Special Events

Easter Reflections

The signs of Easter are all around us - cooler weather, school holidays, an upcoming long weekend, hot cross buns and extra church services to cater to people's faith which comes in all shapes and sizes. For many people, it is also a time to reflect on some important events that took place over 2,000 years ago - the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No doubt, this is the foundation of the Christian faith. If Christ did not die and rise again, then our faith is useless (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). The Gospels all tell us WHAT happened during... Read more →


Are You Ready for the New Year?

Well, Christmas 2016 is done and dusted. Now it’s time to prepare to enter a new year. During transitional seasons such as this, it’s always good to stop and do three things: Reflect, Review and Re-calibrate. Firstly, reflect on the year that is about to finish. What happened? What went as expected? What surprises came your way? What are you thankful for? What pain did you experience? What will you be glad to put behind you? Secondly, review. What did you learn? We sometimes believe that we learn from experience but this is not necessarily true. It is easy to... Read more →


Merry Christmas (2016)

Merry Christmas! Last weekend, I participated in my final Christmas Carols production at the church where I have served for over 30 years. It was a fun time together - singing carols, listening to our amazing singers, musicians and creative teams inspire us, watching the bright-eyed children, and sharing about Jesus as THE gift we all need at Christmas. I do pray that you have an enjoyable Christmas and holiday season. It's been a joy to share with you via this BLOG through the year and I look forward to what is yet to come as we continue on this... Read more →


What Would Jesus Say to Santa Claus?

It's hard to believe we are just 10 sleeps away from Christmas! I really enjoy the Christmas season. It's a time to enjoy family and friends, way too much delicious food, some time off and a reminder of God's greatest gift to our world - Jesus Christ. Of course, most followers of Jesus know that Jesus probably wasn't born on 25th December. No shepherd worth their salt would have their sheep out in the fields in the northern hemisphere at that time of year! And we know that Christmas has a lot of trappings that had nothing to do with... Read more →


Update on Mark and Nicole Conner

At a Special General Meeting on 6th October, the CityLife members confirmed by an overwhelming majority the unanimous nomination by the Board of Elders of Andrew Hill as the next Senior Minister of CityLife Church (read my initial announcement about leadership transition back in February 2016, in case you missed that). I congratulate Andrew on this appointment and look forward to working with him over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition for him and the church. Good days are ahead. February 2017 will be a big month for our church as we celebrate our 50th anniversary (11-12th... Read more →


Jesus and His Mother

As Jesus was dying on the cross, he was not completely alone. There were a small group of people who loved him dearly, right there until his last breath (John 19:25-27). They demonstrated great courage just to even be there. One of them was Mary - Jesus’ mother. I am sure Mary did not always understand her Son, Jesus (what he was up to and why he did what he did) but she always loved him. Her presence there was the most natural thing in the world for a mother. Jesus might be a criminal in the eyes of the... Read more →


Happy Mother's Day (2016)

[Watch this message] It’s Mother’s Day: a century-old tradition of taking time to thank and honour our amazing mums. Mums are special people we owe so much to - in addition to our very existence! Most mums are faithful, loyal, hard-working, loving and caring people. We honour and applaud them today. Of course, Mother’s Day brings a variety of emotion with it – gratitude, if you had a great mum, some sadness and pain if you had a difficult or absent mum, and grief if you have lost your mum or wanted to be a mum but haven’t yet been... Read more →


Easter Sunday

Can you believe it – it’s Easter Sunday! I know - it seems like we just finished celebrating Christmas. I heard one little boy once say, “Jesus was just born, are you telling me he’s died already?” In many ways Easter is the second half of God’s Christmas gift. Jesus came into the world as a baby who grew up to show us how to live. We learn so much from his teachings and we are inspired by the amazing things he did. But the pinnacle of his life was his death and resurrection on that first Easter over 2,000... Read more →


Good Friday Reflection

Today is Good Friday, a day where people all around the world remember and reflect on the death of Jesus Christ that took place over 2,000 years ago. Jesus’ death wasn’t an accident nor was he a martyr. His death was an atoning death by which he started to put the world back together again. On the cross, Jesus took all of our sin, sickness, pain and suffering. He died in our place … so that we may truly live. The good news is that God is not a distant God. Good Friday shows us a God who suffers with... Read more →


Announcement about Mark Conner's Future

This weekend, I made the following announcement to my church family - CityLife Church. Obviously, it was a surprise to many, while not to others. There is a degree of sadness with any change like this but I am also encouraged by the amount of support I have received. [Watch on You Tube] I have given the matter of our church’s future, as well my own future, much prayer and reflection over the last eight months. As a result, I believe that it is time to start thinking about a successor – who will be the next Senior Minister of... Read more →


All Things NEW!

God is a God of new things. He has made us new creations, given us new hearts, a new spirit, a new covenant. We live in a new day; we have a new name; we have a new commandment; we’ve been given new garments; His mercies are new every morning; we drink of the new wine; we’re headed for a new Jerusalem and eventu­ally a new heavens and earth. In the end, God makes all things new! Embracing the new things God has for us implies leaving the old behind. It requires change and transition. God wants freshness in our... Read more →


Getting Ready for the New Year

In a few days time, we'll be into a New Year - 2016. The year 2015 will be history - water under the bridge. At transition times like this between years, it's beneficial to pause, take some time aside and think about your life. Someone once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living" and Moses prayed to God , "Teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)." Over the years, I have written a variety of BLOG posts designed to assist you in this process. Check out a few... Read more →


What to do with Christmas?

Can you believe it's almost Christmas! Usually around this time of the year, you'll hear some questions or comments from some well-meaning Christians such as: "Jesus was not born in December." "The Bible never tells us to celebrate the birth of Jesus." "The Christmas tree is a pagan tradition." True, the early Christians did not celebrate the birth of Jesus and Jesus never asked them to. They focused on his death and resurrection, as well as his promised return. Christmas Day as it is celebrated today did not begin until the fourth century. Interestingly enough, Jesus was most likely born... Read more →


The Best Christmas Gifts are FREE

Christmas is right around the corner and many people are starting to think about what gifts to buy for family and friends. The truth is that as you get older you start to realise that you don't really need more 'stuff'! In fact, more 'things' don't bring more happiness. Some of the best gifts in life are FREE. Here are a few of those you might consider giving this Christmas: 1. Gratitude. Why not give the gift of appreciation? Just say 'thank you' to someone in your world. The story is told in the Gospels about Jesus healing 10 lepers... Read more →


Jesus - the Perfect Christmas Gift

It’s Christmas time again. I wonder what you enjoy most about this season? Maybe it’s the Christmas carols, the holidays, or the shopping. I know for the kids, it’s the presents. That’s what I looked forward to when I was young - maybe a new Mechano set or an extension to my Motorific slot car course. Today kids are into Star Wars paraphernalia, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the most covered gift of the season - the hoverboard. Pretty cool … and pretty pricey. You know, God took time to think about the kind of gift we needed. As Max... Read more →


Remembrance Day 2015

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. Every year, on 11 November at 11 am – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – Australia pauses to remember those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peace operations since the beginning of the 20th century. All Australians are encouraged to pause all activities and meetings this morning at 11 am for a minute of silence in respect of those who have given their lives for our nation and our freedoms. For more details, visit the Australian War Memorial web site or The Department... Read more →


NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s one of the most important events in the Indigenous calendar, and you might be surprised to hear that it all began with a letter to the churches of Australia. The letter was sent by William Cooper, a legendary Aboriginal Christian leader and rights activist. In it he asked the church to observe what he was calling ‘Aboriginal Sunday’ - an annual day of prayerful awareness of Aboriginal people and their God-given place and future in this land. From 1940 to 1954,... Read more →


The Asylum Seeker Debate

The asylum seeker issue continues to hit the news here in Australia and beyond. On June 29 at 7:30 there is a free debate in the city of Melbourne. Business Faith Law and Morality: The Asylum Seeker Debate. What is Your opinion? The asylum seeker issue needs resolving. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to listen to expert opinion and have your considerations and suggestions discussed. What is the role of Faith and a United Faith Community in the Asylum Seeker debate? Are Asylum Seekers an Economic opportunity or threat? Does Business have a role to play... Read more →


Mothers - Love Them While You Can!

To all the mums out there, Happy Mother's Day! We wouldn't be here without you. What amazing people you are. My mother passed away over 25 years ago now and I still miss her. Nicole's mother, affectionately known as 'Oma' passed away 7 years ago and we still really miss her. Mothers are very special people! The photo to above is an old one of my dad and mum (in the red top), and Nicole's dad and mum (light blue top)] Here are the lyrics to a song I heard many years ago called Love Them While You Can by... Read more →


Jack Simpson and His Donkey (an ANZAC Hero)

The ANZACs have a great hero called John 'Jack' Simpson Kirkpatrick who enlisted and was chosen as a field ambulance stretcher-bearer in Perth on 23 August 1914. On 25 April 1915, long with the rest of the Australian and New Zealand contingent he landed at the wrong beach on a piece of wild, impossible and savage terrain now known as ANZAC Cove. Attack and counter attack began. During the morning hours of 26 April, along with his fellows, Jack was carrying casualties back to the beach over his shoulder. It was then that he saw the donkey, and having worked... Read more →