Thanks to Mike Currie and a number of contributors, please find this month’s news sheet on the link below. Rev. Paul Stephens shares some great insights on St Luke the evangelist (and healer) after who our congregation is named.
What to bring: Everything for a picnic (food, drink, tables, chair, rugs, kid’s games…)
THE PARK HAS A PLAYGROUND, TOILETS, BBQS AND SHELTER
Who can come: Young and older – you just need to come with an open heart to have fun and be inspired.
NOTE: COVID SAFE REQUIREMENTS APPLY … PLEASE PLAN TO PHYSICALLY DISTANCE, AND WEAR MASKS WHEN THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE. If you are feeling unwell, let us know and we’ll be thinking of you, but please don’t come – see your doctor or get tested if you have COVID symptoms.
The Sunday Service at St Luke’s Highton will be at 10am and we hope to Livestream to our Youtube channel
This is the Sunday (before Australia Day) where we join with our sister churches in a Day of Mourning to reflect on how God is calling us to respond to the ongoing challenges faced by our First Australians – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We’ll be using the Uniting Church Assembly resources, with more from Common Grace who have provided resources to churches and faith groups around Australia to share in Aboriginal Sunday.
There is also a prayer service of reconciliation on Monday night (25th Jan) at 7:30pm – Victorian time – led by Aunty Jean Phillips – see www.commongrace.org.au/tunein Some of us may gather at St Luke’s to participate.
Paul continues to explore Tom Wright’s book “God and the Pandemic: A Christian reflection on the Coronavirus and its aftermath” this week. Today we reflect on the question of lament. When the Israelites were exiled to Babylon they wrote down much of the Old Testament we have now (previously it was an oral history). The readings from Lamentations and Job offer insight on how God’s people are called to respond in such challenging times.
This week we joined together with Belmont Uniting Church and Western Heights Uniting Church in this reflective service, to start exploring a recent book by N. T. Wright.
Following the insights of Tom Wright’s book “God and the Pandemic: A Christian reflection on the Coronavirus and its aftermath”, today we reflect on the question of God and suffering. As we are confronted with evil and suffering in the world, we should not be asking why suffering happens but how do we respond? The readings from Deuteronomy and Matthew’s gospel (the beatitudes) provide guidance in how the Christians should respond, with care and generosity.
And keep an eye out for Karen and the Western Heights puppets, and I think our first virtual choir!
We have gone out to the ‘boundaries’ of Geelong today for our theme “Bridging the Boundaries”. It is filmed at the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre and our thanks to the community there for their welcome.
Our passage from Matthew 15:21-28 doesn’t sound like the Jesus we know and love – his words initially are harsh and even cruel. Yet there is more to this story – with real parallels for us today in our busy lives. In fact, as we juggle working from home, home-schooling and all our daily chores during these Covid-19 times in Victoria, the lessons from this story are particularly relevant.
As you prepare for St Luke’s worship, enjoy a ‘Flashmob Gospel Choir’ , Filmed at Five Points South Fountain in Birmingham, Alabama in 2013 (50 years after the civil rights protests that ended segregation in the USA commenced there).
Join in worship…
Reflect on how much God loves you with this song from the Hillsong team
Many thanks to Hadeel Al Badran again who helped me with the filming and edited today’s service. Hadeel is continuing work on new videos for Humans in Geelong like the post about Mental Health.
Thanks also to Nilu Bizhani (Gospel reading) and Deb Walker (Creed) for your contributions, and to the young people from Uniting Faith & Families who helped open my eyes to some ‘home truthes’ from this passage last week! And to Graeme Gardiner for providing ‘We will love’ in the middle.
Don’t forget to join us on Zoom for sharing time at 10am – link in a separate email.