Palm Sunday

Dear Friends,   It is interesting what we can do and what we can’t do during this Covid 19 emergency. Our family can’t drive to Sydney for a special meal to celebrate my brother’s birthday this week, but we are having a 40 minute Zoom conversation with our four households – each week – bringing us closer than we have been in years! As a church we cannot at the present time hold services in our buildings, but we can Read more…

The Annunciation of the Lord cannot be cancelled

Dear Friends, What a week this has been! Last Sunday we were trialing Zoom church and this Sunday it has become our only option! Also, in the course of this week, all church programmes and Community Centre activities have ceased to be physical gatherings and gone on hold or on line, and John, Cecelia and myself are now all working from home. And so many Australians – friends and relatives and some members of our congregation – have faced even greater turmoil. Its not Read more…

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1

Dear Friends  The following statement is part of a helpful email distributed to Churches this week by Steve Bartlett, the Director of Ministries for the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT.  With the Covid19 virus present in our communities and the projections for how it will spread in coming days, weeks and months, we find ourselves in extraordinary times.  It is easy during a time of crisis to grasp for control and certainty. As followers of Jesus, how can we live differently in what is a time of Read more…

Living water

Dear Friends   What a difference water makes! Kristine and I were in Wellington (NSW) for 18 months while I did an Intentional Interim at the Baptist Church. The region had already been in a prolonged drought when we arrived, and it continued during our whole time there. Farmers and businesses were struggling. When we left just before last Christmas, many paddocks were just dust and the landscape was an ugly brown. With Burrendong Dam at 1.5% capacity and severe Read more…

International Women’s Day intercessory prayer

On this day we remember before you the women of the world.  We give you thanks for all those women who make the world a better place.  And we also remember the men who play an important role in their lives.   We plead for the women whose lives are blighted by pain and suffering.      We lift up before you women around the world who hold positions of power.  In governments, in large corporations, in small businesses, in work places and in Read more…

Pilgrimage

Dear Friends   It was a journey that Jesus had undertaken a number of times before. There was inherent excitement and expectation in heading off from Galilee for the capital, especially with the prospect of worshiping at the Temple. It was even more exhilarating to travel to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, joining the crowds of other pilgrims on the way. Jesus had made that pilgrimage with his parents when he was 12 years old. It had been a formative Read more…

Lent

Dear Friends   Today is the first Sunday of Lent. In some traditions it is called Quadragesima, the Latin term for fortieth. Lent commences on Ash Wednesday and extends up to Easter Sunday (40 days, excluding Sundays). It is a time of preparation for Easter in a similar way that Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas. However, Lent is characterised more by prayer, self-examination, repentance, fasting and spiritual renewal. In recent centuries, the idea of giving up something Read more…

91 years old!

Dear Friends   Knowing we would be celebrating our Church Anniversary today, I asked our Church Archivist, Edna Jones, a few questions during the week. Here is what she shared with me.   How long have you been the Archivist and why did you take on the role? Only since the last Church AGM in August. I took over from Russell Holly who had been doing it for several years. I like history, especially Church history, and have an interest Read more…

The Lausanne Covenant

Dear Friends    The theme in today’s services is “sharing God’s love and justice and words and actions” (the third of our three church goals). As we consider that, I’d like to refer you to the “Lausanne Covenant”.  www.lausanne.org/content/covenant/lausanne-covenant  It is widely regarded as one of the most significant documents in modern church history. It arose from the First International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne in 1974, which brought together around 2,700 Christian leaders from over 150 countries. Under the heading “Christian Social Responsibility” it declared the following.  “Although Read more…

Inclusion and care

Dear Friends On Tuesday morning I attended the Ecumenical Service commemorating the commencement of Parliament for 2020. I also decided to stay afterwards for “morning tea”. (More like breakfast seeing the service finished at 8.15am!) Apart from my desire for my first coffee of the day, I thought it would be a good opportunity, being a relative newcomer to Canberra, to continue mingling and networking. But after getting my coffee, I then stood around on my own for what seemed Read more…