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I had a moment in last Sunday’s thanksgiving service when I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to Jesus for our church family. While not everyone could be with us in person, those who came represented the countless acts of service across 2022. As I attempted to list the many areas where people served during the year, people placed a candle in a model of our calling to be a City on a Hill. The visual collection of many individual acts of service, created a river of light that has emanated from The Grove in 2022. We might sometimes feel we play a very small part, but each part is joined to the body of Christ, God’s chosen way to reveal Jesus’ love and glory to the communities of this world.


Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven(Matthew 5:16)


Last Sunday I had the most incredible conversation with someone that powerfully revealed how Jesus is changing lives through his church. A young adult man attended the service, which was his first time in church ever. I asked him why he came, and he told me he lives in Upper Kedron, and in October this year he felt awakened to search about Jesus. He didn’t have a Christian upbringing, knew very little, but searched online, listened to sermons, and watched church services including ours. Through this he understood the gospel and paused to receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. I was blown away by this, and full of praise to God. I must admit, it’s a first for me that someone is awakened to Jesus in our community, and two months later attends their first ever church service already a Christian!


I said to this young man, “you know for 15 years we have been praying that Jesus awakens people in our community to the gospel”. His reply was gold. “Well keeping praying that; it’s working!” There we have it church family, from the very mouth of someone freshly awakened – “keep praying that”. I am sure God wanted us to hear this story at the end of 2022 to know that all the service, sacrifice and prayers prayed are so worth it. Like that lyric in the song Waymaker, even when you don’t see it he’s working. Of course he is, and of course he will.


Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).


It’s time to be full of thanks and to celebrate King Jesus this Christmas. Its time to have a rest and recover our strength. Then in 2023, I believe we can be expectant about an awakening that is coming. What we heard about in one life, I am convinced will be multiplied in many lives. The Holy Spirit is stirring, and hearts are opening. The harvest is plentiful, and we pray next year the workers will be plentiful too. After all, there is great joy in bringing in a harvest after years of sowing seed.


Leanne and I are so thankful for the privilege it is to have served Jesus with you this year. We praise God for a church family that has encouraged us, and prayed for us, and recently called us again for a fourth term. We don’t deserve the grace we are given, yet sharing this grace is what we are in this calling for. The undeserved, unmerited amazing grace won by Jesus and given to all who would receive it. We are so thankful for the expression of this grace among us, seen in the love and unity that is so special, and that results in a welcoming community to all who God brings along.


Thankyou for your service, generosity, perseverance, humility, and love that covers over a multitude of sins. Thankyou for coming and worshipping; for showing up again and again so that others see familiar faces to connect with. Thankyou for growing in faith, and time in God’s word, and for seeking to become more like Jesus in mind, heart and attitude. Thankyou for praying at home, and for those who have gathered in our prayer meetings. I have attended the same Wednesday morning prayer meeting for almost 16 years now, and I am convinced it is the number one reason I am still leading today. Praying with others gives me so much strength and keeps my hope alive.


I want to say a special thankyou to our amazing staff, who pour out their lives week after week from such genuine love for Jesus and his church. They are an absolute joy to work with, and serve God’s people alongside through the joys and challenges of ministry. I am also thankful for our church council who also lead and discern Jesus voice with humility and great wisdom from God. A group of men and women, whose desire is to glorify Jesus, and to obey his word above all things.


Leanne and I wish you all a merry Christmas, and pray that God gives you the deepest of rest and refreshment. May he strengthen all who need it, and answer your prayers for restoration and help. We love you our church family. God bless you.


Marty and Leanne

Sunday Update 27 Feb 22

Hi church family,


I pray you are staying safe and dry. If anyone needs assistance please don't hesitate to contact us. 


I wanted to update you on a couple of things for today.


1. In person church is still on for those who can travel safely. For those concerned about driving, please enjoy our live stream from home. 


2. We decided to postpone this afternoons Life Shared commissing prayer event to next Sunday at 4pm. But we are holding a ZOOM prayer meeting today at 4pm to pray for the Ukraine situation, those affected by floods, and for the youth camp happening next weekend. This is the ZOOM link



I look forward to worshipping with you soon, and sharing a message God laid on my heart to finish our Life Shared series. 


God bless,




  • Praise the Lord for the mighty things he has done over the last year - opening the building, bringing new people, caring for us through COVID, saving and changing lives, his provision and answered prayers. 
  • Praise God for our church family. For every person's value and uniqueness and gifting and service. Thank Jesus for his love expressed through others, and for the privilege of serving others. 
  • Thank our Father for our kids and youth, and for the joy young people bring to our church. Thank him for the spaces we now have for them, and for all those who answer the high calling to invest in young hearts. 
  • Praise God for the gospel being shared; through our live stream, through special services, ministries like Mainly Music, youth and kids nights. And for the witness of God's people in work places, schools, streets and among family and friends.   


  • We seek provision of many things to fulfill the mission God calls us to - for ways to open up that are shut, for people and leaders to serve in teams, for finances to enable forward movement, for wisdom to know what to do, for more people to go out and share the gospel, for more people to join the church family.
  • Lets pray for the Lord's provision across all areas of the church. That we will not lack the people and resources we need to make a difference in 2022.
  • Pray especially for these immediate needs:
    • For more leaders for our growing Grove Kids ministry and Mainly Music. That more would hear Jesus call to let the little children come to him.
    • For more people to practically care for our property and building. That through cleaning, gardening, mowing and blowing we would present the the place of worship to honour Jesus and welcome people. 
    • For our finances, and especially our weekly general giving. That we would reach our $11,000 per week budget to reverse the deficit and supply our need to pay our loan, fund ministry, give to missions, and call another pastor to lead families and people at The Grove.     
  • Pray for those in our church family who need provision of jobs, resources, accommodation, and wisdom for decisions. 
  • Ask the Lord to open doors to make a greater impact for the gospel, for the youth camp to bear much fruit in young people's hearts, and for many salvations and baptisms in 2022. Make prodigals come home, and hard hearts softened. Open the heavens Lord and pour out your Spirit, and bring revival. 



Prayer Notes

God is faithful no matter what circumstance we are facing. Be encouragred to put our trust in him and serve others with a humble heart.


11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Matthew 23: 11-12


Praise Points:

- Praise God for the amazing gift of His son Jesus who unites us with our heavenly Father, giving us eternal life

- Praise God that even in the midst of the struggle or trial, He is with us through it all

- Praise for those who have served others faithfully, served humbly and given generously to the mission of reaching others

- Thanks for an amazing church family who continues to pray and lift others up to God


Prayer Points:

- Pray that God continues to stir in our hearts and burden us for the lost

- Lift up those in our church family and community who are going through difficult circumstances

- Pray for those in isolation at the moment due to COVID-19

- Pray that through tough times, God opens up doors for conversations about faith

- That God will bring the right people into the Alpha course and for them to hear the good news about Jesus

- Pray for the “Crossover course” focused on emerging young adults and teaching them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus

- Pray for our next generation – that God would move in their hearts and for them to come into a relationship with Jesus

  • Grove Kids
  • Youth
  • Young adults

- Pray for financial provision, as we continue to seek God and press forward with the mission of reaching others and making disciples

- Pray for our nation and city during uncertain times, that disruptions in schools and workplaces would be handled with wisdom and discernment

Team Leader Encouragement

Dear team leaders,


Tomorrow is the first Christmas at The Grove in our new church home. How absolutely exciting. A moment of heightened visibility for the church to shine with the light of Jesus, and point to his love and life through our acts of love to one another. 


Thankyou for serving our Saviour King, and giving of your time and energy to make him known to all he brings along. Thankyou for the great heart you have for our church family, the teams you lead, and for the love that motivates you to offer your service as an offering of worship. You guys are amazing!


I feel so expectant about what God is going to do. So many words from God have come, people keep telling me stories, and the enemy is trying to rob our joy and be a nuisance. These are all signs of God at work and planning to reach people. 


One story was shared from a person in our church who tried calling a friend, and accidently rang a lost family member by the same name. It turned out the conversation encouraged them so deeply, and this person from The Grove was able to send them an invitation to Christmas in The Grove. How cool is that? How many more people is Jesus preparing to reach this year? Many we pray. We can be sure God is playing his part!


I have performed around 30 weddings in my twenty years of pastoral ministry. Those are big days people prepare for. But the weddings that I remember as being the most wonderful and joy filled, were not the ones that went perfectly, or had the best weather, décor or even views (although we have those things at The Grove in spades!). But they were the weddings where love was the focus, where things didn’t always go perfectly, but where people laughed and didn’t let anything get in the way of why they were there.  


My prayer for our first Christmas in our church home, after a massive year like no other, is a Christmas where love is totally the focus. Love for Jesus, love for all those we work with and lead, and love for our community. No matter what issues arise, love will enable us to smile and not sweat the small stuff - and there will be stuff to deal with because this is the first time we have done this in our new building! 


Yet with peace as our theme, and the Prince of peace reigning, it’s not fear but the unfailing love of God within our hearts that will enable us to be a non-anxious presence among people who live in fear everyday.    


Jesus knew exactly what he was saying when he said in John 13:34-35, 


“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


In two verses he said it three times; “love one another”. It’s the most powerful, attractive characteristic of the follower of Jesus. It’s the red-letter key to effective mission, and how ‘everyone knows Jesus is among us’. 


Love is a defining characteristic of The Grove, of which I have been so grateful. May it just pour out of us today as we prepare, and tomorrow as we lead and serve. God bless you all. God is with you, loves you and will work mightily through you. Marty