Monthly Archives: April 2020

Home Worship 26 April 2020

Dear Friends,

As we enter week five of our isolation and distancing, I hear a mixture of emotions and responses––often from the same person! Many appreciate the greater simplicity and slowness, a rest from the busyness of life. But many are beginning to struggle with so much time with oneself (and family members) as well as missing some of the activities that bring meaning and purpose to our lives. 

In my experience, it is in this intersection of life that the Spirit is able to do great work in us. This place of disease and discontent––painfully, so at times––and a heightened awareness of the most important things, the grace, is the stuff which God uses to illuminate the way to abundant and eternal life. 

I’ve been re-reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s classic work Living Buddha, Living Christ. In the chapter “Faith and Practice,” he speaks of the tools that help us cultivate the soul. Like a farmer who has tools to prepare, nurture and harvest a crop, so practitioners of faith use prayer and meditation to cultivate our hearts and consciousness, seeking to grow the fruit of God within ourselves for the world. 

My hope is that what I’ve provided for you in these weeks as well as the other tools for prayer and meditation you’ve been finding will enable you to make good use of the stuff being unearthed for you in this time.

The Home Worship Guide for this Sunday is available here and the Reflection in Solitude is available here.

May peace be with you on the journey,

Christine 

Rev. Christine Gilbert
Minister of the Word
St Andrew's by the Sea Uniting Church

92 Jetty Road, Glenelg SA 5045
P:   (08) 8295 1771
E:   [email protected]

Home Worship 19 April 2020

Dear Friends,

As the novelty of our self-isolation settles in and, having received news on Thursday that this way of being will continue for at least another month, perhaps we are beginning to experience new thoughts, feelings and reactions. The energy that may have gone into setting things in place and figuring out how to be has passed. Even the sense of crisis has diminished somewhat. 

As with week four of any new habit—such as an exercise routine or change in diet—it can be tempting to loosen our discipline or shy away from too much self-knowledge. Concentrated time with ourselves and family members can be revealing! But as any trainer or doctor would assure us, sticking with the program will bear results and transform our efforts into gifts for life.

For this reason, I hope to encourage us to continue in our worshipful practices—whatever they might be. It may be getting more difficult now to set aside time for Sabbath. So, let us covenant again to a time together-apart in which we rest in God, recall the gifts of our lives, experience gratitude and joy, and hold all that we are in the light of Love.

Finally, here is an introduction to this week’s resources for those who wish to view it: Greetings from Rev. Christine Gilbert 19Apr20. The Home Worship Guide for this Sunday is available here and the Reflection in Solitude is available here.

I’m exploring how best to share a video greeting like this and I can tell I haven’t chosen the best tools. Please forgive me! Hopefully I’ll improve. I found it works best if you allow a few seconds for the video to upload before playing.

May the peace of Christ be with you,

Christine

Rev. Christine Gilbert
Minister of the Word
St. Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church
 
92 Jetty Road, Glenelg SA 5045
P: (08) 8295 1771
M: 0400 151 691
E: [email protected].com

Home Worship Easter Sunday 12 April 2020

Dear Friends,

It seems strange to send Easter things to you on Maundy Thursday. It feels like we’re jumping ahead to the last few pages of a novel! But alas…

Besides the Easter Sunday prayer guide and Reflection in Solitude, I will attach in a separate email – to those on our mailing list – a document that has the contributions from our Easter sharing. 

I would strongly encourage you not to open the Easter Sharing document until Easter Day.

One option is to print them, cut out each offering, and “hide” them around your house. Put one as a bookmark in the book you are reading. Place one in the fridge by the milk, or where you make tea/coffee. Nestle them in cups and plates and pot plants. Throughout the day, they will be uncovered for you to read and savour. This is what I’m going to be doing anyway and I highly recommend it.

I pray these final days in this holy season are rich in prayer and reflection for you. May we contemplate God’s love poured out continually and in abundance.

In grace and peace,

Christine

Rev. Christine Gilbert
Minister of the Word
St. Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church

92 Jetty Road, Glenelg SA 5045
P:      (08) 8295 1771
E:      [email protected]

Home Worship 5 April 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you coping okay. More and more people are finding themselves at home most of the time. This can be both a place of sanctuary and potential stress. Please find ways to care for yourself during these days. Feel free to ring the church office on (08) 8295 1771 if you would like to speak with me about how you are travelling.

I’ve attached the guide for your worship this Sunday—or whenever—and a resource for Holy Week. The Holy Week material includes an image, a Gospel reading from the Passion of Christ narrative, and a prayer. I hope you find it enriching as we move through this season together in our own way.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. I’ve chosen an alternative reading for worship––the story of Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet. As we explore friendship with God and others, this seemed like an important story to hear. 

The Moving into Prayer section offers two possibilities for engagement––an art engagement and the practice of foot washing. I’ve written the guide so you can choose the foot washing option whether you are with others or by yourself. I encourage you to read through both options before you begin worship and choose which one speaks to you at this time. Alternatively, feel free to use both engagements, in one sitting or during prayer at another time.

May the peace of Christ be with you,

Christine

Rev. Christine Gilbert
Minister of the Word
St. Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church
92 Jetty Road, Glenelg SA 5045