COVID-19 UPDATES

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, we are minimising our physical gatherings to protect our vulnerable people.

Find the most recent ‘Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections’, with poetry, prayers and other resources  included, 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 mailing list.

The Vestry Shop is now open again, so pop in 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!

We have been intentionally connecting with each other through our pastoral  phone networks. If you would like to take part in this, please let us know.

Funerals have been able to take place, with more relaxed limitations on numbers.

Our Leadership Team and Church Council has been meeting regularly  to monitor pastoral  issues and keep the church safe through appropriate measures throughout the pandemic.  

We are able to meet again in increased numbers, but we are being cautious in our gathering together for the time being. See the “Gatherings During COVID” page for the times and dates of meeting.

Weekly Reflections

Dear Uniting Church Friends,
Welcome to this week’s Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections.
The season of Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, a day named for the ritual of being marked with the ashes and oil in the sign of the Cross. We usually commemorate this with a gathering at the church (combined with pancakes), but this year our third Lockdown has prevented this happening (or at least delayed it a week).

This weeks prayer sheet includes some of the prayers we might have shared at our Ash Wednesday service. They are prayers that embrace the whole of life, with a focus on the shadows of our feelings and thoughts, the parts of ourselves we so often deny or hide. Lent is an honest time, a time of “facing up” to who we truly are, rather than the usual habit of “putting on a happy face” for the world.

Richard Rohr says…
Christians use the season of Lent to reconnect with God and the fullness of our own humanity—the good and the bad—in some intentional way. The act doesn’t need to be sacrificial or impressive, but … some form of contemplative practice, reflection, or commitment is a wonderful way to draw closer to God at this time.

He goes on to describe the experience of a friend who uses fishing as a time of contemplation, of connecting with nature and reflecting on life. He then observes that his own practice of walking the dog can also be a way of spending time in contemplation, connecting with nature and the world around us as well as with God.

The ancient Celts had prayers to accompany many daily chores; milking the cow, tending the sheep, lighting the fire. Their lives were filled with prayer, as they connected with the sacredness of everything around them, and pursued their daily work always mindful of the presence of God.

You might surprise yourself at times, finding that a usually mundane activity is an opportunity for contemplation and for connecting with God. Keep it in mind!

Also, if you drop into the church in the next couple of weeks, you will find a station with ashes, charcoal and prayers for reflection.

We are a prayerful community, 
and we invite you to find 
a quiet moment to meditate 
with these reflections.
Love and Blessings to you all.
Charles and Kerrie.

Quote for the Week

Blessing the Dust

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

—Jan Richardson
Circle of Grace

Embrace Life
            All of Life

Trust me,
Launch out
into the deep
Into
Bliss
Blessing
Confusion
Comedy
Sadness
Absurdity
Hurt
Grief
Contradiction
New Life
Thanksgiving

Know I am with you
In it all.

Trust Me.

Noel Davis
Together 
at the Edge