Category Archives: Uncategorized

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)

Day of Mourning

At this time of year, Uniting Church congregations across the country hold worship services to reflect upon and lament the effect of the invasion and colonisation of this nation upon First Peoples, for whom Australia Day is Invasion Day and a Day of Mourning.

The Uniting Church  observes the Day of Mourning on the Sunday preceding Australia Day, so this year the date was January 24th. 

This observance was endorsed by the 15th Assembly arising from a request of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). All Uniting Church in Australia congregations are invited to hold worship services that reflect on the effects of invasion and colonisation on Australia’s First Peoples and our identity as a nation.

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Online Services Continue

Sunday worship at the Ocean Grove service continues to be  streamed via Zoom each week, and can be joined at 10:30 am through the link:

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

Meeting ID: 297 852 1634

Passcode: 988040

In addition to the ‘live’ worship on Sunday mornings, a text and audio service can be accessed at any time from this site. The worship service for March 7th is now available at “Minister/View From the Pulpit/Sermons”

Mask Etiquette

Now that masks are no longer required in church (nevertheless, wearing them is still advised), the question arises, “Should I wear  a mask?”  What is the new etiquette?

If it were only a question of protecting oneself, the answer would be easy: I would choose to take a small risk or not.  However, the role of a mask is also to protect others.  In fact, the mask is much more effective in protecting others from you than it is in protecting you from others.  Now the question is: “Should I be responsible for the protection of my neighbour?”  This question, at least for a follower of Jesus, is an easy one to answer, is it not?

If you are completely healthy and you are certain you have not been exposed to the coronavirus, then it is quite reasonable to not wear a mask in church.  If, however, there is any chance you may have been affected, and are asymptomatic, the responsible choice is to wear a mask in the presence of others.

Perhaps we have stumbled upon a new word: Masketiquette (when to wear one). This may be the beginnings of a new glossary for the times in which we live; e.g.
Maskercise, the extra exercise gained when, having entered the supermarket, you realise you left your mask in the car:

Maskicide: causing death using a mask made out of a plastic bag;
Maskette: a face covering for an infant.
And, of course, there will be a new use for Masking Tape

Contributions to this new glossary should be emailed to Rev. Bob at bobuc2@juno.com.

Justice and Compassion for Refugees

The Queenscliff branch of Rural Australians for Refugees is currently conducting a letter-writing campaign to our politicians, and would greatly appreciate our support.  Please find out more by clicking on the links below, and see how you can help get justice for genuine refugees.

Permanent protection for Refugees

Support Labor party’s policy for refugees here

https://www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au

Although not as effective as direct communication with our politicians, you may sign a petition online by clicking on this link.

 

 

We’re Back!

On November 29th, the first Sunday of Advent, we began the new church year with worship back in our church buildings.

Of course, we haven’t completely return to normal, as there are procedures to follow to protect people from infection with the Virus (click here to see details of these measures), nor have we abandoned those who are not yet confident to return to public gatherings. The Ocean Grove services (10:30am) are being streamed live on Zoom, so those who wish to stay home  still will  be able to be a part of our worship. (The Barwon Heads service cannot be streamed at present due to lack of internet facilities.)

Attendance restrictions have been lifted to a maximum  of 150, so the capacity of the church buildings is limited only by the 2 sq. metres per person rule. This will allow our usual congregations to meet without having to exclude anyone.

For the first service, we met outside to begin the services and marched in as a group to ‘retake’ the church buildings.

Welcome to Oz

Having recently added a function to this website that keeps track of  whence visitors to it come, we have been astounded to learn that over 80% of our visitors live overseas, particularly the United States.  In fact, many more Americans view the website than Australians.

We have avoided providing a function on the website that allows visitors to leave comments because, on past experience, most of those who comment are SPAMers.   However, it would be good to hear from those who visit the website, so if you would like to make comments, please email Rev. Bob at bobuc2@juno.com, and your (genuine) comments will be posted (unless you would rather they remain confidential).

At the end of November and early December, the number of hits suddenly jumped to over 10 times normal, with the bulk of visitors coming from the U.S.A.  There was particular interest in the article on the Trinity under “Words of the Word”.  We would love to hear from those visitors, to know the reason for the sudden interest in the Trinity, especially at this time of year (Advent).