Most of the team were scheduled to give the same Christian Religious Education Assembly, 5 times (that’s right five!) to all the different year groups at Oak Flats High School. Onto the day…
The Jamberoo team has been on a mission to door knock on all the houses in the village. According to the team they’ve gotten through about 80% which is an incredible effort! The team has met a lot of people who have had experience with catholicism, and Mitch Herps (4th year) has been trying to challenge them in his conversations and what they means for them right now.
Whereas, for the Oak Flats area we were unable to cover the whole area and so we just tried to talk to as many as we could throughout the week. There have been some great stories about door knocking and some great conversations were had. For example, we’ve meant a high proportion of older folk from Germany. And the amount of bad experiences they have had with the church, as mere fundraising organisations that want your money, was really sad. The tough thing about it, and understandably so, is that bad experiences with the church often leads to a hardening and turning away from the great news in the Gospel.
As we knocked on some of the doors, we met a university student called *Brad. He had some experience with Christian stuff through the religious education classes in his primary school, but didn’t particularly stick with things as study, uni and social life crowded out his life. We had the opportunity to have a good chat with him, and helped him to re-think, why Jesus came and died. It was surprising (and kinda not surprising at all) that many people think the Gospel of Christianity is if we’re good enough God will accept us. So it’s been great to challenge that view, because that just is not the Gospel. The Gospel is we’re not good enough, but Christ died for us, and so we can now know God.
High School assembly crazy mania!
Most of the team were pretty exhausted after running the high school assembly fives times over with discussion groups each time. In each assembly there were around 30-40 kids, with the theme that salvation is not something we can take from God but must be received as a gift. Matt Morrison (1st year) talked on Ephesians 2:1-9 that the gospel is that we are saved by grace and something we cannot earn. Dave Simmons (2nd year) with Mitch again illustrated salvation is received and not taken through a game where volunteers try and take a rugby ball out of his hands. Jemima Nicolls (1st year) spoke about how she was able to overcome anxiety through the peace that Jesus Christ gives through live illustration testimony. Ben Lattimore (3rd year) performed a song he wrote about how God is in control and how his followers don’t need to worry. Ed Stocks (3rd year) said that the discussion groups reinforced the main point of the assembly. Even the kids who were laughing and not paying much attention were able to engage with the topic through asking questions.
And then came the kids clubs…
K-2 play group
The first kids club off the ranks was the Kindergarden to year 2 playgroup with around 10 kids, who adore “duck, duck, goose”. It was incredible to see a great playgroup, led by Harley, who is well into retirement but still so active in teaching the kids about Jesus. It was so great to see a church where the many generations of the church are involved in serving and helping each other learn the Bible. This week we learnt that King David sinned against God, but God is the greater King who forgives David.
Andy’s Club (years 3-6)
Straight after the K-2 playgroup entered the Andy’s Club for years 3-6. Tim Bones (Ed: or as Tim suggested “T-Bone”) made a Poo-shake. Blending up all the ingredients for a milkshake in front of them, T-Bone then added a bit of “dog’s poo” to make the milkshake filled with dog poo, to illustrate that evena little bit of sin makes us entirely sinful. But the good news is that Jesus had a good milkshake and gave to us and drank our bad one. He gives us His holiness and takes away our sinfulness
It was notable that even in years 3-6 that they really try and teach the kids all the Christian disciplines of reading the Bible, praying and singing praises. Matt Straw (4th year), Jodie McNeil (Rector) and Kate Henderson (4th year) taught the kids the song “Running” by City Alight and even had them running around together at the very end!
Ed: no one was hurt in the process.
A dinner of hot dogs was served. Shout out to John Halen (4th year) who came back for a 4th hot dog (but was declined because the kids needed to eat as well). Brian Luong (1st year) and Will Quach (2nd year) served up the goods, and the kids were so excited about all the hot dogs they could scoff down in record time.
Refuge (year 7-12)
The Refuge youth group commenced that aimed to disciple kids to pray, praise God and read their Bibles. Ed Stocks (3rd year) gave his testimony about coming to Jesus, testifying that through his suffering, God used it, so that he would become a Christian. Karl Bonner (3rd year) preached from John 9 how God makes use of our suffering, so that we come to know Him. When we suffer we also know who we really are before God – small, fragile humans who sin and so depend on Him for all things – including our salvation.
And that… marked the end of a long day for the team! It was tiring and it was difficult, but it was great to proclaim the Gospel to so many in varied ways. But the mission is definitely not slowing down for this team, the “Back to Church Sunday” services are packed across Saturday and Sunday!