Grace City Church Blog 

Alpha dates 6 week

Grace City Church is hosting The Alpha Course!

The Alpha course is for everyone! It particularly caters for people interested in investigating Christianity, newcomers to the church, new Christians, couples preparing for marriage and those who want to brush up on the basics. Most courses attract a diverse range of guests of different ages and backgrounds, holding many different viewpoints.

Guests attend for a wide variety of reasons; to investigate whether God exists, to find out about what happens after death, to ask particular questions relating to God they would like to discuss, to understand other people's beliefs, or to explore what the purpose of life is. Many guests have never been to church and others may have attended church occasionally but feel they have never really understood the basics of the Christian faith.

The talks each week cover various topics which are discussed in the small groups afterwards.

Topics covered will include:

Who is Jesus?
Why did Jesus die?
Why and how do I pray?
Is there more to life than this?
How can i make the most of the rest of my life?
What about the church?

We would love the church to pray for this amazing opportunity for people and really get behind it! If you would like to recieve the Alpha Course prayer newsletter with points to pray for every week surrounding the course and how it is going, please leave your email address below.

If you are interested or know people who are please check out the facebook event page or community page and show your interest on our website at



food care esl 2nd may


Imagine you have recently arrived in a new country. Maybe you have married a local, maybe your husband has come for a work placement, or maybe you are a refugee who can no longer safely live in your home country. You don’t speak the language, you don’t understand the culture or their way of doing things. 

Rather than deal with the stress of trying to communicate with locals, you stay at home and find yourself becoming more and more isolated and dependent on the help of the one or two people you know who can speak your language.

This is the typical scenario we have discovered among the people who attend Grace City Cares ESL classes. However, instead of sitting at home feeling more and more helpless and depressed, they have bravely decided to step out and do something about it by attending our classes. Most have seen the poster in the window of the Food Care shop and decided to drop in on a Tuesday evening or Thursday morning.

What they have found is that they are not alone. There are many others from around the Dee Why area who are similarly feeling isolated, even some from their own culture they have not been aware of. One of the most beautiful things we have seen, however, is barriers being broken down and bonds of friendship being forged between people of different cultures and languages, despite their differences and limitations with language. 

We have seen people from Tibet, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Nepal, India, Iran, Poland, Thailand, France and Japan, having a shared experience where they feel accepted and loved and where it doesn’t matter if they make mistakes with their English.

So while we are teaching English, we are also facilitating the growth of a small community of people who have in common the desire to break free from isolation that has resulted from their lack of English language. We aim to provide an environment where they can develop confidence in using English and feel there are supportive people to help them and pray for them as they face difficult life adjustments fitting into a new society. We want to be an extension of God’s love for them, reaching out with a genuine concern for their needs.

Our next term of classes start on 2 May (for Tuesday class) and 4 May (for Thursday class). If you feel you have a heart for people from other cultures and would like to be involved in this ministry please contact David Howitt on 0423 172 957


South East Asia Conference Conf

I wonder what it means to you to be part of a global family of churches? The keyword in that question being ‘family.’ Considering we are over 3000kms from the closest church in our family, it may seem like this family is only made up of very distant relations. That’s one of the many reasons why it was such a privilege for Mike and I to be able to travel to Thailand last week to be part of the Newfrontiers South East Asia Conference. It truly felt like being with family.
We went to join 80 leaders based in nations across South East Asia (I won’t name them for security reasons).  Many of these countries are closed to the gospel, yet the churches, led by indigenous people, are pioneering amazing kingdom advance to totally unreached people groups. It was truly humbling to be there and see the mighty move of God happening amoung our global neighbours. I had no idea that God was moving so mightily in this region of the world.
We started the trip by stopping over in Cambodia to join Liberty Family Church Phnom Penh. It’s a busy bustling city and the church reflected that flavour. The worship was filled with joy and there were lots of encouraging contributions. I had the opportunity to preach, and as much as I would love to write my own favourable review, the translation really threw me, which meant that I had to throw out most of my preach but we live and we learn, all part of the experience I guess. The service ended with a good number of the church members gathering for a home cooked meal, so we certainly ended on a high! You can see a few picture from that below.
Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 3051
The next day, we headed to Thailand for the conference. It ran from Monday night to Friday afternoon. There were three sessions a day. Two with worship, exceptional preaching and an opportunity to hear stories from leaders across the region. The other sessions were a choice between a number of different seminars. One of them was led by Mike on leadership which was excellent.
The stories were the highlight of the week. I don’t have the time to tell you any of them in great detail but I took notes on one update in particular so I can share some highlights. The nation in question has a population of 51 million and only 6% are Christian. The majority of the population are Buddhist but there are also many totally unreached people groups. The leader of the churches was saved and felt a passion to reach the nation. Not long after starting a church with no support he found himself pastoring a growing congregation. Due to the poverty of the local people, he had very little income which meant that he and his family (he has 3 children) ended up being homeless. For three years, he, his wife and kids had no permanent abode. They were offered a role which came with a home, a car, a wage, an assistant pastor, and two children’s workers. This was on the condition that they remain working for this individual for the rest of their lives. It was a very tempting offer, but they felt the call to plant churches right across the nation and not simply this one church. They turned the offer down, and they now lead a movement of 66 churches with a plan to have 100 by 2020, something they are on track to accomplish. The have over 2000 members across these congregations and saw 131 people baptised last year.
Since rejecting that offer, somebody has amazingly built them an enormous fantastic home which they are now all living in. God has honoured the amazing zeal and commitment to Him and His kingdom. Can you see why I said the conference was challenging? I mean I consider it a sacrifice to go without coffee in the morning, let alone not having a home to live in for 3 years! God is really doing something amazing in this part of the world.
So it was very exciting to meet these members of our global family. Although a number of them were not officially part of Newfrontiers we are certainly working in partnership and supporting them where we can. It is probable that Newfrontiers is now working into more churches in South East Asia than in the UK, the place where it was birthed. How exciting! The more we can rub shoulders from these family members, the more we can learn from them and hopefully replicate some of what they are doing. The great news is that behind each story was the faithfulness of God blessing them mightily as they stepped out for him. We know that God wants to exactly the same thing in our nation.  

Hew Nunn, 10/03/2017


Grace City Church Ministry Expo 

Expo 2017

What a great afternoon of exploring serving opportunities in the Grace City Church Community! This ranged from surfing group, to kids work and also included 180 youth, Foodcare, the welcome team, connect groups, worship, playgroup, the War Vets, Mens & Womens ministries, ESL classes, Cycling, Scripture training and the LOVE DEE WHY outreach week! 

LOVE DEE WHY is a week-long, church-wide community outreach initiative taking place on 2-8 October 2017. Although the event is still in its formative stages, we are exploring various avenues by which we can love and serve our local community, whether through facilitating a kids club, organising sporting activities for teenagers, cleaning and preserving the natural environment or feeding the poor and needy through our Foodcare ministry. Various initiatives throughout the week will culminate in a number of ‘meetings’ throughout the weekend, including a youth outreach on Friday evening, family festival on Saturday and special evangelistic service on the Sunday morning. Pending council approval, we hope to use the James Meehan Reserve next to Dee Why Beach as our base of operations for the week. 

Please be praying for LOVE DEE WHY, that God’s hand would be upon it and that through this initiative we would be able to make a large-scale impact on our local community. If you would like to find out more and/or help with the organisation of the event, please contact Adrian at


Grace City Carols 2016

What an amazing night!

Christmas GCC carols collage

The Grace City Carols service was a wonderful night and success with over 450 coming along to sing about Christmas at the Dee Why RSL. 80 Yummy Christmas Hampers were also prepared by the awesome Grace City Care team to give to our foodcare friends! The choir and band were amazing, and all the work they put in showed in their phenomenal and heart warming performances. 

We thank all the people who helped put together such a memorable night, and look forward to next year!



Blessing in Diguise

"I wanted to upgrade my car but didn't have the cash. Then the unthinkable happened.. I crashed my car"

"I couldn't have imagined how God would work good out of bad..."

Check out the video for the whole story from Richard!


A Second Miracle after praying for others 


FullSizeRenderI had a knee operation 3 years ago which wasn’t successful.  I have been on painkillers since and was told I would need a knee replacement.  During a recent prayer meeting we were encouraged to hear about God healing someone from a chronic disease.  Full of faith, we began to pray for each other and I felt something happen in my knee.  I started to bend and kneel, things I haven’t done for years!  God realigned my knee!

The next day, I felt God say “I have healed your knee so I want you to pray for your hairdresser’s knee”.  To my knowledge, my hairdresser didn't have a bad knee...but when I arrived I was told she was unavailable and the lady who was available walked with a limp (because of 2 sore knees)!  I was nervous about praying for someone I didn’t know, but then I was handed a magazine and the headline on the cover read “Second Miracle”!  I shared the story of God healing my knee the night before, showed her the magazine cover, and asked if I could pray for her.  She way grateful and I believe God for her complete healing.

My faith has been strengthened and since then I have prayed for 3 other people with sore knees, at least one has been healed, and I am still praying for their complete healing.

Our God is an amazing God, and He does meet all of our needs!




A word of knowledge


Recently Joel shared a word of knowledge about a sore right knee with pain going down the leg. I was excited because I had been experiencing exactly that for some weeks. He prayed for me and while I didn't notice any change at the time, later that week I realised that I'd had no pain whatsoever ever for days! The paid hasn’t come back at all, and I am so grateful to God for the healing!

- Robyn Lewis


From across the Seas


Our friends in Wellington recently met some people on the street and had the chance to pray for them.  Here’s their story:

'While we were praying, we felt God speak to us about the people we'd met (known as a ‘word of knowledge’) and so we shared what we felt God had said.  The first two pieces of information were completely off the mark, but then the next few were spot on…this led to lots of “how did you know that?!” moments!  We then taught them about hearing God’s voice for themselves, and at least 4 of them made a decision to follow Christ!  Hilariously, it all started with two wrong words of knowledge!

It’s incredible that God knows the detail of our lives!'



A Painful Shoulder


Hi guys, 

Just wanted to say thanks so much for praying for Josiah's shoulder yesterday after church. He was actually in a fair bit of pain and it seemed to be getting worse over the week not better. Jono and I had talked about needing to get it X-rayed to make sure he hadn't done any real damage as each night we were rubbing Nurofen gel and giving him a pain killer and he was still uncomfortable. BUT last night he needed none of that and today he has told me his shoulder feels better! How amazing is that - praise God hey! 

I've recently read Wendy Manns book Naturally Supernatural and she talks about how when their church learnt to praise God, really praise and thank him appropriately for small things, they started to see bigger things happen. I thought this quote from her was appropriate to share:

"Thanksgiving is key to God entrusting us with greater miracles and signs and wonders. When we are continually thankful for the small things we see God do, He knows we can be trusted with bigger things because He knows He will get all the glory" - Wendy Mann

So please join me in praising God and giving him the glory over Josiah's healing. Thanks for your faithfulness and obedience to serve us as a church. Looking forward to seeing more breakthroughs.

Thanks guys!

Ruth Pugh


Subsiding Waters

We saw God’s hand at work amazingly during the severe storms and flooding in June of 2016.  We live on the Third Floor of an apartment block on Narrabeen Lagoon, but a lady on the Ground Floor was worried that her apartment would flood.  We prayed that the water would stay away…we figured “God parted the Red Sea before…this is nothing for Him!” 


Even though the rising water was 1 meter from her door, 7 hours prior to the king tide, the water never entered her apartment!  Her Ground Floor neighbour said "the water came up level with the floor and then just stopped”!  There’s no logical reason because the water kept creeping up the street for hours, but somehow stopped at their doors!  We can only conclude that, as He has done before, God did a miracle!


Abdominal pain healing request


For the last nine months I have had a really bad pain in my tummy. I was told I was coeliac and also had other tummy issues which were causing the pain. It hurt every day, and I would get very upset as there wasn't much the doctors could do. 

One Sunday at church, the preacher felt God say there was someone with abdominal pain who he should pray for.  He prayed for me and asked if it still hurt, I said yes…so he prayed again, and it felt a bit better.

The next day I noticed I didn't have any pain at all, and I haven’t had any since!  I’ve even gone back to the doctors who took blood tests which showed results "consistent with someone who has received treatment”.  Praise God for ‘treating’ me! - Daisy


Fisher Road School Gift Day Contribution


The Fisher Road School serves some of the most needy young people on the Northern Beaches. Because it is only small, they have limited profile and avenues to raise money. 

They have impressed up on how grateful they are to receive a generous donation from Grace City Church. Our students will benefit greatly from our contribution towards a senior outdoor learning space! It is a highly specialised space that is used to develop gross motor skills in children that have moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Due to the highly specfic research and expertise that goes into creating such a valuable tool, it is quite costly and hard to raise money for.

Many of the students find it difficult to access the community for various reasons and this is why an outdoor learning space to promote gross motor development in a safe and accessible environment will be utilised daily by students across the school and enable them to grow, learn and have fun!  All the staff, students and community at Fisher Road school have told us to express a huge thankyou to all the people in church for helping to make this much needed space a reality through money raised from our Gift Days!

What an honour to be able to support them in the excellent work that they do. Well done Grace City for being such a generous group of people.



Imagine you have recently arrived in a new country. Maybe you have married a local, maybe your husband has come for a work placement, or maybe you are a refugee who can no longer safely live in your home country. You don’t speak the language, you don’t understand the culture or their way of doing things. 

Rather than deal with the stress of trying to communicate with locals, you stay at home and find yourself becoming more and more isolated and dependent on the help of the one or two people you know who can speak your language.

This is the typical scenario we have discovered among the people who attend Grace City Cares ESL classes. However, instead of sitting at home feeling more and more helpless and depressed, they have bravely decided to step out and do something about it by attending our classes. Most have seen the poster in the window of the Food Care shop and decided to drop in on a Tuesday evening or Thursday morning.

What they have found is that they are not alone. There are many others from around the Dee Why area who are similarly feeling isolated, even some from their own culture they have not been aware of. One of the most beautiful things we have seen, however, is barriers being broken down and bonds of friendship being forged between people of different cultures and languages, despite their differences and limitations with language. 

We have seen people from Tibet, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Nepal, India, Iran, Poland, Thailand and Japan, having a shared experience where they feel accepted and loved and where it doesn’t matter if they make mistakes with their English.

So while we are teaching English, we are also facilitating the growth of a small community of people who have in common the desire to break free from isolation that has resulted from their lack of English language. We aim to provide an environment where they can develop confidence in using English and feel there are supportive people to help them and pray for them as they face difficult life adjustments fitting into a new society. We want to be an extension of God’s love for them, reaching out with a genuine concern for their needs.

Our next term of classes start on 26 July (for Tuesday class) and 28 July (for  Thursday class). If you feel you have a heart for people from other cultures and would like to be involved in this ministry please contact me.

David Howitt

0423 172 957


Philippines Slums Emergency Response

Financial assistance for burnt down slums in Manila

Eden Singson the pastor of the House of Grace church in Manila (Philippines), has a heart for helping the down trodden people living in the slums near the nation’s capital. On the 28th of April he sent us some very sad news. The Bamboo Village, which is a slum housing area that their church ministers into, burnt down leaving many of the poorest with nothing.

Many of the families there either attend the church or attend the feeding programme that the church runs, a similar programme to Grace City Community Care. These families have lost their homes and all their possessions. One of the families even lost their 5-year-old daughter who suffocated in the blaze.

The church helped relocate over 30 people, those with babies or the elderly, into their church building to help out. Eden asked us for help regarding financial assistance to buy food, clothes and basic possessions.

Grace City Church Dee Why was able to raise 256,474.77 Peso’s at the start of June and this was used to purchase building materials and household items for total of 131,806.00 Peso’s to help reconstruct homes and lives.

Stay tuned for more news and photos, due to the enormous generosity of Grace City Church members, over the next few weeks! Like and show your support on our Facebook page!



Mobilise 2016 Recap!

Newfontiers Pacific Rim Young Adults Retreatmobilise 2016

The ANZAC long weekend in April, Friday night to Monday afternoon, was set apart for a powerful time with God and the Newfontiers Pacific Rim young adults community from Auckland, Sydney, Christchurch, Wellington, Sydney and the UK.

Arriving to the remote but beautiful Attunga Retreat through dusty country roads was a foretaste of the adventure God had planned for the weekend. God used the prophetically gifted team from a fellow New Frontiers church, The Kingsarm, in Bedford to bless us and lead us into exciting encounters with Him! The Bedford team inspired us with their words, actions and stories and God used them to melt fears away and replace it with Godly courage and a passion to step into the prophetic.

Although many had had a very long day, the first Friday night official meeting was a powerful time of worship and encouragement with the Bedford team leaving loving words from God on post-it notes for each and every person! These encouragements and words from God were multiplied throughout the weekend through worship, seminars, people praying over each other, Phil Wickham’s talks and the amazing community atmosphere fuelled by the Holy Spirit.

From the first session on Saturday morning to his last on Monday morning, Phil’s talks & stories cut straight through to our core as he started on ‘Modelling Jesus’ and how walking in that lifestyle starts by first truly knowing who our Father is and His heart for our lives as it’s the platform for fruitfulness. It’s a foundation that changes everything, the risks taken, expectations and the thoughts we think about ourselves. Truths were lovingly hammered into us as lies and burdensome fears were broken away. The importance of the word in unblocking self-reliance, fear and unbelief so we live in the right reality and change the environment of our hearts and minds was realised. Learning to make room for God’s presence by giving thanks, leaving space for personal encounters and making room for His glory were further vital messages.

During the weekend we were challenged by some great Practical sessions from some Grace City Church Dee Why big hitters, with James Ryburn teaching us about ‘Encounters with Jesus’ changing lives and challenged us about the lengths we would go to get our friends to an encounter. Craig & Robyn Milligan shared their experiences on ‘work, work, work, work’ and it’s prominent distortions regarding it having too much or too little meaning or just as a means to an end and what God wants for us through the thorns and thistles. Gareth & BJ Newman shared the story of their relationship and journey through marriage and led us into self assessment about our character and how working on our character with God is attractive plus helps us to define our real identity and what is truly important to us when dealing with longings in that area.

Nick from the Bedford team lead us in a practical seminar on hearing the voice of God and how prophesy is to be eagerly desired as all God’s sheep hear His voice and that a culture of encouragement runs side by side with the prophetic and letting God’s voice break in. We learnt that we can struggle to hear due to our earthly father filter, so we need to get to know His person, language and be ready, faithful and courageous because we have a Heavenly Father who is a brilliant and loving communicator. We were all able to practice prophesying over each other in a safe and open environment and see the change in countenance that prophecy and encouragement brings. The Bedford team also made themselves available to give specific personal words to people in their own down times which were a tremendous impact due to their developed prophetic gifting and the weekend ended with some great encouraging stories from Phil and a Q&A that brought both laughs and tears.

Although the weekend went too quickly, time was also left to have fun, refresh and renew! This included staying up late and laughing too hard, heading into the nearest town and vineyards, playing board games, soccer and basketball, swimming and hot-tubbing, chasing kangaroos, roasting marshmallows around the fire and just revelling in the passionate young adults community God has blessed us with. A community that is inspired to do great, bold and powerful things for God in 2016!

A big thank you to the Grace City Church Dee Why Leadership team, New Zealand churches & Bedford team for making it happen and allowing such godly truths, practical lessons and heavenly encouragements to bless all those at Mobilise!

“For me I think the best thing about ‘Mobilise’ was the fact that I felt like the atmosphere was somewhere I could worship authentically.”
- Matt roach: Wellington, NZ

“Going into Mobilise I was aware that I had new levels of freedom to be released into, coming off the back of a period of intense attack upon my identity. Lies had subtly crept their way into my heart, and God wanted to wage war against these ill-founded beliefs and replace them with the truth of what He says about me. Over the course of the camp God lead me through a process of freedom by addressing wounds and memories that had lead to me believing lies about myself. This freedom was achieved through a number of different ways. At times it was crying at His feet, sitting silently before Him, laughing in His presence, or others still shaking off lies or by dancing before God. Hearing the affirmation of God and knowing His delight in me. Hearing Him say "I love you and choose you", and knowing that His love comes with no conditions or expectations of performance - it was this simple but profound truth that set me free. 'Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' John 8:32.”
- Tim Paterson: Wellington, NZ



A very happy Grace City Community Care Customer!


We have great news and a cause for celebration at Grace City Church Dee Why! Alison, a Grace City Community Care customer and northern beaches local, was greatly blessed when members (Greg Hodge and his sister Joanne Smith) from Grace City Church graciously donated a mobility scooter to generously bless someone less fortunate.

Alison had expressed in the past that she needed a mobility scooter for medical reasons but was unable to find a viable financial way to acquire one. But when Grace City Community Care volunteers, David Schmidt and Joel Moody, delivered the scooter to her she was overjoyed from the unexpected blessing!

We are so grateful that we have Grace City Community Care with all it’s generous volunteers and services to be the loving arms of Grace City Church, Dee Why in our local community!


Phil Wilthew is coming from England!

Phil Wilthew newsletter cut sm

On Sunday the 17th of April at Grace City Church, Dee Why, we have Phil Wilthew from Kingsarms Church (Bedford, England) coming to speak to us at the 10am service. He will be the main speaker at the young adults Mobilise conference and is coming on Sunday to bless us with a sermon!

Phil is an elder at his church and is considered to have a strong prophetic gift within NewFrontiers. This gift has led him to teach at training sessions for supernatural ministry, prophetic forum conferences and travel all around the world as a guest speaker! Phil has had many experiences where he's seen God at work with the Holy Spirit blessing people through wonderful encouragements. He loves seeing people stepping forward in the prophetic as this often leads to personal breakthroughs and encountering Gods Father heart and His voice. Read more about him on his blog.

We feel sure that all will enjoy this powerful talk so please feel free to invite guests to this church meeting!


Everyday English ESL Classes 
End of Term 1 Dinner

ESL classes

After a great first term of learning english at the Grace City Community Care shop in Dee Why, a celebration dinner filled with great food, laughs and conversation was enjoyed by those who came to teach and those who came to learn. 

The Everyday English classes, held twice a week, was such a success that a Term 2 'follow on' course is very likely!

Thank you to Dave Howitt and all the Grace City Church, Dee Why volunteers for all their hardwork over the term and to the lovely attendees who were so keen to learn and come every week to make the community focused endeavor worthwhile! 

If you'd like to help out or know someone who could benefit from this amazing service please contact us



Gourmet BBQ Lunch



Many thanks to all who attended the Gourmet BBQ after church as we had a great afternoon of food, laughs and conversations on that sunny sunday afternoon. We had a memorable time as the Grace City Church community connected with our Foodcare friends over an amazing spread of food! The kids played some cricket and adventured along the beach while most of us picniced in the shade, welcomed the gentle cool breeze and enjoyed each others company.

It was awesome to see friendships formed that will pave the way for our church community continually building our relationship with Grace City Community Foodcare and caring for those who attend regularly on Wednesdays.

Thank you to all the Grace City Community Foodcare volunteers for all their hardwork plus a fantastic lunch and super fun day!



Newcomers Lunch every sunday

Our Newcomers Lunch


On the first Sunday of the month we do a Newcomers lunch to welcome any new people and families to our church! It’s a casual occasion to meet some people and find out more about Grace City.

The lunch will be held from 12:30pm onwards and the location will vary so please head to the connection point after church or ask our church office on or 99710222.

Lunches will be throughout the year, after church, on the following dates:

6th of March

3rd of April

1st of May

5th of June 

7th of August

4th of September

2nd of October

4th of December


English as Second Language Classes


ESL classesPraise God! What a wonderful first night of our 'English for Everyday Use' classes at the Grace City Community Foodcare Centre in Dee Why! Read an update from David Howitt below:

"I drove down there thinking about the 'adventure' we were embarking on - so many unknowns - but that's the exciting part - waiting to see what God has in store for us. 
I arrived to find 6 people already waiting at the door, two of them being Polish, two were Brazilians, a young Indian man and a Peruvian lady. Some of them had just walked past and seen the poster. Gabi and I assessed their English, but the best part was just seeing the relaxed and comfortable dynamic already existing - they seemed to immediately be enjoying each other's company as they shared their reasons for wanting to improve their English.
The Polish couple were lovely - the man is 84 and they have been married for 60 years! And they are so keen to learn English! I think they are well known to Foodcare. Apart from assessing skill levels, people were just keen to sit and chat and enjoy the biscuits we provided. It was just a great atmosphere.
Some people were unable to attend the first session so next week I'm expecting more to join us! 
So I think it's a great little group to kick things off on Tuesday nights and can't wait to see what God has in store for Thursday and next week when the lessons get into full swing.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers."
- David Howitt

P.S. If you know anyone who is interest they can sign up here! English as Second Language Class




180 Youth camp 2016 collage
180 YOUTH CAMP 2016

It was a weekend like no other, a weekend without distractions, a weekend with the rain splashing down as we swam, played, laughed and worshiped! 
Memories that will last a lifetime were created… it was a weekend that was full of LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS… that’s right it was the 180 YOUTH CAMP 2016!!!

Our youth had the opportunity to discover and learn values about identity, friendships, life choices, positive relationships, learning to get back up from setbacks and so much more through bible based messages from our youth leaders.

The convoy started on Friday morning from the Plateau after the collection of swanky new 180 youth singlets & goodbyes to the Mum's and Dad's! Less than 2 frenzied hours later after dozens of pitch perfect pop renditions we arrived at the rustic and homely camp ground. Bunks were picked and the grounds explored as a yummy food was prepared by our gracious hosts, food that would continue to bless everyone's tummies & sustain us through the action packed weekend!

After lunch it was straight to business, water balloon games and tribal team challenges run by the new FP's, Tyler & Linus. A privelege that would be continued on Saturday too!
Then to the main hall for truly amazing worship lead by Sam and later special guests Miles & Kate! With George and Matt Simmons on percussion, Dan sometimes on the electric and then switching to bass with Joy backing up with her awesome vocals. It allowed everyone to freely enter a place where God was welcome and present. These session were often followed by engaging talks from Huey, Cindy, Jamie, Anna and Mike with the drama team (consisting of Linus, Tyler and Albert) provided light hearted summaries through short skits. Small groups also explored more directed issues and Saturday included a trip to Terrigal beach for a fun filled arvo run by Jaimie! Saturday night came too quickly and the night ended with a cosy fire and an empowered readiness to go back on Sunday while reminiscing on a weekend filled with God encounters, prayer, incredible worship, new friendships, and so much laughter!


Recently, Mike and James were given the privilege of handing over a cheque to Fisher road school.
The cheque was for a staggering $10,000!
It is so great to be part of a church that gives so generously to those around us in need. This school serves some of the most needy young people on the Northern Beaches. Because it is only small, they have limited profile and avenues to raise money. What an honour to be able to support them in the excellent work that they do. Well done Grace City for being such a generous group of people.


Gift Day 2015

Gift Day Update

Just a quick reminder that once again we have achieved our Gift Day total which is fantastic news! The final tally was a staggering;


It is fantastic to be part of a church that is so willing to give and we know that this money is going to be a real blessing to those who really, really need it. A massive well done to you all, and once again thank you for your generosity. So now the best bit happens, we get to visit the organisations and bless them will the finance they really need. More to follow on that soon so watch this space!

Blog7 areas of culture

Kelly Fox
This week we are continuing our current series looking at the 7 spheres of culture. Our guest blogger is Kelly Fox who is a member of Grace City and a Mother of 2. She has been one of the key people involved in getting the church playgroup up and running, and she, along with others is doing a great job

As a parent with young children, what are the challenges and opportunities to sharing your faith with others?

I would say that I have had more opportunities since becoming a mum as so many conversations have opened up about how people cope with it all. This has enabled me to have some really honest conversations about life and it has enabled me to help people in different situations and share my faith with them. I guess the challenges are that I have small children that like to run away whilst I'm in the middle of a conversation and I have had to get up and sprint after them!! This can be very frustrating.

How are you trying to reach other parents in the same situation?

When we met as a mothers group for the first time, I was very purposeful in making sure that we kept going as a group and met regularly, so I became chief organiser. Nearly 3 years down the track, we are still a strong unit and have been through some ups and big downs together. I would say that they are now some of my closest friends.
It has also worked out that many of my other friends outside of mothers group have had babies around the same time, so I have been able to meet up one on one with them and help out in situations with babysitting, meals etc.
I am also active in playgroups. This year I decided to get involved with the Gracekidz playgroup. This has been great as it's another place I can invite my friends to and we've made a conscious effort to make the mums feel really welcomed and their children loved! We pray for the mums that come regularly and over time we hope to strike up conversations about their faith and get to know them on a deeper level.

Have you had any bad reactions to your faith?

Not yet! All my friends know I'm a Christian. I feel that I need to have a certain level of a relationship with them before I invite them to church events. I never hide what I am doing or where I am going and it's surprising when I talk about going to church, the conversations that naturally come up. Most people have had some experience with church in their past and intrigued about what my church is like. When we had both girls dedicated, lots of our non-christian friends came which was such a surprise to us! We have also had people come to other events that the church has held, which has been great.

Recently a friend suffered a tragedy and I plucked up the courage to ask if I could pray with her. She was very grateful and was in floods of tears (along with another friend who was also there). When tough situations are happening in my friend's lives, I offer 3 things: prayer, food and babysitting. I feel God is working within my friendship circles and is changing their hearts.

What are you doing to try to bring God into your own family?

It's been helpful going to 'Be Your Best' (BYB) and other events run by some of the women in the church, as that has helped me establish some ways that I can bring God into my family that I hadn't thought about. We always pray together at sleep times and I always ask Finlay what she would like to thank God for. The answers can be quite interesting!! If anyone is sick we pray that they will be healed and we pray altogether for things as a family and for our friends. We have started to read bible stories together and just generally talk about how good God is and how he gives us good things.


Blog7 areas of culture

This week we are continuing our current series looking at the 7Adam Lear spheres of culture. Our guest blogger this week is Adam Lear who is a member of Grace City Church and head of a local junior School.

Could you describe your role within  the sphere of education?

My current role is Head of Junior School, so I look after the Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6 section of a Pre-K to Year 12 independent school.
How are you trying to bring God’s kingdom culture into your area of work?

It is a blessing to be in a context which is founded on faith in Christ, but which is equally open to believers and non-believers. I am trying to lead a place where everyone is growing in their understanding of what God’s kingdom means for them and how they see their place in it. My aim is to provide a safe place for children to grow and develop, where they can learn about the Good News of the Gospel, engage with people who have a living faith and consider their own response to Jesus.
Have you had any bad reactions to your faith?

Many families choose our school because of the academic results and because they like the ‘values’ of the school. Often, non-Christian families will “tolerate" the faith we profess, but have no intention to really explore what it means to them. Christianity becomes a nominal part of their life and they settle in to an ability to live alongside Christianity, without letting Christ touch their hearts. I think this is a very significant challenge for Christian schools, especially when dealing with families whose financial wealth masks their need for Jesus.
What sort of things do you pray for regarding your work situation?

I pray for staff, students and families who are sick or struggling with personal challenges. I also pray for safety in the many events that take place. I also pray for the seeds that are sewn through the presentation of the Gospel to take root in the hearts of those who hear the message and I pray for wisdom that I will know how and when to share God’s love with members of the school community. Finally, I pray God will help me to be the person He wants me to be in my job and that He will help me hear His voice and give me the confidence to act on His direction.


Blog7 areas of culture
Rev Dr Ross Clifford
This week we are continuing our current series looking at the 7 spheres of culture. Our guest blogger is Dr Rev. Ross Clifford. He is an Australian theologian, author and principal of Morling College here in Sydney. He is a prominent religious spokesperson so we wanted to see how he thought Christians could continue to impact the world around them.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for the church in Australia today?

The biggest challenge to the church today is apathy. The church has all the resources it needs, it is well positioned in the marketplace and its buildings are prominent. It has quality leadership and numerous people coming through being well trained. We have a lot of people who are very sincere which is great, but I am just not sure we have that sense of dying for our faith, the kind of passion that has been there historically. I believe that with all that God has given us, we can see great revival in the church if we can discover that passion again.
Do you think Christians can give a rational answer for their faith?

Absolutely, and of course the Bible does that itself. It says in 1 Pet 3:15 – ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’ The gospels were written for that purpose as well. John’s Gospel says these signs were recorded that you might believe, that you might make a rational decision. But it does not stop with that rational decision; people have to apply it to their hearts and to their whole being. But questions like does God exists, is Jesus the Lord God, is the Bible reliable are all good questions, fair questions and should be answered.
Should Christians get involved in social issues?

If they are kingdom people, yes, the Bible demands it. The kingdom of God is at hand, we are kingdom people and Jesus rose again in order that we would be part of the new day, a new order, a transformed society so yes, we must be involved in social issues.
Do you think Christians get misrepresented in the media?

Yes and no, in some sense everyone gets misrepresented in the media. If you are in the public arena, suck it up! To help yourself, always ask for fair media, make sure you are clear with what you are saying and I must say in my experience the media on the whole have been fair. They might not agree with me, but they have been fair. Be precise; be clear and on the whole, media will treat you well.
Have you received criticism as a Christian and how would you advise others to respond?

Yes I have had criticism, but the response depends on who is giving the criticism. If it is from an atheist, they expect you to come back to them, not personally, but they expect you to take the issue up. You are not honouring them if you just roll over, you come back in a good strong, but loving positive spirit. Criticism from other people might be on who you are and what you are doing. As far as you can, respond with gentleness and respect as the Bible says. Always remember your significance is in Christ and not in the critic.
Why do we still need Bible Colleges in Australia today?

We need an equipped generation! This is the marketplace generation where faith is alive but people are exploring outside the church. We need people who know their Bible, and know it well, know their theology, know their ethics and know what they believe and can take it beyond the walls of the church. We need places that can equip people to do that in their everyday lives.


Easter Weekend 

We have had a great Easter weekend with services on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Grace City has a many gifted people and over these 2 services we saw many of those giftings come in to play. Check out some pictures from the Good Friday service.

Good Friday


Blog7 areas of culture

For the start of our new Blog series looking at the 7 spheres of culture we have an exclusive interview with former olympic swimmer and TV personality Elka Whalan (nee Graham). As a person involved in the media we asked her how she looks to bring impact into that arena of society and some of the challenges she has faced. Have a look at her answers below
Elka Whalan7 Spheres of culture - Media

(Q)As Someone in the media how are you trying to bring change as a Christian?

'I want to bring light in a dark place, to show people not just with words but with actions. To not be a gossiper and to not slander people. I want to be in there to lift and encourage people in a dark place like the world of media which often tries to bring people down.'
(Q) What are some of the challenges you faced as a Christian in the industry?

'Sometimes I don't connect with people. I have left the makeup room lots of times because people have been gossiping and slandering others and I have not wanted to be part of that so I have just quietly gotten up and gone somewhere else. I want to hold strong to what I believe in and wait for that right time when God will let me shine.'
(Q) Have you had any bad reactions to your faith?

'I don’t think there is anybody in church who hasn’t a bad reaction when they have said they were a Christian. I think the delivery and the way that you say what you say is really important and that’s why I have my line that ‘my best friend is JC, we kick it tight, I’m a big fan of the man above.’ I want people to know that Christianity is not weird so the most important thing is to let people know that I have this real and great relationship with God.'
(Q) Have you found any other Christians in the Media?

'Yes, but not many, the ones I have found I have connected with so much. Often you can pick them before you get a chance to even meet. There are one or two in make-up that are Christians and that’s so wonderful. There are others that you just know because they are genuinely happy for you when you get a job, they just buzz and have genuine excitement for you. They are not jealous but just really wanting to encourage you. So there are not a lot in there, but that’s ok because we get a chance to shine a light brightly and bring others in.'

Blog7 areas of culture

A phrase I have caught myself saying a few times this summer is ‘I am so blessed to be living where I live.’ I am sure you have said the same thing at some point. Living on the Northern Beaches we are privileged to be in one of the most beautiful locations in one of the greatest cities in the world. With an unmatched coastline, warm climate, friendly people, good waves and the joys of an outdoor lifestyle we are truly in one of the world’s great capitals. That said, it’s also a city in desperate need of God. Sydney’s greatness is one of its dangers, living in a place like this I wonder if people have any real sense of their need for God. 
However God’s word to Jonah offers real hope ‘should I not have concern for the great city’ (Jonah 4:11). It’s fantastic to know that God is concerned about this great city and so should we be.
In 1975 Loren Cunningham (Founder of YWAM) and Bill Bright (Founder of Campus Crusade) met over a meal, each prompted by God to bring the same message. They both said God lead them to say that society had 7 spheres or pillars of influence, all of which had to be reached if a city or nation was going to be transformed.
These are the 7 Spheres:
Arts & Entertainment
In this BLOG series we want to talk to different Christians who are involved in influencing these different spheres. Some of the contributors will be from the church, but some others will be from outside, but each will share their perspective on how they are trying to bring a difference to their sphere so we can see our great city transformed.
Updates will be released regularly so keep checking back for more…

Hew Nunn, 27/02/2015

One of the great things about Grace City Church is the wide mix of ages we have. Currently, the spearhead of our evangelistic and community outreach is Grace City Community Foodcare in Dee Why. The fantastic all-age Foodcare volunteer team is led by retirees – while our culture places huge emphasis on the value of youth, that is not necessarily the biblical model! Of course we want to train young people, but at every age and stage of life, we want our number one focus to be the glory of God. The management of Foodcare is a great example of people doing exactly that! The post-launch stage, when there are no longer kids at home, accounts for half the lifespan of a typical family – so making those years count is vitally important.
1) Tell us a bit about yourselves? Peter  Gayle
We are aged 67 and 62, and we’ve been married for only 11 years. In the past we’ve been a widower and a divorcee, and we’re very grateful for the gift of each other.
In his 48-year working career, Peter was an engineering manager, and for the final few years, he managed a Christian conference centre. Gayle is a teacher by profession, but has also worked in church staff positions, and is a qualified funeral celebrant.
We share 5 wonderful adult children (Christopher, Rachel, Bradley, Lauren and Joshua), and have 9 beautiful little grandchildren.
2) So you are both retired, how are you finding life?
Busy and fulfilling, and with great freedom to make choices about use of our time, now that life’s biggest decisions are behind us.

3) Retirement is often presented as a time to finally stop and relax – you have been very busy! What do you feel God has called you to do with this phase of your life?
The wonderful minister who married us used to say “Not retirement, but refirement!” - he always expected Christians to look forward to these latter years as potentially tremendously productive for God.

As Peter was preparing to retire at the start of last year, we fully expected that God would have a new project ready - something creative and worthwhile that we could use to honour him.

Of course, our growing family always comes first, but for Peter in particular, to continue to work and serve God actively was very important.
4 How and why did you both decide to get involved in Foodcare?
Peter was approached by Pastor Mike in January 2013 just before he was due to retire. The church was keen to start a a brand-new community project, and Peter was asked to be its manager. After much prayer and preparation by the church, the shop opened in November 2013, and the rest is (amazing) history. Gayle became involved in mid-2014, when together we opened Grace City Café in the shop on Monday mornings – a “next step” towards faith and church for our Foodcare customers. Peter gives 2-3 days each week to Foodcare, plus availability at any time, and he enjoys every minute of his involvement.

It is our clear vision that every person who comes into contact with the Foodcare project will be touched by the love of God, and moved closer to faith in Jesus Christ. We believe the witness of our lives and those of the church’s volunteer team, are essential for achieving this. And we believe that simple acts of service, and genuine compassion, are of immense value to God.

Our guiding principle in all that we do at Foodcare comes from the Bible  - Matthew 25. 31-46. As Christians, the focus of our life is to love and serve others in Jesus’ name.
Peter and Gayle Dean, 12/12/2014


The experts say the following about families with teenagers: 'When children reach adolescence, increased pressure is placed on the family system to accommodate itself to greater demands for flexibility’. Wes & Belinda have 3 children - two teenagers and one just passed his teenage years. The change from young children to the complexities of teenagers can be a challenging time for a family, so lets get some insight on how they have managed.
1) Tell us about yourselves and your children? Darts
We were married at the beginning of the last decade of the last century! Wow. That sounds like a long time ago; but with our twenty fifth wedding anniversary fast approaching it still doesn't feel very long ago from where I'm standing.

Belinda was born in Malaysia where her father was a doctor. She came to Australia in the mid 70's when the family decided to emigrate. I was born in Mona Vale hospital and have lived on the Northern Beaches all my life. Tom (20), our first child, was born around five years after we were married, then came Bethany (17) and finally Simon (15). It was pretty funny when our kids were asked during primary school geography lessons what country their parents were born in. Having a 'Malaysian' mum was somewhat incongruous with red hair and a pale complexion!

Despite living so close to the beach, you will rarely find us there; instead our passion for the outdoors is expressed in camping and 4WD adventures.
2) As your children became teenagers, what did you have to change as a family and how did you find the transition?
We had to learn to listen more; but more importantly we have learned to be more fervent in our prayers for them. When your kids are younger you live with the illusion of control. As they get older you begin to realize that you have to learn to let go and trust God with their future.

Other things have changed too; one of the biggest was not always doing things as a family because someone was working, was out with friends, was studying or just plain didn't want to go. Not all of our children enjoy camping as much as we do and it has been very sad to leave them at home on occasion while we went away.

Another life lesson: you can't please all of the people all the time! For example, when children are young you tell them where the family is going, and you go, and they will probably be excited. As they become teenagers they are not necessarily in that state of mind. It's a natural progression that is ultimately good because they are becoming independent, but it can still be a bit sad for parents.

Giving teenagers the freedom to choose whether they come with us (whether that be on holidays, to visit friends, go to youth group or go to church) is important to their development as they head toward adulthood and learn to own their choices regarding friendships and their faith.
3) What have you found to be the hardest thing about parenting teenagers?
Hmmmm... Where do we start?  ;-)

Mood swings.

Sleep -- why is it that teenagers seem to think they don't need to sleep?!?!?

Belinda says that the hardest thing she found about parenting teenagers is that you can go through whole seasons of where everything you say and do is wrong. If you say something, it's wrong and if you don't say anything it's wrong. Times of physical growth, tiredness and hormones are danger times. It's when 'be quick to listen, slow to speak and slower to become angry' come into play.

Another massive area is the challenge of technology. I work in IT and I love the way technology enables so many wonderful things; but it is a double edged sword. On the flip side, social media places enormous pressure on our kids, electronic games can be a source of addiction, there is the emergence of pornography into the 'mainstream' of western culture, not to mention the weight of a capitalist society where we've all got to have the latest gadgets.

All these things provide plenty of opportunities for parental intervention, encouragement and at times correction.
4 What has been your favourite thing about parenting teenagers?
The amazing holiday adventures that we have shared together. We have traveled all over Australia, done an amazing trip around NZ in a motor home, and the grandest adventure of them all was a 5 week road trip across the USA from New York to LA via Disney World in Florida.

We have found that enjoying meals together at the dinner table really builds our family unity. Monday night especially has become our family 'date night' while Thursday night is reserved for Belinda and I to have a 'date night' meal together. These moments represent an oasis for us in the midst of the busy and chaotic schedules we all seem to keep.

Belinda says that her favourite thing about parenting teenagers would have to be watching them try things and succeed at them.  There are many challenges during the teenage years and many heartaches and disappointments, so to try something or to work at something and succeed brings great delight.

Finally, I would have to say that I love the way that our kids have forgiven us for the mistakes we have made over the years. They have helped us to stay humble and dependent on God when we (often) don't have the answers. My favourite parenting verse is 'love covers a multitude of sins' (1 Peter 4:8). When it come the relationship between parents and children, I think it works really well in either direction.
Wes and Belinda Dart, 28/11/2014


‘When a child is born, adopted, or fostered into a family, the existing system must make necessary changes to welcome new members’ Nick and Sandra have 2 young children, Grace and Rose. Having children means making massive changes, let’s see how they are coping.
1) Tell us a bit about yourselves? Nick and Sandra
It was January 2006 when we met. We came from different countries, spoke different languages but despite the odds, we fell in love with each other and 10 months later we got married in Australia. We didn't really know one another very well; all we knew was that we both loved God and loved each other. Communication was a challenge since we didn't speak the same language. We used to take the dictionary to our dates and we even took it to our honeymoon.
Pretty radical isn't it? Yes, it is radical but nothing compared to parenthood.
2) After having two children, what has been the biggest change you have faced as a family?
Being parents has been one of the most radical and intense experiences of our lives in a good way... and sometimes in a challenging way. Here are few changes we faced after our first daughter was born:
- Our hearts changed:  We never thought we could love someone more than we love ourselves, but that is exactly what happened when we became parents. Suddenly we had this little person who we wanted to protect, comfort, feed... Everything she did was cute, clever and beautiful.
- Less time for ourselves:  Parenting is 24/7. When our 1st baby was born 90% of our free time went out through the window and we found ourselves very, very busy during the days and the nights!
- Organization: Very soon we realized we needed to be more organized in the way we lived our lives and how we spend our time. Having the kids in a good routine and still making room for fun and flexibility is our goal.
3) What do you think the biggest challenge you are facing as parents?
The challenges of parenthood are many but for us the biggest is teaching and bringing up our kids not knowing if what we are doing will have good results or not. You have to do it in faith believing that what you have sown into your kids lives will reap good fruit later on. Another challenge is always making sure we have time as a couple to cherish our relationship as husband and wife.
4 What is your favourite thing about having kids?
Life with kids is very different to before... It is busy, intense, sometimes exhausting... and when you think your energy is gone, they smile at you, fill you with hugs and wet kisses... in that moment you are the happiest person in the world. Ahhhh the mysteries of love...
Nick and Sandra Atkins, 14/11/2014



This next Blog is from Chris and Chantal Adney who are a married couple soon to have their first Child. We wanted to ask them how they found the change from being single to becoming a married couple. Experts say that ‘there is an incredible agenda to be accomplished in this stage,’ which includes things like: setting up a new household, dividing household chores, learning to budget, making decisions about church involvement, spiritual growth and many more. So this is a vital stage for establishing a sound foundation for the future, lets see how they got on.

1) Tell us a bit about yourselves?Chris and Chantal

Chris has lived on the northern beaches his whole life in a Christian household with his dad, mum and 2 younger sisters. Chantal’s family moved around a lot even between states. She was brought up with her step dad, mum and half-brother and half-sister. We met at covenant Christian school in 2001(both in yr. 10) and started to date in October 2001 Chantal’s parents and siblings moved to Queensland at the end on 2003, so Chantal moved into Chris’ family home.

We were married on the 7th of April 2007 and moved into a granny flat in Beacon Hill.

2) How did you find going from being single to being married, be honest…?

Because we dated for a long time and had lived in the same household before we were married we had a lot of time to grow up together, this helped with the transition into married life. However we still both had different and sometimes conflicting expectations of how married life looked. For example who we were used to having as the bread winner for the family and who would take on different household roles. Because out parents were so different in how they operated AND communicated in their relationship, there was a lot of pre-conceived ideas of how our relationship would operate. When it came to finding a church, we both felt that church was important but needed to find a church that suited us both as a couple and individually as we had not settled into one before we were married.
3) What was the hardest adjustment you had to make once you got married?

Managing finances was a challenge in the beginning as we were not expecting some of the large bills that we received and Chris was still on an apprentice wage. It didn’t matter how much we budgeted, we weren’t ready for the odd things that popped up.
There was also a feeling of distance from family as we were used to living in a busy household, sharing meals together, going away together and feeling the security of being under our parents.
4) So, you are having a baby soon, how are preparing for this next stage of life?

We have had complications before so have been wanting to have a family for some time now. But it wasn’t something that worried us, while we were waiting for God’s plan to unfold for our family, we had so many great experiences and feel that our relationship has really got solid foundations. Because we feel so strongly that its God’s perfect timing to start our family now, we are really just leaving the day to day up to him!
Chris and Chantal Adney, 29/10/2014


Ok, so next we come to look at adults. It is time to Differentiate from the family of origin, develop a clear sense of self that will enable a person to relate to others and obtain independence. Key events are things like moving out of home, heading to uni, starting a career and in Steves case, changing nations!

Steve Chik
1) Tell us about yourself
My name is Stephen, AKA Chiki or Chiki-Lala. I'm 34, I work at the UNSW in Student Life and Learning where I supervise a group of 50 student volunteers that mentor new international students. I also organise events for international students.
I'm passionate about music and art. I enjoy singing and writing songs as well as have an interest in design.
I enjoy spending time with friends and family when I'm not working.

2) You have lived all over the world, to what extent do you feel at home at Grace City and Sydney?

I feel very much at home at Grace City because of the relationships that have been forged over the years. I remember when I first started visiting and I wasn't sure If I was going to continue coming, because I lived a fair distance away. One Sunday I was invited to lunch by one of the church families. I was touched by the gesture because it made me feel welcome and I felt it was God's way of telling me that he wanted me to be at Grace City.

3) What is it like being a single person at church, some of the advantages and some challenges?

It's great being a single at Grace City because there's a unique group of us in the church. I've enjoyed getting to know the guys and girls and I find them to be an inspiring and energetic group of young people.
Though we may not have specific programs or a ministry for singles I feel  there is a strong sense of community that caters to everyone. The different ministries like the men's ministry does a good job in mentoring the younger guys through the activities like breakfast, bowling and Golf.

The challenges with being a christian single and 34 includes people wondering why I'm not married or settled down yet. I've always believed in God's best for me and feel that I sell myself short when I try to make things happen on my own, this includes relationships, career paths, big or small life decisions.

Some of my friends that are not christians feel that my beliefs put limitations to the options I have in life. By not focusing on the why but constantly going back to realising that God has a perfect plan and purpose for has always encouraged me.
The beauty of it all is that my story is still being unfolded and only God knows what lies ahead and he instructs us to trust him -Proverbs 3:5.  Whatever happens, I know God will use it to bring glory to HIS name.
Steve Chikazaza, 08/10/2014


Tamara Manson - AdolescenceTamara
The stage of adolescence represents opposing gravitational pulls, that of the family and that of peers. The key task it define self, who am I and what am I here for. In the desire for independence, teens seek to take more control of their lives which naturally creates a tension with parents! Have a look at what life is like for Tamara, its a very honest and open portrayal of life. I think we have a future writer on our hands!
1) Tells us a bit about yourself?
I’m Tamara and I’m in year 8 at Northern Beaches Christian School. I was born in England so I’m young for my year, which has its disadvantages (waiting a year longer to get a job, drivers’ license etc.). I have an obsession with reading, which usually results in addiction and hard-core fangirling.
2) Would you say you get on with your parents?
I have a great relationship with my parents but we don’t always see eye to eye, particularly where my sister is involved. I love them and we get on really well, but I guess every relationship has its bumps.
3) What is it like being a Christian at school, describe some of the challenges you may face?
I love being at a Christian school because faith isn’t just accepted. At my school almost everyone is Christian and the minority that aren’t still appreciate it. I find it really difficult when one of my friends isn’t Christian because I fear for them and I worry (another thing about me: I will stress about anything). I also find that no matter the environment you surround yourself in, you are still vulnerable to sin. Doubt and hurt can still manage to plant itself in my brain, even though I am usually around very positive people and experiences. A Christian school is definitely a good way to prevent the worst of this but there are still holes in the wall. Jealousy has been a major issue for me, particularly as I hate change. I don’t mean envy which is when you want to take away something someone else has, I mean I am very protective. If someone else has what I used to have, I will be really hurt by it. This generally applies to friendships and achievements, rather than physical things. I have had to learn to control this and if I ever experience this, I usually pray for the ability to act rationally and to avoid hurting people.
4) What is the biggest challenge you face in life and how do you look overcome this?
My friendship circle is great but lately we’ve been having issues with people who we adopt out of pity, but then realize why they were having friendship problems in the first place. One of my close friends has recently been going through a really rough time, which hasn’t made her the easiest of people to get along with. She is easily annoyed and quick to act on it, and she often directs her hurt towards the people that float on the edges of our group. We are all loyal to her, so we tend to agree with her, especially considering these floaters aren’t always that easy to be friends with. She usually hates these people and wants them to leave us alone in peace and I am often torn between loyalty and love for her and compassion for the floaters. I have decided to remain friends with everyone while doing the right thing and I have prayed for God’s guidance in this.
Tamara Manson, 26/09/2014


PJ 1PJ 2

George Januarius (left) and Malachi Januarius (Right)

1) Please tell us a little about yourselves including your favourite food
Hi, my name is George. I am 11 years old and currently go to, Killarney Heights Public School although I’m going to high school next year. I like drumming because it is an easy instrument to learn and I like what I am able to achieve while playing on my drum kit. I do not like Chocolate because I’m allergic to it!
Hi, my name is Mac. I am 9 years old and go to Killarney Heights Public School. I like running because I like to practice and win races at school. my least favourite food is  Capsicum because I don’t like the taste or the texture
2) What do you think makes kids really popular at school and how do you feel about your own abilities in those things?

George: If they help people and include everyone, (I like helping people). I do find myself wanting to be better at this or that but not because I want to be popular
Mac: If they are good at sport and they are funny (I feel ok about my own ability in sport) . 

3) How well do you get on with the rest of your brothers and sister?
George: I like playing out in the garden with everyone having fun on the swings especially if the chickens (we have 4 of them) are out. I don’t particularly like it when someone gets cross or hurt when we are playing.
Mac: Very well

4) What is your favourite thing about church?
George: 4-6 - I like the games that we play and learning about God in an understandable way.
Mac: 4-6
George and Mac Januarius, 04/09/2014


When I was aged 4, being 10 was unthinkably far away. At 10, teens seemed like humungous giants and I could never quite envisage what it would be like to be that tall! Then as a teen, everybody over 20 was too old to be good for anything. In my 20s, I sometimes considered, with some trepidation what it would be like to be 30, and now in my thirties I am learning to stop myself from replying to people in their teens and 20s with ‘in my day…’
Anyway, the point is that life is filled with very different stages. At Grace City Church God has blessed us with a whole spread of people in various life stages. Worshiping together as a church family is one of our core values and something we really treasure. Each  stage however has its own unique challenges. In this Blog, between now and Christmas, we want to look at a whole cross section of people within the church and consider some of the challenges they face.
Based on a study by Psychologists and Theologians Jack and Judy Balswick, we will look at the unique opportunities and challenges people in our congregation are facing, from the youngest to oldest. Every other week we will release a new article. A whole variety of people will be answering questions specific to their stage so we will find out if the grass really is greener!
The different stages we will be looking at are:
  • Children under 10
  • Children in their teens
  • Singles
  • Married Couples
  • Married couples with young kids
  • Married couples with teens
  • Couples with kids who have flown the nest
  • Retirees
Hew Nunn, 21/08/2014


Gift day update

Surflifesaving 3


Overwhelming Generosity

So far the total money received for the gift day is just under $130,000! We are delighted with the generosity of the church which has enabled us to start blessing those around us.

Last week Peter Brooks and James Ryburn visited the Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club where they were able to hand over a cheque to go towards a whole variety of needs at the club. In discussions in the build up to the gift day the club listed various pieces of equipment that they needed such as radios and rescue tubes. It was a pleasure to be able to help them restock some of these items.

They were delighted that a local church was willing to support them and expressed such gratefulness for the money we were able to give them. When they understood that we asked nothing in return they struggled to believe it. We pray the money will be put to good use and help them continue to save lives.


Gift day update


Overwhelming Generosity

Fisher Road School 
So far the total money received for the gift day is just under $130,000! We are delighted with the generosity of the church which has enabled us to start blessing those around us. Recently Mike Irving and Hew Nunn visited Fisher Road School and had the privilege of handing over a cheque for $10,000.

It was a total surprise as the school had no idea how much they would be receiving. Ruth Rogers (pictured right), the Deputy principle who received the check commented that she did not know if we were giving $20 dollars or $100. As you can imagine, she was blown away when she saw the total.
Here is an email which she address to Grace City Church community expressing heartfelt thanks for your generosity.
"Thanks you so much on behalf of Fisher Road School for your very generous donation of $10,000 towards the work that goes on at our special school.
We could not have anticipated such a generous donation, and it has presented us with an opportunity to buy one or perhaps two substantial pieces of equipment to enrich our playgrounds, which will give many years of enjoyment to our special needs children.
Please give our heartfelt thanks to the the whole Church community who gave so generously to our school, and I plan to take photographs when the equipment is installed so that you can see the pleasure your generosity has given to our children"

Over the coming weeks we will be able to continue to bless other local organisations so thank you again for your generous giving.


Update from the



Gods love in action

When Super Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines in November 2013 the damage was catastrophic. Meteorologists said that the strength of the winds made it one of the 4 most powerful typhoons ever recorded. For the small Filipino island of Bantayan the effect was devastating with many houses which were still made of traditional timber and matting destroyed as well as the traditional outrigger fishing boats.
boats1The Newfrontiers family of churches responded immediately and various churches have donated money to our Newfrontiers church in Manila (House of Grace Church - HOGC) to provide aid. One of the church members, Danny’s, family lives in a village on Bantayan island and needed support following the typhoon. Peter Brooks, the House of Grace leadership team and I had the privilege of visiting this village last week to see firsthand the initial work done to help.
We arrived to find an amazing feast set out between some of the houses that had been rebuilt with the finance provided. It was a brilliant, festive time with fish, crabs and prawns all freshly caught and a huge roast pig. So far 2 concrete houses have been built with 15 more still to be done as well as other houses reroofed.
Heading down the trail to the beach we saw a couple of boats that are still being built and then saw the amazing sight of 61 new fishing boats all white and green and named Newfrontiers. Fishing is the main livelihood and all the boats had been destroyed so being able to replace them (and in fact increase the number of boats) has a huge effect on the village.
It was a real joy to be able to present certificates of ownership to each fisherman for their boats. The boats vary in size with some larger ones having small motors and carrying 5 or 6 people. There was a real atmosphere of thankfulness and Eden (team leader of HOGC) was able to speak and give glory to God for His provision.
We then thankfully moved into the shade and had an informal meeting with the village discussing their ongoing needs and how we could help with the money that has been donated. The first need is more fishing nets and then further houses that need to be rebuilt.
We are also very excited that Danny is looking to move back to the village from Manila and is feeling God call him to start a Bible study in his new house. Please keep praying for real Gospel advance as Gods love is poured out through the practical help being shown.

Mike Irving, 23/05/2014


20/20/20 vision

God spoke to us at the beginning of the year about believing him to see 20 connect groups, 20 people baptised, and 20 people meaningfully connected to the church through outreach ministries. So where are we 4 months in?

1) We currently have 11 connect groups, 9 to go

2) 2 People baptised, 18 to go.

3) 4 meaningfully connected with the church, 16 to go.

Whilst progress has been made, we still have a long way to go. The good news is that sometimes it takes a while to get a boulder moving but when it is rolling, it's difficult to stop.

The truth is connect groups are gaining momentum and leaders being trained. On the last weekend of May we are training 17 people to be ready to take over groups as they multiply. It is great to see so many being trained who are not currently leading.

On the baptism front, we need to pray for salvation and for those who are saved to have courage to go for it.

Regarding 20 being connected, it is encouraging to see both Community Foodcare and Playgroup enjoying such faithfulness. The challenge is to see all those who are making use of the programs being embraced into the community of faith. Look for the opportunity to connect with people at our Christmas in July event on the 19th of July, more details to follow

I believe God has provoked us to believe in Him. The Bible says faith without works is dead so let us continue to play our part so that our 20/20/20 vision can be realised by the end of the year.

We will look again at where we are by the end of August (4months on),

Much love Peter

Peter Brooks, 08/05/2014



the great Easter egg hunt
Painted Egg

In the build up to Easter we are going to launch a competition to get all you budding photographers going. The aim is to get an real egg and paint it in any way that you wish. Next, get a photo of you and the egg somewhere totally random. The winner will receive a brand new camera!

Anybody can take part in the contest, they don't have to be regular attendees of the church but they will have to be there on Easter Sunday, the 20th of April to collect their prize.

1) You must use a real egg.
2) It must be decorated in some way. This could be as simple as drawing a face on a single egg, as long as it is decorated that is all that matters.
3) The picture must have you and the egg in it. You don't have to be holding it, but your face does need to be in it somewhere so we know its authentic.

1) Comedy value - the funnier the better.
2) Design skill, the more original the egg the better.
3) Impossible locations - the crazier the location the better.
4) Famous People - If you get a shot of your egg being held by somebody famous, kudos to you!

Simply email you eggshots to

If you would like a few more ideas check out this site: Decorating Ideas



Foodcare Opening

‘Good Vibes’ at Grace City

Community Foodcare

Grand Opening

Wednesday 19th February marked the Grand Opening of Grace City Community Foodcare. The occasion running between 10am-1pm was full of ‘good vibes’.
Huey Nunn said “It was a fantastic chaos as people swarmed in. It felt like we were really meeting a need”.Foodcare Opening 1
The festivities began with Mike Irving on the mic who said that Grace City Community Foodcare had already met the 2 goals for the centre. These goals were of it being a place to meet peoples physical needs and also being a place of love, care and respect. Ms Bishop seconded what Mike said in saying that the centre not only catered for peoples needs but it was also a friendly community place.
On top of seeing a record of about 70 clients check groceries out of the store we also had a large number of care agencies representatives attend the opening. Amongst the agencies were; Warringah Council, Queenscliff Mental Health, Salvation Army, Womens Refuge, Burdekin and Centrelink. We also had both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor as special guests along with Hon. Browyn Bishop MP who officially opened the shop with the cut of the ribbon.
Clients flooded the room following the cut of the ribbon and it showed just how much of an impact the centre is having on people’s lives. Peter Brooks said “An amazing morning. Fantastic to connect with Politicians and Agency leaders and to see so many people literally charging through the doors to get there groceries was particularly moving. Well done Grace City Church.”
We pray for the explosion of clients to continue after a successful opening leading to lives being changed for the better. Also many thanks to all who supported and attended the opening. It was great to see the smiles on the faces of all those involved in the festivities.

For more info on Community Foodcare please go to
Tash Woolley, 26/02/2014


Manly Daily article

on Grace City Church

Check out todays (Thurs 16th Jan 2014) edition of the Manly Daily and find an article on our foodcare project:

Manly Daily Ad

"A DISCOUNT food service for low-income earners has had more than 110 people register in its first few months, showing the many needy residents in the area.

Picture: VIRGINIA YOUNG Customer Laurie Armstrong and Foodcare organiser Mike Irving with volunteers at the new Dee Why shop.

Grace City Church at Dee Why has opened its Grace City Community Foodcare shop in what was previously a cafe on Pittwater Rd. The volunteer service, funded by the church, sells discounted groceries to concession holders and those referred by welfare agencies. Grace City Care director Mike Irving said they aimed to help those people forgotten among the beaches’ reputation for affluence.

“There are so many people under the surface of the beaches who are struggling,” he said.

“These are the people we often aren’t thinking about.”

The church buys food from national non-profit organisation Foodbank, and resells it to the needy. Mr Irving said prices were about half that of retail. Local businesses also provide goods, and the service provides vegetables free.

One beneficiary has been Dee Why resident Laurie Armstrong. The pensioner receives rental assistance after experiencing what he said were difficult times in his life, but the service has eased the pressure. He has also enjoyed the companionship of having tea with volunteers.

“I feel I’m not here for charity, I’m here for good vibes,” he said. “Everyone is so welcoming and makes you feel important.”

The service is open Wednesday mornings and is looking for more donations."

For more info on Community Foodcare please go to



Christmas Blog Logo

Question 1 – So what does a traditional Aussie Christmas look like for you?

I celebrate Christmas with my family, extended family and the occasional stray. We have a late lunch which usually finishes late afternoon while we lie about sleeping and digesting. Then we do it all again with the other side of the family on Boxing Day! We eat Chicken, ham, lamb, baked vegetables and cold salad – altogether

Question 2 – What is your favourite thing about an Aussie Christmas?

My favourite things about Christmas are hot days with cicada’s singing. I enjoy the magic smell of a Christmas tree, all dressed up in its strings of pearls, dominating the room from the corner.

Question 3 – How do you try to include Jesus into your Aussie Christmas?

I recognise Him at a Christmas Day service and by giving thanks before our Christmas Day meal. I also participate in every church presentation that focuses on Jesus at Christmas time.

Ken Little, 13/12/2013


Christmas Blog Logo

Question 1 – So what does a traditional Aussie Christmas look like for you?

My Aussie Christmas has always been based on long-standing traditions that have been around for almost half a century. On Christmas Eve, we attend the Christmas Parade down the main street of our small beachside town in Tasmania, home for our once-a-year Fish and Chips and then outdoor in to the brisk night with our beanies and scarves for Christmas Carolling on the edge of a cliff near our home.  Even though my brother, sister and I are in our late 20s, we leave out carrots, milk and cookies for Santa and his reindeer and the following Christmas Day involves 3 traditions that as usual, revolve around eating. Breakfast of cold eggs and ham with one part of the extended family (don’t ask, it’s a tradition from my great great grandfather’s era!), lunch with another and dinner with another.  Boxing Day usually consists of the traditional leftovers and backyard cricket. 

After marrying my husband Adam, we now take it in turns each year to do a Tasmanian Christmas and a Manly New Year and visa-versa…it can be hectic, fattening and tiring but is always such fun!
Question 2 – What is your favourite thing about an Aussie Christmas?

Backyard cricket after Christmas lunch wearing the bon-bon paper hats and with a glass of bubbles or sangria in hand (the non-catching hand of course!)
Question 3 – Have you even spent Christmas anywhere apart from Australia?

Whilst we make the trip over the ocean each festive season, its still very much an Australian Christmas!
Question 4 – How do you try to include Jesus into your Aussie Christmas?

We always try to pack out our Carolling song sheet with Christmas hymns so our family and friends can belt out praises to Jesus (often with them unaware!).  When hosting a Christmas meal, we love to thank and praise God before we eat.  We also have started to have a great reflection time the week after Christmas with my family where we share our struggles and adventures of the previous year and dreams for the next and take the time to pray for each other.  It ends up being a full 10 hours of sharing and praying and when your family is all over the country, our Christmas traditions are a great way to keep connected.

Grace Lever, 28/11/2013


Behind the scenes


In our latest blog we wanted to get behind the scenes into different areas of the church. We wanted to get a view of the people that serve, what they are looking to achieve and how others can get involved. This week we are meeting Tania Thompson who serves in the kids work...

What area of the Church are you currently involved in?
I am delighted to say that I serve in one of the most exciting and dynamic ministries any church could hope for: THE KIDS WORK!  (who said I am biased!) Together with my wonderful husband we oversee the children's work at Grace City Church, with children ranging in age from infants through to year 6.

I have been further encouraged and enthused about working in this area of church life since returning from a Children workers conference held in the USA. Here we were reminded that God has chosen to work through us here on earth, but that Jesus also taught us to pray "your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". God wants to use each and every single one of us, no matter the size of our bodies, while we walk the face of His beautiful earth to bring about His will and purpose. I was reminded that God does not give smaller amounts of His Holy Spirit to smaller bodies! He desires relationship with our children and wants to speak to them and work through them.

What are you all about?
Leading the children into a personal relationship with their Lord Jesus so that they may KNOW for themselves that God is King, not because we have told them so, but because they have experienced Him for themselves.... so if you want to know that for yourself too... do come along and visit us!

We are eager for our children to know not just "about "Jesus, but to truly know Him. To know how much they are loved, who they are in Christ and that nothing that they can ever do will separate them from His unending love. Isn't that the love every human being longs and yearns to know? Jesus wants to be our 'Forever friend' and this is what we are about in the kids work at GCC.

We're about knowing freedom in Christ, that we are totally loved, fully forgiven and that God wants to speak with us and work through us.

What do you love most about your role?   
I think I love the free abandon that children experience when they worship their maker. When worship leaves our mouths- the atmosphere around us changes and I love to experience that with the children. I love their lack of inhibition and their willingness to speak their mind and be real. The kids ministry also helps me learn about Gods grace.

Where and when do you meet?
We meet every Sunday morning at 10.00am at the Dee Why RSL and would so love anyone to come and visit our Sunday meeting with us- no matter what your age, come and share in the love of God with us.



Mothers Heart

Sunday the 12th of May we are looking to celebrate the wonderful gift of motherhood! We are having a special service with a youth band performance, stories from mothers in the church,  a number of baby dedications and a message about the heart of a mother.

After the service we will be providing refreshments, musical performances from some of the northern beaches finest and also a free professional photographer who will be taking pictures for families and giving away digital copies at no cost.

Sunday 12th May
Start time: 10am
Finish time 11:15am followed by morning tea and live music.

3rd Floor Dee Why RSL, 932 Pittwater Road

Free Digital Photo of your family taken by a professional photographer!

We look forward to seeing you there!




Newday Pacific Rim – 2013

Once again, from the 18th to the 23rd of January, young people from Newfrontiers churches around the Pacific Rim gathered at Forest Lakes, Wellington NZ for Newday 2013. It was absolutely amazing to see God work in new ways and change lives for His glory. Many were saved, many recommitted their lives to Jesus, many were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and many heard God speak to them.
Over 5 days together, 12-18 year-olds spent time worshipping God, building relationships, witnessing the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit, and having fun!



In the morning meetings there was a series on one of Jesus’s most challenging statements: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” On one particular morning, “The Great Newday Panel” answered questions submitted by the youth that they have struggled with.

Between the morning meetings and lunch was an optional seminar series on getting to know God. This provided youth and leaders alike with practical hints and advice on building a personal relationship with Him.
Most afternoons were open for activities including the swimming pool, waterslide, mudslide and flying fox. The evening meetings would kick off with an exciting time of worship followed by prayer for specific churches and countries within our region. Afterwards, a speaker would preach and often youth would come forward for prayer in response to the message.
For me personally, I found it to be one of the best Newdays so far, out of the six I have been to. As always, God showed up and did exactly what He wanted to accomplish. Here are some particular highlights:


·      Treasure Hunting – Seeing young people share the Gospel and God’s love with the general public based on hearing God’s clues.
·      Worship times – particularly Sam’s rewritten version of Rhianna’s “We Found Love”.
·      Team activities – The “Gareth Newman Beard Appreciation Society” did especially well.
·      The talent show – A guest appearance from Taylor Swift made for an exciting time. It was great to see Hew honoured with the gift of music so many times.
·      Prayer – Such a big focus of Newday has been to pray to God. It’s so exciting to pray over people and see the Holy Spirit working in and through them to change lives.
Newday 2013 was an incredible way to launch into the New Year. I’m passionate to see what God has in store for us in the future, knowing that God has plans that will blow our expectations away.              
Tom Dart, 21/02/2013


Prayer and Fasting

In February Grace City Church will be completing a time of prayer and fasting. Fasting is not mandatory at all and people are able to fast from all sorts of things like TV, Facebook, types of food (chocolate/cake) and many more. However we do it to as a demonstration to God of the seriousness of our desire to see change in the area that we are praying for and not out of a sense of duty. It's a personal choice in faith that God will hear us.

This week we have 5 public contexts for prayer which we have listed below and we would love you to commit to at least 2 or more if possible. We believe as an eldership team that corporate prayer makes a massive difference and will not only see some great answers but will build us up in our faith (as I shared on Sunday)

Tuesday: Prayer Lunch in the city
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Location: Archibald Fountain, the Northern end of Hyde Park
Wednesday: Evening Prayer
Time: 7:45pm-9:30pm
Location: GCC building (47 Stella st, Collaroy plateau, Collaroy 2097)
Thursday: Prayer Lunch
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Location: GCC building (47 Stella st, Collaroy plateau, Collaroy 2097)
Evening Prayer
Time: 7:45pm-9:30pm
Location: GCC building (47 Stella st, Collaroy plateau, Collaroy 2097)
Friday: Evening Prayer
Time: 7:45pm-9:30pm
Location: GCC building (47 Stella st, Collaroy plateau, Collaroy 2097)
As well as meeting corporately we would also encourage you to pray through the week on your own. Below is a short list of prayer points for each day and they are all different so please pray when you can next week. Many are quite personal and represent one local need as well as one for the Pacific Rim region.
1) Pray for Terry and Wendy that they would quickly acclimatise and have a great month with us.
2) Pray for Peter and Julie Henare in Wellington. Peter’s sister has …… cancer and is staying with them at the moment.
1) Pray for Hew Nunn as he now leads our youth team. Pray for strength and capacity to carry the many responsibilities in his life.
2) Pray for Tom and Julie Eaton in Japan as they make arrangements to be with us in Sydney (They have 4 young children including baby Judah who will be travelling with them next week).
1) Pray for the Grace City Church worship team. Pray for Miles and Kate who lead it and all those you know who serve in it.
2) Pray for the Philippines worship team and particularly a young 16 year old girl who leads worship on Sundays. Gods hand is powerfully upon her 
1) Please pray for more of the Holy Spirit and Gods prophetic voice to speak in every context.
2) Pray for Ken and Carol Shelly who are doing a magnificent job in  our Church in Christchurch. Pray for refreshing particularly for Ken who has a major role in the city.
1) Please pray for all those in our church family who you know are facing illness in their family. Ask God for healing and breakthrough
2) Please pray for a mighty time with all the Pacific Rim leaders and Terry at next week’s conference to be held at the Central Coast.






Hi all,
It’s good to be back from sabbatical. I have been back for a few months now but it has been so wonderful to see so many contributing to the Blog.
This is going to continue as we consider the Christmas season. I got a complete shock when my niece told me the other day that Christmas was only 35 days away. 35 days! I couldn’t believe it! Christmas is a time which has mixed emotions for many people. A friend of mine told me a joke the other day, he said;
“Why is Christmas just like any other day at the office? Because you do all the work and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.”
I hope for you Christmas means a little more than this. I hope you are not as cynical as my friend. I personally try to avoid the commercialism and focus on three things during the Christmas season:

 - Honouring Christ
 - Blessing people around me
 - Being a peacemaker

It seems often that Christmas can be full of debt or arguments and have very little reflection on the coming of Christ. Over the next few weeks you will hopefully get some good advice about how others in our Church try to make Christmas a great season.
Hope you enjoy it
Every blessing

Peter Brooks, 20/11/2012