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In our readings today we see that Jesus knows the character of those he chooses. He knows them better than they know themselves and selects them based on his understanding of them, not their own. Simon Peter was called and chosen with a recognition of his ability to lead. Judas Iscariot was called and chosen with the clear recognition that he would betray Jesus one day. Each acts according to their character. Not the one presented for the world to see, but the one which is their true self. The Lord is not interested in our outer appearance – the image we want the world to see – except in how it honours or dishonours him. In 1 Samuel 3 Eli the priest has all the outward appearance of righteousness but is compromised in his character by his inability to call his sons to account, so showing that he favours them over his Lord. Nathanael is just a young man quietly passing his time, but Jesus sees his honest heart and a willingness to have faith. It is in our inner person, the true character of each one of us, that Jesus is interested. Even so, now that he has died for our sins, Jesus calls each person regardless of who they are, inside and out. He has now given the ability for us to be forgiven no matter how serious the sin. As the apostle Paul says, we are not our own: we were bought with a price. Understanding this helps us to deal with our inner flaws and the outer ones. We can be free from both now. What it takes is an act of true repentance, which is not just the ‘I’m sorry’, but the action that shows it. Like Eli, if we know we didn’t do the right thing and acknowledge it but don’t do what is required to fix it, we are showing that we’re not sorry at all. But if we can acknowledge what is wrong and do what is right to honour the Lord, we are forgiven and have the freedom Christ died to give us. God knows how hard this is, just as he knows our character and how some struggle more than others, yet the same grace is available to all because Christ died for all. So next time you feel like an Eli and you’re tempted to see the Nathanaels of the world and think, ‘I could never be that good’, remember that what qualifies you to receive the love and grace of God is not your character or your actions, good or bad, but that you are loved by the God who created you. That’s grace.


This Week

SUNDAY: Holy Communion, 8.45am
Family Service, 10.30am
MONDAY: Parish Council Prayer & Planning meeting
10am to 4pm
WEDNESDAY: Holy Communion, 10.00am
THURSDAY: Janice at Summer Under The Son (SUTS)
FRIDAY: Janice at Summer Under The Son (SUTS)
SATURDAY: Janice at Summer Under The Son (SUTS)
NEXT SUNDAY: Holy Communion, 8.45am
Family Service, 10.30am

Regular Worship Times

SUNDAY: 8.45am Holy Communion
10.30am Family Worship with Children’s Ministry
(Holy Communion – 1st Sundays)
6.00pm Healing Service – 1st Sundays
WEDNESDAY: 10.00am Holy Communion

Parish Contact Details

Monitored contact points 0493 280 691
Parish Web Addresses
Facebook page
Pastoral Care Coordinators Kevin and Anne Cranwell (0438 234 457 Kevin)


Summer Under The Son (SUTS)…

Janice will be attending Summer Under The Son (SUTS) from 18th to 20th January so will have limited availability over those days. We would like to be using the screen for our 8.45am services and Joy Clayton is learning the system to do this. It would be good to have a team to work with her. We need people to run the slides on Sundays and to prepare the order of service through the week. Please speak to Joy or Janice if you would like to help. Full training will be provided. Likewise Anne Cranwell is learning to set up orders of service on the system for 10.30am. It would be good to have a second person assisting with this. Please see Anne or Janice if you would like to help. Full training will be provided.

Cologne Orchestra concert preparation…

Tickets are now available for purchase from the Dromana Information Centre for the Cologne Orchestra concert here at St Mark’s on 18th January. We will need some assistance to set up the church beforehand and to put it back into order afterwards. If anyone is happy to assist please see Janice.

Australia Day Activities

As we have done for over ten years, St. Marks is going to be involved in the Australia Day Activities on the foreshore on 26th January with the Dromana Australia Day Committee. Once again we are doing a children’s activity and helping with the Free Breakfast 8.30 – 10.30am, then doing some fundraising for St. Marks with a BBQ.
We need a few helping hands beforehand and on the day.
• Prep work for our cutouts for kids;
• On the day help with the craft stall and BBQ;
• Setup the day before;
• Controlling the carpark on the day.
Please call Cheryl, ASAP, on 0490 664 830 if you would be available to participate. The event runs from 8.30am – 1.30pm. Parking will be available for those helping on the day in our church carpark. This is an important outreach opportunity for us as a faith community to be involved in a wider community event. Many hands make light work. Please help.

Alpha 2024…

Our next Alpha course will begin on Thursday 1st February at 6pm at the home of Steve and Carol Parkinson. Please consider who you can invite to join us as we learn who Jesus really is and answer some of the questions of life together. Contact Carol 0411405597 or Steve 0437984679 for further information.

This Week’s Prayer Focus

In our country and the world:

  • For all affected by the storms and floods in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.
  • For all in Israel, Gaza, and Ukraine.
  • For all ADF and rescue teams as they help in the Queensland storm and flood cleanup.
  • For those facing homelessness, hardship, anguish and despair amid rising costs.
  • For families affected by violence.
  • For those affected by natural disasters in around the world.
  • For King Charles III, the UK and the Commonwealth.
  • For peace and unity in countries around the World.
  • For aid agencies such as “Save the Children”, Oxfam, CARE, UNICEF, World Vision.

In our community:

  • For teachers and students.
  • For doctors, nurses, paramedics, Coast Guard, the CFA & SES.
  • For local community outreach groups such as the Dromana Community House and “Food for All”.

In our Diocese and beyond:

  • For Archbishop Geoffrey Smith’s ministry as Primate of Australia.
  • For Archbishop Philip Freier’s ministry in the Diocese of Melbourne.
  • For the ministry of Bishop Paul Barker in the Jumbunna Region and for Archdeacon Helen Phillips in the Frankston Archdeaconry. Give thanks that Archdeacon Helen is now well and beginning to return to work.
  • In our Deanery, we pray for the Parish of Holy Trinity Hastings and their Vicar, Rev’d Tim Anderson.
  • For the work of the Church Missionary Society and Wei-Han the Victorian Director.
  • For Anna Radkovic our CMS Link Missionary. Pray thanks for the progress of Anna’s residency visa.
  • For Christian churches around the world to be free to worship and be witnesses of the love of God as shown through the coming of His Son.

In our Parish:

  • For our leadership and ministry teams.
  • For Rev’d Janice O’Gorman our Vicar.
  • For the finances of our Parish.
  • For our Parish, its people and those we reach out to every week.
  • For the success of the new Family and Children’s Ministry.
  • For the 9am at home prayer time for the Parish, Dromana & Mornington Peninsula.
  • For: Irene’s family and friends, Helen R, Jessica, Audrey, Joan, Christine, Backy, John R, Margie, Fred, Robert, Jan, David, Guy.