We are gearing up for an exciting May – We need your prayers

We are gearing up for a busy month of ministry in May – Could we ask for your prayers?

As school starts for the autumn term in May (Remember, we experience opposite seasons to the Northern Hemisphere), the various ministries we are involved with in Sydney are ramping up. Please be praying for these various events:

EXTRA ordinary

City Bible Forum in May

Do you remember what it was like to have the wonder of a child? Everything seemed new and magical.

But as adults we often lose this sense of awe. In a world that over-promises and under-delivers, can we still find something extraordinary?

Earlier in the year, Sam Chan asked audiences in the city to consider the question of Meaning as he looked at the Bible book of Ecclesiastes.

In May we will return to look at what this book says about the extraordinary. Pray for many people to come along for this fantastic evangelistic series.

Flourishing in a hostile city

City Bible Forum Workplace conference – 6 & 7 May

To flourish is to grow vigorously, to thrive, to prosper. Is this possible for Christian workers when the world around them is driven by egos and commercial outcomes?

Most certainly yes! Pray that workers come to this leaders’ conference and that they will be inspired to serve God at work.

Who is this conference for? We are encouraging Christian workers from Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney to attend. People who see the workplace as strategic opportunity for Christian ministry and outreach. We hope they will be equipped and encouraged by the presentations and the fellowship of like-minded believers.

City Bible Forum’s 25 year anniversary dinner

19 May

Celebrate with us and pray for the night as we celebrate 25 years of the City Bible Forum (formerly Ecom) ministry.

  • We will relive the journey from home office ministry to large national team.
  • Supporters will gather to say thank you to God for 1,000s of city workers who have heard the message of Jesus.
  • Supporters will catch up with people and relive memories.
  • Our team will be able to share some of our hopes for the future.

Celebrate with us and celebrate all the Lord is doing with our team.

Scripture classes and Bible Study Fellowship

Cathy will continue the ministry of teaching scripture in the public schools and being a children’s leader with Bible Study Fellowship.

Rouse Hill Bible Church

In May, we will be travelling through John 13 & 14 as a church. Pastor Ben Kwok and Russ Matthews will Jesus’ responses to key topics in people’s lives: Service, betrayal, searching for truth and knowing the way to God.

10 years

Our family is thankful to celebrate 10 years of service in Sydney. Thank you for all that you have done to support our work and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the future.

Thank you for your prayers,

The Matthews family

 

 

An exciting start to the year – Ecclesiastes, Life’s reset button, Leviticus and Brooklyn

Welcome from the Matthews in Sydney,

It has been an exciting beginning of the year in the work in Sydney this year. After Hope and Matt’s wedding in January. Thank for all of the wonderful support and for all who were able to come along to the wedding. It was an incredibly God honouring day and a beautiful start for this lovely couple. Please pray the Lord continues to work in and through their lives.

After the wedding, things kept going in the world of ministry. We were able to get things started off well for the year in the city and at Rouse Hill Bible Church.

The meaning of life with Dr Sam Chan

Morning + commute = too early + crowded… again

Lunch + food = leftover sandwich… again

Evening + commute = late + crowded…again

Years come and go = So, what is the point of it all?

If this is an impersonal universe made up of impersonal atoms, then any sense of meaning is just imposed on us. We are one of many random events.

But what if the universe is personal? What if there is a loving, personal God behind it all?  Could beauty and wonder be part of our story? Could there be a point to it all?

Sam Chan started off the year at The Forum with a new series where he answers these questions from above as he presents the answers from the book of Ecclesiastes.

Leviticus series at Rouse Hill Bible Church

Throughout the beginning of the year, Ben Kwok and I will be working through the book of Leviticus.

Please pray that we can share how the richness of this Old Testament text can apply to those who live in the age of grace.

Reel Dialogue – Brooklyn screening

We had a fantastic start to the Reel Dialogue ministry opportunities. We had an evangelistic event that included the screening of Academy Award nominated Brooklyn.

It was an engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators. After the film, Ben McEachen, Mark Hadley (The Big Picture ) and Adrian Drayton (Insights Magazine) will discuss the film and what it says about immigration, love and value of community. It was a great lead into Gospel conversations and an opportunity to invite people to various events throughout the city.

DO YOU WISH LIFE HAD A RESET BUTTON?

What would it take to hit the reset button in life?
Ever considered how God may be able to help?

Al Stewart and Craig Tucker will be working through the book of Luke to discuss how Jesus provides us with a reset button in life. Please pray for this series in the month of March.

 

Cathy will begin the ministries at Bible Study Fellowship and scripture classes in the public schools this month. We hope to have an update from her in the coming months to give you an update soon.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. You can read more about our work in Sydney on Facebook: Matthews Down Under, Reel Dialogue, Russelling Reviews, Rouse Hill Bible Church and City Bible Forum.

The adventure continues..

The Matthews

Resources for 2016 ministries – Great resources and great Gospel partners – Please pray for them

We wanted to repost these details for our supporters. Over the past we have had the privilege to work alongside some amazing organisations. Through Facebook, our website and conversations we have mentioned various ministry connections.

We get requests for the names, websites and contact details for these people or groups. We thought we would do a simple list of the organisations we work with regularly. Check out their websites and contact us with any questions.

Our ministry partners

ABWE - The church planting mission agency that we work with in Australia and throughout the world.

City Bible Forum - Russ oversees evangelistic events and Reel Dialogue at City Bible Forum which is reaching city workers with the Gospel. Check out our latest promotional video 

Rouse Hill Bible Church - Pastor Ben Kwok and our church family in Rouse Hill, NSW Australia

Bible Study Fellowship - Cathy is a childrens leader with Bible Study Fellowship

SRE – Scripture Reading - Cathy teaches scripture in the public schools

Geneva Push - An amazing Australian initiative for effective church planting

Russelling Reviews - Russ’ blog of recent reviews with a Gospel challenge

Reel Dialogue - Partnership with reviewer and editor Adrian Drayton with Gospel conversations through film

The Big Picture - Podcast and radio ministry work from cultural commentators Ben McEachen and Mark Hadley

Sow and Harvest - ABWE Australia’s publishing

Vinegrowers – Col Marshall’s ministry that  helps build churches around biblical discipleship: sacrificing, serving, speaking.

Throughout 2016, we will highlight some of these great ministry opportunities.

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

 

 

Leadership without spin, Interviewing God, walking the tightrope & patience – All happening in Sydney in October

We could use your prayers with a multitude of evangelistic events happening in October. It is an exciting time and we are thankful for your prayers.

Russ oversees the coordination of these events and all are evangelistic in their manner and delivery.

Interviewing God – Starting 14 & 15 October

Imagine God applying for the position of God.  What would you ask ? What would God say?

Mark Leong will be looking at these questions, as well as others, and how we can find the answers in the book of Hebrews from the New Testament.

About our speaker: Mark has been interviewed for a range of jobs – selling shoes at Rivers, tax consulting at Ernst & Young and most recently, via a “coffee” with City Bible Forum. He manages the Young Workers Program

 

Leadership without spin – 21 October

Asylum seekers, the economy, leadership spills, and even the Ashes.

These are the topics that are in the daily headlines. How is leadership meant to respond during these challenging political times? This should be a wonderful evening of discussion about the value of leadership in turbulent times.

Panellists: Peter Pollock shook the international cricket world with his fast bowling ability in the 60’s & 70’s. He is the father of former South African Cricket Captain, Shaun Pollock and an established author, journalist, businessman and sports executive. He was a competitive and hard man, a no-holds-barred man.

The Hon John Anderson AO, MA lives in north-west NSW, farming crops and cattle. His family have been graziers and landowners in northern New South Wales since the 1840s. John is well-known as a politician of deep Christian conviction and integrity. He served Australia faithfully for nineteen years as the Member for Gwydir in the Federal Parliament, holding various ministerial portfolios including six years as Deputy Prime Minister (The equivalent to the US Vice-President.)

The Forum goes to the flicks: The Walk – 29 October

An engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators.

After the film, Mark Hadley and Ben McEachen (The Big Picture) will discuss the film and what it says about life and our goals in life. Russell Matthews from Insights Magazine will moderate the evening.

Brief about the film
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Centre towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.

Robert Zemeckis: the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story.

Watch the exciting short for The Walk

About the panel

Mark Hadley has been a journalist for over 20 years and has been reviewing films, television programmes and children’s books for the past ten years for Australian papers and magazines and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Ben McEachen has reviewed films for more than a decade. He has been editor at Empire magazine, contributes to Christian newspaper Eternity, and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Russ Matthews review of  The Walk

 

Preaching at Rouse Hill Bible Church 

Pastor Ben Kwok and Russ Matthews are working through the book of James.

Russ will be preaching from chapter 5 on 18 October.

The theme will be on patience with God.

 

Thank you for your prayers and support.

The Matthews

Interviewing God, The Walk, Reel Dialogue and Humility

Hello from the spring season in Sydney

It has been a great time of ministry  at City Bible Forum and Rouse Hill Bible Church. Here are some of the key ministry opportunities coming up in the coming months.

Interviewing God

A new series coming up in October at City bible Forum.

Imagine God applying for the position of God.

What would you ask ? What would God say?

The questions considered in the series: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? What is your management style? Why are you interested in me? What do you offer that someone else cannot?

Mark Leong will be looking at these questions and how we can find the answers in the book of Hebrews from the New Testament.

About our speaker:

Mark has been interviewed for a range of jobs – selling shoes at Rivers, tax consulting at Ernst & Young and most recently, via a “coffee” with City Bible Forum. He manages the Young Workers Program although he wishes the Swans would interview him – he’s ready to pick up the phone!

Please pray for the series and for many guests to come along for this intriguing series. 

The Forum goes to the Flicks : The Walk

Thu Oct 29th, 6.15pm-9pm
It will be an engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators.

After the film, Mark Hadley and Ben McEachen (The Big Picture) will discuss the film and what it says about this life, our goals in life and what the Bible has to say about our life.

Brief about the film
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Centre towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.

Robert Zemeckis: The director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story.

Watch the exciting short for The Walk

About the panel

Mark Hadley has been a journalist for over 20 years and has been reviewing films, television programmes and children’s books for the past ten years for Australian papers and magazines and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Ben McEachen has reviewed films for more than a decade. He has been editor at Empire magazine, contributes to Christian newspaper Eternity, and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Please pray for the event and for many guests to come along for this intriguing evening of film and discussion. 

 

 

If you would like to read more of Russ Matthews reviews and consider some of the discussion questions from these reviews, all can be found on Reel Dialogue. 

The Book of James

Pastor Ben Kwok and Russ Matthews are currently working through the book of James.

Please pray as we look at this straight forward and confronting letter. This week will be on wordiness and humility.

 

Thank you for your prayers and please contact us with any questions about our work in Australia.

The Matthews

 

 

Heaps happening in Australia + a wedding in the Matthews future

Good afternoon to our friends and supporters,

We have had an exceptionally blessed and busy few months. Heaps of things happening in Sydney with the various ministries and with our family. Thank you for your prayers!

If God is so loving… Why?

The Christian God is supposed to be both loving and powerful.

But sometimes this is very hard for us to see or believe.

Please pray for people to come along to hear what Jesus says about this in a series of stories in Luke 13.

Dr Sam Chan will be giving weekly talks on these big topics and answering  questions on the day.

More details on citybibleforum.org/sydney

The Word 1 to 1

We have started a new evangelistic series of Bible studies in the city. The Word 1 to 1. It has been a great tool of working through the Gospel of John.

It is pretty amazing to be working through so many enquirers with this new series of studies. Please pray for many of these people who are opening the Word for the first time.

Wedding bells in the future

We are thrilled to announce the engagement of our daughter, Hope, to Matt Gibb. They will be getting married in January 2016. Please pray for the planning and for the future of this lovely Christian couple. We are thrilled with this announcement and look forward to all that is coming in the coming months.

Thank you for your continual prayers and support.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews family

Do you pray? If you do, THANK YOU! – Life, reviews and good-bye to a good friend

We are moving into autumn in Sydney. We are into the second term of school and the new series at City Bible Forum. The weather is changing and the opportunities for a multitude of evangelistic events are open to us. 

Do you pray? Seems like s silly question for many, but do you really pray for others? Honestly, it is something that is a conscience effort and easier said than done. We can get so caught up in our lives and needs, if we do pray the words tend to be for our own personal needs. It seems like a simple request to ask for prayer, but we understand that it takes quite a bit to take something from theory to practice. So, THANK YOU!

Thank you to those who take the time to pray for us. It is a bigger request than many may realise. So, THANK YOU for your prayers.

Here are some of the latest prayer points and events in Sydney:

Ask Dr. Sam about life, God and surgery?

Beginning in May,  Dr. Sam Chan will be giving talk about four of life’s biggest questions. Am I somebody to someone? Am I making a difference? Am I having fun? Will I be remembered? 

Pray that many would come along for this series. Sam will be talking on how we know our lives are valuable, appreciated and worthwhile.

Also, each week at The Forum, we finish each talk with a Q&A time. Many have asked to extend that time with our speakers. On Thursdays, 21 & 28 May, we will meet those requests with an extended Q&A session with Dr Sam Chan.

Anyone is welcome to come along and ask questions about God and life, yes… even surgery. (Once you read his bio, you will understand why!)

Dr Sam Chan  is a “double doctor” - a medical doctor with a PhD in theology – who speaks on life, meaning and faith. He is hopeless at dancing, rugby and karaoke – but he does know the words to American Pie (or maybe just the chorus).

Russelling Reviews: Can we see God in film? 

Over the past few years, Russ has had the opportunity to work on his evangelistic work within the film industry. Through various evangelistic events, he has been able to work with industry professionals to see more Christians having a voice within this community. It has been a fascinating and stretching journey, but the Lord has opened amazing doors to His work in this area. One component of this work is writing articles and reviews on film. Through good mentorship, he has been able to be published in Insights magazine and currently has a blog called Russelling Reviews. The intention of these reviews is to incorporate his love of film and point people to see how we can find God within the storyline of these films.

It has led to coordination of evangelistic events that combine film and the Gospel. Please pray for these events and for all who do not know the Lord who come along. For many, this is the first introduction to the Gospel.

 Celebration of the life of  a good friend 

Pastor John Colyer of Ankeny Free Church went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 18, 2015 while doing missionary work in Lusaka, Zambia. Ankeny Free Church is a vibrant church that has been exciting ministry partner over the years. Even though John would be too humble to admit it, The Lord has worked in mighty ways through him and the church, but please know that he was more than a supporter of our mission work. He was a good friend and we will miss him greatly, for now. John was instrumental in helping our family get to the mission field and was always willing to give of his time and wisdom.  We praise the Lord for the opportunity to have known John Colyer in this life, for all he did for us and we are thankful that we will see him again. Please pray for the church and his family during this time of grief, celebration and transition.

Thank you for your prayers. Enjoy the update, read the reviews and keep serving the Lord.

Cheers,

The Matthews

 

Creation and The Age of Adaline

We would appreciate your prayers for some of the upcoming events in Sydney:

Russ will be speaking on the purpose of creation at Rouse Hill Bible Church. We will be travelling through Psalm 104, we will look at the majesty of creation, but try to find the purpose of it all.

Pray as we engage on this massive topic of God’s creation and its purpose.

Details on rousehillchurch.org

The Forum goes to the Flicks: The Age of Adaline

City Bible Forum will be hosting an engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators. After the film, Ben McEachen (Empire Magazine, Open House) and Renee Brack (Writer and industry professional) will discuss the film and what it says about life and eternity.

Please pray for the evangelistic opportunities from this event.

Details on citybibleforum.org/sydney

Praising the Lord for a wonderful weekend with Dr. Mark Harwood

Why won’t they listen? Have you wondered why your witnessing falls flat and people fail to respond? Many comment that science has disproved the Bible and therefore it is not relevant to today’s modern world. But what’s the answer? Can the majority of scientists really be wrong?Dr Mark Harwood delivered a powerful message ‘Going Where the Evidence Leads’ on Sunday 22 March.

The conversations about creation were wonderful and challenging for our church family.

Details on rousehillchurch.org

Adjustments of post-furlough

It has been great getting home, but the realities of the life of ministry have set in. There are many different things that we are excited to participate, but now is the time to determine what is the right things for us to put our efforts. Pray that we continue to follow the Lord’s direction for all things.

We are grateful for your prayers and support.

The Matthews family

 

The four keys to happiness, ministries and school begins

We are rolling into the new year with The Forum, Bible studies at Rouse Hill Bible Church, scripture classes, Bible Study Fellowship and school beginning.

Please be praying for all of these items for us.  If you would like to find out more about each of these events, click on the links.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Joshua and Caroline

The Forum

 

The four keys to happiness with Dr Sam Chan

 

 

 

 

Rouse Hill Bible Church

 

 

Home again

Thank you for all of your prayers and support over furlough. We are back home in Sydney. We are looking forward to 2015.

Please pray for the planning for the ministries of the coming year.

City Bible Forum, Rouse Hill Bible Church, scripture classes and Bible Study Fellowship

Unbroken on the radio 

Hope you can stay up to listen to 2CH 1170AM’s Sunday Night program next Sunday night, 11 January

Dominic Steele interviews City Bible Forum’s film reviewer Russ Matthews about faith in the new film release, Unbroken

You can listen on-line or on that thing called a radio: 2CH

Russelling Reviews on the film Unbroken

Missions Vehicle

Thanks for your prayers and support for our missions vehicle. We are thrilled to announce that we received the funds for our vehicle.

 

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline