Well, it was a blow hearing lockdown had been extended for a further four weeks! However, it does feel like what needed to happen, considering the ongoing case numbers and our desire to protect our neighbours and friends in the Canberra community, particularly those not yet fully vaccinated or whose health is more vulnerable.
What this means for church is no in-person gatherings until the 10th October, and after that date, we will proceed carefully following ACT Health advice.
If you are struggling with the ongoing lockdown, please reach out to someone. Sometimes we think we are doing OK, but a call or a prayer over the phone – just knowing that someone else knows how we are feeling – can make a big difference. We have a large pastoral care team in this church, and you can always contact me, or one of the following; Peter Churcher, Lucy Gledhill, Gary Hilton, Wendy Holland, Meryl Jackson, Ian Joyce, Kathy Joyce or Roz Namgyal.
Monday’s service was a wonderful opportunity to grieve and give thanks for the life of Enos Clark, for the love he gave his family and friends and members of this community. It was very sad, losing Enos so soon after May, and finally brought home that they were gone, but – thanks to the life of God within us – gone to be home with God.
If you were unable to watch the service on Monday (98 devices that joined the service on Zoom!) you can watch it here. https://youtu.be/pLmH83N_HV0 I have also attached the Order of Service for many of you who would like to see it. The verse on the front, that Val chose, is the most fitting verse for Enos; “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Building is also the theme for Community Hour tonight (starting at 5:30pm and usually finished by 6:15pm). Last Wednesday we shared our small scale ‘show and tell’, something we had accomplished during lockdown which has brought us quiet satisfaction. (My favourite was Rod Lavender’s report that he had “shredded a lot of paper”! That paper is now on its way to the Community Garden!) But we did see some impressive Lego builds and we thought tonight might be a chance to see what the kids (and others!) have been building during lockdown – in Lego and other materials as well. So, please join us this afternoon at 5:30pm for our Community Hour construction special! Here is the link for the Community Hour Zoom.
Three Sundays from now will be our Blessing of the Animals Service and, as suspected, this will take place online. Can I ask everyone to participate still by sending in pictures! If you have a pet, please send me a picture of you and your pet (like the one of James and Claude De-Pussy included here! As I’ve said before, what a handsome cat!). If you don’t have a pet, but would like to send me a picture of some beautiful part of creation you have taken, please do that! (Please include in the email where the photo was taken.)
I was also wondering if there are some hymn writers in the church? Would you like to add some more Australian verses to “How great thou art”? I always struggle a little with the second verse – though I know there are “woods and forest glades” in Australia! If you would like to write something and are happy for us to sing it – I would love to see it!
Grace and peace to you all! We had planned a few days away camping for the first week of the holidays, so I am going to take a few days off next week – not reading and relaxing at the coast – but reading and relaxing (and weeding) in the backyard! 😊 I will still be contactable, however, and leading worship this Sunday, while Doug Hynd preaches for us, and preaching next Sunday.
As I was processing the news of the extended lockdown, I was also putting together worship for this Sunday, and the last verse (of our last hymn for this Sunday) was very helpful for me. I’ve included it below.
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment,
whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.