Coming into advent

Dear friends, Last Sunday was the final one before Advent. It is celebrated as Christ the King Sunday by many churches and we followed that tradition in our service. I spoke on The Shepherd King, suggesting that Jesus was the Good Shepherd and also the Messiah King, albeit in temporary disguise. I thought the final verse of our concluding hymn by Delores Dufner summed it up very aptly. You chose a humble human form and shunned the world’s renown; You Read more…

Brother, sister, let me serve you.

Last Sunday John finished his message with one of my favourite songs, Brother, sister, let me serve you. It is a journeying song, which was appropriate as he was preaching on a journeying psalm, Psalm 123, a psalm the Israelites would have sung as they made their way to worship together in the temple in Jerusalem. In the same way, the words of that song have accompanied me throughout my life; from the heady days of beach mission where faith Read more…

NAIDOC Week

Dear friends  It’s NAIDOC Week, a time for all Australians to remember and celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Last Sunday, the start of NAIDOC Week, we welcomed Bianca Manning to our regular morning service in the Church (via Zoom from Brisbane where she is currently studying at a Bible College). Bianca, a Gomeroi woman who grew up in Newcastle on Awakakal country, was recently appointed as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Read more…

Hands of peace

Walter Brueggemann speaks of the importance of arriving at praise through lament – rather than starting with praise. Over the last three Sundays, we have been looking at the psalms of lament and, as we come to end of that series, fully aware that there is still suffering in our world and in our lives, that there are still questions that haven’t been answered and, perhaps, will never be answered; we have arrived at praise, at being thankful that even Read more…

Get up God!

Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day? Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us? Why do you bury your face in the pillow? Why pretend that things are just fine with us? And here we are — flat out on our faces in the dirt, held down with a boot on our necks. Get up and come to our rescue. If you love us so much, Help us!   That seems like a petulant and Read more…

Paleochannel!

My word for the week has been ‘paleochannel’! Last Sunday after church was our second church walk, and a large group of us walked through the Jerrabomberra wetlands and enjoyed a short address from Patrick Paynter on the ACT government’s land management of this area over time. He spoke of the ‘paleochannels’, the ancient riverbeds, that run through the Jerrabomberra wetlands and the East Basin and it was fascinating to think about the flowing of water over centuries shaping the land where Read more…

Good job Jacki!

Last Sunday morning we had our annual Blessing of the Pets service. In fact, we had 2 services — one in the Church (with maximum allowable humans) and a parallel service enjoying the beautiful weather in the courtyard (with even more people). There was some crossover towards the end when pets from inside and outside paraded past the front of the Church with their carers for their personalised blessing. The service in the Church, including Belinda’s mini-sermon, was recorded and has Read more…

Screaming peacocks

This Sunday, 11th October, at 10am is our annual Blessing of the Animals Service, but there is one animal I am not feeling so disposed to bless this Sunday! Last weekend we were at a campsite near Huskisson which was also inhabited by a large number of peafowl. Thanks to the male peafowl (or peacocks) the nights got quite raucous for peacocks, according to Wikipedia (and note the order of these characteristics!) , “are known for their piercing calls and Read more…

Season of Creation

Dear friends 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 Read more…

Spring activity

Dear Church   My last Sunday-to-Sunday was a fortnight ago, at the beginning of Spring. I commented then on the excitement of seeing new plants shooting and included a photo of tulip leaves appearing in the garden at the Church. What a difference two weeks makes! The tulips are now in full bloom, along with the violets, and it looks fabulous. If you can, come and enjoy a look at the flower beds in front of the Church and manse, Read more…