For Sunday the 31st of December
One recipe for misery is to know God’s rules without knowing God. If we have no relationship with God, but do have some knowledge of God’s laws, then God can seem to be a killjoy – to be someone who has created a world full of fun, but who will not let us enjoy it. Living with this experience can lead us to have a deep resentment toward God – a resentment that is fuelled by fear and guilt.
This Sunday we will be hearing from the Bible about the way God makes us his friends, and so gives us knowledge of who he is. We will be hearing about the way that God gives us joy as he leads us to live with gratitude, and as he frees us to experience his closeness to us in our communal life in the church.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 9:00am for a service with Holy Communion.
For Sunday the 31st of December
For Sunday the 24th of December
This Sunday we will be hearing from the Bible about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and we will be thinking about what the Bible means when it says that ‘all generations’ will call her ‘blessed’. As we hear about Mary’s trust in God’s word, we will hear how God made her a blessing to the people around her, and how God worked through her to bring his blessing to the whole world.
One of the ways Mary’s story encourages us is that it shows us how God keeps us from temptation, and delivers us from evil. Mary’s story reminds us that by God’s grace we can distinguish between good and evil, that we can be thankful to God for his protection, and that we encourage and support all people in need.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 10:00am for a service with Holy Communion. Our Service of Readings and Carols will be at 7:30pm, and our Christmas Day service will be at 9:00am.
This year at Bendigo we will be having a Christmas Eve Service at 7:30pm on Sunday the 24th of December. Our Christmas Day Service will be at 9:00am on the 25th of December.
The Christmas Eve Service will be a traditional Service of Readings and Carols.
The Christmas Day Service will be the Service with Communion.
For Sunday the 17th of December
Most of us have to live with worry. It’s not that we enjoy being anxious, it’s just that worry comes naturally to us, and when we are faced with people or situations that cause us concern, we can become weighed down.
This Sunday we will be hearing from the Bible about how God frees us from worry. One of the readings we will hear comes from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where he encourages God’s people to rejoice in the Lord always. St Paul, who had plenty to worry about, spoke from experience when he assured the Christians in Philippi that the Lord is near, and that the Lord will hear the prayers of his faithful people. St Paul had experienced that fact that God gives his peace to those who speak their anxiety to him in prayer; we too can share in this experience as we take our worry to God.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 9:00am. We will experience the closeness of God as we listen to God’s word, as we pray together, and as we celebrate Holy Communion.
For Sunday the 10th of December
Bendigo Lutheran Church: Children’s Christmas
This Sunday is a special day for us: the children’s Christmas service. Every year we have a service in which the children dress up as different characters in the Christmas story, and act out their parts as the story is told. This simple and fun retelling of the great story of Christ’s birth not only helps give the children happy and vivid memories of Christmas, it also gives joy to the rest of the congregation as they watch the story unfold, and as they take their part in singing the carols.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 10:00am. Because of the children’s involvement our service will be a little different from the usual: we will only have one Bible reading, and the sermon will be a bit shorter. In the sermon we will be thinking through the way God completes the work of faith that he has started in us. We will be thinking through the way God grows us in knowledge of, and insight into, his love.
This Sunday we will be celebrating Holy Communion.
God’s peace to you,
Fraser Pearce, Pastor
For Sunday the 3rd of December
This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. Advent is a time of preparation for the celebration of Christmas, and it’s also a time that Christians set aside to focus on the fact that everybody will have to give account to God for the way they have lived.
This Sunday we will be hearing about the way that God has fulfilled the promise he made to his people in the past, and the way he strengthens us to live by faith in his promises here and now. In particular we will be hearing about how God’s promise to King David - that there would always be someone on his throne - has been kept in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We’ll be thinking about the way God’s promise to David, fulfilled by Jesus, frees us to live lives of simplicity, celebration, and joy.
We will be meeting at 9:00am for a Service with Holy Communion. Our Sunday School will be meeting at about 9:45am.
This Sunday evening, at 6:00pm, our congregation will be hosting an ecumenical service for advent. It will be a service of advent reading and songs/hymns, and will include brief presentations by people from four different Christian traditions (Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, and Uniting) on how Advent helps us prepare for Christ’s coming. All are welcome.
For Sunday the 26th of November
This Sunday we are celebrating a festival called ‘Christ the King’. This festival only began being celebrated toward the beginning of the Twentieth Century, just at the time when totalitarian governments were making an impact on Europe and the world. One reason Christians celebrate Christ the King is because it reminds us that no merely human authority can make a total claim on our lives.
This Sunday we will be hearing readings from the Bible that show how Jesus’ kingdom is different from worldly kingdoms. We will be hearing how Jesus’ kingdom is based on his love for us – a love that was willing to undergo sacrifice. We will also be hearing how Jesus grows his kingdom through the message of God’s mercy toward all people.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 10:00am for a service with communion. The Sunday School, which is having its first practice for the Christmas service, will be meeting at about 10:45am.
Some Great News and Some People for Prayer
Great News! Stuart and Rachel Manderson now have a second son. Samuel Anthony was born on Wednesday morning at 5:40am. Rachel and Samuel are both well, and will be at St John of God hospital for the next few days.
Other news: Marg Bremner had a knee operation on Thursday, and she is recovering at St John of God. David Miller also had a knee operation on Thursday, and will be at St John of God in Ballarat until next week. Please remeber them in your prayers.
For Sunday the 19th of November
It’s not unusual to think that those people who attempt to lead a good life, and who try to help others, should be most confident and least troubled about the prospect of being judged by God. It’s also not unusual to think that those who have given up trying to lead a good life, and who look after only themselves, should be least confident and most troubled about God’s judgment. It’s not unusual to think in these ways, but when we grow in experience of God we realize that the reality of God’s judgment on human beings is not what we might expect.
This Sunday we will be hearing from the Bible about God’s judgment, and about what can give us real confidence as we approach God. We will be thinking about the way that those who are closest to God have a deeper knowledge of their need for mercy than those who are far from God. We will also be thinking about the way that God washes us clean from sin and evil so that we may provoke each other to love and good deeds.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 9:00am for a service with communion. We will also be celebrating God bringing a new child into his family through holy baptism.
Fraser Pearce, Pastor
For Sunday the 12th of November
This Sunday we will be listening to a story from the Bible that deals with life during a drought. The story focuses on the fate of two vulnerable people – a widow and her young son - who suffer because of the drought, and who are at the point of despair. God saves these people, but not in ways that we would expect. He calls them to trust that he will provide for them, and he brings them hope as they serve God’s prophet, Elijah.
This story of drought and God’s provision for his people is very sophisticated, and is a call for those who listen with trust to understand the way God brings good out of evil; and the way God brings plenty when there is need. On Sunday we will be thinking about the way we live through times of drought, and that way that the Bible gives us encouragement to turn to God for all that we need, including the very basics of life; including rain.
This Sunday we will be meeting at 10:00am for a service with communion. Our church picnic will follow the service.
"Bethlehem" Lutheran Church, is a congregation of the Lutheran Church of Australia. The church is located at 94 Spring Gully Rd., Spring Gully (a suburb of Bendigo).
Our service times are:
1st, 3rd, and 5th Sundays at 9:00am
2nd and 4th Sundays at 10:00am
On most Sundays we celebrate Holy Communion.
The two pictures are of the church, and of the tennis courts that are directly opposite the church. We've included the picture of the tennis courts because they can be a helpful landmark in finding the church!