep loneliness. The other version centres on a child and involves the abundance of God’s love. We know the events (although when we read the accounts in the Bible we can’t actually find an innkeeper, a donkey, a specific number of Magi and certainly not a drummer boy) - but do we know the meaning? On the night of Jesus’ birth the angel announced, ‘do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10 -11)

“We have to look beyond the baby to understand the meaning of Christmas” We have to look beyond the baby to understand the meaning of Christmas. At Christmas God’s gift to us was a Rescuer. God sent His son Jesus to die for us. Into the brokenness, heartbreak and self-centredness of this world a Saviour has come. We all need rescue. In our arrogance and blindness we’ve all cut the ties with the one place where we’re fully known, fully loved and fully accepted. We’ve cut the ties with the one place where we’ll find purpose and meaning, forgiveness and peace. We’ve all cut the ties with the loving God of the Universe and prefer to live in His world by our own rules. Our sin is serious. We have rightly earned God’s judgement and condemnation and cannot save ourselves.

Marg Hudson sharing God’s word at our recent Gingerbread event

God’s gift to us is a way to come back. Through Jesus’ death on the cross our rescue has been achieved. He gave His life as a ransom for ours. This is God’s gift to you this Christmas. Receive it with joy. Invite Him to be your rescuer now and forever. This is why Christians love Christmas and celebrate with thankful hearts.

Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born king. ” Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! 4 | christmas - a time of thanks




by margaret icke

women’s ministry coordinator

As you entered the church foyer, you could not help but feel that Christmas was drawing near! Our theme was building and that was exactly what we did on Saturday afternoon. We built our gingerbread houses slowly but surely, squeezing every bit of icing out of the plastic bag, and decorated our houses with every creative idea we could muster! What a wonderful time it was as we met new friends sharing the journey of life, and how we enjoyed seeing all the finished houses at the end. Marg Hudson also spoke on rebuilding from Luke 6:46 - 49. Marg not only shared with us her testimony of God’s goodness in her life of rebuilding, but challenged us on what foundation of life do we rebuild when the storms of life come. Do we listen to Jesus’ call in the time of these storms and do what He says in building our life on His secure love and hope of eternal life? It was a wonderful afternoon to share as mothers and daughters, neighbours or a group of lifelong friends. What a shame we will have to “unbuild” our gingerbread houses when Christmas Day arrives!

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by stella brown

Wander into church on Tuesday mornings and you’ll be greeted by the delicious smells of coffee and raisin toast from the café, you’ll hear people chatting as they sit, relax and enjoy a coffee, you’ll see busy parents and grandparents with preschoolers engrossed in play time activities and you also won’t fail to notice the Daisy Hill Craft group. Daisy Hill is a craft morning for everyone, whether church members or not, both men and women, both old and young. This group meets on Tuesday mornings from 10am until 12 noon. You can choose to do any craft you like. Jewellery making, scrap booking, knitting, painting and card making are some of the favourites. You can also bring along any unfinished pieces that you would like to complete. Kathryn Africa (pictured left in spotted dress) began the Daisy Hill craft group over 20 years ago. She was stressed, stopped work but needed an outlet. Kathryn went along to Narwee Baptist and joined their craft group. On one occasion, she met a lady who was very troubled and spoke to Kathryn about her problems. Kathryn consoled the lady and recommended that she started attending church to find strength in God. Kathryn realized what a wonderful community activity a craft group could be and went on to establish the Daisy Hill craft group at our church.

“Kathryn realized what a wonderful community activity a craft group could be” On a typical morning, explains Sharon Parkinson, Daisy Hill’s current Leader (pictured right), the group begins with morning tea, followed by an approximately 10 minute devotional time and of course crafting. There are also demonstrators on hand to help as required. A Bible study group meets for people who would like to use the time reading and in prayer. When asked to pick a few favourite memories, Sharon and Kathryn pause and reflect. Kathryn says that her favourite memory has to be the grand opening when Daisy Hill herself (in her 100’s) cut the ribbon to open the group. Daisy Hill and her family were so happy about the name, honouring Daisy for donating land which provided the building blocks of our church today. Sharon speaks of a Sri Lankan lady in her 80’s who came to visit. Kay Little (one of the Daisy Hill members) 6 | christmas - a time of thanks

Kathryn Africa and Sharon Parkinson

taught the lady to crochet beautiful bags using old plastic shopping bags. The lady took this skill back to Sri Lanka, taught others her newfound skill and won a prestigious environmental award for her recycling efforts. Sharon and Kathryn both agree that it has been wonderful watching some visitors become regular members of our church family.

Interested in joining? The group would love to have you whether you are new to crafting or an old hand - all are welcome. Do you have a craft skill that you could share with others? All you have to do is show up on a Tuesday morning at 10am or contact Sharon Parkinson 9543 1731, Debbie Johnson 9543 4559 or Julie Gregory 9543 4720. Daisy Hill will also have a stall at Menai Park on Sunday 16th December. Why not pop along, say hello and show your support.

Prayer Points • Please pray that the group continues to grow and serve in the Lord’s name. • Please also pray for valued member Jacqui West to recover her health and rejoin the Daisy Hill craft group.



demonstrated by tracie grundie

demonstrated by belinda parker

Step 1 Turn all this into something special. Firstly choose your papers and embellishments to match your photos.

Step 2 Choose your blank canvas to start creating.

All you need is a 5 inch hat pin, chinese crystals, crystal roundels, stardust balls and fishing wire. Step 1 Collect your chinese crystals and crystal roundels and place them on the table in the order you wish for them to be seen on the hat pin. This will help you to know your design before you start to thread on the hat pin. Step 2 With your hat pin start to thread the crystals. Place the bottom one first.

Step 3 Cut and position your other sheets of paper to enhance your blank canvas.

Step 4 Use your embellishments and title to fill any blank areas. I find that less is best, but that is my opinion. Also remember to embellish in old numbers.

Step 5 Position your photo and wow it is done. Just remember anyone can do it, just come along and give it a try.

Step 3 When you have completed threading to the size of the icicle you want, turn the end of the hat pin 90% near the top and with the wire clippers, snap wire leaving 15mm at the end. Step 4 Using round nose plyers make a small loop on the wire on top of the crystal.

Step 5 Thread fishing wire through the loop.

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christmas day service 8.30am 1


christmas eve celebrations 4pm, 7pm (family) & 11pm 31

quality time

daisy hill playtime



daisy hill playtime 11

gingerbread decorating 10
















playtime coffee spot





playtime 14

playtime 7

playtime coffee spot 6

playtime coffee spot 13





Sa 1


church @8am, 10am &6pm



church @8am, 10am &6pm 30 SNC 29

church @8am, 10am &6pm 6


christmas carols & readings 6pm

church 8am & 10am

church @8am, 10am &6pm 16

church @8am, 10am &6pm 9




SNC 15




not sure about an event? check out the church website, or phone the church office on 9541 0990

December 25 Christmas Day Service 8.30am

Christmas Eve Celebration 11pm

December 24 Christmas Eve Family Celebration “The Grumpy Innkeeper” 4pm & 7pm

December 16 Christmas Carols and Readings 6pm


December 12 Christmas Communion Service and final morning tea for the year commences 10am with communion at 11am.


December 3 @ 6pm to 7.30pm


December After each service opportunity to purchase ‘Useful Gifts’, gifts of life, hope and opportunity from their catalogue.


Event Highlights







































church @8am, 10am &6pm 10

church @8am, 10am &6pm





church @8am, 10am &6pm

church @8am, 10am &6pm 3

church @8am, 10am &6pm 20

SNC 19


church @8am, 10am &6pm 13

SNC 12





not sure about an event? check out the church website, or phone the church office on 9541 0990



by emma deacon

Mary Pickford began as our new Children’s Minister on November 18 this year. She loves working with kids and bringing the word of God to life. She likes to laugh, doesn’t enjoy spending too much time alone and could see herself as a monkey! Read on to get to know Mary a bit better. Full name? Mary Jane Pickford Where did you grow up? Mt Druitt. I went to Whalan Primary and High School. Can you tell me about your family? I am married to Wayne, who works at an Anglican church in Berkley, as well as caring for his mum, Dorothy. I have three daughters, Janet (23), Esther (21) and Molly (18). Plus we have a Maltese Terrier named Ted. We live in Dapto at the moment, but are looking to move closer to Menai. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to hang out with girlfriends and drink coffee or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day! I like to go to the beach, and hang out with family, pretty much anything with people.

Mary and Wayne Pickford with their 2 younger daughters

Do you have any funny stories or memories from kids you’ve worked with? When it was announced at Dapto Anglican that I was leaving a nine year old boy called Ethan came up to me and said “My Dad said you’ve been here for nearly a decade. I think they should get someone else for 9 years, and then I’ll be 18 and I can take over as children’s minister”. Ethan said he has all the answers!

How have you been involved in children’s ministry in the past? Up until 1999 I was a volunteer, so I helped out with camps, after-school kids clubs, Sunday school; basically anywhere in children’s ministry that needed me. In 2000 I started a job with Anglican Youth Works as Western Region Children’s Ministry Advisor. A couple of years later I felt God calling me to help out my own church, Oakhurst Anglican, which was struggling with kids ministry. After that I was the Children’s Minister at Dapto Anglican for nine years.

Any encouraging stories? Jack was a boy in year 6 who came along to our holiday club. He was one of 4 boys and had a single mum. After the holiday club he brought his family along to church, and even dragged his mum up on stage. Within 12 months all the children were coming to church and Jack’s mum was a Christian. Now Jack and his older brother are involved in leadership and his mum is on parish council.

“I love bringing the word of God to life and being hands on”

Do you have any plans for your new job that you’d like to share? I really want to help the various children’s ministry teams to see themselves as one team. Bring them together to share ideas, get on board with the same vision and goals.

What do you like about children’s ministry? Lots of things. Teaching children about Jesus who have never heard about him before or haven’t grown up in a Christian home. Seeing children respond to God’s word. I grew up in a church myself and Sunday School was a bit boring, so I love bringing the word of God to life and being hands on. 10 | christmas - a time of thanks

What makes you excited about joining our church? I’m excited about raising up another generation of leaders, looking forward to mentoring and coaching head leaders. It’s exciting that there are six primary schools in the area, so I’m looking forward to seeing the scripture kids coming to church and coming to faith.

If you could have a super power, what would it be? I’d want to be like Mary Poppins, she clicks her fingers and the house is clean.

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Not really, I guess our tradition is to not have any Christmas traditions.

What is your least favourite food? Home brand Cornflakes.

What do you usually do on Christmas day? On Christmas Eve we will open up our presents with my immediate family. Then on Christmas day we’ll see the extended family.

And your favourite food? Baked dinner, cooked by someone else. Favourite holiday destination? Anywhere by the water with family.

Any New Year’s Resolutions? Laugh every day. Make someone else laugh every day.

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? Why? A monkey, because they’re cheeky.


by trish koutrodimos

Christmas is that special time of the year that just spells “family”. So what are some of the family traditions of the people at Menai Anglican Church? “We go to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree. Then on Christmas morning we read the start of ‘Luke’ [a book in the Bible] and act out the Christmas story. Also, we put out pillow-slips on Christmas Eve, waiting for Santa to come and fill them up with pressies.” Mitch & Liv Hubbard with children Ellora and Adeline

“Christmas tree decorating - my three grandchildren help me. Chatter and laughter as we watch each other open presents. Then sitting around the dining room table enjoying the food, swimming, kicking a ball around, and relaxing.” Denise & Jim Gellett

“Spend time with family and have lunch together and eat a little too much like always. Then watch a movie someone has gotten.”

“So every Christmas my family is up the coast at South West Rocks. On Christmas we get up and go for an early surf then prepare Christmas lunch. We will either be back in the water by the afternoon or sleeping.”

Janelle Coleman

Jake McKirdy christmas - a time of thanks | 11


by phil scott

Do you remember what it was like when you first came to Menai Anglican Church? Or for that matter, went anywhere for the first time? i. ii. iii. iv. v.

Were you uncertain what to expect? Some looking for excuses to turn around? Worried that you will stand out or be left alone? What if my kids make a lot of noise? Where is the door in (and fastest exit?)

Here are a couple of suggestions that might make all the difference and help our visitors and guests over those initial hurdles. i. Smile ii. Offer a greeting to everyone as early as possible (in the car park? Outside the doors?) iii. Walk with new people into church iv. Help with directions for the kids v. Sit with them (if appropriate) vi. Introduce them to others vii. Make sure to chat after the service, invite them to have a tea or coffee - don’t leave guests hanging Someone once said: “People want to go to church where people want to go to church”

“We know that God in his mercy, welcomed us into his family” But why do we Welcome? We know that God in his mercy, welcomed us into his family when we were his enemies (not even his friends). At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birth but just over 3 decades later he paid the ultimate price in his death and opened the

way for us to have friendship with God. That was very good news for us. So let’s welcome to make people feel good. Let’s welcome so that people will stay and make friends but above all let’s be welcoming so that people will keep coming and hear God’s word preached and come to understand His love and mercy for us all.

And being f o u n d i n h u m a n f o r m , h e h u m b l e d h i m s e l f b y b e c o m i n g obedient to t h e po i n t o f d e a t h , e v e n d e a t h o n a c r o s s . Therefore Go d h a s h i g h l y e x a l t e d h i m a n d b e s t o w e d o n h i m t h e n a me that is abov e e v e r y n a m e , s o t h a t a t t h e n a m e o f J e s u s e v e r y k n e e should bow, i n h e a v e n a n d o n e a r t h a n d u n d e r t h e e a r t h .

Philippians 2:8-10 12 | christmas - a time of thanks


by the hansens

missionaries in asia

Please note: All spelling errors within this article are protectively deliberate. When you email the Hansens please be conscious to avoid Chrstian or relgious words or just msspell them. Chrstmas in Xi’an, our little piece of China, is celebrated to the extent that decorated trees and tinsel show up in various shops (often remaining months after Chrstmas). There is no public holiday, so work and classes continue as per usual. We are still adjusting to having classes over Christmas and starting our new year in February!!

“there is no public holiday, so work and classes continue as per usual” So with a much smaller bang than Chinese New Year, our family, along with our closest Chinese and foreign friends, celebrated together our Saveyers birth. We eat roast pork, baked vegies and “birthday” cake and have fun looking at pictures reflecting the true, and not so true, aspects of Chrstmas. Please ask for our friends who don’t know Jsus, that they would truly be able to celebrate Chrstmas with us one day soon. Please pry for us as we plan and start our new year that the father might give us wisdom as to which relationships to focus on and what direction to move in for our future work. We greatly value your pryers for us, our city and the multitude of people in it. The Hansens - James, Lee-Ann, Myles (born 16/09/07), Joel (born 26/09/09) and Georgia (born 25/9/12). Email:

Top The Hansen Family Middle Joel Bottom Myles & Georgia


When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great

MATTHEW 2:10 christmas - a time of thanks | 13



Women’s Conference February 16, 2013 Mark the date in your diary! We invite all women to come and be recharged and revitalised together, as we take a look at our New Year resolutions around solid Bible teaching from Colossians 1:1-14 & 4:2-6. Our guest speaker is Jenny Salt, Dean of Students at Sydney Missionary & Bible College. Men’s Katoomba Convention February 22-23, 2013 What does it mean to follow Jesus? What does “being Christ-like” really look like? Chris Wright and Leon Stead will show us what it means to faithfully follow Jesus, and then challenge us to take up that cross and follow him. In a busy world, it’s a great opportunity for men to stop and remind ourselves who we should be following. So come along, bring your mates and join thousands of other men who also want to follow the King. For more information call the office on 9541 0990 or speak to John Ishak.

Birth Proud Grandparents Charles and Vicky Reid are delighted to announce the birth of Charles William Reid 3.3 kg born 10.30am 13/11/12 at RPA. Congratulations! Marriage Emma Scott and Tristan Whitefield were married at church on 1 December 2012. We wish them both all God’s joy and happiness in their future as they both serve Him and each other.

TEAR 2012

Christmas Appeal PEAS ON EARTH (AND BEANS AS WELL) Menai Anglican’s Justice & Mercy (JAM) team will open the TEAR AUSTRALIA Useful Giftshop this year from 1 to 23 December. TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organisation responding to global poverty and injustice working in partnership with other Christian organisations around the world and with Indigenous organisations in Australia. In buying a gift you are contributing to longterm community development projects lifting people out of poverty towards a better future. For more information please contact Carrol Jarvis 0417 217 075

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Grumpy Innkeeper

The Grumpy Innkeeper is the title of our Christmas Eve family celebration this year. Colour him in for your chance to win a great prize. There are three age groups and three super prizes.


The age groups are Aged 5 and under, Aged 10 and under and Aged 15 and under. Happy colouring! All entries to be returned to the church office by Sunday January 30. Name : ....................................................

The winners will be announced in church on Sunday February 3 at 10am - our family celebration. Come along and hear if you are a winner!

Age : ....................................................... Contact Ph : .............................................

MENAI ANGLICAN CHURCH BROUGHTON PLACE BARDEN RIDGE MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 1144 Menai Central 2234 MINISTRY TEAM Senior Minister: Bruce Dingwall Senior Associate Minister: Steve Wakeford Youth Minister: Andrew Hartman Children’s Minister: Mary Pickford Pastoral Care Worker: Marg Hudson Women’s Ministry Coordinator: Margaret Icke Assistant Youth Minister: Pat Jones Student Ministers: Ben Stewart, Joel Nankervis Communications Manager: Stella Brown Secretary & PA: Denise Gellett

Menai Anglican Church Magazine Dec12 Jan13  

Church magazine for Dec/Jan