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Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections

Our weekly letter to all our closer contacts.

Here is a recent ‘Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections’, with a poem or “quote of the week” from our emailed resource.

These weekly letters began during COVID19 pandemic and have since continued on a regular basis. They keep us connected with our broader community. They are uploaded here semi-regularly.

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 via email at  to be added to our mailing list.

Weekly Reflections

Dear Uniting Church Friends,

Welcome to this week’s Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections.

I am sharing with you below a blessing from Jan Richardson’s book “Circle of Grace.”
This blessing was used at the celebration of life of Martin Kent last week, an event of massive significance for our community.

I have also selected some photographs to share with you from the Sacrededge Festival.
This was an amazing event hosted by our community, allowing the voices
of so many vulnerable people to gather and be heard.
It was described by one person as “epic”, and indeed it was!

It has been such a momentous couple of weeks.
Please hold our community and our leaders in your prayers
as they begin to discern the pathway forwards for so many aspects of our community.

You might also like to hold Paul Banks in your thoughts, as he begins the role
of Program Co-ordinator for the Festival, working with Jan and Margot
to bring the 2024 festival to fruition. Some of you may have met Paul at the festival last week.

Also please hold in your hearts the members of the Joint Nominating Committee,
which is continuing its work of discernment for future ministry in our church community.

It is remarkable how such extremes of emotion need to be held in tension in life.
We are very sad and very joyful at the same time.
We are overwhelmed with the pain and hurt that people carry,
yet amazed at their resilience and care for one another in the most difficult of circumstances.

Jan Richardson reminds us, in her blessing,
of the things that are enduring- love, hope and joy.
When we hold these close
to our hearts, and live our lives from
their power, we are uplifted
and sustained.

We are a prayerful community,
and we invite you to find
a quiet moment to meditate
with these words and stories.

Love and Blessings to you all.

Charles and Kerrie.

Quote for the Week

In The Leaving

They worshiped him, and returned  to Jerusalem with great joy.   —Luke 24:52

In the leaving,
in the letting go,
let there be this
to hold onto
at the last:

the enduring of love,
the persisting of hope,
the remembering of joy,

the offering of gratitude,
the receiving of grace,
the blessing of peace.

From “Circle of Grace”, Jan Richardson

Silence is the mother
of the Spirit.

It births in us
the cloister of the heart.

It brings us beyond the noise
of chaos and clutter
and confusion
of a spinning world
to the cool, calm centre
of the spiritual self.

Silence enables us
to rest in that centre,
to allow God
to work in us there…

In silence, we learn
to listen to others

who are also seeking God…
to hear their pain
and their wisdom,
their experiences and
the truths in them,
that bring our own wisdom
to light, to question,
to development.

It is silence that keeps us
from giving full rein
to the empty imaginings
and cruel commentaries
always too fresh at hand
in our narcissistic selves…

Silence protects us
from our noisy selves
and prepare us
for the work of God in us…

In silence,
we become able
to hear the voice of God
calling us beyond ourselves-
always to the better,
always to the more.

Joan Chittester, Monastery of the heart.