Last weekend was the start of the school holidays and the coming one is a long weekend. I’m aware that some of you are away on a short break, making the most of the warmer weather and the easing of COVID restrictions. If you are one of them, I hope you are having a refreshing time. If you aren’t away at the moment, I hope that you are still able to include moments of renewal here and there in your routine.
Wherever you are, take the time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and to reflect on what is needed to help it remain so. As Paul Falconer mentioned at the beginning of last Sunday morning’s worship service, many churches around the world are currently celebrating Season of Creation. This has been a feature of the ecumenical church calendar for several years now, uniting Christians worldwide to pray and act on ecological issues.
Season of Creation runs from 1 September to 4 October each year. The beginning and end of Season of Creation are linked with the concern for creation in the Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity respectively. The commencement date is the day the Orthodox church year starts, with a commemoration of how God created the world. The end date is when Roman Catholics and other churches from the Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi. This period has added significance for us in the Southern Hemisphere as we enjoy the unfolding of Spring.
The Seasons of Creation website ( https://seasonofcreation.org/ ) says:
“The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through repenting, repairing, and rejoicing together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we’re awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and each other… With so much injustice all around us, now is the time for Christians everywhere to come together and show the world how to love each other and creation.”
Paul Falconer’s sermon on Sunday morning, entitled “Move over, make room”, was from Philippians 2:1-13 and had many perceptive comments on Jesus’ humility and ours. The transcript of the sermon and the recording of the service are on the Church’s website as usual.
At the Sundays@6 Zoom service last Sunday, the theme was “the text that shaped my life”. Richard Tuffin shared several events and texts that have been significant in his faith journey and we enjoyed a lively discussion with him. Hearing John Smith preach at the Blackstump camp in 1986 and responding to his challenge to be a disciple of Jesus was life-changing for Richard. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 has been a favourite text for him since that time, and Romans 8:28 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 have also been important along the way. Take a moment to read them for yourself sometime soon.
Richard decided to check out our church after seeing our banners at various demonstration rallies for refugees and climate change. He thanked the church, and especially Belinda, for the support, counselling and spiritual nurture that have helped him so much since. We want to thank you Richard for your willingness to share your story with us and for your ongoing contributions to our community.
This coming Sunday morning I will be leading and preaching. My sermon will be on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants from Matthew 21:33-46, which is the Gospel lectionary reading for the day. It’s a fascinating parable in which Jesus tells about his own mission in a way that has crucial implications for our lives. This will not be a Communion service as we changed it to last Sunday. Attendance in the church this week is for those with an I-Z surname (plus newcomers and visitors). Don’t forget to wind your clocks forward 1 hour before going to bed on Saturday night.
As it will be the first Sunday of the month, Sundays@6 will be guided meditative prayer this week, again led by Lucy. Attendance is only available via Zoom and the session will be not be recorded. A couple of dozen of us participate in this each Sunday and you are most welcome to join us for the hour, from wherever you are.
Looking a bit further ahead to the end of the school holidays, Sunday 11 October will be our annual blessing of the pets service in the morning. See your e-bulletin for further details.
Finally friends, in the words of 1 Timothy 6:11b, “Work at being right with God. Live a God-like life. Have faith and love. Be willing to wait. Have a kind heart.” (NLT)