We welcome Bruce Ballantine-Jones

This week, starting the 24th of February, we welcome Bruce Ballantine-Jones as Acting Rector to our Parish. Our former Rector, Nigel Fortescue, will be taking up his new role in St Ives in the same week. Nigel’s commencement service is scheduled for 7:30pm on Tuesday the 25th of February in St Ives.

Bruce lives with his wife, Heather, north of Wollongong and has a great history in the Sydney Diocese. Rector for many years in Jannali (in The Shire), Bruce has written about the history of our Diocese from an insider’s perspective.

Please pray for Bruce and the rest of the office staff as we journey together in these coming months. 

Praying for James and others

James Massey has been a member of our church for many years, attending the Sunday@6 service and married to Erin (who are currently our poster couple in our ‘Marriage’ booklet which is handed to couples planning to wed at St Peter’s).

In January this year James took on the role of Children’s and Youth Worker at St Peter’s Campbelltown. You may remember that we were seeking funds in 2019 to employ a Youth and Children’s Minister to oversee the important ministry to people under 18. With staffing changes occurring late in 2019, we modified our requirement temporarily. James, who was already serving voluntarily at Friday Night Youth and managing our SRE program in two schools, has taken up a lot more responsibilities in the Youth and Children’s area for this year. He is employed to a higher responsibility in a few key areas of our Youth and Children’s program.

Please pray for James as he juggles work here as well as 2 days at a local school as Chaplin and one day a week finalising his studies in theology. I want to also mention Carol Dwalibi, Caitlin Rudder, Grace Dwalibi, Siva Solofoni and Kat Bullen for their leadership in children’s ministry each week.

A Grand Month (AGM)

The month of March is a grand one this year. We begin on the 1st of March with former Archbishop Peter Jensen coming to preach at our 8am and 10am services. 

On the 15th we have our combined Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 12:30 in the church. The AGM is a time to report on the year that has been with thanks and praise to God and to make decisions for the year ahead. Wardens and Parish Council members will be elected or re-elected. We shall look at our financial position and set direction for 2020/21.

Our Big Day In is on the 21st of March. Kanishka Raffel will be speaking to us from 2 Peter over three talks and we will be enjoying a grand day of fun, fellowship and food. See below for details and a link to register. This is a whole church event with activities for all ages.

The day after, Simon Manchester will be preaching in our St Peter’s church services. This will be a big weekend! It will be a grand month.

See you in church,

Simon Twist
Assistant Minister

Someone’s in my seat!

I received a text message during church last week from a church member who had been forced to sit in a different spot in church. Somebody had sat in their seat! They were laughing at the irony because, like many of us going through the ‘6 Steps to Loving Your Church’ course, they knew that the assignment was to pray about where you will sit this week rather than simply going straight to your space of habit.

The course that we are moving through together is not rocket science but it does give us pause to consider what habits we get into at church and why we do them? What motivates us to be at church and what do we believe we are going to church to do? Hebrews 10:19-22 reminds us that we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus and he is our Great High Priest, therefore we do not require church to get any closer to God. Then, Hebrews 10:23-25 proceeds to remind us what the real benefit of church is – to encourage one another to hold firmly to this faith especially as the day of Christ’s return gets closer and closer. We gather together to build up one another in the faith.

It is good to cultivate good habits. Attending church regularly and consistently is a great habit. It helps us to fix our eyes upon Jesus. It gives us opportunity to encourage and serve one another. Our church services feed our hope in the resurrection. They remind us that all other ground is sinking sand.

It is a good Sunday when we find somebody sitting in our seat. That can be the first person you prayerfully encourage in our gathering that day. It is better that they are in your seat than not gathering with the Lord’s people that day.

See you in church,

Simon Twist
Acting Rector

Our God Reigns

I am sorry about the pun but I wish to begin by thanking God for the rain. As the rain started coming down last week, I heard radio presenters joke about who had decided to wash their car – perhaps we can thank them  for the rain. I believe in both the natural cycle of the weather in all its complexity as well as the sovereignty of God who is the God of tomorrow. We have been praying for rain and relief for many weeks and months. We may well begin to pray about flood situations! I would like to thank God for His powerful hand over all situations.

In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow because God has got it. He told us that when it comes to our needs, be like Christians who know and trust God, rather than be like those who do not know God nor actively trust Him. When we need something, we take that request to God who knows what we need even before we ask Him for it. We have needed rain and it has come. We will continue to need things which we will need to trust God with. Jesus also told us, in Matthew Chapter 6, to seek first the Kingdom of God and allow God to worry about everything else. The one thing that we need to pursue is the Kingdom of God because I am not the King – God is. Our God reigns.

SRE year 5 teacher opportunity.

Our involvement in two local schools is almost complete with SRE teachers ready to go and teach young people about Jesus. We have a space, however, for a volunteer to take on a year 5 class between 10:30am and 11am on Wednesdays during school days. I ask everybody to pray to God and ask Him to raise up a person for this ministry. Training and support are provided. Contact the office or James Massey if you are interested – even just curious.

The Big Day In

A one day event for all church members to attend is coming up on the 21st of March. This is like doing a weekend away all in one day! Kanishka Raffel is coming to speak to us on 2 Peter. Primary age people have a program being run for them during those talk times. All food is provided for the day. We are holding it again at Oran Park Anglican (Newlife). Registration is now open now at

6 Steps to Loving Your Church

Our Growth Groups started a 6 week course on loving our church last week. For those who are not in a Growth Group, Leanne Burns is running sessions on this material at 3:30pm on Sunday afternoons at the church. If you missed her first one (9th Feb), I’m sure she would love to have you start next week.

See you in church,

Simon Twist
Acting Rector

Get into Growth Groups

Our Growth Groups ministry has launched for 2020. Going to a Bible study is not a new idea (although it’s not that old either!) but our Growth Groups ministry is more than just getting into the Bible. Our leaders are directed and supported on how to create a group that is caring for and coaching one another.

We coach one another in the Christian faith. This is also known as discipleship. We meet to encourage one another and pray for one another and to listen and learn. It is a support group which leans on the scriptures for direction and truth. We do learn the skills of good Bible reading. We nurture prayer. We remind each other of the hope that we have in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We teach, correct, rebuke and train in living out our faith – all in love and Christian relationship.

We care for one another in appropriate ways. Being connected to a Growth Group means you are connected to people in the church. When life gets hard, your group ought to be aware of this. When others are struggling, then you ought to be aware too. We have pastoral care teams in our church but one of the earliest places for support is found in your Growth Group. We are all needy and we are all needed. A Growth Group can be a place where we learn how to care with wisdom and truth. Even those who are unable to attend Growth Group meetings can get connected to an appropriate group as a Satellite Member. Ask for more information on this if this is where you are at.

This ministry in our church is important because we can raise up and equip hubs of people to do the work of disciple making. Those who engage with this ministry soon find themselves engaging with church better. In any growing church, it is important to be ministering to one another and Growth Groups enable us to do this in an ordered and facilitated manner.

The best way to get into a Growth Group is to ask the people close to you at church which Growth Group they are in. Our information tables also provide information on when and where each group is running.

We’ll be starting off this week with a 6 part study on ‘how to love your church.’ This is a very practical study aimed at transforming our thinking at church. Someone once said, we don’t go to church… we are the church. How we approach our Sunday or Wednesday service can have a very real impact on the health of the congregation – positive or negative.

I pray that 2020 will be a year of engaging with God and with one another as an effective body of Christ in Macarthur. I believe that the Growth Groups program is worth getting into.

Acting Rector
Simon Twist
Yours in Christ.

What’s Next in 2020!

This January we have reflected on five things that Christians still believe in 2020. I have enjoyed this sermon series as a reminder that we are not driven by the latest and greatest but on the immovable truth of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know who God is and what he is like because we trust his word and he has given us a huge promise of eternal life and a job to do in talking to people about Jesus.

So, what next? Here are a few things on the horizon that I want you to know about and encourage you to get involved in.

The Growth Group Launch Night. This Wednesday night, at our annual Growth Group Launch night, I will be sharing which parts of scripture and doctrine that we will be looking at this year in Growth Groups and in our Sunday services. We have a year planned for “2020 vision”.

Summer Ministry Training Week. That starts this week and is filled with ways to grow in your Christian ministry. Details can be found here.

Mental Health 101. This half day workshop is running next Saturday, the 1st of Feb. Registration for this is through the Summer Ministry Training Week form. The Rev. Dr. Keith Condie will be sharing his knowledge, experience and pastoral heart in the area of mental health.

Big Day In 2020. It’s been two years since Simon Manchester spoke at our last BDI and I’m excited for what we have prepared for this year’s event. Kanishka Raffell, from St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, will teach and encourage us from 2 Peter. The whole day will be excellent as I’m sure that all who went last year would agree. The date is the 21st of March from 9am until 7pm. You can register for that right now.

Annual General Meeting. Our next AGM is scheduled for the 15th of March. This will be a combined parish AGM and is an important time for management in our church. More details will come down the track.

And that’s just the beginning. See the 2020 “big items” calendar below in this newsletter for dates for the women’s retreat, the men’s Muster and even when the 2020 Carol’s service is planned.

In all of this we give thanks to God who has given us the message of Christ to dwell richly among us so that in all that we do, whether in word or in deed, we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Yours in Christ,
Simon Twist
Acting Rector


SMTW2020 information

Life can be like shooting a Super Soaker. This is a water gun that uses manually pressurised air to squirt water at greater distances than the conventional water pistol. Before pulling the trigger, the backyard soldier pumps the barrel several times to get the maximum energy behind their spray. When that powerful shot runs out of steam then you prepare the gun again for the next.

That feels the same to me about life. The energy that we spend in the middle of the year has got to come from somewhere. For many, the first month of the year is the time to adjust your stance, refill the tank, pump up the pressure and aim the barrel where you want to shoot.

Do you get the analogy? Before we begin this year in full throttle, it would pay to work out what you aim to do this year and whether you are ready to do it.

When it comes to church ministry, it is a good idea to stop and think about what we do and how we do it. The Summer Ministry Training Week (SMTW) is aimed at preparing us for the year ahead. Check out the list of workshops that we are offering this year and ask yourself, why would I not do that? The week begins on the 28th of January, concludes on the 1st of February, there is no cost for any of the workshops and you opt in to as many sessions as you are able.

In Christ,
Simon Twist
Acting Rector

“His Kingdom will never end”.

The angel Gabriel said this to Mary in Luke 1:33. Our world history is flavoured with the stories of many different kingdoms. From the Babylonians to the British Empire. Every generation and every culture has its stories of leaders who have risen to power only to fall or hand their throne over to somebody else.

But Jesus is different.

His kingdom will never end.

He qualifies as our king because he was there from all eternity and is in control of everything (Colossians 1:17). He qualifies as the king we need because he came into this world to save sinners. And he qualifies as our king yesterday, today and forever because he is risen from the dead and he is Lord. There will be no other kingdom that supersedes his.

Christmas day is going to come and go soon. Like the power and importance of every world leader that tries to fix this world for us, Christmas 2019 will travel into history. But the forever king who we celebrate each year will never be disqualified from his kingdom. He did not come to us in order to prove himself worthy to be king. He came to make us worthy to be part of his kingdom.

What we always needed was our sins forgiven. What we need is a true king who can make a difference for us. We are told in Luke 1:77 that we have a Christmas message for all people which is “knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins”.

Jesus is King. 

His kingdom will never end.

The church has this message of salvation that will not pass away with the passing of Christmas. We can know salvation. We can share that salvation message with others. We can know peace with God because of the king who will always reign.

In Christ,
Simon Twist
Acting Rector