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TLR Church News - July 2022



Hi TLRC Family! May this moment remind you that you are valued, loved and that you matter. With the busy nature of life and with so many voices swirling around these days, it's important to get back to the things that carry significant meaning. That's why I want to tell you once again, you are where you are because God has a plan!


Thankfully, we all get to be a part of God's plan in the life of our Church. Even after 20+ years of pastoring our Church, I still believe that we have a purpose and that our best years are ahead. So much has changed but I've learnt that change is not to be rejected but rather embraced because it is in the process of transition that our faith is deepened and our journey upgraded. One such change that we have just lived through was the closing of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.


One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

The end of June saw us close the door (literally) on our long history in our Melton building. It was a very emotional departure but one that had to be done. We honour God for the many memories we have had, but as with any new opportunity there has to be an intentional letting-go so that the new thing can be experienced. Financially, it is a much-needed move. It got to a point where we could no longer pay our monthly rent and we had to resort to using funds from the sale of items to cover our obligation to our landlord. But thankfully, God provided and we covered every rental payment.

I must take a moment to thank the many people who gave of their time and effort to the hours of pack up, clean up and demolition. The job seemed to be unending but we got there in the end and we were able to walk away with that burden lifted. Both Cazz and I were in awe of how many of you were able to help and make the whole process manageable.


So, now we move forward expecting God to once again amaze us with His goodness. We have begun working from our new Church Office in the heart of Geelong CBD. Having our home office highjacked by a daughter soon moving back in and a grandson coming in October, we needed a place to work and God has provided a beautiful space .

God has also provided our Melton Church family with a great venue to meet in every second Sunday. Last Sunday (17th July) we had our first gathering at the Heathdale Christian College auditorium and it was great. With mixed emotions we had no idea how it would feel as it is quite different to the space we were all used to, but God's presence was tangible, people showed up full of faith and we had a wonderful time. So that is now our place of gathering until God shows us otherwise. This too has been a walk of faith, and wow, hasn't our faith had a work-out?


The Living Room Home Churches


As you know, a major reason why we've experienced so much change this year is because we said "YES!" to the new vision God was inviting us into. With the fortnightly Home Churches running in both Melton/Bacchus Marsh and Torquay, we have already seen amazing things happen. The testimonies that we are getting from many of you have been so encouraging and it has just confirmed to us that we have heard correctly and God is all over this.

Cazz and I have been really enjoying spending time with each group seeing how the individual groups have become so unique and yet still carry the heart and culture of The Living Room Church. I particularly love the way people are caring for one another. The powerful prayers. The prophetic words. The time spent listening and sharing. The group conversations around the Featured Message, have all been so deeply moving and super encouraging. So, thank you for making this a part of your spiritual growth and service to God and others. It will get better as we all mature into this.


We are also very pleased to see Graeme and Sharon Tonkin, Elders from our Torquay Church family, take on the role of Home Church Leaders Support Pastors. They are committed to caring for and equipping each Home Church Leader with regular mentoring sessions, Home Church visits and cheering them on to greatness. It gives Cazz and I such great confidence to know that this vital part of our Church life is cared for by such an amazing couple. If you have any questions about becoming a Home Church Leader or opening up a Home Church in your own home, then get in touch and we will be sure to connect them with you.


If you are reading this and you are not an active part of one of our Home Churches, then please consider joining one. I know it may feel strange and unknown but let me encourage you with the testimonies of those who have committed to it...your spiritual life will thrive, your gifts will come alive and your relationships will deepen more than ever before. That is the Church in action! Get in touch with us to find out more.


New Church App

As I mentioned in my last update, we are transitioning our Church app to a new platform and provider. This process is almost done and you should see it appear very shortly. It will give us a more stable app and one that you will be able to use for viewing all of our Featured Messages, Worship songs, blog posts, monthly gathering details and so much more.


I am excited to see a Prayer Wall and Home Church Messaging also included in this new app. It's going to be great to see the app used for Church-wide communication and group interaction.


What Now?


Firstly, both Cazz and I want to thank you for being such an awesome Church. The way you guys have supported us, and each other, during this season of transition has been nothing short of spectacular. We brag about you to whoever will listen and we are still in awe of how you have honoured God with your "Yes!" We could not have done this without you and we pray that God will richly bless you for your faithfulness and loyalty.


Where to from here? Well, now we move forward together and embrace the momentum of this new chapter in the life our Church family. We're praying for more Home Churches to launch and new leaders to be added. We're praying for the Holy Spirit to manifest in ways we have been praying for in our Home Churches and Church Gatherings. We're praying for creative ideas that will equip the Body of Christ in fresh ways. We're praying for people to truly get free! We're praying for strength to stand in the midst of the many pressures that face us all. We're praying for provision so that lack will never threaten our calling. So much more is ahead for us and we choose to stay thankful for all that God is doing and is yet to lead us into.


Love & Blessings!

Mark.

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