Worship workshop kicks off.

James DouglasUncategorized

image

Congregation members gather this evening to talk about worship and what has been helpful and unhelpful as we prepare to plan worship 2015.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Katrina DowlingWednesday Rest

You should come and taste this! We’re having a taste of real honeycomb in Wednesday Rest on 6th August. It’s a treat to go with a reading from Psalm 119.

Actually, you should taste it all – any weeks you choose. A moment of repose in the middle of your week. Resting in the one who knows you more intimately than you know yourself. The solace of silence. Quiet companions at your side. Growing still enough to fall awake.

The space is always there at Wednesday Rest: taste and see…

Wednesday Rest devotions and silent prayer, weekly 7:30-8pm in the church

Destruction, mindless destruction.

James DouglasReflections

Our friends at The Tent of Nations suffered a dreadful blow on the 18th of May, as Israeli Defence Force bulldozers demolished fruit trees on their farm. Daoud Nassar explains below:

Today at 08.00, Israeli bulldozers came to the fertile valley of the farm where we planted fruit trees 10 years ago, and destroyed the terraces and all our trees there. More than 1500 apricot and apple trees as well as grape plants were smashed and destroyed.

We informed our lawyer who is preparing the papers for appeal. Please be prepared to respond. We will need your support as you inform friends, churches and representatives when action is needed. Please wait for the moment and we will soon let you know about next steps and actions.

Thank you so much for all your support and solidarity.

Blessings and Salaam,

Daoud

St Luke’s Uniting Church stands in solidarity with the Tent of Nations and the Nassar family and their commitment ‘We refuse to be enemies’.

More details on the story can be found at http://mashallahnews.com/?p=12218  and through the Tent of Nations’ Facebook page

As minister, I express my dismay at the needless destruction of private property by the IDF, particularly as the demolition cannot be undone and the ten years that the trees grew and were fruitful cannot be given back in any compensation. I am sure that many in the congregation and many in our nation would join me in condemning this injustice and the complicity of many nations that facilitates the systematic dispossession and marginalisation of the Palestinian people in the land that they too call home.

Comfort in connection

Katrina DowlingWednesday Rest

We had to say goodbye to two of our friends who died recently. One death, just before Easter, was expected and prepared-for; the other, this week, was sudden and unexpected. It adds to the experience of bereavement a shock to our sense of expectation and continuity. It’s like having a book taken from your hands abruptly instead of reading to the story’s conclusion.

One of the things that encourages us at the moment is the continuing sense of connection: between us who are present to each other now; in the community, which extends through time, past, present and future; and between us and God. Next Wednesday Rest (28th May) is particularly focused on connection, and it’s extra-accessible for those who don’t often attend, because the periods of silent prayer are not very long. We’ll also have some quiet music during our meditation time.

Wednesday Rest: devotions and quiet prayer. Weekly, 7:30-8pm in the church.

Biggest morning tea

James DouglasUncategorized

image

Attendees at the biggest morning tea

On Tuesday the 6th of May, the Tuesday circle group hosted a “Biggest Morning Tea”, raising $280 in funds for the Cancer Council. Congratulations to everyone who participated.

Food, gratitude and the Kingdom of God

James DouglasUncategorized

I had the pleasure today of joining with several members of the congregation for a lunch at the Mulgrave Country Club, a large sporting and gambling club with a huge dining room and a great seniors’ meal deal (not that I could order it ;)). There were delays with some of the meals, which made for some fun speculation about what was causing them, as well as the usual ‘should we wait, or dig in?’ We dug in!

I enjoyed my meal (chicken ‘curry’ – somewhere between a tandoori and tikka) and I wondered whether this was the sort of table fellowship which characterised Jesus’ ministry – food and friendship around a meal table – or whether it couldn’t be like it because we had individual orders, different drinks and, well, we were in a dining room just around the corner from the ‘gaming’ area, where there would almost certainly be people for whom gambling is a problem and whose losses help build the club and its facilities. Surely Jesus wouldn’t support eating here?

I suspect that my mental image of the ‘upper room’ where Jesus shared a last Passover with his disciples has been overly shaped by Da Vinci’s depiction and the idea that every meal Jesus shared with his disciples was perfect, somehow holy, separate from the world around. There were no Pokies venues in Jesus’ day, but there was gambling, there was exploitation and while Jesus brought the Kingdom with him wherever he went, that Kingdom never existed in a vacuum. The challenge for those who want to embody the community of Christ is being ‘holy’ without thinking that means withdrawing from the world in fear of either being accused of shoving our religion down others’ throats or derided for being religious nuts. One of our members, the Rev. Corrie Symington, recently returned from her native Holland, where she’d been surprised to see many diners in the Pancake Parlour (yes, it’s in the Netherlands, too) pause to pray before eating. This small act of public faithfulness was apparently accepted and respected by other diners and by staff. I realise now that I didn’t even say my own ‘grace’ before eating today. Perhaps that’s where holiness can begin – with simple gratitude expressed regardless of context.

Mothers’ Day

James DouglasUncategorized

A happy mothers’ day to all those who like to celebrate it, and peace to those who don’t. In our worship we’ll be looking at the early church and its unity as represented in the book of Acts, chapter 2, verses 42-47. We’ll consider what Tom Bandy calls the cult of harmony and how we as a Uniting Church congregation can fall into the trap of confusing community with conformity, unity with uniformity.

Welcome!

James DouglasUncategorized

Welcome to St Luke’s. We’re glad you’ve visited us and we hope to see you in person soon. This website reflects some of who we are and what we do as a congregation but there’s more than we can write about that happens here. We love questions so feel free to contact us and we’ll be in touch.

P1050350cross and communion