ABOUT US

We aim to foster a community where we strive to build relationships with our family and friends, and help teach each other to show our love for the Lord and for one another through worship, prayer, reading of the scriptures, learning together, and community service.

ADDRESS

(07) 3812 0377

 

124 Brisbane Road (PO Box 168)

Ipswich Qld 4305

 

admin@stpaulsips.org.au

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Sunday Sermon 06.10.19
A sermon on facing fear
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

There is a legend from the Orient about a traveller making his way to a large city.  One night he meets two other travellers along the road - Fear and Plague.  Plague explains to the traveller that, once they arrived, they are expected to kill 10,000 people in the city. The traveller asks Plague if Plague would do all the killing. "Oh, no. I shall kill only a few hundred.  My friend Fear will kill the others."...  

Sunday Sermon 29.09.19
St Michael
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

If you were to glance at the booklists available from Amazon, you’d notice that “fantasy literature” is currently in vogue. These are books that retell old myths or invent new ones and there are a plethora of feature films about them. From King Arthur to Beowulf, from the Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, they relate stories which, while they do not claim to be factual, nevertheless proclaim fundamental truths. Indeed, some truths can only be conveyed by fiction. As author Neil Gaiman once pointed out, "the point is not so much that fairy tales tell us that dragons exist, as much that dragons can be defeated"...  

Sunday Sermon 15.09.19
Who does God rejoice over? – Luke 15:1-10
Delivered by Rev’d Michelle Knight

May the words of my mouth and the mediations of our hearts and minds be acceptable to you, O Lord.
Today Jesus tells two parables about losing and finding.  When first reading the passages for today I was reminded of an incident when I was conducting a funeral a week ago and a man came up to me and introduced himself as the back sheep of the family.  I wondered at the time why he felt that way about himself.  It prompted me to choose this is the graphic for the booklet I do up weekly to use when we take Communion to the homes of those who cannot come to church...  

Sunday Sermon 21.07.19

Sermon preached on Lunar Communion Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

At approximately 2:30 in the morning, a three year-old boy was roused from his slumber. Brought downstairs he could hardly keep his bleary eyes open as he watched the small grey television set in the corner of the room bringing back pictures from a venue some quarter of a million miles away. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" didn't really impact on his young brain - at least, not immediately. 
Twelve months later it was a different story... 

Sunday Sermon 19.05.19

Sermon preached to Easter 5

Guilty as charged?

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Imagine, you are arrested and put on trial. Your alleged crime: you are a Christian. Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
In the early days it would have been relatively easy – you would only have needed to state that “Jesus is Lord” and you'd have been off to the arena to feed the lions quicker than you could say “Here, kitty, kitty”, but would that be enough now?

In communist countries, Christianity has only relatively recently begin to be tolerated. Until then the question regarding sufficient evidence for a conviction was often written on posters in those countries which challenges us, since it requires us to look for the proof that we are truly Christians... 

Sunday Sermon 04.19

Sermon preached to Queensland Country Women’s Association

Based on Jeremiah 29:11-14 & Luke 12:16-21

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

I'd like to begin by asking a question:
Hands up all those who have seen Avengers: Endgame
Hands up all those who know what Avengers: Endgame is.
For the uninitiated, it's the twenty-second film in the Marvel Studios superhero saga which began back in 2008. It's the culmination to a story arc which began when Robert Downey-Junior's character Tony Stark, built a suit of armour and became Iron Man. Now a complex story spanning eleven years, numerous characters, locations on earth and beyond, it would take you a whopping total of 47 hours 48 minutes to watch them all from beginning to end.
.. 

Sunday Sermon 05.05.19

Acts 9:1-6

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

May I speak in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 
Amen
Before I start, I would like to offer full disclosure as to the situation here today. 
(Place large L plate on pulpit)
I’d like to thank Father Steve for giving me this opportunity to preach at St Paul’s today. Actually I say “thank” but ... well let’s just say that my experience of a few weeks ago of being the only senior doctor on at night in a busy hospital when there were two concurrent cardiac arrests in two separate wards at 3am was less stressful than preparing to do this today. Anyway. I digress
... 

Sunday Sermon 28.04.19

Passage: John 20:19-31 (NRSV)

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came... 

Sunday Sermon 19.04.19

Good Friday

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

The sun beats down on him as he hangs there in agony, blood caking dry on his forehead as it continues to ooze from the holes in his hands and feet. The young man hangs there, dying in front of your eyes. 
And it's all your fault. 
He hangs there, bleeding, beaten and dying because of the sins you have committed. Every one of them throughout your life has caused him to be in this point of despair, desolation and abandonment. 
Except, he isn’t quite alone. Standing nearby is his mother. Mary stands witness to her son’s brutal, public execution. She has, as the gospels hint, been bemused by her son; his life has been something of a mystery to her. However, she knows that there’s more to him than meets the eye and she’s learned to trust in him and wait. .
..

Sunday Sermon 14.04.19

SUNDAY of the PASSION (PALM SUNDAY)

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

 

Passage: Luke 19:28-40

Are you excited? 
You started this service outside, waving palms, parading and singing. Sounds to me like you are excited. And so you should be, after all we are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day Jesus enters Jerusalem as a king.
But I have a question; Will you still be praising him in a few days or will you be blaming him for letting you down?
It is about 30-35AD Jesus, knowing the danger, decides not only to go into Jerusalem, but to make a statement as he approaches and enters the city. Following Jesus instructions, a donkey or colt has been acquired by his disciples and with cloaks as a saddle Jesus mounts the animal and the procession begins...

Sunday Sermon 24.03.19

Lent 3

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

 

Passage: Luke 13:31-35 (NRSV)

Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.

Well here we have some Pharisees, typically represented in the Gospels as opposed to Jesus warning Jesus that Herod is out to kill him. Then as if without a care Jesus calls Herod a Fox.

What is going on?

A why would Jesus call Herod a Fox?

Interestingly the narrative of today’s passage only appears in Luke’s Gospel. Biblical Scholars argue that we cannot presume that all Pharisees were opposed to Jesus, in fact Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, the two men who buried Jesus after his crucifixion, were both Pharisees and secret followers of Jesus. 

Sunday Sermon 17.03.19

Lent C - 2

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

 

The Great Earthquake of Lisbon struck at 9:40am on 1st November 1755. Being All Saints Day, most of the population were at mass at the time. The quake lasted between 3 and 6 minutes and destroyed 85% of the city including virtually every church, burying the people within who were celebrating the festival – it being a particularly important one. The one area of the city which remained untouched was, ironically, the red light district - the area of streetwalkers and brothels. It seemed that God favoured the prostitutes rather than the worshippers.

 

Or did he?

Sunday Sermon 10.03.19

Lent 1C - I am, you are, we are…  Beloved

Delivered by Rev’d Dr Jo Inkpin

 

If you have ever been to St Luke’s church in Toowoomba, you will know it has wonderful stained glass windows.  These include, above the high altar, a replica of the famous medieval ‘Blue Virgin’ window from Chartres cathedral.  Another outstanding feature, at the west end, above the baptistery, is a beautiful modern Australian stained glass window; which, almost like an Aboriginal dot painting, plots and celebrates so many aspects of Creation.  There are several other windows too which command attention, including one with St Peter and girls from The Glennie School; a rendering of the meeting of Mary Magdalene with Jesus at the Resurrection; and a moving portrait (in the Warriors Chapel) of a dying soldier reaching out and touching the crucified Christ.  

Sunday Sermon 03.03.19

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

 

Well, today is the last Sunday of Epiphany, a season that celebrates and rejoices in the fact that our God is a God not just for Israelites but for everyone, and we celebrate that we are called to bring that God into the world. A God of compassion and generosity, a God who does not want us to tremble in fear but be excited with joy at the divine presence. We celebrate that our God is; A God of love.

 

In a few days we will enter a wholly different season of the church calendar, the season of Lent. What does this mean?

Sunday Sermon 17.02.19

Delivered by Rev’d Michele Knight

 

Living Lord; open our hearts to your word - a word that passes swiftly and faithfully from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the life. Amen

Last week, when I was talking with some of my friends about preaching on the ‘Beatitudes & Woes’ reading today they said “well that won't be too hard!”, I have to say it would be easy to get up here and talk about how, if we want to be happy all we have to do is to give away materialism, dedicate ourselves to the poor and to bravely ‘turn the other cheek’ when people are mean to us and reject all that we believe in.  It would be easy to stand here and condemn those who are affluent, those who seem blessed by good fortune, enjoy a good life and are well respected in the community.  In fact it might even be seen by some as being typically Australian, in that we often love to condemn and ‘pull down’ those who we consider to be ‘tall poppies’.  But I don't think that this is really the point of our Gospel today and I don't think that this is the message Jesus is meaning us to take from it.

Sunday Sermon 03.02.19

Epiphany - 4th Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

 

Jesus has just read from the prophetic scripture of Isaiah. At first he is well received by those present, but as he goes on this reaction changes to one of anger and rejection.

What is going on?

What did Jesus do to elicit such an abrupt and negative change in the tone of the audience?

What does it say to us?

As some will know I did not always identify as an Anglican but rather I was firm in my self-awareness as a Roman Catholic. In fact even after meeting and marrying Ursula who was Anglican, I was convinced that while nice well-meaning people, they did not quite understand the requirements for a relationship with God...

Sunday Sermon 27.01.19

Epiphany - 3rd Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

 

One of the difficulties in understanding the scriptures is that we often forget that they were written in a different period, in a different land with a different culture. It is difficult, if not impossible, to understand exactly what the writer is trying to say because we are not sufficiently well-versed in the circumstances surrounding the writing of the particular text. As a result, when we put our modern perceptions upon Biblical events, we skew the narrative; our mind's eye naturally tries to set the scene according to our common perceptions without realising that the situations and locations we're reading about would appear very different if they were to happen today. A typical example of this is to be found in today's Gospel narrative... 

Sunday Sermon 20.01.19

Epiphany - 2nd Sunday

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur

 

What is going on?

Paul in his letter to the community in Corinth is talking about spiritual gifts, while in John’s Gospel, Jesus is found at a wedding party where following an intercession from his mother he proceeds to perform his first and possibly most remembered miracle, turning water into wine.

What is Paul talking about when referring to spiritual gifts?

Why did Jesus turn water into wine?   And

What are we to take from any of this?... 

Sunday Sermon 13.01.19

Epiphany - Baptism of the Lord

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

 

The Baptism of Christ brings with it so many problems that many preachers are more wary of it than of preaching on the Trinity.

Jesus, the Son of God, perfect God and perfect man. God knew that, as sin would enter the world through one man, it would be through one perfect, sinless man that salvation would be won. Let's make no mistake, Jesus was truly human. He knew pain, anguish, hunger, thirst, compassion, joy, love, all the emotions that single us out from the rest of creation, Jesus experienced in the same way that we experience them. Look at the Biblical stories of the wedding feast at Cana, the anguish over the death of Lazarus, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and the suffering on the cross to see various documented examples of Jesus showing his human nature... 

Sunday Sermon 13.01.19

Epiphany - Baptism of the Lord

Delivered by Rev’d Stephen Monsiegneur 

 

In today’s gospel we learn that many are following John, being baptised by him.

There is a high messianic expectation and so naturally people begin to suspect John may be the messiah promised to Israel. But john is quick to disclaim such ideas and clear in indicating where people should look. Luke spends some time detailing John’s ministry, lifestyle etc, but only refers to the baptism of Jesus by John in a subtext that is verse 21. Luke then focuses on an interesting aspect that is different in description to the other Gospels, Jesus does not receive the Holy Spirit during his water baptism but rather later when he is in prayer....

Sunday Sermon 16.12.18

3rd Sunday of Advent

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Rejoice – I say again, Rejoice! St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians has been called the Epistle of Joy, because, central to it is the fact that we should pray with joy – the two are linked. We should pray for those we are joyful for, and we should be joyful for those we have prayed for!

St. Paul amplifies that in today’s reading. Twice, Paul uses the word rejoice. It’s as if saying it the once is not enough. But more than that, having said it once reminds Paul what he has to rejoice about. At the time of writing, St. Paul was almost certainly languishing in prison awaiting certain death and this new church at Phillipi with its Christian congregation were just setting out on their way. Persecutions for those early Christians lay ahead - persecutions which Paul knew all too well, for he had been both on the receiving end and on the distributing end prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus...

Sunday Sermon 18.11.18

26th Sunday after Pentecost

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

 

A sign in a bookshop I saw recently said "Post-apocalyptic fiction has now been moved to our current affairs section". With the world in the state it is, with the largest military nations in the world apparently sabre-rattling with each other, it's very easy to believe that someone already has their finger firmly on the big red threatening button of nuclear Armageddon.

Today's Gospel reading itself is a doom-sayer's delight with Jesus' response to the disciples questions about the end of days. The strange, morbid fascination with all things cataclysmic, is one that we all too readily leap upon. As you walk down the high street of many cities you will find some religious group or other, brandishing colour leaflets and magazines, purportedly demonstrating that the end of days is finally here. It's a subject that is all too readily proclaimed without, it seems, anyone taking note of Jesus' warning to...

Sunday Sermon 30.09.18

Sermon on Mk 9:38-50

Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

Many years before I entered the priesthood, I heard a sermon by a real Bible-thumping Ulsterman. Though not as powerfully built as Ian Paisley, he was just as powerfully voiced with a thick Belfast accent which added gravitas to his preaching, particularly when he was expounding on his favourite subject, Hell.

 

Some say that Hell is being forced to watch England getting spifflicated at the Gabba. Others say that it's the thought of being locked in a room watching Nigella cooking but being forbidden to taste her latest chocolate fondant. However, this particular priest, Fr. Avery, was absolute and fundamental in his understanding of what Hell was actually all about:...

Sunday Sermon 23.09.18

Sermon on Mark 9:30-37

Delivered by Rev'd Stephen Monsiegneur

 

Let’s begin with an exercise.

Look at the person sitting next to you, smile and say hello, then look back to the front.

You have just greeted a leader.

Seriously! You have just interacted with a person who apart from being the person next to you in church is also a leader in our community.

Whatever our role be it parents, siblings, teachers, or that person in the street, the list is endless; each one of us is a leader. Each one of us sets examples in our behaviors, our speech the way we dress and generally conduct ourselves; But, the question, the unspoken question Jesus put to the disciples in Capernaum, the same question he puts to us today is what kind of leader are we?...

Sunday Sermon 13.10.19
Made to be whole
Delivered by Rev’d Steve McMahon

On the way to Jerusalem to face the cross - while he was near Samaria - Jesus encountered ten lepers; ten outcasts; ten people with the equivalent of ebola. They are under a sentence of death. No one will come near them or touch them; no one will even touch their clothing and their eating utensils. By the rules of their society (rules created because of the fear of contamination) lepers were forced to live apart from everyone else, and on those occasions when they drew near to others for one reason or other, they rang little bells to announce their presence and to warn others to stand off...