Lunch at Church on December 8th

Lunch @ Church

Sunday 8th December 2013

Cost – Adults $7- Children $5 Families (2 Adults, 3 or more kids) $30, for a two-course meal.

Booking essential – Please put your name on the register at the counter in the Coffee Shop.

Funds raised will be going to support CareWorks Christmas Appeal, which supports domestic violence victims.

Please bring a suitable unwrapped gift, which will be delivered to CareWorks for distribution.

Clay Balls

A man was exploring caves by the seashore.  In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls.  It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.
They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.  As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!
Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls.  Each contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.  Then it struck him.
He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves.  Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
It’s like that with people.  We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel.  It doesn’t look like much from the outside.  It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
There is a treasure in each and every one of us.  If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.  May we see the people in our world as God sees them.
I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with each of you.  Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.
Author unknown.

Fellowship Lunch this Sunday

A quick reminder to everyone that we will be having a shared fellowship lunch after church this coming Sunday, 1st December. Please bring along something to share.

Our special guest preacher will be Churches of Christ State Minister, Greg Elsdon. Pray for the effectiveness of his message, and for David Mills as he leads the service. Pray also for a great time of fellowship, first over a cuppa straight after the service, then over lunch.

The service commences at 10am. All are welcome.

Later in the afternoon the Elders will be having their first official meeting with our incoming minister, Grant Spangenberg. Grant will commence ministry here in February, 2014. Greg Elsdon will again be here to conduct the induction of Grant on February 2nd.


Service at Lerwin Nursing Home, Murray Bridge

Join us as we conduct a short service at Lerwin Nursing Home this coming Thursday. This a regular commitment we make to the folk who are resident there. It is a short service of prayer, readings, singing familiar songs and a short message from the Bible.

The service is at 10:30am on Thursday 28th November. It will be in the activity room there and you can enter via the main entrance and ask at the front desk for directions. Use the car park opposite Murray Bridge South School in Joyce Street.

Leader and speaker this time is Trevor Hampel.

All welcome – bring your singing voices.



Odious and Soontouchy


(or Euodia and Syntiche)


Many years ago a friend used these names for the two women in Phil 4:2. These dear ladies seemed unable to get along with each other, even though they worked with Paul in his ministry at Philippi. In the next few verses, Paul gives some guidelines for those whom he wanted to help resolve this situation, including the two women.

Verse 4:  Rejoice – was the first step. How can we rejoice when there is such a division? Paul said – ‘Rejoice in the Lord.’  Only the Lord can help solve the problem.

Verse 5:  Hope – ‘The Lord is near.’  We are not on our own.

Verses 6 and 7:  Prayer – In every situation, give thanks for His promises and this brings us His peace.

Verse: 8   Think or meditate on all that He is, all that is true, pure, lovely, and admirable and the things which are excellent and worthy of praise.

Then, as you recognise these things which are evident in the lives of these women, seek to commend and encourage them as they continue to serve the Lord. Point out those things which divide, but do not dwell on them.

Verse 9:  Then, says Paul – Do it.  Follow these steps: Put into practice all that you have heard me preach and teach about how to live for the Lord Jesus. All that you have learned, received or heard from me, or seen in me.  Follow my example, says Paul.

So, Paul challenges us – are our lives showing to others how God would have us live, especially in our relationships with others?

Verse 20:  Paul states his longing for the results of the Church’s witness – ‘To our God and Father be glory for ever.’ Paul knew that on our own, that would be impossible, so he prays that we might know that the only way is for ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with you all.’

May this be a challenge to us all.


Strength in Times of Trials

We all face difficulties (or trials) in our lives, don’t we? Peter has a very encouraging word for us:

These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:7)

As Stuart Briscoe suggests, Peter was reminding his readers, and us, that there are 3 principal truths we need to remember which will strengthen us in these times.

1. We must not forget what God has done in our lives.

In verse 2 he says: God the Father has chosen us, the Spirit has made us holy, and we are cleansed by Jesus’ blood.

We are safe in the keeping of the Triune God.

2. We need to remember what God has promised to do.

In verse 4 we read: God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children – beyond the reach of change and decay.

No matter what happens to us, nothing would change our promised eternal inheritance.

3. We need to be encouraged by what God was, and is doing, in our lives.

In verse 7 Peter says: God was permitting these trials so that their faith would be tested as fire tests and purifies gold.

Peter’s readers were experiencing trials that often ended in their death – they may have preferred to save their skins rather than test their faith! But he reminded them, and us, that our faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. Their faith was even more valuable than their skin!

What should be our response to these amazing provisions?

Peter challenges us, in verses 13 and 15: Prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; because – just as He Who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; For it is written – be holy because I am holy.  


Pastoral Care Team

Pastoral Care Team

Pastoral care of the congregation is one of our main priorities. The Elders are willing to pray with anyone who has a special need. This can be before or after worship meetings, or during the week at the church or in homes. An active Prayer Chain is available to communicate any prayer need to as many people as quickly as possible. The message will go out via phone, SMS and email. Contact Trevor Hampel on 0408 839 381 or 8532 3701 to activate the prayer chain.

The Pastoral Care Team meets most Monday mornings at 9:30am to pray for anyone they are aware of who has special needs (eg illness, in hospital, an operation etc). Members of this group are also involved in visitation as needed.

Currently the team is Ted Smith (Elder), Trevor Hampel (Elder), Trevor and Doreen Purdie, Nancy Coleman and Jean Firth. (Nov. 2013)


Position Vacant


(Previously known as “School Chaplain”)



Address: 54 Joyce Street, Murray Bridge


Schools Ministry Group, along with Murray Bridge Inter-Church Council, are seeking applications for this 5 hour per week position, commencing Term 1, 2014.
The position, which is initially for the 2014 school year, exists to offer support to students, staff and the school community.

A Job and Person Specification, including details on “How to Apply”, is available from Schools Ministry Group on 8378 6800 or


Closing date: 5pm, Tuesday 19th November, 2013


For more info go to:


We Remember Them

Mt Macedon Victoria

Mt Macedon Victoria

We Remember Them

They came in eagerness
To board the trains and ships
Bound for adventure and excitement
On the battle grounds of foreign soil.

From greenest fields of Flanders
And the hills of Afghanistan,
To the jungles of Vietnam
And the farmlands of Korea.

It was not long before they found
That this was not a game, no fun
Or exciting adventure abroad
But that the killing was for real.

So many vibrant, healthy lives
Snuffed out before they
Had a chance to make their way
In office, factory or farm.

And now they rest at peace afar
In foreign graves so stark,
So plain. We salute their valiant
Sacrifices made for us left home.

Lest we forget.

© 2013 Trevor Hampel

All rights reserved.

  • Written on the occasion of Remembrance Day, November 11th 2013.


Come visit Magical Morocco


Murray Bridge Church of Christ

Friendship Group

The next meeting of the Friendship Group meets tomorrow night at 7:30pm in the Coffee Shop (note change of venue).

Guest speakers will be Trevor and Corinne Hampel talking about and showing photos of their recent trip to Magical Morocco.

All welcome.