Welcome to Central Church
We encourage you to worship together with the church family each Sunday, either by registering to attend one of our services, or join us for our online service. Details can be found below, or by visiting our website at www.centralchurch.net.au
Sunday 1 August 2021
Preacher: Scott Muir
Series: God in the Mess: God’s Story of Hope from the Book of Genesis
Talk 3: An Uncomfortable Truth
Text: Genesis 18 & 19
Is God just? A lot of people accuse God of being unjust and passages in the Bible like Genesis 18 and 19 are exhibit 1. The idea of a God who judges sinners is not popular but incredibly important. Let’s find out how we should live knowing that Judgement Day is coming.
WELCOME CHURCH FAMILY
From the Senior Minister, Scott Muir
This week I attended the PCQ State Assembly. Many of you know that PCQ has some significant financial issues to deal with right now but another big (and encouraging) part of the week was our focus on the future. A team had done a lot of work in helping us think through strategic priorities for the future. Some of the big priorities we agreed on were:
So while there was definitely a concern for our financial position now, there was hope for how we would emerge as a denomination.
Please pray for the next phase as we start the implementation process.
Sunday Services Update – Good News!!
A reminder about the information for Church services this coming Sunday:
We are back at full capacity for all of our services, including up to 200 people at the Ipswich services
Hope in the Mess – Week 3
There are some ugly bits in the Bible. And this Sunday we come to one of them – when God destroyed the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. A modern reason people give for rejecting God is his judgement. How can a loving God judge us? We will spend some time on Sunday unpacking this. Make sure you prepare by reading Genesis 18 and 19.
Newish Lunch – Sunday 1st August
A great way to connect is by getting along to the Newish Lunch. If you’re new to our church family, we’d love to shout you lunch on the 1st of August in the Auditorium. It’s a great opportunity to meet other people from church, including elders and staff. And to find out a bit more about the church. Please RSVP to Jeanette Teale, our Connect Worker email@example.com or speak to one of the Ministry team at Church on Sunday.
Maybe you’ve been coming to Central a little bit longer, and you are still finding it a bit tricky to know who we are and how things work. We find that those who get along to our Inside Central Course always find it easier to actually feel like they belong here at Central Church.
The next Inside Central Course kicks off on Monday 2nd August at 7pm. It’s a 4 week course designed to help you work out who we are, what we do and why we do it.
Ipswich Assist Charity Fundraiser
This September, Ipswich Assist is hosting its FIRST EVER charity auction!
Date: Saturday 11th September
Time: 6.30pm start
Enjoy live music, canapés and you might even walk away with some new art, a photography session or a pro golf lesson!
Event details and tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite, using this link: https://ipswichassist.eventbrite.com.au/
If you would like to partner with us on mission at Central Church, our details are:
Account Number: 196363
Account Name: Central Presbyterian Church Ipswich
If you would like to partner with Ipswich Assist, their details are:
Account Number: 224918
Account Name: Ipswich Assist
Reference: Donation, Surname
Donations to Ipswich Assist are Tax Deductible. If you require a receipt, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
PRAISE & PRAYER POINTS
Please pray for the State Denomination (PCQ) as it has entered into a court appointed receivership. Pray specifically:
– That gospel ministry would continue in all churches as the financial matters are resolved
– Give thanks for the leadership shown by our denominational leaders who have been under great pressure
– Pray for the Receiver (Michael Owen) that he will serve in the best interests of the creditors but also in a way that serves the church
– Pray that we would be of good courage in all circumstances
Please pray for Scott as he co-ordinates a team preparing separate legal representation for the local churches in Queensland.
– For our KidsSpot team that works hard to create easy to understand content for kids
– Hannah Schaefer will be deploying with the RAAF. We are so thankful for her and will miss her in Crèche. Please pray for her safety and that she feels God is guiding her
– Pray for Paul Smith who is home recovering from surgery. Give thanks that the surgery went well, and pray for pain management and good sleep during this recovery period. Please also pray for Debra and the rest of Paul’s family
– Pray for our youth this term as they focus more on 1-1 bible reading
– Those suffering from winter colds and flu, especially the frail and elderly
– Pray that our church family would be actively caring for and praying for one another
– God’s love, comfort and strength to be with us in all circumstances
– Those facing health issues, including those with mental health issues
– Pray for the Chief Medical Officer, State Leaders, Health Department and frontline workers in New South Wales, as they try to contain the latest delta strain Covid outbreak. Pray that the COVID outbreak in Sydney would be quickly brought under control
– Praise God for the development of vaccines and improved treatments. Pray for their continued roll out
– Pray for those recovering from the virus and its lasting effects, and for those in quarantine
– Pray that everyone across the country would follow the guidelines imposed by our leaders to keep us safe and to quickly bring the outbreaks under control
– Pray for those who might feel alone, anxious or depressed due to the restrictions, or being in quarantine or lockdown
– Pray for those suffering financial hardship due to the effects of COVID lockdowns and restrictions
– Pray for a global recovery
– Pray for all those who are separated from loved ones because of COVID restrictions
Pray especially for those who are still trying to get home from overseas
Nic Crook – Ministry Leader with OMF
– Praise for opportunities to co-lead a mission’s elective at the UQ mid-year AFES camp over July
– Please pray for the OMF State conference which Nic is hosting in August. It will be partially done using zoom as the two keynote speakers cannot come up from Sydney, and partially ‘live’ with Qld speakers doing the electives
– Prayer point: pray for wisdom while assisting and debriefing returning missions as they return very tired due to the many difficulties/challenge’s of this season in missions especially when they are ministering in countries greatly affected by COVID
The Persecuted Church: India – Christian Leaders Infected
From OPEN DOORS, By Emily Watt, 6 July 2021
India is facing one of the worst COVID-19 crises in the world. Local partners now report the church has been severely affected.
Local church partner, Sabita*, said, ‘As the pandemic got worse last month, people were searching for medicine, oxygen tanks and hospitals. Christians in many places had so many issues getting treatment since they are poor, and some were denied treatment.
‘The situation for Christians in India is extremely tough. They face the same challenges as everyone else because of COVID but also face discrimination because of their faith.
‘The impact this time was much worse compared to last year, as so many church leaders were affected and several of them died. Church leaders’ income source had already been greatly affected as the churches shut down, and whatever income they had from offerings also stopped. We received lots of requests for prayer and support from pastors who are sick due to COVID and other ailments and are desperately in need of financial support. They have nowhere else to go.
‘We have lost several pastors, church leaders, and active partners in the field over the last two months. For the deceased
Christian leaders, their families have been affected as they have lost the main breadwinner of the family, as well as the trauma they have suffered in all this.’
As this crisis continues, will you join us in praying for India?
*Name change for security purposes.
Pray for India:
– Pray vulnerable Christians might reach the practical support they need to survive
– Pray God would pour out His peace onto those who have lost loved ones
– Pray for the safety of local church partners as they support vulnerable communities
Weekly Prayer Meetings
Sunday, Outdoor Area – 8.15am to 8.55am
– 4.45pm to 5.25pm
Tuesday, Church Office Meeting Room – 1.30pm
Ripley Prayer group (monthly) – contact Pier
Prayer for Central Church and Beyond
If anyone is interested in receiving a weekly email that includes prayer points for the individual ministries of the church, please email Jenny (email@example.com) and she would be happy to include you in the mail-out
Sunday 1 August 2021
Preacher: Scott Muir
Series: God in the Mess: God’s Story of Hope from the Book of Genesis
Talk 3: An Uncomfortable Truth Text: Genesis 18 & 19
Don’t judge! But what about God?
By the Oaks of Mamre: The visitors promise a child (18:1-21)
Sodom: The visitors promise judgement (18:22-19:29)
Judgement is Coming so live …
Abraham’s example … humble, persistent, persuasive prayer
What happened to the only righteous man?
GENESIS 18: 1 – 19: 29
18 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favour in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favour in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favour also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.
Senior Minister – Rev Scott Muir
Assistant Minister – Rev Stuart Atkinson
34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.