On this Day of Pentecost, Paul considers the ways in which the Holy Spirit is still forming and transforming the church today, shaking us up, clearing our heads, and pushing us to new understandings and awareness of God’s action in the world and where we need to be as part of that.
He asks the questions: What might the Holy Spirit be teaching us about witnessing to Jesus in our time? How are we being reshaped by the Spirit to be church in the era after COVID-19 restrictions ease?
Our prayers after reflection are underscored by an original composition shared with us by David Stephens https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQaC… who may or may not be related to Paul! Thanks to Colleen, Suroor, Hadeel and Shaghek for their contributions to today’s worship.
You can find today’s worship service on YouTube here:
A quick note today about the people pictured in the “Warm Wind” prayer – some of you may recognise the faces of these local leaders, psalmists and prophets.
Jacqui Bennet & Gabrielle Photo: Phil Hines, Humans in Geelong
Jacqui is the founder of Humans in Geelong – a citizen journalist project to tell the good stories that are happening in Geelong. She is also a much loved primary school teacher here in Highton. She is pictured with Gabrielle who works with the Red Frogs project, supporting young people during their schoolies experiences. The head office of Red Frogs is located at the One Hope church in Barrabool Hills.
Kym Dillon Photo: Phil Hines, Humans in Geelong
Kym Dillon is an extremely talented local musician, composer and choral conductor. He leads the “With One Voice” choirs in Geelong and Ashburton and is working on a project putting Psalms to music.
Monica Winston Photo: Transition Streets Geelong
Monica has been working to educate and support our local community to transition to a more connected, low energy, sustainable future, teaching Permaculture and nurturing the Transition Streets movement in Geelong. Years ago she brought an inspirational workshop to St Luke’s for the Environment Action Group, Awakening the Dreamer. She has never stopped working with community to build a better future for us all.
For singing today I couldn’t find a video of a Spirit focused song – send me your suggestions! However if you join us on Zoom today we’ll share some more music from David that we can all sing to. Here’s a great listening song from Leigh Newton in the meantime:
An update from UnitingWorld on how their work with our partners overseas is tackling the challenges of the Pandemic:
Please if you can do donate to their COVID19 appeal here: https://fundraise.unitingworld.org.au/actnow
that is all we need on this day, Holy One God,
to light our quarantined aloneness
so that we can burst into bonfires
which signal to all those around us that
you are bringing to life and grace
to us, and to the whole world.
We pray in the name of the crucified and Risen One, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Amen.
Finally, a big shout out to everyone at St Luke’s who volunteers their time to the congregation and the wider community – this week is national Volunteer Week when we acknowledge the amazing contributions volunteers make to enriching our community – Thankyou for all you do!
Stay well friends, more news will be coming your way this week,
Be sure to read them and if you are able please continue to donate to Uniting as their services will be more in demand than ever in these coming months.
The Uniting Church Synod has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID 19 restrictions and what congregations are able to do. You can find this information here.
Church Council are meeting online this Tuesday to review the changes in restrictions and see how they will impact St. Luke’s. The Annual Meeting of the Congregation remains deferred, however we hope to have the Annual Report for 2019 out to you sometime this coming week.
Please continue to pray and care for one another and for our wider community.
Looking forward to seeing you all on Zoom today at 10. The details have been emailed and are also available in the Facebook Group.
This week our online worship focuses on Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the image of the church as a “Priesthood of all believers” – this is borne out today, where much of our ministry takes place within our own homes, in calls to friends and neighbours and simple acts of kindness to one another and to strangers we may meet.
Thanks to Yousef for presenting this week’s readings to us, and to Zoe for reading the Lord’s Prayer.
You can watch this week’s online worship from 9:30am on Youtube here:
For singing at home, you might enjoy this song from “The Jesus Record” by Rich Mullins and A Ragamuffin Band – “That where I am there you may also be” based on today’s gospel reading:
Paul mentions the Christian Churches in China and their home based gatherings – you may be interested in learning more in this story from SBS in 2017:
Our prayers also focus on those in need – through hunger, loneliness, or ill-health. Uniting, our church welfare agency, plays a strong role in supporting people on the margins of our society and you can follow some of people’s stories here:
Recognise anyone in this photo? Some of our St Luke’s Messy Church leaders met via Zoom with others across the Presbytery to share ideas for how to do Messy Church online – stay tuned!
If you’re taking the opportunity to visit other churches during the COVID19 lockdown, you might like to drop in to the UCA Assembly Facebook page for a livestreamed service with Rev Sally Douglas from Richmond UC –
Finally, this week we farewell Olive Hunt, a beloved and warmly remembered member of St Luke’s. “She was such a humble, elegant lady, always there for other people.”
Stay well friends, and remember this Wednesday morning at 8am will be our first Zoom prayer meeting from our Facebook Group.
It has been so lovely to see our people in our online worship and other presentations, sharing greetings, bible readings and prayers.
As one of the editors, I get to see your recordings many times and come up with creative ways to present your contributions so that you are clearly seen and heard.
I want to encourage those of you who are “brave” enough, to consider joining the “digital worship roster”, to help present and prepare items for Sunday morning, Messy Church, Kid’s church and other opportunities we have to share the story of Jesus’ transforming grace and our lives as a community of faith.
Here are some tips for helping you to prepare a great video recording:
– Smartphones are fine
– Record from a fixed position
– Make sure the light source is in front of you, not behind you
– Record in Landscape, not portrait
– Record in a quiet environment
– Do a test to check if you are loud enough
– Pause at the beginning and end of the video, and after a stumble so that the editor can work their magic
– Don’t be nervous! We love to see our people in our worship!
Thanks to Abigail and Christopher for their help with photos and sound effects!
We look forward to seeing many more St Luke’s faces and hearing your voices as we continue to gather virtually to keep one another safe. If you are interested in helping to prepare a segment for one of our online ministries, please let either Paul or myself know by emailing the office – info (at) stlukesuca.org.au
This week’s online worship is here, but it won’t be published until Sunday morning at 9am:
Thankyou to Paul and Colleen for presenting, and to Pam for her photo contributions, a rose is featured during the Lord’s Prayer, and Pam writes: “This is a symbol of remembrance of the wonder of God’s creation. (It is actually a bloom from the rose bush given to Beth [Allen] following Ken’s passing)”,
If you would like to hear the version of Psalm 23 that Paul mentioned today, you can find a beautiful recording here:
For a listening song, you might also enjoy this tune from Leigh Newton (if you haven’t already noticed, I’m becoming quite the fan!
We had our first Messy Church gathering via Zoom this week, and it was great to see the faces of our friends again after a long while! We’re looking forward to trying out a lot of new ideas for next time.
Bible Lego Challenge
Our Presbytery is running a Great Bible Lego Challenge!
This is the way it will work…
It starts on 2 May 2020. You are invited to form a team for the Presbytery Bible Lego Challenge. Your team can be a family group or other Lego enthusiasts that you are allowed to be with.
You can have no more than 4 people in your team. There are no restrictions on number of teams per ministry context, they just need an individual name. An example could be “Team Zero from East Geelong UCA.”
Each week for 6 weeks a new Lego challenge will be issued for teams to complete – this will be posted on our Presbytery Facebook Page each Sunday – Regenerating the Church – Port Phillip West Presbytery.
A full copy of the rules is available on our Facebook page or you can download it here:
Last year, our family watched this story on ABC’s Compass about a Minister in Surrey Hills trying out new ways of being in community, and of ministry. It got us thinking about different ways of ministry for St Luke’s, too.
Take care this week, friends – and don’t forget to send us your photos and contributions for online worship – we’d love to see photos of you “attending” church these days! Or perhaps you have some favourite photos or videos of Geelong or of the St Luke’s community you’d like to share.