Pastoral Letter from Rev. Paul Stephens

Dear Friends,

Grace to you and peace in these strange and, let’s be honest, worrying times.

For most of us the things that used to mark the rhythm of the week have been stopped: no longer can we go to the local cafe on Monday mornings to meet friends, nor can we gather on Sunday for worship.

Even going shopping which once was a necessary chore has become a stressful experience.

Of course, there are some blessings.

People are making an effort to keep in touch via the telephone or online technology.  I have heard lots of stories about this taking place amongst the members of this congregation.

Suddenly there is space in week which to catch up with matters which for too long have sat on the “we will get around to that one day” list.  At the Stephens’ residence I have finally tidied out the garage and Jenny has found a couple of unfinished craft projects that she now has the time to complete.

We are in Lent … a time for spiritual renewal.

The enforced isolation creates more time to reflect and pray; to tend to the care of our souls.

Perhaps you might seek to be more intentional about reading the Bible each day using a resource like With love to the world.

The Uniting Church is offering some excellent resources. The following link leads to a series of prayers including daily prayers prepared by the President and Moderators:

St Luke’s will be offering resources online and via other means.

Each Sunday morning there will be a new “worship service” available on Youtube.  The link is on the frontpage of the website.  We will post extra “services” over Easter.

On Wednesday evenings at 6 pm we will hold a short prayer time which will be accessible via the St Luke’s Facebook Group.  There will be an opportunity to share prayer requests at this time online, but even if you are not technologically savvy why not commit to praying at this time each week as a sign of being one in Christ.

We are also exploring how we might do a version of small group gatherings online or via linked phone calls.

I am concerned that we hold all those who are offering direct assistance to those who are ill or in need in our prayers, as well as all those who find themselves without an income because their source of employment has been forced to close, and those employers who have had to make the very difficult decision to stand people down.

We should not forget the work of “Uniting” in our region as Des Younghusband and his team seek to support those who even in the best of times struggle to put food on the table.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need someone to talk to.

Blessings to you in the name of Christ,