Archive for CCIW

comings and goings

Posted in Life with tags , , , on January 20, 2010 by stephengardner

A new year brings a whole lot of new and exciting things for Claire and I, but along with that comes a whole lot of goodbyes and farewells. So, I thought I’d do two posts on the comings and goings of 2010.

Below are the things I’m going to miss most this year (in no particular order):

Shanghai Night Chinese Restaurant

NB Food will feature heavily in this post… Forget about hygiene, forget about ambiance, go here for for the best dumplings you can find… 275 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield.

1/9 Arthur St Croydon

We had three excellent and blessed years here. The best years of my life.Sure, the house was rundown and we had our share of noisy neighbors, but, it was beautiful and it was our first home. I’m already missing the place and we only moved yesterday.

Our church family at Christ Church Inner West

We shared fellowship with the saints here for three years. In that time we saw; St John’s Ashfield amalgamate with St Alban’s Five Dock and St Oswald’s Haberfield to form CCIW, Claire join the staff team, me serve as a student minister for two years, a heap of people come to know Jesus, and a heap of deep friendships formed.  We were both richly blessed. We learnt a heck of a lot about church, life, each other and God. CCIW is a seriously grace filled community that is seriously zealous for outreach and seriously faithful to the Lord Jesus. I hope to post more on this later… But for now, we are already missing our dear family

Canada Bay

Sometimes after work, Claire and I would walk around different parts of the Bay, sometimes we would get fish and chips and sit and stare. But my favourite thing to do was to pound the pavement doing the ‘Bay Run’. I hope to get back there when I can.

Gelato and Cannoli at Haberfield

I’ll finish off this post where I began…with food! Haberfield is one of my favourite places! Sometimes we would go and get gelato, or cannoli, for dessert and then try and walk it off by checking out all the cool restaurants and suspicious shop-fronts that don’t appear to sell anything much. You know, the ones with old Italian men sipping espresso’s and smoking all night…

There are many more things I’m going to miss this year not the least of all are the people I wont be seeing as often as I did. I’m incredibly thankful for all that the last few years has brought me.

Next up, what I’m most looking forward to in 2010…

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Pilgrim’s Podcast: Episode 11

Posted in The Pilgrim's Podcast, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2009 by stephengardner

Episode 11 of the Pilgrim’s Podcast is now available. Its our best one yet. We chat with Andrew Katay, senior minister of Christ Church Inner West, about his life, church experiences and preaching.

pplogo2-150x150A particular highlight was hearing Andrew’s thoughts on the future of CCIW. If you’re interested in church growth or church planting, be sure to check it out. If you’re looking to get involved in a new and exciting church plant, then have a listen for how you can get on board.

In this episode we also launch another (legitimate) competition. We are throwing out a challenge for someone to create the most entertaining limerick about ‘the other college’ (let the reader understand).

Enjoy and stay tuned…

Every Body Counts…

Posted in Church with tags , , , on May 22, 2009 by stephengardner

If I have learnt one thing from my time at CCIW it is the importance of every single bum on the pews at Sunday services. My minister and friend, Andrew Katay, has an unmatched zeal for counting, re-counting and re-re-counting the numbers of everybody at church. And I think I have now caught on…
On Sunday mornings I serve at St Albans Five Dock (part of the CCIW family), where on a good day we have 25 bums on pews at the 10am service, a great Sunday will see 30!
3510496239_3eb544934a_mWhen church is this small every body seriously counts. The jump from 25-30 doesn’t sound too great but the difference those 5 bodies bring to the service is significant. The music is better, the sermon feels less awkward and new comers look more comfortable.
This got me thinking of a recent Sunday spent in a church, at the other end of the spectrum, where there are around 400 people at their equivalent service.

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But I was surprised to hear, when chatting with the Senior Pastor, that there are no checks in place to count the exact number of people at church. And in conversations I had with church members, a number of them spoke of it taking 6 months to hear of friends moving on from church. You might ask ‘well they cant have been too close can they?’ But that’s beside the point, every body at your church is a somebody with their own story. They are worth fighting for regardless of the size of your service. It really hit home to me that, even when your numbers are big, everybody counts.

If you’re at a bigger church I’d love to hear your thoughts on how (if?) you go about counting numbers at services and, how you ensure you know where your people are…
Thanks for reading.