Welcome to the Billabong Newsletter, the Tuckerbag (December 2018, Edition 351). Access this newsletter at any time at thetuckerbag.com or for sermons online and more info, visit thebillabong.org.au

Prepare

Focus topic for December

Christmas is almost here! Are you prepared? Gifts, cards, family gathering arrangements, food, leave, holiday plans, your Christmas letter, Santa photos, Carols, the tree? (Have I missed anything?! Actually, don't tell me...)

There's so much going on at this time of year, so much to prepare for. Not only Christmas festivities, but the new year ahead and all it brings. Most of it takes time to prepare for in some way or another. But what about the celebration of God incarnating himself into this world, how are we preparing for that? What about a new year of walking with Jesus with new opportunities and ways to grow, what does preparation for that look like.

I wonder if at this time of year, maybe more than any other, we are so focussed on preparing our homes, fridges and Christmas trees that we forget to prepare our hearts for the presence of God in our lives. The characters in the story of the birth of Jesus were ready and willing to play a part in God's plan because their hearts were prepared. They served God willingly in the day to day things, and when God called them to something significant, they were ready. I wonder if we would be ready at Christmas time if God called on us for something significant?

Advent is a time of preparation. A time of waiting for God to show up in the world like never before. We sometimes consider Christmas just a 'Celebration' of the time God did show up in the person of Jesus, so what is there to prepare for now? What if we instead approached Christmas with an expectation that God's presence would come to us again in an unexpected, mysterious, profound and exhilarating way. Would we just go about our Christmas shopping? Or would we ensure that our hearts were prepared to received him when he comes - however, whenever, wherever and whoever. 

Merry Christmas everyone! May you experience the presence of God in Christ this Christ-mas like never before.
Luke

Would you consider making a pledge/regular contribution? Please fill out a pledge card (located near the offering box) or let our treasurer know at accounts@thebillabong.org.au. Direct Debit: BSB 036224 A/C Number 131848.

Life Groups

Cinnamon Donuts - Girls age 14+ bible study. Mondays 7-8.30pm in the Library. Led by Bek and Rachel

Billabong Lads - Boys year 11+ bible study. Mondays 7-8.30pm in MPR 3 & 4. Led by Josh

Ladies Bible Study - Fridays 10am-12pm (during term time) in the Library. Led by Frances

Saturday Life Group - 8pm in Harrisdale, fortnightly. Led by Nat
Spice of Life - a monthly group of over 40's Ladies meeting in various locations. Led by Tina
Retirees on a Roll - first Friday of the month (various times, locations). Led by Margaret
BfG Breakfast for Good - first Saturday of every month at 8am in various locations. Led by Sarah R. Challenging each other to get out of our comfort zones.

Programs & Activities

Playgroup Runs during school term at The Billabong. To volunteer or for more info call Deb: 0437 118 896
Amplify - a community of teenagers led by young adults, helping them in faith & life. Cam & Anneliis: 0401 787 626
Billabong Crafters - 4th Saturday of the month 8.30am-12pm at The Billabong. Bring your craft and share ideas and skills. facebook.com/billabongcrafters


Need prayer?

Do you need a community of praying people to pray for you or someone close to you? You can simply email prayernet@thebillabong.org.au and your request will be sent to a prayer network of The Billabong. (If you'd like to join the PrayerNet list so you receive these requests, please email admin@thebillabong.org.au)

Handy Men and Women List

There are a number of jobs that need completing around the Billabong from time to time. If you have various maintenance skills and would like to be added on to the church email list as a volunteer, to be notified when a job comes up, please contact reception on admin@thebillabong.org.au or call 9455 6474. 


YouthCARE

Each year YouthCARE helps thousands of students, staff and family members in WA state school communities by providing an essential social, emotional, mental health and spiritual support service. They're here to listen, and provide a supportive place to talk. If you think you could make a difference to our school communities as a chaplain or scripture teacher visit www.youthcare.org.au

Mentoring

Are you interested in mentoring kids? Remi Toluwade, the chaplain from Campbell Primary School, is looking for some people who might be interested in doing some mentoring to kids during school hours. 

For enquiries contact Remi on RemiT@youthcare.org.au or call 9456 8300, Thursday and Friday.

Christmas & New Years
Ginger Bread House Making
16 December, 5pm-8pm. 
Contact Admin or Yvette to order your gingerbread house kit by 13 December.
 
Carols on the Lawn
23 December, 5pm-7.30pm. 
Bring a picnic, chairs and blankets and enjoy some carols.

Christmas Day
25 December, 8am. 
Bring and share breakfast with carols and 'Instant Nativity.'

New Year's Day BBQ Lunch
1 January, 12 noon onwards. 
Bring your own meat and bathers. Bring a salad, dessert, nibbles and/or drinks to share. 
David's house, 3 Ballagar Rd, Byford

January 2019
From 30th December and through January our Sunday mornings will be in the form of a Bible Study including the Bible Project Videos, (similar to early this year). It will run from 10am on Sunday mornings with a short time of singing, morning tea, a video and discussion time around the Bible. If you would like to help out in some way, please contact admin. 

Cafe Style Space - Opening Soon!
Recently we received our building license for the 'cafe style' space at the front of our community centre - Praise God! We expect works to be finished by the new year and are exploring ideas for how this space will be utilised. If you have desire to be involved in the planning/dreaming, please chat to Luke or Aaron ASAP!



Admin and Bookings: 9455 6474, admin@thebillabong.org.au
Minister: Revd. Luke Williams. luke@thebillabong.org.au 
Children and Families: Anna Bandiera. anna@thebillabong.org.au
Facilities: Aaron Tan. facilities@thebillabong.org.au
Leadership Team: Marilyn Burdett, Martin Hill, John Whaley 
and Teresa Beauglehole. leadershipteam@thebillabong.org.au