Restrictions Eased

 

With the latest relaxation of covid restriction, we are now able to have as many people in worship as density limits allow (1 person per 4 square metres); however, if everyone is vaccinated, the numbers are not limited at all.

Masks in church are no longer required; nevertheless, it may be prudent to wear them, especially if you are not fully vaccinated.  Continuing to wear masks in public gatherings may be a good idea as a health measure in general, just as is frequent hand washing/sanitation, so as to minimise the spread of colds, flu and other highly communicative diseases. Given that we have become used to the idea of wearing masks in public, it will not look strange if you continue to use a mask, particularly when singing hymns.

Although Covid lockdown in our region has ended, and worship services are being conducted as usual, Sunday worship at the Ocean Grove service continues to be  streamed via Zoom each week, and can be joined at 10:30 am (AEDT)through the link:

https://zoom.us/j/2978521634?pwd=K01ZNDZnTUxiYzYwRFlVL0tsQW5oZz09

Meeting ID: 297 852 1634

Passcode: 988040

If you are unable to be with us, with in person or on Zoom, you are able to see the text of the services here. The December 5th service is now available.

Christian??!

Needless to say, the article in the Aug. 29th Sunday Age entitled, “Christian lobby pushes for end to lockdowns, don’t fear death,” was anything but Christian.  It is certainly true that we should not be ‘led around by the nose’ by the fear of death, and Jesus would agree, I’m sure; however, the ready willingness to risk the lives of others, particularly those who are already physically impaired, is about as far from Christian as one can get.

I think the motivation of the Christian Lobby may not be the explicit fear of death, but actually it is fear: the fear of losing dollars, the fear of losing control and, at least unconsciously, the fear of losing masculinity… (Click here to read more)

An Unexpected Blessing

Ministry is a blessing to me in general, but occasionally,  albeit relatively rarely, I have felt especially blessed.  Last Sunday was one such occasion.  I received an email from the van der Poll family, members of the Leopold congregation who occasionally join our worship on Zoom, which was amazingly relevant to the worship service I was about to lead. With their permission I share it with you:

“Sometimes I just want it to stop. The talk of Covid, brutality, disasters…(click on this link to read more)

Refugee Sunday

This Sunday, June 20th, was Refugee Sunday and also the observance of the 44th anniversary of the birth of the Uniting Church.  To celebrate the occasion the Barwon Heads congregation met with the Ocean Grove congregation at 10:30am to hear Jim Molineux from the Synod’s Justice and International Mission cluster.

left to right: Tim Molineux from JIM, Fahim (imam and ex-refugee), Rev. Bob Thomas

Chaos, Creation and God

2020 had more than the usual degree of chaos for many people, but even in a relatively uneventful year, there is some degree of chaos in most people’s lives.  Though one might yearn for a life free of chaos, even a cursory study of this topic suggests that chaos is important, perhaps necessary, for life. (Read more)

An open, virtual door to the world