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Welcome to

St Marks Bassendean

Church on the Rise

All Church services
have been suspended.
We will meet online each Sunday
and at other times.
Contact us if you would like to join our online meeting

Sermons are online

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being;  for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.  Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15.20f

By Talia Elsing

I am not a writer. I don’t blog, I don’t journal, and I very rarely write anything personal up on social media. But given it is Easter, I thought it was a good time to share a few things I’ve learnt recently. (Please note, I am not a theologian – these are merely my reflections).
My daughter, Georgia, is 10 months old. She is my fourth child. I had a very normal pregnancy - morning sickness for the first trimester, a smooth second and felt like an elephant for the third. All the scans and measurements were normal. Her birth was much like my first – quicker than expected and catching the midwives by surprise. She even looked like her eldest sister when she was born. She was quiet and sweet, fed well and slept a lot. I went home four hours later and marveled at the blessing it was to have a settled and peaceful fourth child.
Things changed dramatically two days later. Dave was using his paternity leave to tidy up the front yard, mowing the lawn and pruning branches. It was business as usual at our place – four kids will be easy! But when the midwife came for a prearranged home visit, what she told us would change everything. After her first weigh in since leaving hospital, we realised Georgia had lost 20% of her body weight – way over the acceptable threshold. On close inspection she had become floppy and pale – again outside of expectations for newborns and indicating that she was deteriorating quickly. Our midwife strongly recommended we present back to hospital via emergency. We arrived and then spent two and a half weeks in the special care nursery. Over the following few months, Georgia had multiple MRIs, CT scans, lumbar punctures, blood tests, genetic tests and finally one scary diagnosis: a rare genetic condition called Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome (AGS). Named after the doctors that discovered it, AGS is an inflammatory disorder that causes significant neurological damage and most often affects other organs as well. Most AGS children who have their onset during the in-utero period don’t survive childhood and spend their lives profoundly disabled. It was hard news to have to break to family. Even Georgia’s Neuro specialist couldn’t break it to us - the disease being is so rare (only around 400 cases in the world) he has was only just beginning to get his head around it. We relied heavily on reading scientific journals to get a true picture of her condition.
It’s been a difficult 10 months, from shock, to shame through denial, grief and acceptance. Reflecting now over Holy week I can see this whole experience has taught me some significant things about God’s love:
1. God loves us regardless of our own abilities and regardless of whether we can give anything back
Anyone who has held his or her newborn has probably experienced this type of love. The overwhelming experience of loving your own child, although they aren’t doing anything, least of all showing their own love back to you. But then your newborn learns how to smile. And smiles at you! And then they gurgle and then they say your name and put their arms up for you to pick them up. Those moments are full of joy and delight. They signify the fact that your child loves you back and wants to be with you.
Georgia is now 10 months old and has not reached a single ‘normal’ milestone. She doesn’t smile, she rarely makes noises (but cries a lot), she hasn’t discovered her hands or feet yet, she hasn’t ‘intentionally’ rolled, can’t sit up – and she may never do these things. Yet, it hasn’t changed the fact that I love her immensely.
Growing up in a Christian home, I’ve always known that God loves me regardless of my own response to him. However, loving Georgia, despite the fact that she doesn’t outwardly display any love back (and may never) – that has given me a deeper understanding of how deep God’s love really is. This concept led me to a verse from St. Paul in Romans - “God shows us his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. God doesn’t just love us when we are doing good things – he even loved us when we weren’t loving him, when we were rejecting him.
2. God loves us and desires to comfort us even when we push him away
Firstly, I need to state that Georgia does not intentionally push me away. Her condition affects her muscle tone and although she has medication to help, she still often becomes very stiff when all her muscles tense up.
She, understandably, becomes very upset when she is in this state, but also when she is very upset, she becomes very tense. As her mother, all I want to do is pick her up and hold her close so that she can relax and find peace. But this doesn’t always happen (in fact, we often put her in the most obscure positions to relax her including the most effective position to date - folding her head into her knees). If I try holding her close, she will often keep crying and stiffening her body which essentially feels like she is pushing herself away from me.
How does this relate to the love of God? Jesus tells us a story about a son who ran away from his father – his father who was loving and had always provided him with a safe and secure home. His father waited patiently day in, day out for his son to return (spoiler alert – son returned, and the father embraced him joyfully). God loves us like that father. He is waiting to embrace us again after we stop pushing him away. As my mother used to sing often, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
3. God’s presence and love is comfort
Despite what I’ve said above, Georgia hates being left alone and requires to be held every waking moment. Every night I sleep with her in the crook of my arm (sssh, don’t tell the child health nurse!). She often cries until someone picks her up and then settles straight away. Just today, she stopped crying simply because her brother went and lay down next to her.
God’s love is comforting in the same way. We cry out for him and he gives us peace. ‘He comforts us in our affliction’, as St. Paul writes in the book of Second Corinthians.
4. God’s love is self-sacrificial
Any mother who has grown a baby and gone through the birthing process will testify of the sacrifice and hard work they have endured to bring their child into the world. On top of that there are the sleepless nights, the pain of breastfeeding, the loss of or significant change in your social life, family life, work life etc.
While all this has been true of Georgia, it also has included ten months of broken sleep, juggling Georgia’s special needs with appointments, a very involved regiment of medications, complexities with raising three other children who each deserve some attention from mum. Throw in a husband to love, a house to keep in some respectable manner, it has been exhausting. Leaving the house is complicated by Georgia’s lack of temperature control – she can very easily overheat and then experience days of poor feeding. Consequently, I’ve had to give up much of the ministry I was leading, and the pinnacle of my social life is school drop off & pickups. All the exercise I had wanted to do has not happened and the books on my bed side table have not been read. Our expectations for the future of our family, and future have had to shift fundamentally.
But it has not changed the love I have for her.
In the same way, God loved us enough to go through the sacrifice & suffering. John writes “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…” – He was willing to sacrifice something even more precious than a full night’s sleep- for us.
This Easter, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation of what sacrifice & love means. I hope that you would consider the extent to which you are known and loved by God – despite your complications and difficulties – God loves you deeply. Amen






THE CHURCH ON THE RISE

Welcome

Welcome to St Mark’s website. We are a growing active Anglican church of all ages and walks of life, who share a desire to follow Jesus, understand the Bible, help others to know God, and build a loving community where new members and visitors are welcome. Families and children are welcome. A children’s ministry (Godly Play) happens as part of church during term time.

Anyone (from any church background - or none) is welcome to join us. We meet at St Mark’s church in Wilson St Bassendean (vehicle access from Parker St).

We have a variety of groups and ministries as well as our regular Sunday Meetings. I hope this web site gives you a simple introduction and encourages you to share in the life and ministries of St Mark’s.


Mainly Music
Tuesdays at 9.30am
In recess after March 17 for Covid-19 safety

Mainly Music provides a fun time of music and movement for pre-school children
and their parents or carers.
More information here




Coffee and Chat
is in recess
Drop in and have a chat
when we resume

SUNDAY MORNING

Family Communion
9:30 am

This Sunday
NO SERVICE
LEARN MORE

CHILDRENS
MINISTRies

On Sundays and Other Days

ALIVE@5

Learning from the Word. Practising by the Spirit.
Alive@5 is an informal meeting for worship, teaching, and prayer.

EVENTS

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

how to find us


St Mark's Church is at 2 Wilson St Bassendean.
Vehicle access from Parker St just behind the Bassendean Hotel.

Trains run to Bassendean Station from Perth and Midland. St Mark's is 300m from the station.

Buses run from Morley via Bassendean station and Ellenbrook  (995); Caversham (340); Beechboro (341, 342).

ADDRESS: 2 WILSON STREET BASSENDEAN 6054

 Our mission and values

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

Our Mission

Discovering and demonstrating Jesus’ love in Bassendean and beyond.

What we believe?

We hold to the apostolic, catholic, reformed, evangelical Christian beliefs as expressed in the 39 Articles and found in the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

OUR LATEST NEWS

Articles you might find interesting or helpful.

10

May 20

Community of the Last Days

by
John Yates

3

May 20

The Last Days 2: So how should we live?

by
Dale Appleby

26

April 20

The Last Days: How did we get here and What's going on?

by
Dale Appleby

19

April 20

Resurrection Vindication

by
John Yates

12

April 20

The End of Death

Easter Day 2020

by
Dale Appleby

10

April 20

Announcing our Death and God's Love

Good Friday 2020

by
Dale Appleby