Message from the Pastor
Coming to Hervey Bay
Our visit in November 2015 to Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church was not the first. Back in 2007 it was our privilege to represent the General Assembly of Queensland, at which occasion I proclaimed the Word of God from your pulpit. Rev. John Roth was the minister then. Planning for the new hall was well underway.
The next year saw me back in Hervey Bay, once again representing the Presbyterian Church of Queensland at
the one hundredth birthday of our beloved brother, Mr White.
During October 2015 Rev Wallace Brown rang me up in Wee Waa and asked if I would be available to a call to Hervey Bay. All ministers of the Lord are always available to where God might lead them. We were quite happy to minister to the people of God in Wee Waa, but I promised to pray about it, and some time later I returned Wallace’s call to indicate our willingness to meet the folk of Hervey Bay. This happened during the weekend of 14th November 2015 at the annual Thanksgiving dinner in the hall.
Things happened fairly quickly after that meeting and in December I was informed by the Clerk of WB/SC Presbytery that a call from this congregation was extended. With the summer holidays just starting the Presbytery of Northwest NSW could not process the call, which was only done in February 2016.
Heila and I took all available holiday and long service leave and paid a visit to our relatives in South Africa. We returned to Wee Waa on the 16th March, only to have the removalist appear at our door early the next day. We arrived in Hervey Bay on the 18th, with our furniture delivered the next day – a very hot and humid Saturday. I found myself in the pulpit the next morning!
The manse had been very beautifully prepared. To top it all off, a shed was erected, ready for my woodwork tools to go in. We thank the Committee, who also later on installed a dishwasher and the sunshade on the back verandah.
Our sincere thanks to the Committee of Management for the very user-friendly home for us to live in. We suspect that many hours of hard work went into the preparation.
Very soon into our journey in Hervey Bay I realised that the elders (and other lay preachers) must have done a very good job during the vacancy after Rev Roth retired to Brisbane. The congregation can indeed be very thankful to the Lord for godly elders. I arrived shortly after elders Ken Bell and Charles Usher were conferred to status of elder emeritus. They indeed delivered meritorious service to the congregation over many years. I want to express my deepest appreciation for the support, prayer and guidance of elders Wayne Pivac and Bob Chopping.
Committee of Management
I found working with the Committee of Management very uplifting. The congregation can be proud of managers taking their responsibility very seriously. Attendance of meetings are punctual, and the meetings effective, with well- prepared agendas and minutes. The financial reports are comprehensive and accurate; the works convener is always
vailable for maintenance jobs; our Occupational Health and Safety procedures are up to date; the Working with Children and ChildsSafe records are complete.
Session expressed the desire to revive evening worship. After discussion and prayer, it was decided to have the service every Sunday at 5.30pm in the hall. The format is different from morning service, with the emphasis on discussing certain topics. We also spend quite a few weeks watching instructional video presentations, followed by open discussion. The evening is closed with a simple, but very enjoyable, fellowship meal. Have you ever considered to attend?
Preaching covered different Bible themes in series:
- The implication of the resurrection of Christ
- The Holy Spirit and the upbuilding of the Church of Christ
- God’s grace through the ministry of Elijah
- The Gospel of John
- I express my deepest gratitude to:
- our musicians, Fay Brand and Beth Daniel
- Patsy Mackenzie for the weekly bulletin
- Those at the door on Sundays
- Those who do the flower arrangements
- Those who provide morning tea
- Wayne and Jenny who clean up and prepare the
building for use
- Those who do the Bible readings and prayers
- Others who make worship a pleasant and an upbuilding exercise
- Those attending the sound equipment
Bible studies were well underway under the leadership of Bob Chopping and Kevin Shellard. These two men had been doing a splendid job, and I decided to ask them to continue as leaders – and they are still doing it. We initially followed Bible study material prepared by the Maroochydore Presbyterian Church, but subsequently followed it up with material which I prepared. Our studies from the Gospel of Luke, Mark and John deepened our understanding of the Word of God. These meetings are opened with singing and closed in a time of prayer. Have you ever considered to attend?
The prayer meetings on Sunday afternoons (4.30pm) have concentrated on praying for our town and our immediate suburbs: it is our earnest desire to see how God will save those who do not know our Lord Jesus Christ yet. We pray that God will guide us in ways to reach out to the world around us with the Good News of salvation in the Name of his Son. Be part of this important work of God’s church!
My pastoral care includes visits to folk in hospitals, nursing homes and private homes. Some visits took me to Maryborough, Brisbane and Ipswich.
I have been encouraged by the care of some of our congregation towards others who are not well, or have some need. Keep up the good work as we continue to look after one another as members of God’s household.
There is however a definite need for our congregation to trust the rest of the body with our needs. I found some apprehension of some to have their names mentioned in prayers of intercession. This should not be. Praying for one another is just that: as a body of Christ we carry one another’s need before the throne of God because we love one another in the Lord; it is never a platform for gossip or speculation.
May I encourage a spirit of trust and mutual care for one another? Let’s always remember the words of God’s Word:
If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:26)
Paul also writes:
We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Chris—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:14–16)
We decided to join the carpet bowlers on Tuesday nights. What a great time of fellowship! Consider joining.
The PWA morning teas, the picnic in the park, the annual congregational concert, the annual garage sale, the annual congregational dinner, and the Christmas Carols in the Car Park are great platforms for forming stronger bonds as a congregation. I encourage everyone to get involved.
Our webpage, herveybaypresbyterian.org, attracts a fair bit of traffic. Last year 1,168 visitors visited our website, from countries including Brazil, Jamaica, Turkey, Philippines, India and Malaysia.
You will find all the sermons preached on the site. There are also Bible studies and other useful articles and links to interesting pages.
We hope to develop a really interacting website. In the meantime, visit the site for news, photos, sermons, our Statement of Faith and other congregational details.
We are very happy and blessed to be in Hervey Bay. Our children too enjoy their visits to us, because it’s “so close to the beach”! We pray that, together, we will see the Kingdom come in Hervey Bay.