St Luke’s friends and members involved in work with grief and bereavement may be interested in the following conference:
St Luke’s Uniting Church (Highton) is seeking a skilled and wise Christian person willing to strengthen current ministry work of the Congregation and related groups for refugees, asylum seekers, and other newcomers in need coming into our community.
The person will draw on spiritual gifts of hospitality, leadership, and service, as they serve within the ethos and oversight of the Uniting Church in Australia. The Pastor will receive supervision from the Minister in Placement, and support and guidance from a reference group experienced in this ministry area.
Find out more…
Please find below a pastoral letter and prayers amidst the bushfires from Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Moderator Rev Denise Liersch:
Dear friends in Christ,
As the fires keep raging across the east and north east of Victoria, I invite us all to keep the people and communities of those regions in our minds, hearts and prayers.
Amidst the unprecedented intensity, veracity and destructive force of these fires, and the heartbreak they are bringing to so many, we are receiving messages and prayers of support, love and concern from across the life of the Church.
These have come from the President of the Uniting Church, Deidre Palmer, from the Moderators of other Synods who are facing their own devastating bushfires, and even from the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.
When one member of the body is suffering, the whole body suffers with it, as we care for one another. We keep in our prayers the communities of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia currently facing fires, and those in Queensland so recently affected.
Together we are bringing our prayers and support for those who have died; for those who have lost loved ones, their homes and livelihoods, animals and pets; for those who don’t know if loved ones are safe or not; for those who don’t know if they have homes to go back to or what the future holds for them.
We are praying for those who are fighting the fires, risking their own lives, leaving behind family and work and forgoing income, out of a commitment to protect others and our unique bush land and wildlife.
We are praying for community leaders and the myriad of volunteers donating their time, food, feed for livestock, and other items … to support firefighters and those in evacuation and relief centres.
We are grateful for the untiring dedication of those working behind the scenes in planning, logistics, supplies, transport, the Red Cross and other relief organisations.
We are grateful for those who are calming children, caring for vulnerable older ones, and soothing angry and distressed ones.
We are grateful for those who are caring for injured and homeless wildlife. Human kindness is being seen all around, as people open their hearts and homes to give of their own possessions and time to support neighbours, friends and strangers. The generosity and hospitality of so many is astounding.
We are thankful for the care, concern, leadership and service being offered by Emergency Chaplains, ministers and so many members of our Church communities in the middle of this crisis. They have brought spiritual and practical support in the form of clothes and food, and teams are already organising to commence repairs to damaged fences and properties.
From news received so far, those of our Church communities in affected areas are safe, though some have suffered damage to properties and many have evacuated. The situation is fast-changing. As needs become clearer, the ways in which further help might be offered will also become clearer.
We are in the middle of the season of Christmas and Epiphany. It is at this time that we mark the visit of a few wise strangers who recognise Emmanuel, God-with-is, present in a vulnerable child, born into a situation of threat to human existence.
In these times, we are acutely aware of the very real threat to vulnerable communities and environments from the effects of climate change, not least through drought, extremes of weather and devastating bushfire.
As we tackle questions of climate change, we recognise the influence of our own human activity … or inactivity. Amidst the threat to human life and to our unique environment and wildlife, may we see where God is with us in a different way of living: in generosity, hospitality and compassion for the people and world God loves.
May the God who walks with us, give us the strength, courage and hope we need, now and continuing over these coming days.
May the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, fill your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Grace and Peace,
Rev Denise Liersch
If you wish to help those affected by fires please consider donating to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
@VCCEmergencies providing up to 35 Chaplains a day across the fire affected areas of East Gippsland plus 9 vols and staff in our EOC each day. Remarkable effort and thank you. @PHUGGINS4 @BishopComensoli @ShaneABaxter @ABFreier @CommissionerEMV @vicemergency @VicGovRecovery pic.twitter.com/oZWPgWomyn
— VCC Emergencies Ministry (@VCCEmergencies) December 31, 2019
Pick up a copy of the latest update from Uniting World for supporters from the holders outside the office or from a friendly usher this Sunday. It is great to read the stories of support from churches like St Luke’s is making a real positive difference to our fellow faith communities in other countries. It’s also great to hear about how other congregations are creatively fundraising for Uniting World and building meaningful relationships with our partner churches overseas.
St Luke’s has received correspondence from the University of Divinity asking us to make this information available to members of our community – brochures are available from the holders outside the office.
“The University of Divinity is a learning community comprising eleven colleges based in three Australian states and online, offering a broad range of opportunities to address the issues of the contemporary world through critical engagement with Christian theological traditions. We offer a wide range of courses at all levels from undergraduate diplomas to higher degrees by research (PhDs).
We equip students from all walks of life, including those interested in the academic study of theology, exploration of the Christian faith, personal growth, ordained ministry or training as a lay worker.
Applications for new students are open now until late-February 2020. We would be delighted to offer personal course advice to any interested members of you community.”
Stories from the Christmas Bowl:
Act for Peace – what the Christmas Bowl does:
Australians received 20 million UNWANTED gifts last year for Christmas. The gifts in the Everything in Common catalogue represent gifts that people really want and need very much.
- $10 can provide chickens for a family to breed and sell at market, using the profits for school or medicine
- $25 can help kids in Timor-Leste get the nutrition they need so they can grow up strong and healthy
- $50 can get families like Kadek’s (see catalogue cover) a goat – and with it, time in school or even university
Last year, with your help, our partners worked with 202,305 people to bring light and hope – well beyond the Christmas Season. See Jean and her team after church every Sunday in Advent to purchase your gifts directly from the stall, or head to the website: https://everythingincommon.com.au/