Family update and travel

A wedding, a baby, the Apostle Paul and mastering the fear of feeling fake

We come to you in celebration and looking ahead to an incredible month of activity

The Baby - Welcome George Gibb to the world!

On 13 March at about 5:03 pm, little George Matthew Frank Gibb was born weighing in at 3.9 kgs (8 lbs, 6 oz) and measuring 52 cm (20"). Mum and baby are doing well. Thanks so much to everyone who has prayed for them, loved their family and supported them during their journey. We are incredibly blessed and humbled.

The Wedding

Our daughter Becca will be marrying Warrick Hall on 14 April. We are thrilled to be including this young man in our family and to be part of his family. Please be praying for all of those coming in for the wedding, that the Lord will be glorified throughout the day and that this lovely couple will have a wonderful start on this adventure of marriage.

Reel Dialogue - Paul, Apostle of Christ

Thank you for the prayers for the amazing night of film and discussion with the Sony release of Paul, Apostle of Christ. We had a full house to see the latest release and then proceeded to a great panel discussion. Nathan Muse and Natasha Moore were able to field questions from the audience who were curious about the accuracy of the history and storytelling aspects of the film. We had over 30% of the audience who were from an enquiring position in their faith.

The Edge - Leadership that Sticks

What a night of talks, discussion and lessons in leadership.

What does leadership in the workplace look like today? What does 'leading on the edge' even mean?

The way we work has changed dramatically in the past decade. More people are employed in non-traditional industries, working flexible hours and using technology to work anywhere. Expectations of leaders have become a moving target and it is hard to know how to lead and who to follow in this new era. Mike Baird and Michelle Lim delivered fantastic talks and answered questions on the panel led by Dr. Justine Toh.

Check out the videos on The Edge website

It’s OK, you belong: Mastering the fear of being a fake

Ever feel like you’re a fraud? That you’re just not cut out for your job? And that someday, you’re going to be found out—and cast out? You’re not alone. Tech billionaires, Hollywood celebrities, award-winning authors, business executives, and many other highly capable individuals all suffer from Imposter Syndrome: the persistent fear of being a fake.

Please pray for our two speakers as they grapple with their imposter experience, the strategies they use to keep their fear of phoniness at bay, and then pose your own questions to them.

What is The Edge?

Short. Sharp. Smart. The Edge is a talk series that will live up to its name. Like TedEx, two expert speakers will address today’s topics in a short, but content-rich style. But we want to do more. After the talks, Dr. Sam Chan of City Bible Forum will allow you to interview the speakers and take them to the edge of the topic.

Thank you for your support and prayers,

Russ and Cathy Matthews

 

 

Matthews Down Under Prayer Points

One of our supporting churches has a wonderful group of people who contact us monthly and merely ask for our prayer points. They want to know about ministry opportunities, but more importantly, they want to know some of the personal things we need prayer for in our lives. What is so encouraging about this faithful team of prayer warriors is that we know that they are praying for us. When we visit the US, they ask us specifically about the things that they have been praying for our family. We are exceptionally grateful for the prayers and the encouragement of knowing someone is there for us. Thank you to our Harvest team at Grace Church.

This update will not be a list of things we are doing, but merely prayer points.

Family

  • Becca's wedding in April
  • Hope's pregnancy and the birth of her baby in March
  • Caroline starting a new year of school (Year 8)
  • Joshua working at Saylorville Church and PDI this year
  • Cathy and my adapting to new seasons of life with adult children, new in-laws and a grandchild

Ministry

  • The Edge - Leadership that sticks - 22 March
  • Reel Dialogue event - Mary Magdalene national screenings
  • Bible Study Fellowship beginning in February
  • Scripture classes in public schools beginning in February
  • Rouse Hill Bible Church - Growth and starting a new year
  • Russ attending the FELTS conference in Indonesia at the end of February
  • Raising support due to increased expenses from ABWE and support adjustments at supporting churches
We appreciate your prayers and know we are grateful for your support in 2018
Russ & Cathy Matthews

Leadership that sticks and a financial update

Welcome to 2018

We are excited about what the Lord will bring in the coming year. Thank you for all of your support and prayers in the past few years. There is a multitude of things coming through the various ministries of City Bible Forum, The Edge, Reel Dialogue, Rouse Hill Bible Church, Bible Study Fellowship and scripture classes.

Website

Keep up to date on our Facebook pages and websites for all of the upcoming events.

We are excited to announce to the new Edge website: theedge.live

Check out all of the latest details of upcoming events and videos from previous events.

What is next for The Edge? Leadership that sticks

What does leadership in the workplace look like today? What does 'leading on the edge' even mean?

Description of the topic: The way we work has changed dramatically in the past decade. More people are employed in non-traditional industries, working flexible hours and using technology to work anywhere. Expectations of leaders have become a moving target and it is hard to know how to lead and who to follow in this new era.

Speakers: Former NSW premier Mike Baird and Michelle Lim (KPMG, Westpac)

What is The Edge?

Short. Sharp. Smart. The Edge is a talk series that will live up to its name. Like TedEx, two expert speakers will address today’s topics in a short, but content-rich style. But we want to do more. After the talks, Dr. Justine Toh of the Centre for Public Christianity will allow you to interview the speakers and take them to the edge of the topic.

 Financial Update

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It has been a blessed year for our family. In the coming year, we have a wedding, our first grandchild and the launch of new things in the various ministries.

One of the most exciting parts of these ministries is seeing people come to Christ through these works and His provision. We do our best to keep our supporters informed over the year and we are grateful for your role in these amazing evangelistic works in Australia.

One thing we committed to doing is communicating with you twice a year is our support levels. Our goal is to not focus on finances in most of our monthly communications, but we do desire to keep you up-to-date about our needs. With all of the ever-changing world economics, Australia has been affected by these ups and downs, but we have been very thankful for the continued support from all who have supported us regularly this year.

Monthly support: Due to changes in our support needs (Increases in support levels) and supporters changes in their opportunities to give, we are currently close to our 100% support level. To achieve our monthly support goal we will need to raise $310 per month for 2018.

A one-off need: We are looking to raise $5000 for the sake of supporting the work of The Edge and Reel Dialogue.

We appreciate the consideration from you or your churches when evaluating your upcoming budget discussions. You can give monthly to our ministry or give to the ministry with a one-off gift. The best way to give to our family and the ministries is through this link to ABWE.

Support: ABWE : RUSSELL W. & CATHY MATTHEWS (0132363)

Our family continues to give thanks to God for all you have done for us this year. Know we pray for our supporters regularly. Please keep in contact with us and send us any questions about our ministries or financial details.

Happy New Year and know that the adventure continues for our family.

Russ and Cathy Matthews

 

With the craziness of Christmas around the corner... we appreciate your prayers

Thank you for your prayers for The Edge / Beyond Worry event. We had a full house and great feedback from the event. Please pray as we follow through with all who came along and look ahead to 2018.

Specific feedback
“Great combination: to hear the scientific and personal stories was very helpful” Jessica H
“The topic and delivery of this was relevant, engaging, informative, personal, and in touch. Thank you for pulling this session together. This was the most helpful talk that I have heard on Christian world view and mental health issues. This was really helpful!” Julie H
“It was wonderful - so much information but snappy, easy to understand and venue was easy to get to.”
“Probably the best Edge this year” Joshua L

Upcoming Events for prayer consideration

Reel Dialogue is proud to partner with Icon Films to offer a special pre-screening event of The Man Who Invented Christmas

After the film, The Big Picture's Mark Hadley and The Edge's Justine Toh will be on a panel to discuss the history and themes brought about by the film.

Please pray for the evangelistic opportunities of this event as we challenge people to consider  the joy of the season and the real 'inventor of Christmas.'

Synopsis: Based on the book by Les Standiford, THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS tells the story of how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens from TV’s Downton Abbey) actually revived the holiday of Christmas with his self-published novel, A Christmas Carol. Facing pressure with looming debt, a feckless father (Jonathan Pryce) and recent critical failures, Dickens confront his past by conjuring up fantastic characters including Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), for his now classic Christmas tale. Full of wit and warmth, THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS will bring out the holiday spirit in everyone.

What if there was no Christmas?

30 November

Most of us have mixed feelings about Christmas. There’s the fun, feasting, and family part. But there’s also the running around, the busyness and those ugly Christmas jumpers. We also sense that there should be more to my life than mere survival.

Pray for Sam Chan as he shares what life would be like without Christmas and how we might need it more than it needs us. This is an evangelistic talk to conclude the season of talks in the city. This is an extension of The Edge ministries.

Speaker: Sam Chan is a global citizen - born in Hong Kong, studied Medicine in Sydney, got his PhD from Chicago. Just like you, he senses that our world has changed - we work more, but are less happy. Sam loves helping people rediscover the joy that comes from faith, spirituality, and the Christian tradition. But he also knows that Australians don't want to be too serious. That's why Sam has discovered humorous ways to talk about the important issues in life.

Family prayer requests and praises for the rest of the year

Praises

  • Successful conclusion to The Edge ministries for 2017 and plans for the 2018 season
  • The announcement that Hope and Matt Gibb are expecting thier first child and our first grandchild  in February
  • Growth of the Bible Study Fellowship, SRE and Reel Dialogue ministries in 2017

Requests

  • Wisdom with plans for the ministry efforts for City Bible Forum and Rouse Hill Bible Church in 2018
  • The Lord would bless the plans and wedding of Becca and Warrick
  • Wisdom and direction for Joshua in the US (Provision of a car)
Thank you for your prayers and support
Russ, Cathy and the family

The Matthews Down Under - The 'Up Over' tour comes to an end

Thank you to our family, friends, and supporters

We are heading home to Australia with our hearts full of gratitude. It was an amazing adventure in Iowa throughout July.

What did the month have in store for us?

  • Six churches visits
  • Two Lord of the Lens events
  • Multiple coffees and dinners
  • A trip to Kansas City
  • A cousin's reunion
  • We were able to see Joshua during his internship
  • Cherished memories with family and friends

Thank you to all of the churches and individuals who came out to share in the ministries in Australia.

We appreciate your prayers and support,

The Matthews family

Prayer points for the next few months: Australia Day is the 're-set' button

The new year brings new possibilities and exciting opportunities for ministry in Australia. City Bible Forum, Reel Dialogue, Rouse Hill Bible Church, Scripture classes and Bible Study Fellowship have moved into ministry mode and we could use your prayers.

Just a friendly reminder that Australia is at the end of summer and this is when all things begin afresh. After Australia Day on 26 January, the country comes back into the reality of work, school and ministry work. Not that these things stopped during the summer, but Australia Day is like the 're-set' button. People get back to life and we hope to be in the thick of it all.

Here are the prayer points for the first few months of the year:

The Conversation: Change your mind, change the world

Venue: Dendy Opera Quays

Cost: $25 per attendee

Frequency:  Once a month, One hour (During school term) Mar, May, June, Aug, Sept, Oct, & Nov

Preferred times and nights: Straight afterwork; 6-7:30pm;  Thursday 

Format: TEDtalk style with Q&A

  • Multiple speakers on the same topic. 
    • Two speakers on the same topic with an interactive Q&A at the end
    • Both speakers having 15 minutes to communicate their position 
The topic that is up for consideration is The Imposter Syndrome. 
Reel Dialogue - Silence national pre-screening + Take 2

Reel Dialogue has been an exciting new initiative at City Bible Forum. Thank you to all who have been supporting us throughout the years.

We have had an unprecedented number of events in the last few years and we are looking forward to more in 2017.

Silence is the next Reel Dialogue screening. (It is at capacity) We have screenings in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Due to the length of the film, we are not able to have a panel discussion after the film, but that does not mean we cannot discuss the themes of the film.

Here is your opportunity...

We are going to introduce a new initiative - Take 2

What to expect:

  • Table discussion on film, faith and the bigger questions of life
  • Experts in the field discussing themes
  • Explore the Biblical applications to the themes
  • Coffee and drinks
Rouse Hill Bible Church - We welcome Nathan and Kristin Muse from the US to be part of the church.
Scripture in the public schools - As the school year begins, Cathy will begin teaching in the coming weeks. Pray for the class she will have and the children's receptiveness to the Bible. (remember, we have a year round school schedule that begins in January)
Personal notes
  1. Caroline begins High School - We do not have middle school, which means our year 7 student begins her venture into high school
  2. Joshua internship at Saylorville Church - Josh is spending his gap year in the US. He will serve alongside the sound and technology team at Saylorville.
  3. Hope and Matt celebrated their first anniversary
  4. Hope and Becca began the new year of teaching
Thank you for your support and prayers!
Tha Matthews

 

New address and new opportunities

Planning for 2017 and a new house

It is hard to imagine that we are planning for 2017, but we are wrapping things up for the year in the city and at church. This puts us in planning mode for all things in 2017.

Please be in prayer about some key things happening in 2017:

  • The Forum is winding down and we are in full on fund raising mode and planning for 2017. Pleas pray for some of our plans for the public talks, groups within organisations and individuals that are close to coming to Christ this year.
  • Reel Dialogue has taken off this year. We have had numerous evangelistic events and the opportunities will continue into 2017. Please pray for wisdom with this ministry and that God will be glorified with it all.
  • ABWE Australia will be going through a change with our team leadership. Please pray for our team and the wisdom on what to do with the responsibilities he has overseen.
  • Rouse Hill Bible Church is flourishing and growing. Please pray for us as we look to bring on a youth director and have to adjust to some building issues in the coming months.
  • Family - One biggest changes is our address: 32 Oleander Crescent, Riverstone NSW 2765 Australia.
  • We have been given a wonderful new home, but it will take some time to transition into the new digs.
  • Josh finished his final exams and will graduate in December. (That is the normal graduation time in Australia) Pray for him as he will be doing an internship at Saylorville Church in 2017 with their sound and audio team.
  • Pray that Australia would get some rain, we are looking at an exceptionally dangerous fire season in the coming months

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Russ & Cathy Matthews

 

Thank you to the First Family Church team for an action packed adventure

Our family would like to thank the team from First Family Church for their willingness to come and serve alongside our family in Sydney.

It may not be known until eternity what sort of impact your service will have, but we are thankful now. One thing can be said about this team is that they took full advantage of every opportunity to share the love of Jesus.

All played a specific role and willingly jumped in to assist with anything that needed done.

We will add a pictorial depiction of their journey below

Here is a short list of their activities:

  • Set up and serve at the Tracy Trinita evangelistic event in Canberra
  • Work as the photography team at the Canberra event
  • Attended a 'real football game' - Australian Rule Football - GWS Giants v West Coast Eagles
  • Set up and participate in three Forum events in Sydney
  • Serve, set up and Keith Fortenberry preached two weeks  at Rouse Hill Bible Church
  • Provided Bibles to the students at a public primary school scripture class with Cathy Matthews
  • Through the support of the church and Vacation Bible School delivered Bibles for the use in other scripture classes in our community
  • Set up and and participated in the Lord of the Lens evangelistic event at Emmanuel Baptist Church (Attended by 70 men)
  • Help with set up and participation in the City Bible Forum national initiative - Reel Dialogue Ben Hur screenings - An evangelistic event with over 800 in attendance nationwide and over 200 in Sydney
  • Roy Meador lead Bible study at the City Bible Forum team meeting
  • Many on the team went out and did 'walk-up' evangelism in the streets of the Sydney Central Business District

This is just a few things that the team was able to experience. We cannot list all of the personal relationships that they were able to make in the short trip.

Thank you to Jay McFarling and your leadership on the team. Also, thank you to the First Family Church and the team for your support, sacrifice and impact that you had on our family, ministry team and church. You will be remembered fondly for years to come.

For all of our supporters, please pray for the work that these 'journeymen and journeywomen' had on the ministry field of Australia.

The adventure continues...

The Matthews

 

Here comes the First Family Church team... A trip that is bigger than Ben- Hur

 

Visting team from First Family Church

We are excited to have a visiting team from one of supporting churches in August. Please be praying for the team that will be joining us for our City Bible Forum national mission, Reel Dialogue event, city ministries, scripture classes and church events. We are thrilled to have the team along to serve in this exciting mission field.

Pray for their planning, their health, adapting to the Australian culture and for many opportunities for the team to engage with people with the Gospel.

The First Family Vacation Bible School helped to raise money for their journey and specifically to purchase Bibles for our scripture classes. We are so grateful for their sacrifice to come and serve.

Please be praying for Jay McFarling and the whole team.

What does that have to do with Ben Hur?

City Bible Forum and the Reel Dialogue team have been presented with the opportunity for pre-screening events that will centre on the Paramount release of Ben Hur in five cities in Australia.

The First Family team will be assisting with the evangelistic event in Sydney.

Partnering with Heritage Films and Paramount Pictures, Reel Dialogue is proud to offer a special pre-screening event of Ben- Hur.

The Reel Dialogue team would like to invite you to a night a cinema and discussion. We will screen the new adaptation of Ben-Hur and then enjoy a Reel Dialogue panel discussion with The Big Picture's Mark Hadley and Ben McEachen who will be joined up front by City Bible Forum's Sam Chan.

Synopsis of the film: BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

The panel will discuss the themes of the film and allow you to ask questions about the film.

Panel: 

Mark Hadley has been writing professionally for more than 20 years. He has been a journalist for most of that time, employed by a range of prominent radio, television and web publications including the ABC. In addition, Mark has been reviewing films, television programs and children’s books for the past ten years for Australian papers and magazines, nationally syndicated radio programs and internationally read web sites.

Ben McEachen is a professional film reviewer. Seriously. That's a real, paying job. And he's even been at it for more than a decade.  He has been editor at Empire magazine, film editor at The Advertiser, lead critic for several News Ltd Sunday papers and a regular fixture on 2GB, ABC and Showtime. Ben also contributes Christian-flavoured film reviews to Eternity newspaper, Hope 103.2 FM, War Cry and Insights magazines.

Sam Chan is a regular speaker at City Bible Forum. He is also a conference speaker, ethicist, ex-rugby player (Sydney Uni 5ths!), retired marathon runner and now a student of Krav Maga (his mid-life crisis activity). His PhD in theology examined the application of speech act theory to the theology of preaching. 

Tracy Trinita event

Another event that the First Family Church team will be assisting with during the the evangelistic events with Tracy Trinita.

As Indonesia’s first supermodel Tracy went on to model clothes for top designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gautier, Kenzo, and Benetton on the catwalks of New York, Milan and Paris. In Indonesia, Tracy also starred in movies and TV dramas.

You might imagine this was everything she’d hoped for in life. But surrounded by fame and glamour, she felt terribly empty. Real happiness eluded Tracy until she realised that people with faith were happier. But which faith? Her family had Muslims, Hindus, Christians, which faith should she consider? So Tracy cried out to God – “Please reveal yourself to me!”

You’re invited to hear Tracy tell how she finally met the designer she’s been modelling for since birth. Please pray for these events to be used for God's glory.

What else will the team be doing?

They will hit the ground running and not stop for the ten days that they are in Sydney.

Please pray for the team and for their experiences in Sydney.

Thank your your support and prayers. Please be praying for these events and more opportunities in the future.

The adventure continues... The Matthews

 

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

 

 

Four tips for getting a place at the table, Word 1 to 1, Reel Dialogue & family update

"Russ, can we get together and read the Bible?"

The Word One to One is a resource designed to walk you and your friends through the good news found in John's Gospel. We have been using it in our In-House groups in the city.

One of the groups has been growing over the past few months and includes over 60% enquirers to the Gospel. Many of them being recent immigrants to Australia. It has been a great opportunity to work with these individuals and ask for your prayers for their journey to knowing more about Jesus.

Russ has come enjoy leading this group, continues to pray for more attendees and the Lord would work in their lives.

Upcoming at The Forum: Four tips to get a seat at the table

The final Forum for 2015 will be an exciting new series from the book of Luke.

In the world of business, many aspire to get up on your opponents, get that next raise, climb the corporate ladder or getting the invite to have a place at ‘the table.’

How can someone achieve these goals and is it bad to desire them?

Interestingly, there is much wisdom in studying the words of Jesus on aspiring to reach these goals and the importance of being invited to sit at ‘the table.’

Pray for the  November series from Tho Luu on these topics from Luke 14.

A new ministry opportunity at City Bible Forum for 2016: Reel Dialogue 

City Bible Forum is excited to introduce a new activity: REEL DIALOGUE

Reel Dialogue aims to engage and equip people with creative dialogue between faith and culture. It is a creative dialogue between the Christian faith and the entertainment culture, with people discovering how common ground can be forged with story tellers, image shapers, and culture makers.

In essence, Reel Dialogue will facilitate engagement with films without disengaging people's faith — discussion, engagement and interaction with one another help to bridge the gap between faith and culture.

Website: On this site there are downloadable discussion guides and links that have all the tools groups need to reflect on, discuss and discover what spiritual truth often resides in popular films. REEL DIALOGUE website

Events: We will plan to have film events that will be engaging with recently released films and allow for the audience to connect with the film, the speakers and the Bible.

Reviews: City Bible Forum's Russell Matthews has worked for City Bible Forum for over 10 years and is a reviewer for Reel Dialogue, Insights Magazine, Entertainment Fuse and his own blog called Russelling Reviews.

He will be moderating events called Reel Dialogue (Formerly, The Forum at the Flicks) which connect the film industry with the general public.

We hope you are able to be entertained, enjoy the films, but to engage with some of the bigger questions in life with the team at REEL DIALOGUE.

Family details:

1. Cathy is having a good year at Bible Study Fellowship and scripture classes in the public schools

2. Wedding plans are coming along nicely, Hope and Matt will be getting married on 9 January

3. Becca is having a good year with her new job

4. Joshua has started his final year of high school and had a good year playing for the East Coast Eagles (AFL club)

5. Caroline has begun with a combined class of year 5 and 6 for advanced studies at school

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

How is the family going?

Culture lesson: Greeting in the US - How are you doing? Same greeting in Australia - How are you going, mate? 

So, how is the Matthews family going? Overall, pretty good.

Some of our supporters have asked for an update on our family. In this world of Facebook and Instagram, it can feel a bit redundant, but it is important to realise that there are people behind the ministry work. Five out the six of us have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, if you want those details, check them out.

Our website can tend to focus on ministry opportunities, but here is a bit about the family. This update will be about the kiddos... I will let Cathy do an update on her life in Cathy's Corner soon.

Back Home - We have been back in Australia for six months and we do feel like we are back home. It took some time getting back into the work of the ministries and life in Oz, but we are feeling like we are finally getting our feet.

Hope and Becca - Busy at work as full-time early childhood teachers. They work in Richmond and experience the daily grind of working with children. It is rewarding, but exhausting. It is hard not to brag, but Cathy and I are so proud of who they have become as young women. They are both in relationships with nice, Christian young men. (Go to their FB sites and you can fill in the blanks). They go to church with us and attend Multi-cultural Bible Ministries (MBM) church in the evening. They live the active life of young adults and we do not see them as much as we would like, but it is exciting to see who they are becoming. Please pray for them and that the Lord will use Hope and Becca for His glory.

Joshua - Coming to the end of year 11 and the intense part of high school called year 12 and the HSC (High School Certificate). It is a whole new level of expectation put on an exam that determines placement in University. In amongst the busyness of school, assessments and exams, he is loving playing for the East Coast Eagles - Australian Football team. Also, he goes to weekly youth group and finds time to play a bit of XBOX. He had a wonderful opportunity to go on a special excursion to the US. It was a wonderful experience for him and for our family in the US. (Go to his FB site and you can fill in the blanks). He recently received the Long Tan Youth Leadership award from his school. Thankful for the young man that he is becoming, please pray for him and that the Lord will use Joshua for His glory.

Caroline - How many children do you know that are upset when school holidays arrive? Caroline loves school, challenging herself and learning more about most things in life. She loves to read, play her violin and piano, do any craft project and spending time with her friends and family. She loves to ask questions of everyone she gets to know and soak up what she learns. Pray for her that she will continue to grow in her love for knowledge and the Lord. As with all of our children, she brings a beautiful spark and enjoyable component to our family.

Thank you for your prayers for our family. We are grateful for your involvement in our lives.

The adventure continues...

The Matthews

 Ministry websites:

City Bible Forum, Sydney

Rouse Hill Bible Church

Russelling Reviews

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

 

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