Hi TLR Church Family, it's been a while since my last Church update, so let's take some time to praise God for what He has been doing!
NEW CHURCH APP
Many of you have been using our TLR Church App, but we've noticed some limitations and bugs within it to have to seek a better option. Thankfully, Tithe.ly, our online giving platform partner, also provide an excellent church app option that gives us exactly what we need. So for the past couple of months, I have been working with them to create a new app that will serve us better as we move forward with our new vision.
The new app will provide you with easy access to our weekly Featured Messages with the ability to broadcast them to your Smart TV, our recorded worship songs, safe online giving, a Prayer Wall, Home Church Group Messaging and general details about our Church. The new app will be made available very soon and I will be sure to let you know how you can download it and start using the awesome features within your Home Church group and for your own personal spiritual growth. I encourage you to send the link to your family and friends whom you feel may benefit from our free app. It's a great way to share the love.
NEW CHURCH OFFICE
Well, June is just around the corner and it will be a huge month for us. A major change will see us move out of our Melton building and close the door to that long chapter of our Church's history. We will be announcing a final celebration gathering in that building soon and it will be a time of praising God for all that He has done and honour Him for where He is taking us now. We have so, so many cherished memories in that place and we will never forget the many people who have contributed to making it so special. No doubt it will be quite an emotional occasion, but one that will be a significant moment in the life of our Church family. Also, we are looking forward to being released from the big financial burden that it has become and pray that we will be able to leave having paid our landlord what we owe him. As some of you are aware, we have come up short over the past couple of months. We are in the process of selling many items which will help with that, so if you see anything you'd like, please see Cazz. So to our Melton Church family, let's look forward in faith and trust that as one door closes, God will open a new one for us. Please join me in praying for God's guidance and provision of a new place to meet which we will rent on a per-session basis, just like we do in Torquay. It's exciting to walk in faith like this...c'mon, you know it is!
Thankfully, we will not be left without a place to work from. With a new vision comes new opportunities and I am pleased to announce that our new Church Office and TLR Church Head Quarters will be located at 74 McKillop St, Geelong CBD. With Chanelle moving back home soon, we have to take our church office out of our home and thankfully we have found a suitable location in an old converted synagogue, and for 1/3 of the cost of what we were spending at our Melton location. God is good! There's a wonderful story about how this came about, but that's for another time. I am thankful to Ross and Ali from our Torquay Church family who have generously agreed to sub-let this building to us and partner with what God is doing in our Church.
This place is beautiful and it will provide us with a Church Office that Cazz and I will work from throughout the week, provide a place for SOZO appointments and other related ministries, and also a space for our weekly online recordings that we produce for our Church App. We move in next month and you are all welcome to come and have a cuppa and check it out.
We will still be renting our wonderful space at Oak Tree Place for our Torquay Church Gatherings every fortnight. We are in the process of searching for a suitable building for our Melton Church Gatherings as of July, so keep on praying into this as we know God is leading the way. This arrangement is far more sustainable in the times in which we live and a better way to steward what God has entrusted to us. I encourage you to continue with your faithful giving as our Church finances have taken a big hit after the dramas of Covid and numerous families not returning. But we move forward in faith and trust that our God will provide as He always has.
I must say, the way you have embraced the vision for our fortnightly Home Churches has been amazing! Both in our Torquay and Melton locations, we have seen people that were once disconnected from any form of Church-life now finding home. We've seen people deeply impacted by the genuine love and support of their church family, the open and honest conversations, and their personal spiritual growth. I particularly enjoy the real-life chats that we've been having around a meal and the way I see you come alongside each other. Both Cazz and I are so proud of you and your willingness to step out into something new and unknown.
I have also been encouraged by the stories of how our weekly Featured Messages have been received and especially how you are unpacking them together and discussing how you will apply them. This goes beyond just a preached message at a Sunday event, it is now embraced as a powerful tool to empower your growth and increase your Kingdom influence. Well done Church!
We look forward to seeing more Home Church groups added and even current ones multiply. We are in discussion with a couple that once attended our church to hopefully see a TLR Home Church begin in the Ballarat region in 2023. So as you can see, God is moving and we are joining Him! We are no longer limited by borders or one geographical location. What will God do next?
We have also started our Home Church Leader's Support Meetings which occur every 6 weeks. Graeme and Sharon Tonkin from our Torquay Church will be leading these sessions which aim to equip and resource each Home Church Leader to better lead and serve their group. This is our way of assuring you are well cared for and equipped to live in the fullness of what Jesus has saved us into. If you have any questions or things to discuss regarding our Home Churches, please contact Graeme and Sharon, they would be so happy to help.
WELCOME HOME KAT!
We are so pleased to finally welcome Katherine to our Church family...but no more pleased than Matt! So we now have a new power-couple in our Church > MATKAT!
She has such a precious heart for Jesus and loves to serve. On her very first full day in Australia, she got busy cleaning the Church in Melton and asked Cazz what else she could do. What a great example. I particularly loved seeing the huge smile on Matt's face as this journey to get Kat here has been challenging and emotionally draining. But in God's perfect way He opened the doors and made a way. Every attempt to keep her away has failed and she is now where she belongs, with her husband and us. Pray for her to adjust to her new life and for them both as they begin their future together in Melton.
Be sure to say a big hello to Kat when you meet her and I have no doubt you will all make her feel welcomed and a valued part of our Church family. Thank You Jesus! By the way...is anyone else hungry for cake now?
As I close, I want to personally thank you for your loyalty, support and willingness to go with the "new thing" that God has invited us into, even if it does feel a little unsettling. Please continue to stay connected and be an active participant in our Home Churches as well as our united Church gatherings. We are walking in the favour and blessings of our God and as long as we continue to give Him our "YES!" we will be in awe of what He can do.
Love and Blessings to you all and I am grateful for God adding you to my world, Mark.