COVID-19 UPDATES

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, regular events at Unitingqueenscliff have been suspended in accordance with the directions of the Chief Health Officer.

We have been maintaining our connections through the distribution of weekly  Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections, with poetry, prayers and other resources  included, for people to use in their own time.

You can find the most recent letter below. Let us know if you would like to  receive the full email with prayers and music suggestions for personal prayer time  at home. Contact Jan to be added to our email database.

We have also been intentionally connecting with each other through our pastoral  phone networks.

Funerals have been able to take place, with limitations on numbers. We have had  a number of significant funerals over the last few months, and it is our intention  to remember each of these people in a special collective service when the  limitations on numbers allow.

The Vestry Shop is now open again, with limited hours, so pop in when its open  for a chat and a browse. Books and Jigsaws are popular at the moment, so bring  in any you have finished, and grab another while you’re there!

Our Leadership Team has been meeting regularly on Zoom to monitor pastoral  issues and keep the church safe through appropriate measures.  

When we are able to begin to meet again, times and places will be posted on this  page and in other places as appropriate.

Weekly Reflections

Dear Uniting Church Friends,

Welcome to this weeks Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections. 

Since enjoying a quiet week of reflection and reading, we have been deliberately tuning out of the daily “noise” that surrounds this pandemic, and spending more time in a less conflicted space. It has been good to tune out of the complaining and the bickering in the media.

In addition, I have been reading “Turning Down the Noise”, described as ‘A Great Australian Journalist on a deeply personal assignment: treading bravely, beautifully into the wonder of silence.’

The ancient story of Moses in the desert (Exodus 17) reminds us that noise and complaining has always been a part of our human story. Perhaps you have already asked yourself the question “Is God with us or not?” in relation to this current time. As a prayerful community, we affirm and celebrate the presence of God even when when our experience seems to contradict our words.

Give my soul the longing, YHWH, that I might expect in all the everydayness the light  of justice will break through and the word of promise will be heard  

and the act of kindness will be recognised and then celebrated as a gift from you that changes that wilderness moment into a kingdom event. 

This plea from Roddy Hamilton gives us permission to stand in that place of doubt and faith, the wilderness of our current time, and wait on God’s promise.

I also found the words of Fr Michael Casey, quoted in “Turning Down the Noise”, resonating with the Moses story. We are being given an opportunity to put things aside and focus in on the reality of who we really are – to “… accept that and respond to that and to be that person.”

I hope you are able to make the most of this time to explore what prayer and meditation mean for you.

We are a prayerful community.  

We invite you to find a quiet moment to meditate with these reflections,  pondering how we discover more about our true selves, and setting aside  distractions and avoidances.  

Love and Blessings to you all.

Charles and Kerrie

27 September 2020

Quote for the Week

‘Prayer is a process of putting aside avoidances and denials and distractions and  fantasies. What happens in prayer is that you meet the real person you are in a very  simple way, just by putting aside everything else.  

And more often than not, that real person presents in its negative form. The first thing is you start airing your grievances, or getting angry, or humiliated. Memories come forth…  

But all of this is excellent prayer, because prayer is the intersection between faith and reality. Faith is something that is given us. Reality is something we spend a lot of time avoiding. Or denying, even worse. 

So what is being revealed here is the reality of who you are. Not who you would like to be, not who you wish you were, but who you are… You’re being asked to accept that and respond to that and to be that person.’ 

Fr Michael Casey,  

Benedictine Monastery Tarrawarra 

Quoted in “Turning Down the Noise”, Christine Jackman p 68-9