Celebrating the Seasons of Creation through September

The World Council of Churches has declared 1 September to 4 October as the Season of Creation.

From September 1 to October 4, Christians around the world are praying and caring for creation.  It’s the “Season of Creation”. The beginning and the end date of Season of Creation are linked with the concern for creation in the Eastern and the Western traditions of Christianity, respectively.

The Uniting Church has developed some wonderful resources for us to use in our worship and devotional life which you can find here.

During September three Congregations in Geelong are working together to highlight the blessing of God’s creation and our call to care for it.

The Congregations are Wesley, Western Heights and ourselves at St Lukes. This idea was initiated by the environment groups of each congregation.

This will take the form of three services which will be shared around the three churches. In practise this means for us at St Luke’s as follows:

September 11th

Paul and our environment team will be celebrating the cosmos; and encouraging us to stop and wonder at God’s amazing universe of which we are a part.

September 18th

Rev. Denis Tomlins and the team from Wesley will visit and focus on caring for flora and fauna.

September 25th

The team from Western Heights will visit and be celebrating the gift of water and our need to care for it.

(The St Luke’s team will visit Western Heights on the 18th and Wesley on the 25th.)

Save the Date – Pentecost Sunday Worship at Wesley Uniting Church 10am

The Uniting Churches of Geelong will be joining together in the one place on Pentecost Sunday, 5th June 2022 at 10am.

This means that there will be NO SUNDAY SERVICE AT ST LUKES ON SUNDAY 5th of June.

Instead we encourage everyone from St Luke’s to come to Wesley Uniting Church, 100 Yarra Street Geelong on that day.

We are also invited to join in with a combined choir and band, which will be rehearsing on the next two Tuesday nights, the 24th and 31st of May at 7:00pm at Wesley Uniting Church.  To take part, please register with Helen at Wesley UC on 5229 8866.

As plans unfold, there may be a need for helpers on the day, so if you are planning to come and able to assist, I would love to hear from you.  Likely tasks would be catering, ushering and such.  I will keep you posted as I find out more.  We will be sharing news of the Pentecost Service at Sunday mornings, and through our website and social media, however if you are in touch with friends who don’t connect there, could you please help to spread the word so that no-one is left at the front door wondering where everyone is?

May we be blessed with the fire and warmth of the Holy Spirit as we gather as one big Uniting Church community in Geelong!

Easter Services 2022

Easter Services 2022

Join us in Holy Week to reflect on the journey of Jesus through persecution, crucifixion and resurrection, and consider where God is in the midst of uncertainty, displacement, war and disease.  How does God’s transforming Grace help a community to understand what is happening, to help one another through strife, and to heal trauma?

All services held at St Luke’s Uniting Church, 174 Barrabool Rd Highton

Good Friday

Photograph of a crown of thorns on a purple background, referencing the passion of Christ

Friday 15th April 2022 at 9:30am

A short reflective service.

Easter Sunday

Sunday 17th April at 9:30am

Celebrate the resurrection of Hope!

Both services will also be live streamed via YouTube.

P2 masks available at church for hearing aid wearers

P2 masks are available for sale at church

Having spoken to a few people at church who struggle with masks and hearing aids, we have purchased some quality P2 masks with headbands rather than earloops to avoid tangles.

These are the kind of masks your GP would wear in a consultation – high protection yet comfortable as they sit away from your face.  They go well with glasses, reducing fogging as they can mould quite closely to your face.

Available during office hours and Sunday mornings, $3 per mask or 4 for $10.  While they are single use masks, they can be re-used if treated carefully:

“An easy way to minimise waste if you own N95 masks is to safely extend their life. In hospital settings, it’s advised to avoid use beyond one day and to dispose if they become soiled or moist.

This, however, is not realistic for the general public, such as when supply is low. There are a range of methods to reuse N95 masks safely, which are supported by the mask’s inventor. There are also re-usable options such as elastometric respirators.

For disposable respirators, the most straightforward reuse method in non-medical settings is to rotate your mask every three or four days, storing it in a clean paper bag when not in use. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after you touch your mask, and keep your mask dry — if your mask gets wet, stop using it. Consider numbering your masks so you don’t mix them up.”

Source: ABC news article: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-29/covid-omicron-fabric-masks-n95-kn95-respirator/100788406

While mask wearing indoors is no longer mandated, it is strongly recommended by health professionals.  Worship might feel like a safe place, but there are people attending who have daily exposure to the Coronavirus through workplace and school settings.  Churches are still a risky environment for people who are unmasked and unvaccinated.

Take care out there everyone!

Worship Online Sunday 26th December 2021

Dear Friends

This is a special online reflection for Sunday December 26th, 2021

Even though Christmas Day can be a rough day for some, I trust that yesterday was a good day for you. And given the current easing of restrictions related to COVID, I hope that has meant you have had time with family and friends.

The tone of the Christmas celebration for Christians is clearly one of Joy. Joy that comes from the startling, good news that God becomes human … one with us … through the birth of a vulnerable babe, Jesus.

And this is a genuine being at “one with us:” … in Jesus God shares in human life in all its complexity … including right from the beginning experiencing the consequences of the propensity of humans to treat each in despicable ways.

Many churches mark December 28th as the feast of the Holy Innocents.  The Gospel reading is from Matthew Gospel chapter 2 and concerns the necessity for Mary, Joseph and Jesus to escape from King Herod and his thugs.  

“Now after [the Magi/Wisemen] had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” (V.13 … NRSV)

Mary, Joseph and Jesus thus became refugees.

Herod was a murderous despot who stooped at nothing to hold onto power including cosying up to whoever was the Roman Emperor and having his soldiers seek out any boy who might possibly be the newborn king. There is no sugar-coated Christmas story here!

Rev. Dr. Melinda Quivik writes in commenting on the passage:

This Jesus, born in the midst of Herod’s brutality, knows our suffering, comes to the frightened and the sick and the hungry, feeds and heals, and teaches the presence of God’s power wherever there are tears. 

Today so many people experience the same plight as Mary, Joseph and Jesus … having to flee from despots and other dangers.  And many of these refugees actually have no place to go … no place where they can experience genuine sanctuary. According to the United Nations Agency for Refugees, there are 20.7 million people under its care, of which a half are children.  An even more frightening statistic is that currently 48 million people have been forced out of their homes while remaining in their own countries. 

Christian churches have long offered sanctuary to those fleeing oppression, seeking safety, and St Luke’s (along with other churches and organisations) has supported refugees in the Geelong region for many years.

Clearly the need for a practical and prayerful response to this need is not abating.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this ministry. If you want to find out how you can help, feel free to contact us. The details are on our website. 

Let’s pause in prayer:

Compassionate God, Almighty in Love,

We give thanks for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate in a special way at this time of the year,
We also remember that with Mary and Joseph, he became a refugee and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger,
homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Worship next Sunday (January 2nd) will be in person at 9.30 am, we hope.

Best wishes and blessings for the New Year to you and yours.

The peace and joy of Christmas

Fill your hearts and lives

And the blessing of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit –  be with you all, evermore,



Christmas Services 2021

Christmas Eve Friday 24th December

There is no service at St Luke’s, however Belmont Uniting Church is holding a service at 7:30pm led by the Rev. Ikani Vaitohi

Address: 42 Thompson St Belmont.

Christmas Day Saturday 25th December

9:30am Christmas Day Service at St Luke’s Highton led by Rev. Paul Stephens

Sunday 26th December

Online reflection broadcast from the St Luke’s YouTube channel from 7:30am

Worship online Sunday 14th November 2021

Holding Fast

Thanks to Deb for this mornings scripture reading.

Opening Prayer

Great and compassionate God,
we come before you in love and with humility.

We worship you


You are God the Creator.

You brought everything that we know,
everything that we see,
everything that we are
into being through your living word.

We worship you


You are the God who is the triune community of love

You are the God who loves us so much
that you sent your Son to release us from our bondage: to save us.

We worship you


You are the God who calls us to follow Christ and live as part of his Body the church.

In the name of Christ,
We worship you.


(People are invited to pause and consider the things they are thankful for and also consider what are the things weighing upon them at this time)

Prayer of confession

We come before you
aware that all of us fall short:
We all make mistakes.
We all struggle to love like Jesus.

To live life fully, you call us to love you, love neighbour and love ourselves.
Lord forgive us for the times when we neglect you.
Forgive us for the times when we put ourselves before your way and the good of others.
Forgive us for the times when we damage ourselves
through our thoughts and actions.

God of deep forgiveness hear our prayers,

In the name of Christ who have his life for us,


Based on a prayer by Rev. Prof. John Swinton, 14 November, 25th Sunday After Pentecost | The Church of Scotland

Declaration of forgiveness

It is written (in Psalm 103):

‘As far as the east is from the west,

So far has God removed our sins from us.’

Jesus came preaching peace to those who are near, and peace to those who are far off.

My friends you are free:

to be forgiven people,

to serve as forgiven people,

to celebrate as forgiven people.

Thanks be to God.


Scripture reading:

Hebrews 10: 19-25

19 We have, then, my friends, complete freedom to go into the Most Holy Place by means of the death of Jesus. 20 He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain—that is, through his own body. 21 We have a great priest in charge of the house of God. 22 So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. 23 Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. 24 Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25 Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


Remembering and prayers for intercession

Last Thursday was Remembrance Day and we pick this up now in our prayers for others.

Compassionate and ever-present God, we pray,

For all who have been caught up in and impacted by war …
For all whose bodies and spirits bear the marks of war…
For all who have lost loved ones due to war …
For all who continue to suffer due to war…
For all who minister to veterans, the families of veterans and survivors …

For all who live in despair …

For the peoples of our world that they may embrace your way of peace and reconciliation …

For all of us – called to be messengers of your hope, we pray…

For the Church that we may hold fast to the hope we find in the Gospel …

We also remember others whose needs weigh heavy on our hearts this day.

For them and for us, we pray…

In the name of Christ, Amen.

— adapted from a prayer Renfrew County Catholic District School Board website. http://rccdsb.edu.on.ca/religiouseducation/school-prayer-2/monthlyseasonal-prayer/



Worship online Sunday 7th November 2021

The Book of Ruth

Thanks to Sue, Claire and Jean for participating in this morning’s worship.

Psalm 146: 1-2, 7b-10 (NRSV)

​Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Opening Prayer

Let us pray:

Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord, all you people

God our hope and life,

Triune community of perfect love,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Praise be your name.

You were before all things,

You are the author of all things,
You brought life and light out of nothing,

Yet you are closer to us than we can imagine, and you always remain faithful to us all and all your creation:
Faithful in love.
Faithful to save.
Faithful to tend.
Faithful to share.

And so we worship You,
with all of our heart,
all of our mind
and all of our strength.

And we rejoice to know that when our hearts are misled,
Your heart is to forgive.
When our own thinking is confused
You show us that truth is found in the way of Jesus
When our strength fails,
You draw near and hold us close.

Hear us in the quiet as we confess to You
where we have turned away from You or others
and where we need Your healing and forgiveness.

We give You thanks, Oh God, that in you is life and forgiveness beyond measure,
You who upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
Who sets prisoners free,
and gives sight to the blind,
who lifts up those who are bowed down,
and loves the righteous.
You who watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
who frustrates the ways of the wicked.
You Lord God, reign forever,
for all generations.

In the name of Christ, Praise the Lord.

Based on material from October 31st, 23rd Sunday After Pentecost | The  Church of Scotland

Prayers of intercession

Loving God,

You call us to walk in love as Christ walked in Love and bless us the Holy Spirit and gifts of ministry to enable us to live out this calling.

We are sent to care for those who,
like Naomi, Ruth and Orpah had no security.

And so we pray for those who have no food
because of a famine, or because of Covid …

We pray for those impacted by the damaging of our planet’s environment and pray for the enacting of global policies which enable good stewardship of your creation.

We remember those who are grieving the loss of a loved one … that when they feel alone that You would meet them in the compassion of others.

We think of those whose world has been turned inside out by the pandemic –
grant that they would know the support and care of others,
the help they need and the strength to carry on.

Lord Jesus, You suffer with us,
and through Your resurrection,
have taken our sufferings into the heart of God.

Help those who are alone and vulnerable
know that You have been there too,
that You are with them,
even as they struggle to find hope from any source.

And for us Lord,
help us be open and willing
to be part of the answer to these prayers.
To be Your hands to care,
Your ears to listen,
The body through which You might bring healing and life.

In the name of Christ, Amen.

Based on material from October 31st, 23rd Sunday After Pentecost | The Church of Scotland


Offering Prayer

Lord God,

you have given us more than we asked for

and more than we deserve.

May we show a like generosity

in all that we do for you and for our neighbours;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Unless otherwise stated prayers are either by the author or based on resources from Uniting in Worship 2 © Uniting Church Press, Sydney, 2005.  And images are from Wikimedia Commons and are in the public domain.

Worship online Sunday 31st October 2021

All Saints Day

Opening Prayer

Holy and Compassionate God,
Most perfect loving Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Through Christ you proclaim the way to life in all its fullness,
Through Christ you offer us the promise of sure and certain hope of eternal life …
In the life death and resurrection of Jesus you declare that your love is such that even death itself cannot overcome it …

We give you thanks that you do not leave us alone as we face the mystery and shadow of death…
As today we remember people who have been precious to us and who have died,
Hold us in your care …
Bless us with comfort and peace …

Creating and forgiving God,
We confess that we have not always loved as Christ has loved us.
Forgive us and enable us by your grace to forgive anything that has been hurtful to us.
Assure us that through Christ you set us free from sin and bring healing and wholeness.
And we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture readings:

Isa. 25: 6-9


On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.


Rev. 21: 1-6a


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

All Saints Prayer

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
The saints gone too soon before the fullness of their grace was truly known by human minds.
The saints who were not lauded, but whose faithfulness bore generations of fruit.
The saints whose witness spoke truth to power and brought forth new creations.
The saints who died with doubts, questions, and hope in mystery.
The saints who held to the truth through it all.
The saints whose legacies are the history from which we learn how to do and be better.
The saints who are only remembered by God and who rest in light perpetual.
For these and so many others,
we give thanks to God. Amen.

Source: Rev Julia Seymour, posted on RevGalBlogPals

Prayers of intercession

On this holy day of memory, O LORD our God,
inspire our vision so that we might see with clear eyes
the hope and fullness of life that is found in you.

We pray for clarity and courage to see and live out Christ’s call for a world in which the poor are blessed, the hungry fed and your good news made known.

We seek healing and unfailing comfort for those persons (known and unknown) who are struggling, grieving deeply, in pain, in fear, with ill health and we name them silently before you . . .

By your mercy and grace, grant us wisdom
for these days of remembering,
and of living into the coming of your future,
strengthened by your witnesses in days past.

Based on a prayer by Rachel Hackenberg, RevGalBlogPals