Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 5pm & 7pm each Sunday

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View from a Pew to the North

View from the pew

Greetings from afar!

It’s now been 6 months (crazy!) since I’ve left St Michael’s to go work as the Youth and Families Minister at Christ Church St Ives in Northern Sydney. I’m missing all the people at St Mick’s a lot, but it was great to visit last week while I had a week off!

Something that I’ve been thinking about while adjusting to my entirely new life has been the idea of hospitality. Having just moved out of home for the first time, moved away from Wollongong for the first time, and left the church family that was very dear to me, there was surely a few people wondering how I was going to survive. (My goal was to not get scurvy, so far successful!)

Something that made this move, and all of these rapid life changes, more comfortable, has been those at my new church really seeking to get to know me.

I’ve been invited into people’s homes for meals or coffees. I’ve been constantly asked if there is anything for my apartment that I may need. I’ve had people call me out of the blue and ask how they could be praying for me.

People have clearly taken a genuine interest in my life, my faith and my walk with Jesus, and are doing what they can to encourage me to keep living for Him.

Feeling welcome in an entirely new community through the warmth of those in that community has been an incredible experience. I’ve truly been thankful to God that the response to God’s generosity through the gospel is to be generous with what they have in return.

I’ve been reminded of the response of the believers in Acts 2 upon hearing the news of Jesus, repenting and being baptised:

“…Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)

Is inviting people into your home something that is on your mind? This may be an encouragement to “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:8).

There may be someone new to the congregation sitting next to you as you read this that would love to be invited into your home to share a meal with, to be encouraged, and to navigate the difficulties of following Jesus in a fallen world.

There may be someone who isn’t new to the congregation that would love the same thing. Maybe you can think of someone you notice who isn’t as connected at or possibly committed to church as others.

Please consider inviting people into your homes, into the mess of your life, so that people feel welcome… So that people feel loved… So that people can have a healthy home-cooked meal (or a $5 pizza from dominos!) … So that God is glorified and his people are encouraged.

In Christ,

Josh Hayward
(former Youthworks ministry trainee at St Michael’s)

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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong

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