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. 

Are you waiting to see what the year reveals to you? For many of us we are tip-toeing into the new year with a sense of waiting- waiting on the numbers, waiting on the vaccine, waiting on the outcomes of various health decisions by the authorities.

Seeing into the future has always been problematic. Mindfulness and contemplation (also known as prayer) teach us to focus on the present time, for that is where reality is. The future is not real, the past already gone. 

During the season of epiphany, we hear a series of stories about “unveilings” of who Christ is. The Wise Men is the first, on the day of epiphany, followed by the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The readings for this Sunday remind us that creativity is accompanied by both order and chaos, and that revelation may come to us in moments of great turbulence, as the true nature of things are revealed. 

Contemplation is a way of being open to the unveiling of God in the present moment. Richard Rohr says…

Contemplative prayer is a form of unveiling, because it reveals what is going on beneath the polished and busy surfaces of our minds, our hearts, and our bodies. When we finally get still enough, contemplation can live within us in pure, open moments of right here, right now. This is enough, this is fullness. If it is not right here, right now, it doesn’t exist. If we don’t know God now, how would we know God later?

The quote from Bruno Barnhart encourages us to “experience the liberating power of this awakening” as we read and reflect on the stories of the gospels. I hope that by taking time to do this you will experience an unveiling of your true self that will enable you to face the coming year with renewed hope and greater confidence- confidence in the presence of God that penetrates and enlivens all things.

You may like to especially focus on the water, the deep, and the light in the stories and the water and light that enfolds us in this beautiful place. What is being revealed to you in the story and in your surrounds about the true nature of things?

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

O Star-Flinging God…

O Star-flinging God,

whose light dances across eternity,

dazzle us into your presence

this new year.

Open our hearts to the mystery of your love.

Awaken us to your presence,

knit to the ordinary.

Reveal to us what is possible,
      but not yet present.

Heal us, that we might be healers.

Reconcile us to you and to ourselves,

that our living might be reconciling.

Stop us often, we pray

with news that is good

with hope that holds

with truth that transforms with a Word

tailored to this trail we’re on.

May the word of your grace guide our steps

like the sun by day

and the Southern Cross by night,

as we travel into the gift of a new year. Amen 

—Glenn Mitchell (alt)

 

 

As we accompany Jesus
through the gospels,
we are present at one dramatic meeting
after another. 

One person after another
experiences
a mysterious power in Jesus
that, from this moment,
changes the course of his or her life. 

If we are fully present at the moment
when we read such a narrative,
we ourselves
experience the liberating power
of this awakening.

Bruno Barnhart