All posts by oceangrove

If you can’t be here…

…join us for worship on Zoom

Although the 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 in person or on Zoom, you can see the text of the services here. The January 23rd  service is now available.

Masks are  still required in church 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.

Yes, Let’s Keep Jan.26th Holy

Yes, let us maintain January 26th as a national holiday, not as a day of celebration, but as a time to remember the colonisation of the country by a foreign power. (See “Day of Mourning”)  And then let us establish another national holiday to celebrate our independence from that foreign power, just as the Americans, the Canadians and the citizens of 51 other countries celebrate their independence from that same foreign country.  These two holidays will be ones that everyone in Australia can heartily support and be united in their observance.

(See also, “Is Australia Day an Appropriate Theme for Sunday Worship?”)

Playgroup Carols

click on photo to see more

Last December, the children from the playgroup and many of their parents took part in Christmas Carols performed by the band, an event which had been very much missed the previous year due to the Covid lockdown. This report has been delayed because it was deemed appropriate to get all the parents’ permission before posting a photo.

Size Does Matter

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)

 

Most Likely Places to Catch Covid-19

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.

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)