Monthly Archives: May 2020

Home Worship 31 May 2020

Dear Friends,

This Sunday the Uniting Church observes both Pentecost Day and Reconciliation Sunday. I have woven both themes into this week’s worship resources. Often in the church’s experience, Pentecost is a day filled with the noise and rush of wind, fire, and voices speaking in a variety of languages. Of course, that won’t be the experience for most of us this year. But rather than sensing a lacking, I wonder what the Spirit might be saying to us through the quietness and stillness this time affords us?

It occurs to me, in fact, that Reconciliation requires silence and deep listening more than anything.

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to an Irish artist who wrote and sings a song entitled “Dadirri.” Some of you may be familiar with this word from the First Peoples in Nauiyu (Daly River, Norther Territory). Dadirri can be translated deep listening, but it is so much more. Elder Miriam-Rose is a well-known educator around this word and way of being. 

You may be interested in hearing this beautiful song: 

© 2017 Luka Bloom (IMRO/MCPS Ireland)

and/or learning more about Miriam-Rose and Dadirri: 

as part of your worship and nurture this week. 

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

Peace be with you,

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]

A Gardener’s Wisdom

Dear Friends,

Awake in the wee hours of the morning – either from too much caffeine or the stressful sense that life is starting to shift again – I spent time with Sr Mechtilde from the Benedictine Abby in Jamberoo where I am an oblate. The Abbey has created a few videos in which in leu of being able to offer retreats, some of the sisters share a message for this time. The most recent one is from Mechtilde, the gardener at the Abbey who grew up on a farm in Northern NSW. I think they are all worth viewing, but today I would like to share Mechtilde’s and offer a couple of questions for consideration – an impromptu mid-week reflection.

As she shyly offers her insights, Mechtilde makes potting mix using stuff gleaned from around the beautiful Abbey – dry matter, green matter and fertiliser. If we listen deeply, we can hear in her gestures and instructions principles for life. 

You can watch the YouTube video below:

Some questions that come to my mind and on which I’ve been reflecting:

  • What has become “dry matter” in my life in these months? In other words, stuff that once had purpose of which I wish to let go?
  • Even as we are beginning to emerge from our solitude, what might it look like for me to enter the dark season of winter? (shedding, moulting, resting from the “supply and demand”)
  • What seeds are being planted by God in the potting soil composted from the stuff within and around me?

I wish you well in your continued journey.

Peace,

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 24 May 2020

Dear Friends,

I pray this email finds you well. Though the weather has turned autumnal and rainy, the lifting restrictions in South Australia mean some are getting out more and perhaps welcoming others into our homes.

One thing [my husband] Sean and I have added to our Sabbath worship beyond the written guide is recorded music. Before we begin, I choose a couple of songs to play as we gather and between the meditation and prayer. For us, music is a profound way to pray and I have valued its inclusion. 

I’ve heard from some others the ways you are making these resources your own. Some include candle lighting, conversation with your partner, journaling, or scattering the elements over the days. I’m pleased to hear how you are following the promptings of the Spirit.

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

Peace to you,

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: Ascension Day Thursday 21 May 2020

Dear Friends,

Coming mid-week, Ascension Day (Thursday 21 May) is something that often goes largely unnoticed by us––save for a possible mention of it on the Sunday following. But this year is different, obviously, and the emailed worship resources gives me the opportunity to provide a simple reading and prayer for this day. You might wish to engage this liturgy sometime on Thursday. Click here for a copy.

In many ways, Ascension Day has special relevance for us this year I think. As we move through stages of reopening in Australia, some activities will be introduced while others will remain closed. For example, we may be able to eat in restaurants and play in parks, but not be able to gather for worship. It is an in-between time of continuing transition much like the time between resurrection, ascension and Pentecost Day for the first disciples.

May we know God’s peace as we continue to make our way through what my ministry colleague Jenni Hughes calls the messy middle. May we wait patiently on the Spirit.

Peace,

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 17 May 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you happy and healthy. 

In the Christian calendar, we are slowly making our way through the Season of Easter towards the Day of Pentecost. This Thursday we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus followed by one more Sunday in Easter. How have you experienced new life in these weeks?  

As I continue to email worship resources to you, I encourage you to consider how they might be most helpful to you in your Sabbath practice. Again, this is not meant to be homework! Something to get through. If something moves you, feel free to stay with it. If you want to save something for later, return to something in the week, or add more silence, by all means do so.

May these weeks continue to bring gifts we are able to notice and savour.

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

In peace,

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]