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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 1 April 2012: How Sweet is Your Chocolate?




Good morning,

With Easter coming up, I decided to just check that my favourite chocolate was OK – in terms of being fair trade, before I bought  Easter eggs for my family.

I went directly to Lindt’s website and learned something interesting. As yet only 2% of the world’s chocolate is fair trade – which isn’t enough for this one company to source certified fair trade chocolate. Instead of going to certifying organisations, this company instead had started a project to track every cocoa bean they bought for themselves to find out exactly where it came from.  They were minimising the use of intermediaries – so that business was being done directly between the company and the producers, giving the producers a fairer price and allowing the company to see what farming practices were happening.  That gave me some confidence in buying their chocolate. It also told me that the big chocolate companies are aware of the issue and may be starting to do something about it.

Unfortunately, there are still companies who are not concerned with where their cocoa beans come from.  They buy from intermediaries and never ask questions as to the conditions people live and work under to produce the chocolate. Children are still bought and sold as slaves and end up working in cocoa plantations.

This Easter, let’s all check that we really are “loving our neighbours” – no matter what part of the world they are in.  If we’re going to give chocolate, let’s try to give chocolate that was produced without harming other people.  There are two ways to check – look for  “fair trade” certification on the product itself, or go to the company’s website and look at whether they even know where their beans are coming from and what conditions they are produced under.

Grace and peace
Iris



Dates to note:
5 April. 7.30am. Maundy Thursday service.
5 April. There will be no Watchya Weight on Maundy Thursday.
6 April. 7.30am. Good Friday service.
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 June. Adult Fellowship will have special offering envelopes to support Mercy Ships women’s health projects
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.

Prayer points:
·         Those in this world who do not have enough to eat.
·         Those in this world who suffer ill-health from eating too much.
·         The Queensland Government:  Pray for guidance for our leaders for the next three years.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Service for Palm Sunday, 1 April 2012


Service for Palm Sunday. 1 April 2012
Year B, Palm Sunday.

Call to worship: Psalm 118:25-29 from Uniting in Worship

Hymn:  Together in Song 333. All glory, praise and honour

Prayer of Adoration and Confession.
God of Palm Sunday,
God of Good Friday,
God of Easter,

We thank you for the wonder of this week –
That Jesus took each step of the journey
In obedience to you.

Although he was human as we are-
He didn’t give in to the temptation to give up
Or run away.

We thank you that he faced the crowds –
The crowds of Palm Sunday who cheered him on
And those who condemned on Good Friday.

We thank you that he faced the pain, and the struggle
Of what obedience to you really meant –
And in that pain, chose obedience.

We thank you that he faced the betrayal,
The abuse, and ultimately the death,
In obedience to you
And in his loe for us.

We thank you that the love you give –
That the love Jesus lives –
Is stronger than death.

We thank you for the promise of your great love –
That we can follow Jesus: share his life,
Share in his death,
And share in eternity.

We confess
That we are the crowd who cried Hosanna!
Bud we really didn’t know what we were asking.
We didn’t know that as we asked for Christ to save us,
We were asking for so much.
We were thinking too small –
We were thinking about only ourselves
And the needs we could see.
When you were thinking about all people,
In all times and places

We confess
That we are the crowd who cried  Crucify!
It’s not that we’re fickle, or maybe we are.
But he what he was giving wasn’t what we were asking for.
We believe we know all the answers,
We don’t want a God who will disagree with us
We don’t want a king who will disappoint us.
We were only thinking what we wanted, what seemed good in our eyes.
When you were thinking about what we really needed,
And always would need.

Forgive us we pray
The times we think about ourselves –
And forget the bigger picture of all the people of your world,
That you see.

Forgive us, we pray,
The times we want to give you advice –
And forget that you were doing your job
Long before we ever existed.

Forgive us, we pray,
The times we sway from one thing to another –
And cannot make up our minds as to whom we will serve.

We pray in and through Jesus, who came to save us. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness:
On Palm Sunday, the crowds came out to Jesus and yelled “Hosanna”, which means “save us”, and the truth is that is exactly what he had come to do.  Jesus came to save us from ourselves – from our own failings, our accidental mistakes, our deliberate misdeeds – from everything that has separated us from God.

So I have confidence to say to you: Our sins are forgiven!

Thanks be to God!

Kids Time: Palm leaves.  Does anyone know a story from the Bible about palm leaves? Let’s have a parade! (go through the church with palm leaves.)
Hymn:  We have a king who rides a donkey
Scripture:
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Mark 11:1-11

Sermon:
What were they looking for, those crowds on Palm Sunday? A parade? A celebration? A protest rally?

Political tensions were at fever point as the Passover approached. They always were. That was why Pilate was actually in Jerusalem. Otherwise, he could find somewhere more pleasant from which to manage Israel, which was what he usually did. For the festival, Pilate always had to be in town, and he brought reinforcements for the military garrison there. So there were more foreign soldiers than usual, on alert more than usual, ready to react quickly to anything which might jeopardise Roman rule.

At Passsover, the Israelites celebrated the freedom God had given them from Egypt, and some would always question: if they could be free from Egypt, why not from Rome? There were Jews from all over Israel, and foreigners who subscribed to the Jewish faith from all over the known world; all crowded into the city. They were there to make their sacrifices at the temple, and to celebrate freedom.  And many of them resented celebrating freedom, under the watchful gaze of the foreign soldiers who ran their country.  All they needed was someone to stir them up, someone who could be a focal point for all their unrest. They needed a king of the Jews.

Some had probably pinned their hopes on Barabbas. He was a well-known bandit, but he was also known as someone who was a problem to the Romans. And he had a few followers. With the right support, he could have formed an army, except that he’d already been arrested and imprisoned.

Another Passover was approaching. And God’s people may not have been slaves as they were in Egypt. But in a sense, their situation was worse. They were in the land of promise and freedom. And they were living under the rule of a foreign military power. Surely the God of the Passover, who had rescued them from slavery, who had given them this land, understood their plight? Surely God hadn’t abandoned them?

Then, through the milling, agitated crowd, came the word that Jesus, who had gained some fame as a prophet and a miracle-worker, was coming into town, riding on an unbroken colt. There couldn’t have been a Jew in Jerusalem that day, who didn’t know exactly what that meant. They all knew the words of the prophet Zechariah:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Every Jew in Jerusalem that day, also knew that Zechariah went on to describe graphically, God’s establishment of the king’s kingdom – freedom for all of Israel’s oppressed, and wholesale slaughter of the nation’s enemies.

So they came out: the zealots and agitators, the curious, the fearful, the careworn, the devout who believed God had come to save them, the ones who wanted to keep peace, and those who wanted war, the foreign soldiers, and the Jewish leaders.

And the crowds threw down their cloaks and palm leaves, whatever they could find to carpet the way of the king on a donkey. They waved palm leaves like protest placards or royal pennants. And they cried “Hosanna!” – which is not a cry of joy, but a desperate plea, it means “save us!”

The soldiers kept their hands on their swords and their eyes open. Watching. Watching the crowd, trying to assess what would happen next. How great was the danger? How many in the crowd might be carrying weapons in their clothing? Did this “king” look as if he was about to declare war? Would he try to fulfil that plea “Save us!” Watching each other. Where was each person placed? Did they have the numbers to win if it came to a fight? Watching their officers. Would the command come, to put down the rebellion as soon as it started, or even before it started?

The Jewish leaders watched. Watched Jesus, who they’d been at odds with for three years for all sorts of reasons. Watched the crowd as it yelled itself into a frenzy. And watched the soldiers as they stood tense, ready to fight. They knew Pilate’s reputation for bloody retribution if there was any sign of rebellion. They knew the danger all this attention would bring. And whether their disputes with Jesus really had been this serious or not until this time, they knew he had to be stopped. For the sake of the nation, a rebellion against Rome simply could not be risk. Better that one man die, and the whole nation be spared.

And somewhere in the push and shove of the crowed were Jesus’ disciples, all of the people, men and women, who’d travelled with him, provided for his needs, listened to his teaching. Probably closest to him, were those special ones who made up the inner circle of disciples, the twelve men he’d chosen to trust himself to most.  In the hubbub of the crowd and the pushing an d the yelling; some of them would have been wondering if Jesus were going to declare himself king, and take control of the nation; some would have been wondering about the strange things Jesus said about coming to Jerusalem to be handed over to his enemies and be killed; one was hatching a plan to force Jesus’ hand, to make him declare himself once and for all to be God’s Son, or be destroyed if he refused to do so.

All this was happening, as the crowds pushed and shoved. As Jews from all over the world came to try to get a look at this man who was declaring himself a God-appointed king.

“Save us!” the crowd yelled. And many of that same crowd would yell “Crucify!” before the week was out.  How could they know on Palm Sunday, the price that would have to be paid to save them?

“Save us!” They yelled. And Jesus continued the path to salvation.

Hymn: Together in Song 353 The glory of our King was seen

Notices:

Offering

Prayers of the People:
Merciful God,

All these years after that first Palm Sunday,
So many in the world still cry out “Hosanna!”; “Save us!”

People in many parts of the world still live under foreign oppression. Hosanna!
Peace is a remote dream, even in that part of the world where Jesus lived and taught the way of peace.

In many parts of the world, it is still not safe to be a follower of Christ. Hosanna!
The label of “Christian” can target people for violence, for abuse, and even imprisonment and death.

Even in Australia, people bear the scars of past wars and past oppression, Hosanna!
Many here are discriminated against because of their colour, education or class, and even in their own homes some are in danger from the people they ought to be able to trust the most.

People fall prey to soul-destroying drugs, Hosanna!
People become addicted to the false hope of gambling, to all sorts of lies and false idols.

Hosanna! Save us!
We pray in the name of Jesus,
Who himself came to save.

The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: Together in Song 348 Ride on, ride on in majesty

Benediction



Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Newsletter Reflection : The Economics of Food


Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 25 March 2012

The Economics of Food
Good morning,

I heard a very disturbing report on ABC radio this week.  The reason we have people starving in the world isn’t that there isn’t enough food produced. It isn’t because food is too expensive to produce.
godhelpus.cheezburger.com

One of the big reasons people are starving in the world is that huge amounts of food are wasted in wealthy countries like Australia and the USA. Because we have the money to buy so much more than we need, we artificially drive up food prices, so poorer people can’t afford it. Not only that, but we take much of the supply of food that could have fed the whole world, and put it in landfills. This kind of selfishness from people in relatively wealthy countries, not only fails to love our neighbour as ourselves, but also disrespects the earth God created.

We are a part of the problem – but we can also be a part of the solution.  People in wealthy countries need to waste less. I don’t mean like the old cliché: clean up your plate, because there’s children starving in Africa.  Children in Africa (or anywhere else) won’t gain any benefit from you over-eating, and neither will you.  

To waste less, we need to buy less. If we are throwing food out that’s gone off in the fridge, we’ve bought more than we need. It’s a waste of money for us. More than that, we’ve wasted food someone else could have had, and the price we’ve paid for it has helped to inflate the price so someone else could not afford it.

Food is one of the most basic things in life. Surely we are familiar enough with it to have a reasonable idea how much we will actually eat! There is no good reason to buy more than that. This is one small part of the problem that we can help to solve, and it will cost us nothing but forethought.
There is an accompanying problem here, in that supermarkets buy more produce than they need, and throw out anything that has a minor blemish. We may not be able to control their behaviour, but any of us could write to the supermarkets we shop at and express our displeasure.

Grace and Peace
Iris

godhelpus.cheezburger.com

Dates to note:
25 March.  11am AGM.
 5 April. 7.30am. Maundy Thursday service.
5 April. There will be no Watchya Weight on Maundy Thursday.
6 April. 7.30am. Good Friday service.
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 June. Adult Fellowship will have special offering envelopes to support Mercy Ships women’s health projects
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.

Prayer points:
·         Those in this world who do not have enough to eat.
·         Those in this world who suffer ill-health from eating too much.
·         The Queensland Government: those who were elected, those who weren’t. Pray for guidance for our leaders for the next three years.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 18 March 2012

Good morning,

In last week’s gospel reading, we saw Jesus really angry.

Anger often gets bad publicity. It’s seen as a “negative” emotion. But anger has a real place in the world, and in our Christian lives. 

I’m not saying we should get angry over every little thing that goes wrong in our lives.  (I was recently asked if I ever get angry about having lupus, about it being unfair, the whole “why me?” attitude. My response was that I only have a certain amount of energy, I’m not going to waste it getting angry about something I can’t change.) There are some things it is just pointless to get angry about.

Some things, it’s wiser not to get angry about. Getting angry in an argument makes it much harder to hear the other person’s side and work together for a solution to the problem.

But there are some things we really, genuinely, ought to get angry about, and we should use that anger to fuel some action.  Remember Jesus didn’t just yell at the money-changers.  He threw their tables over and kicked them out of the temple.

What things should we get angry about?

Exploitation is a big one. Can you get angry enough over child slavery to change your chocolate or coffee buying to just fair trade products? Can you get even angrier and write to newspapers, or post your opinion online somewhere?

Care and protection of God’s creation is another one. Can you get angry enough about waste to address it in your own home? Can you get angry enough about it to let other people know you take stewardship of God’s creation seriously?

What is it that makes you angry? What could righteous anger inspire you to do?

Grace and peace
Iris




Dates to note:
25 March.  11am AGM.
 5 April. 7.30am. Maundy Thursday service.
6 April. 7.30am. Good Friday service.
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 June. Adult Fellowship will have special offering envelopes to support Mercy Ships women’s health projects
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.



Saturday, 10 March 2012

Service for Sunday, 11 March 2012


Service for Sunday, 11 March 2012
Year B, Lent 3

Call to Worship
The Lord has called us into his home.
We come, not because we are good enough to be here, but because we are invited.
Hymn: Together in Song 162 Thank you
Prayers of Adoration and Confession
Holy God,                 
We come before you with awe and wonder
That you should choose to meet us in this place, in any place,
That you should seek us out and invite us to come to you.
We come, knowing that the cross is looming up ahead.
Our minds cannot grasp the love so great that could pay such a price for us.
Our hearts cannot feel the depths of compassion that you hol for use.
That your own Son, your own Self, could come among us and an ordinary person, a tradesperson, a carpenter, a worker in wood –
That your Son could give everything for us.
The tools of his trade – the timber and the nails – things with which he created
Destroying his life.
All this was for us.
He could have prevented it,
But for us, all of us,
He faced the pain, the torment, the torture
He faced death
And he freed us from the shadow of death for ever.

We confess we don’t deserve Jesus sacrifice for us.
Our everyday actions continue to provide the wood and nails for his cross.
We fail to love God first and foremost in all things;
We fail to love our neighbours as our selves.
We are sorry for our failings, and seek your help to turn back to your way.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Declaration of forgiveness
The true miracle of Easter is much bigger than Jesus being raised from the dead.
The true miracle is that God did this, not for Jesus’ sake, but for ours – so that we might have new life in Christ.
So I have confidence to say to you:  Our sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.
Kids’ time.
Scripture
Exodus 20:1-17
John 2:13-22
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
icanhascheezburger.com

Sermon
If you look at the ten commandments, or at Jesus’ summary: Love God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself: you see they fall into two parts. The first part is about a respect for, and relationship with, God. The second part is about a respect for, and relationship with, other human beings. These two parts need to go together – and we can see what happens when they don’t.
Let’s start with the first part. What happens if you divorce a relationship with God, and respect for God, from any relationship with other people? If you love God with absolutely every part of your being, with all your possessions, everything – but don’t care what happens to the rest of the human race? It can lead to isolation either from the rest of the world, or even from the church.  Why live in this world if you have nothing in common with it?  Do you wonder why so many cults have done the whole mass-suicide thing? They were not interested in this world or its people. They didn’t see themselves as having any responsibility toward other people.
Let’s look at the other side of the issue. What about the second part of the system without the first. When non-Christian parents send their kids to RE or Sunday school because they want them to have “Christian values”, this is what they’re often after. Forget about all the “God stuff”. They want kids who respect their parents, don’t want to commit crimes, and are basically trustworthy. That makes them good citizens. But that’s all it makes them. You don’t have to be a Christian, or even Jew or Moslem or have any faith at all to follow the second part of the ten commandments, or Jesus’ injunction to love your neighbour as yourself. You don’t have to believe anything. All you have to do is have a general sense of ethical behaviour, whatever you ground your ethics in. Really, there is nothing especially different about the second part of the list, nothing that sets us apart from everyone else. In Australian society, we blend in really well, if we stick to the second part of the list, and don’t risk offending or upsetting anybody by saying or doing too much about the first half. We also don’t risk exciting, challenging or converting people. And that’s just the way Australian society likes us to be – we don’t rock the boat – but we’re also not living the way Christ calls us to.
If we are to take Jesus as an example of how to live a complete, balanced, life, then we have to take on board both sections of the commandments. Indeed, our ethical behaviour – our love for humankind, must grow out of our relationship with God and reflect our relationship with God. We cannot be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly use; but at the same time, we cannot simply live moral lives without having life centred in God.
In cleansing the temple, we see Jesus in a way the gospels rarely show him. He is furious! Jesus had the patients to hear Satan out and answer the temptations reasonably. He had the compassion to have a meal with Zacchaeus, who had been ripping off innocent people for years.  Why was there no compassion or patience here? These people weren’t just refusing to show respect for God, and they weren’t just failing to have compassion for their neighbours – they were refusing to do both.  They were throwing away the central meaning of the commandments.
They had set up their marketplace in the temple. Sure, they were facilitating the sacrificial system – selling animals that met the requirements for sacrifice, and trading outside money for the tyrian coins that were acceptable to the temple.  They were feeding the system. But in doing so, they were undermining the whole purpose of the sacrificial system. They made a mockery of people coming into a holy place to offer their best to God.
At the same time, the traders were failing completely to respect other people. In the temple, Jewish men were allowed into the inner courtyard. Women, foreigners, and children had to stay in the outer court. The place given to them to worship in was turned into a market! Animals were bought and sold, money traded, all sorts of financial dealings were going in, in the place where these people were meant to be able to pray. How could anyone worship in that? It didn’t matter to the traders – they were Jewish men, and if they wanted to worship, they could go into the inner court. It wasn’t their concern if God wanted to be with women, children and foreigners as well.
Jesus was extremely tolerant and caring with people who seemed to have lost sight of some part of God’s law – whatever part that might be. But in the temple, the place the people of Israel had built to be God’s own dwelling-place among them, Jesus was not about to tolerate a complete disregard of the whole intent of God’s law. There’s no suggestion they disobeyed the letter of the law. They weren’t blaspheming, or committing murder. Until Jesus appeared and started throwing their tables over and whipping them, it had probably never occurred to them that anyone would ever disapprove of their work. The law didn’t say “you shall not sell sacrificial animals and trade money in the outer court of the temple.” But Jesus wasn’t especially interested in the letter of the law (we know that because he healed on the Sabbath): he was interested in what God meant in the law.
Jesus’ behaviour brought him a lot of attention.  Think of the kind of attention you’d get in Australia for doing something like desecrating war graves. (Probably the closest thing Australian civil religion has to a holy place.) There mightn’t have been television news crews there, but word of mouth is a very effective way of passing news – especially scandalous news. For those already plotting against Jesus, this was the kind of ammunition they really needed and they didn’t even have to make it up. With this kind of behaviour, Jesus was putting the nails in his own cross.
Jesus stood out because he took the intent of the whole of god’s law with a degree of seriousness that his society just didn’t understand. First Century Jews were looking for miracles and a challenge to the Romans saw some upstart carpenter trashing the temple. The gentile world, under the influence of Greek philosophy was only impressed with wisdom and nothing about this seemed wise. So it is no surprise that neither saw the significance of the cross when it came – after all it fitted nicely with the same non-sense Jesus had been up to leading up to the cross.
That’s what the Christian faith is based on: the kind of thing that’s still a non-sense in our society – a belief that God over-rides everything and calls for a complete commitment of our whole being – and a concern for other human beings that grows out of God’s love for them and demands that we love as Christ loved us. Which really means if we find ourselves fitting in to secular society too easily, or alternately if we find ourselves isolated from society, we really have to ask ourselves: “What’s wrong? Why is my faith out of balance?”

Hymn Together in Song 491 “Father Welcomes”
Baptism Emily and Thomas.
Notices
Offering
Prayers of the People
Merciful God,
Jesus cleared your temple of those who were turning it into a centre for trade –
Who were preventing others from worshipping you.
In our world today, there are places where people are not free to worship
As you call them to do – and we pray for those of your people today.
Jesus cleared your temple of those who were turning it into a centre for trade –
Who were putting money and sacrifices ahead of people who had come to worship.
In our world today, there are people who make a great deal of money,
At the cost of the suffering of others.
Jesus cleared your temple of those who were turning it into a centre for trade –
Selling sacrificial animals, while making the place unusable for worship.
In our world today, there are people who will say they are your people,
But will not understand that to be your people, they must have a relationship with you.
Loving God
Be with this world and all its needs.
Be in those places where the temple still needs clearing out.
Show our world, how to love you, and how to love each other.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Passing the peace
Hymn Together in Song 538 “Feed us now”
Holy Communion
Hymn Together in Song 684 “Love will be our Lenten Calling”
Benediction
Baptism candles.
Threefold Amen.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday, 11 March 2012.



Good morning,
You might have noticed there’s an election campaign going on.  In fact circumstances have come about that mean that this area is getting more than its fair share of election attention.
I’m not going to tell you how to vote.  For many elections in the past few years, I‘ve started by giving the biggest number to the candidate I wanted in power the least and worked back to the least terrible.
That being said, voting is actually a serious responsibility.  We, collectively, choose the people who will lead us. If we end up with a bad government, that’s our responsibility.
 I can’t give you the definitive answer as to who Jesus would have you vote for.  But I do know what’s important to him – just as you do: “Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.”
When you look at the various parties’ policies, and try to decide how to vote, this is the thing to bear in mind. Which show love, compassion, especially to the most vulnerable among us?
Grace and peace,
Iris


Dates to note:
11 March. Holy Communion.  Baptism of Emily and Thomas.
17 March. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
25 March.  11am AGM.
 5 April. 7.30am. Maundy Thursday service.
6 April. 7.30am. Good Friday service.
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Newsletter reflection for Sunday 4th March 2012


Good morning,

Sometimes it seems a bit overwhelming.

This world is full of needs. Last week our guest Pastor David Livingstone Zijjan told us about the desperate need for care for orphans in Uganda.  (Anyone wanting more information, or to donate money can do so at dignityafrica.org . I understand the Church Council will look at ways we, as a whole congregation, can support this amazing work.)  Throughout Lent, the Lent Event material will take us through many of the needs experienced by churches and organisations partnering with Uniting World.

We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves.  It’s hard when there are just so many needs – and what we have to give seems so little by comparison.

In Genesis, we are made stewards of all of God’s creation – yet the needs of our environment, and the results of years of neglect seem just too much – and no-one seems to have effective solutions to the many problems we see.

What do we do when it’s all so much?

I’m reminded of the story of the little girl who found hundreds of starfish washed up on the beach. She began throwing them back, one at a time.  Her mother said, “Why are you doing that, you can’t help them all?”  The girl threw a starfish into the water and said, “But I helped that one.”

We can’t fix everything.  But every little bit we can do to show God’s love to this world and its people, is very precious, and very, very important.

Grace and peace
Iris

Lindy re-wore her wedding dress to give a talk on
Wedding Fashions and Traditions
at Community Care on Tuesday.


Dates to note

9 March. All annual reports to Julie Hultgren in preparation for AGM.
11 March. Holy Communion.  Baptism of Emily and Thomas Bartlett, children of Erica Davis and Gavin Bartlett.
17 March. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
25 March.  11am AGM.
 5 April. 7.30am. Maundy Thursday service.
6 April. 7.30am. Good Friday service.
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.