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Connecting Sydney Christadelphian Young People

Reach out

October 2006

the pressure to preach


reaching can sometimes feel like an obligation, a duty, and even a burden. There is always the feeling of “am I preaching enough?”, “is it working” or “am I doing something wrong?”. Most of the time we don’t see the effects of our preaching straight away, and this can be very disheartening. But we must remember it is not us who converts someone – only God can change hearts. Our job is to plant the seed. God will make it grow. (I Corinthians 3:7) Preaching should not be something we only think about every year at SCYP’s preaching weekend or when we go overseas on a mission trip. Showing God’s Word and love to others should be part of our everyday lives. Living and breathing God’s message is the best preaching any of us will ever do. People may not listen to your words, but they will notice the way you act, and if you are following Jesus, people will notice there is something radically different about you compared to the rest of the world. Sometimes it can seem like the only worthwhile preaching is done overseas on mission trips. But remember, most of our time is spent at home, here in Australia. If we can’t preach in our normal lives, what hope have we in a foreign country, where we also have to cope with so many other strange experiences?

There’s a fantastic verse in Jeremiah which says, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” If we can’t preach the word and love of God through the little things we do every day, how will we cope on a larger scale? If you plan to preach overseas one day, start your training now! Show Jesus to others through everything you say, think and do. Serve God in the small ways He provides, and then He will give you larger opportunities. Get involved in Conversational English classes at Shaftesbury Rd or Hurstville. Join the preaching committee in your ecclesia. Get involved in SCYP preaching next year. There are so many ways to spread the word of God to others, just say a prayer and go for it! If you are searching for ways to actively preach, ask God to show you what He wants you to do. But don’t ignore His answer! With love in the Lord, The Editorial Team

Cover artwork: Dreamstime

The Vine is published every two months by the Sydney Christadelphian Young People Editorial Team: Jenny Galbraith, Jenni Sawell, Katie Shields, Leah Sawell Masthead design: Alisa Thompson Layout: Jenny Galbraith 1

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Contributors: Lawrence Hugo, Tim Cole, Lara Morgan, James Dennes, Josh Sawell, Geoff Watson, Maxine Swensson, Beth Nutter, Scott Morgan, Ben Deller, Ben Joseph, Naomi Dennes The Vine is published to the glory of our Heavenly Father, through whom all things are made possible












3 The Comfort Zone

9 Photo Spread!

Sometimes our fear and embarrassment can get in the way of our best intentions to preach.

Photos of our August Camp antics!

5 My Preaching Journey

11 Mission? Maybe not.

Realising the best way for you to preach can take time.

Sometimes it seems like everyone has preached overseas, but it’s not for everyone.

6 Vox Pop: Preaching

13 The Long and Short of It

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “preaching”?

Both long-term and short-term mission work can have its benefits and challenges!

7 The Power of One

18 Reviews

Can just one person make a difference in this A review of the new Christo album Songs of world? Deliverence. The Vine


Stepped out of your comfort zone lately? We all feel compelled to share the Word of God with those around us. But sometimes our fear and embarrassment can get in the way of our best intentions to preach.


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t is often a great struggle for us to share our faith because the process involves stepping out of that dreadful emotional prison called our comfort zones. This can certainly work on an ecclesial level too where we as Christadelphian’s struggle to find ways we can evangelise the true word of God into our community. Yet there is one thing we must remember - it all starts with you. All great things in this world began as an idea in someone’s head and it’s highly likely there is a Jeremiah in you, an Esther eager to get out, a Paul ready to rip into the world to make a real difference in the world. Think about this: What if that person I want to share God with was me? Would I like the opportunity to be saved from death? Jesus says to us “love thy neighbour as thyself”. In the true spirit of these words I really must think about others as much as I think about myself. Research shows that the average person will think about themselves at least 50 times a day, with thoughts like “that shirt would look great on me”, “I’d love to be a rock star” and my personal favourite “I really deserve some of that chocolate”. So when we love our neighbour as ourselves, what God is saying is that I have to think/ do as much for the other as myself! Romans 10:15 quotes Isaiah: “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of all things”. Your feet aren’t going to be very attractive if you’re prancing around all day in sandals, yet even those smelly, dirt encrusted feet of one who preaches the truth are singled out to be beautiful! We all feel the pressure to preach yet it’s one of the most difficult things to do. If I feel pressured and uncomfortable then I may be doing it wrong. It’s like trying on jeans that are too small for you, if they don’t fit, don’t wear them! The key factor is to develop your own personal style of

sharing God’s words, otherwise you will beat your head against the wall by going against your natural way of communicating. Do yourself a favour and read the parable of the Talents in Matt 25:14-29. It’s about the master who leaves talents (money) with his servants to invest while

“’s highly likely there is a Jeremiah in you, an Esther eager to get out, a Paul ready to rip into the world to make a real difference in the world.” he is away. It makes it clear to us that we ALL must be preaching and in doing so we have varying degrees of success. Those that succeeded, even a little bit, are fabulously rewarded for their efforts. One insight in this story is that the master did not instruct the servants on how to invest, he left it to their own talents. It’s an interesting play on words yet true. You use your own God given talents to emanate God in your life. It may take a while to find our talent but it’s there waiting to be used. Yet there’s a real danger of falling into the “that’s not my style” trap. Am I saying this because it’s not my style or it’s simply out of my comfort zone? Any gold miner that has struck it rich had to do it on the back of blood sweat and tears. Many good things to discover in this world takes effort. Remember that preaching should be a joy. God has built us all differently so find your style, do it and have fun with it! You have to start today, don’t have the “one day when” faith. Rather grab hold of the “this day now!” faith and share God’s words. Lawrence Hugo The Vine


My Preaching Journey W

hen I was young, my concept of preaching was about going overseas, knocking on people’s doors, and telling them about what I didn’t believe in. So I practised telling people at primary school that there was no such thing as a devil with horns and a pitchfork. But I realised that when you do that people just think you are a bit nerdy and a bit weird. I think preaching is like that sometimes – it’s hard to know what to say, it’s scary and it’s outside everyone’s comfort zone. But the only way to make it easier is to get out there and just do it. I spent my high school life at Heritage College, which meant that I was surrounded by people who believed the same things

by Naomi Dennes

learning curve. Whilst preaching overseas does involves rocking up to a market place where you are the only white person in sight with a leaflet and the good news of the Kingdom, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Preaching in an area which already has an existing Christadelphian community is about strengthening what remains. It’s about building from the grass roots that have been laid and encouraging other Christadelphians to the Kingdom. Sometimes it’s about just being there. One of the most inspiring things for the young people in Fiji was just to see that there are other young people in other countries who believe the same things that they do. Lately I’ve been realising that preaching

Lately I’ve been realising that preaching is about living what you believe – it could be just reading your Bible on the train or refusing to laugh at someone’s dirty joke. as I did. However, while I was at school, it dawned on me that preaching was not just limited to those who are not from a Christadelphian background. Some of the most vital preaching can be done in your own young people’s group, constantly reaffirming your own beliefs. In fact, preaching starts in your own group of Christadelphian friends. The point is that fellowship assists preaching. That’s why it is so important, within your youth group, to build deep relationships based on a common love for God. It is here that you learn the necessary skills required to talk to other people about the Bible. I’ve been fortunate enough to do some overseas mission work with my family in Fiji. I thought that finally I was going to fulfil my childhood dream and do some “real” preaching! But again, I was in for a real 5

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is about living what you believe – it could be just reading your Bible on the train or refusing to laugh at someone’s dirty joke. But one thing’s for sure, you need to be excited about what you believe so that when someone stops you while you are running in the park, you can say “Well, I have good news. Jesus is coming back to earth to save this world from its miserable state”. So as I’ve slowly made my way along the old road of hard knocks, I’ve tried heaps of different strategies and approaches to preaching. I’ve definitely had my fair share of embarrassing and uncomfortable experiences, but overall something I’ve discovered is that when you get into preaching, it becomes really exciting, educational and spiritually stimulating because you just keep proving to yourself how precious it is to know the truth.

I think we have outdated methods, it doesn’t seem like people are interested in what we have to say. But don’t ask me to think of any new ones! - Tim Cole

Mission work in South Africa and going on a holiday! - Lara Morgan

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “preaching”?

SCYP going to Burwood shopping centre. - Josh Sawell

I think of my own experiences of preaching God’s word to people in less fortunate circumstances. - James Dennes The Vine



an just one person make a difference? Jesus was just one person, so was Paul the Apostle, so was King David, so was Moses, so was Abraham. At various times in their lives they were out the front, leading their people, preaching the good news of God to others who thirsted. Other times they were alone in the wilderness – just themselves and God. Here they were really alone – but not lonely. The difference they made wherever they went was that God was with them. If you are in isolation and in some sense apart from the

fellowship of Brothers and Sisters in Jesus, you might be alone but you don’t need to be lonely, so long as you know God is with you. As I write this I’m realising that I have lived most of my life in the Lord in some kind of semi-isolation, either working in a tiny ecclesia here in the NSW Central West or somewhere in the mission field. In those three decades, I know I have sensed spiritual isolation many times, but I have very, very rarely felt lonely or that I could not be a witness to the Lord I serve and love. It seems to me that preaching in isolation begins here with WHO you are, your personal trust in the Father and Jesus, your sense that they are real in your life and above all your awareness that they are with you. Knowing this makes all the difference because you won’t make the mistake I made for many of my early years - of trying to Preach in my own strength. During these years I thought that preaching to others was about engineering situations where I could convince people I met about the Truth of the Bible. Although I could not have admitted it then, my mindset was that of a Bible salesman – I had some Bible knowledge and

The Pow Can just one person


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my role then was to impart that knowledge to as many people as possible with as much enthusiasm as I could muster… Knowledge and enthusiasm are important, really important, but they need a different mindset to be effective. Here are just three tips that can make that difference: Preaching is about winning people not arguments God will bring us the people if we prepare out hearts and ASK him day by day. Jesus put it simply: “No-one can come to me

you trust and admire in the Lord. They are not always the most knowledgeable. The ones I look up to are the ones I really trust and respect who have the Spirit of Christ within them, then I am ready to hear their knowledge. Other people are the same with us. If we are friendly, if we are genuinely interested in them as people, if we take time to find out about them and they gain a sense of WHO we are, a relationship forms based on openness and respect and the time will soon come when you can share some seeds of your trust and belief in God.

“You might be alone but you don’t need to be lonely, so long as you know God is with you.” unless the Father draw him”. So ASK in prayer: “Lord please bring someone today that I can help and reach out to”. It may not happen that very day but just keep asking! In my experience, day after day, God answers that prayer so half of your problem is solved already – finding the people who have a need. Whatever you do within your resources in the Lord to reach out to them is God’s gift through you to their lives. Preaching is about a relationship first then knowledge People will listen to you talking about God in your life if you have first listened to them. Think for a moment about the people

As you share your trust and belief, keep in mind what you would like to see happen next Always have something to offer your contact to help them move forward. Ask them a positive question such as: Is this interesting to you?(WAIT for their answer…) Could I show you how to find out more? (WAIT again….) Then offer them an invitation to a class, or to SCYP, or something to read. Remember wherever you are, whatever your isolated circumstances - just one person can make a difference! Geoff Watson

wer of One make a difference?

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Camp 06

Overseas Mission? Maybe not. Sometimes it can feel like there is a huge pressure to preach overseas, but it’s not something God calls everyone to do.


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y boyfriend says I’m high maintenance, very high maintenance. So I guess it’s not surprising that despite my faith, preaching overseas is not for me. I like my creature comforts and I’m a very girly girl; anyone watching me unpack the car at Easter camp would know this. You might think I’m just vain and trying to find an excuse not to preach overseas because I don’t find it comfortable, but that’s not the whole story. I tried it once. Three weeks in Fiji. They say Fiji is one of the easiest areas to try out your preaching skills. The ecclesia is quite large and the country is fairly westernised. But despite how much I wanted to be there I simply couldn’t handle the living conditions. As young people we often get the idea in our heads that preaching overseas is a holiday, and if you love going camping it probably will be. But my idea of a holiday is somewhere more comfortable

I need to get over it because I’m being selfish but I don’t think it’s that simple. I have a lot of respect for people who are ready and willing to travel overseas to preach God’s word, but in my life so far, I have had to come to terms with the fact that God has not made me for that purpose. Paul himself said that there are many different jobs, and he didn’t expect everyone to do what he did. In 1 Corinthians 12 he says, “If the whole body were any eye where would be the hearing? If the whole body were hearing where would be the smelling?”. You don’t need to feel guilty. We are all different parts of the body, designed for different purposes, even different preaching purposes. I was not designed with a desire to explore strange lands and stranger foods in less than comfortable conditions. I was not designed with the ability to endure long

I have a lot of respect for people who are ready and willing to travel overseas to preach God’s word, but in my life so far, I have had to come to terms with the fact that God has not made me for that purpose. than home, so for me preaching overseas is not a holiday. Compared to millions of people around the world, Fiji was luxury. That thought alone was difficult for me to comprehend. There’s so many people living in poverty and I’m worried about cold showers and fighting off the rat that lives in the kitchen? Sometimes it’s really hard for me to get past this because I feel as though by not giving up my creature comforts to preach overseas, I’m not following Jesus. It’s like I’m refusing to do as he asks. But that’s just not how it works, especially not in our day and age. I have found that when I put myself in a situation that is very uncomfortable for me I am no help to anyone in terms of preaching. I’m simply a miserable mess. I’m sure there are many more of you out there who are the same and who have shared my feeling of guilt. Some of you will say that

treks through the Amazon or witness poverty and disease firsthand and benefit from the experience like many people do. In fact those things make me feel extremely scared and uncomfortable. Out of all who followed him, Jesus only sent out seventy people two by two into the cities he was going to visit (Luke 10). There are millions of people in Australia that don’t follow God. If every single one of us up and went to Africa or India tomorrow, who would keep the faith alive in Sydney? There are plenty of other preaching jobs to do. You can still be the bright light within your comfort zone if you’re not ready to take the plunge into foreign waters or if you feel that God has constructed you for another equally admirable and essential purpose. “Let you’re light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) Katie Shields

Here are some ideas for those of you who want to try shining your lights at home: 1. Contact that ACBM and find out if there are any administrative tasks available for you to do. 2. Mention in passing your beliefs to your friends at uni or work and get a conversation started! 3. Join a Conversational English program at Shaftsbury Rd or Hurstville ecclesias. 4. If you’re a muso, talk to other SCYP musos and find out if there are any preaching efforts (coffee shop afternoons) you can perform at or attend! 5. Teach Sunday school! Our kiddies need to learn about God and Jesus too! 6. Get in touch with Phil Rosser to join preaching programs at the universities in Sydney! 7. Live your faith everyday and shine as a light - people will notice! The Vine


The Long and

Long-term and short-term missions both have Maxine Swensson and Beth Nutter write about their experiences on the mission fields.



o matter if you’re a long or short term visitor to the “Mission Fields”, you are the one who benefits the most. It’s the feeling of giving your all very day in HIS SERVICE, experiencing His guiding hand as you step out into an area where very few people speak English, with only an address of the contact. After two bus rides and a cycle rickshaw you arrive at the home of the Bible student, with a grateful heart of thankfulness and relief. The first thing after the greeting and name

with us and you take some of us away with you”. That is just so true. Preparation is the key to any stay, but the longer you’re away, sometimes means the more you have to take. An example is Sunday school materials to cover three Bible weeks and four weekend truth camps. But in those early days a year’s supply of medication, underarm deodorant and gravy mix were in my bag. But without a doubt to key is prayer support

For those wondering about going or not - make it a matter of prayer. God will answer “yes” “no” or “wait, I’m working on it!”. changes your host and all present offer a word of prayer to God for His guidance and care in coming so far. One thing I have always do is commit the day in prayer before I rise from my bed, for you have no idea of where His hand will lead you this day. It gives you the faith and wisdom to go where He leads and follow His advice. Oh the stories that flash through my mind: some funny like the snail lollies, and others more humbling. Like the morning when Brother Christopher Yates’ grandson handed me a note: “Dear Sister Maxine, Please come quickly, Mother expired, bring money and camera. Your Brother Christopher”. Yes you are the one who gains the most from your venture; your life is forever enriched. You learn your strengths and weaknesses and reliance on the Hand of God. Also the unique bond we experience in our global community, visiting different cultures and language, yet the hospitality is instant, warm and open. There is a Tamil saying, “When you leave us, you leave some of yourself 13

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from your friends and their emails and cards. They carry you and uplift you and their timing is just perfect. I don’t know how many times a letter sharing a recent exhort or Bible class was just the inspiration you needed to lift you up spiritual or emotionally. The disadvantage is sometimes the isolation: “is there a world out there?” I tell you any news from home is “cool water on a hot day”. Even about how Aunty so and so had had the flu. Nowadays with SMS emails and other model technology it has made such a difference. The advantage in long term is that you are able to transfer and be a member of your ecclesia and give support in every way, as I did for a year living in Hyderabad doing my Montessori Teachers Training. It’s so nice to be a active member, instead of a visitor passing through once a month when travelling North, then South. For those wondering about going or not - make it a matter of prayer. God will answer “yes” “no” or “wait, I’m working on it!”. Maxine Swensson

the Short of It

their own advantages and disadvantages.

t Short-term


n July last year, I was privileged enough to spend five weeks in the beautiful islands of Vanuatu with my family, preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God and spending time with the ni-van brethren and sisters over there. It was a wonderful experience but it made me realize how some our extended family live in such hardship. We flew out of Brisbane and arrived in Port Vila in about 3 hours. For the next few days we visited the few brothers and sisters on the island, which include Ben and Bec Kingsbury, Kaltos and Pascaline Manses, Dickson and Flora Muerifar, Shem Larry and Annie Anniel. While in Port Vila, we went down to the local markets and handed out leaflets advertising the bible correspondence course. The ten of us spread out and we covered the area fairly quickly. We gathered around 180 application forms that day. They were so eager to learn about the bible! The following weekend we traveled to the island of Emau, where our brother and sister George and Maree Manses live (George is Kaltos’ brother). We talked and broke bread with them, as they don’t often get the opportunity for fellowship. Practically everyone on Emau is part of the Presbyterian Church, and it’s very hard for George and Maree.

We also visited the island of Malekula, which was my favorite. There are four brothers and sisters on Malekula, two of which were only baptized the week before we got there! Their names are Bro Ngaren, Bro Willie (Dicksons brother), sister Annie and Bro Tom. We lived in their village, in a small hut made of woven bamboo. The people there are so beautiful! They’re so friendly and helpful! The men in the village took the boys turtle hunting late one night, and we cooked little octopus on the beach, wrapping them up in leaves and putting them in the coals. It was a very sad time when we left Malekula. The kids ran alongside the ute as we left for as far as they could, shouting and waving goodbye. Vanuatu is a beautiful place, with beautiful people, and nothing beats spreading Gods word to a place just full of people who want to hear about it! The response to an afternoon of preaching in the park is incredible! So please, if you feel God pulling you in the direction of mission work, don’t cross Vanuatu off the list. There is so much work to be done there, and it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Beth Nutter

Capturing the


Take a look around, what do you see? Do you see death and destruction, poverty and hunger as I do?


sometimes think what is worth living for? Then I think about my life. Being surrounded by my brothers and sisters every weekend, having fun and learning about God and Jesus. When I think about this, the Kingdom also jumps into mind. What will it be like and what will we do? We must always realise that the Kingdom will be exactly how GOD wants it and not how we want it. In Isaiah 11 it talks about how the wolf will live with the lamb and the young child will put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. It is important to know that “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. Father” So it will not be by humans will that the Kingdom will come but by God’s.

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” One of the most amazing things about the Kingdom is that we will never die. As Romans says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is Lord”. Best of all there eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” will be no war. In Isaiah 2 it talks about how “they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will anymore”. Surely the they train for war anymore” Kingdom of God is worth enduring the hardships of life and the persecution of friends. We should try and strive for the Kingdom in every single aspect of our lives. Scott Morgan 15 15

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Ecclesial Profile ...Sutherland S

utherland ecclesia is located in the beautiful, pristine and tranquil surroundings of “The Shire” (well known for its friendly locals, peaceful bushlands, sunny beaches and frequent riots). All in all there are about 60 people who attend Sutho ranging

out with and are a cool bunch of kids. Officially the class is known as “The Suthernville Class”. At the moment the Sutho people are planning a vision of Sutherland, where we will be in the next 10 years. We are hoping to improve and find some better ways of reaching out to our At Sutho despite the decline of our young people over the past community and few years, we’ve grown heaps closer together, not only in our also try new ways of running things friendships but also spiritually. in the ecclesia. At Sutho despite the decline of our young people from plumbers and carpenters to mortgage brokers and computer programmers. Every over the past few years, we’ve grown heaps closer together, not only in our friendships but second Friday at 7:30pm at Hurstville Hall we also spiritually. So please come and visit us at have a combined young peoples class with Hurstville young people, who are great to hang Sutho, cause we always love having visitors! Ben Deller

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Reviews Seek the Lord: Songs of Deliverance 2 Ok, so we sang “God of Wonders” and loved praising God. We sang “I will enter His gates” and maybe came to a realisation that singing praises can be fun. We also sang “Blessed be Your Name” and… we not only sang the song, but what we sang became our thoughts, emotions, expression, feelings of our whole being and hearts at the time, giving true praise to God in heaven. Was it not awesome!? Sometimes the power of music in a spiritual context written by Christadelphians can be underrated and a little shunned in our community. Maybe because we can’t always

admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God”. Music is a part of living a Christian life, it’s a great way to express our love for God and His son Jesus. A CD that has very recently hit our shores called Songs of Deliverance 2 I believe completely fulfils Col 3:16. A CD based completely on the word of God, teaching us what praise really sounds like. This album has psalms, hymns and original Christadelphian spiritual songs, as well as some favourites like “Blessed be Your Name”, “God of Wonders”, “I will enter His gates” and “How deep the Father’s love.” All these, plus many more make for an exciting, contemplative, joyful, reverent, informative and enjoyable cd to listen to over and over again. It would be surprising to speak

“When listening to praise music let’s always remember to whom the glory should be shown ...” see the relevance a piece of music might have to God and His purpose with us. Or sometimes maybe the music could be a distraction to the focus of what is happening at the time, whether it be a meeting’s atmosphere, a talk, bible study, camps, etc. Or maybe the reason why Christadelphian music is not always seen positive in our community is because the presenters and authors of the music are breaking away from what the norm’ is in certain places within Christadelphia and are therefore possibly being seen as radicals which might be seeking glory for themselves and not for God… I don’t really have an answer to why Christadelphian music isn’t as popular as it has the potential to be. What I do know is that there is now a big resource of Christadelphian music available to everyone who wants it. Colossians 3:16 reads, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and


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to anyone that didn’t like any of the songs on this CD, there is literally something on it for everyone. Produced by some young people in the USA, this CD has the production quality of a commercial label and has the full support of the Christadelphian Art Trust, which brought you other great CDs such as “Living Moving Being”, “Wonder”, and “Songs in a Strange Land”. It’s the kind of CD you would not only give to your friends but also your grandparents and not feel uncomfortable with them listening to it. When listening to praise music let’s always remember to whom the glory should be shown, rejoice wholeheartedly, and enjoy singing about God, His Son, and our love for Him. Find Songs of Deliverance 2 at the C.A.T website Enjoy! Ben Joseph

Heard it on

th e.. .



No births this time!

Engagements Jono Yearsley and Emma Wolstencroft

Baptisms Alison Verdich Josh Door Isaac Watson

Weddings David Court and Naomi French

Got any comments? Criticisms? Suggestions? Want to be involved in The Vine? Tell us! The Vine


“I am the true vine...”

Reach Out - October 2006  
Reach Out - October 2006  

An edition of The Vine focusing on preaching - it's benefits and challenges.