At present, it is all too evident that there is a dearth of people in government and business who, like Jesus, have “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man,” (Lk. 2:52).
Those of such wisdom and stature in religion, politics, and business, look beyond their own interests and the even the interests of their country to the good of the whole. What happens to others is almost as important as what happens to them! (click here to read more)
It is old news, but still relevant: Among the most likely places to be infected with Covid-19 is church (along with hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and cafés). Furthermore, the most ‘dangerous’ thing we do in church is sing. We do everything we can to minimise infection, such as not shaking hands, not passing an offering bowl, maintaining a safe distance between people, etc, but probably the most risk-minimising tactic available to us is wearing a mask, at least while singing. At the moment masks are mandatory; however, it is a good idea to continue to wear them, particularly while singing, as long as the pandemic rages.
With the relaxation of covid restrictions, 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 still required, however.Continuing to wear masks in public gatherings is 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.
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:
There have been other occasions when differences of opinion have come to the fore in the public arena (e.g. the debates about marriage equality, the Vietnam War, climate change, etc), but the recent rise of the anti-vax, anti-lockdown, anti-mask element in society is different. (click here to read more)
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)
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:
It seems the major parties are once again gearing up for an election in the near future, so it seems appropriate that the members of the church, God’s servants on earth, also prepare. Why? To ensure that God gets a vote, of course.
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.