During our recent Quiet Morning at the Waite Arboretum on Saturday 27 March, the group noticed it was impossible to behold things in decay in nature without also beholding things coming to life or in bloom within or nearby. Every stage was present at once. Some wisdom to contemplate during this Holy Week.
Poet Mary Oliver paints a playful yet poignant picture of the sleepy disciples in her poem Gethsemane. As the rough edges of the Gospel story come into view this week, may we accept that the utterly human “must be part of the story” and be gentle with ourselves and others.
“As we approach Easter, the most holy time for Christians,
we are called to renew our commitment to embody
the presence of Christ in our communities.”
––Dr Deidre Palmer, UCA President
Palm Sunday Peace March
I would like to encourage you to consider taking part in St. Andrew’s Good Friday Prayer Walk for a more justice, hospitable and sustainable Australia. You may be uncertain about what this prayer walk will be like: What will it include? And what does walking for justice have to do with Good Friday?
Hope & Vision for the Prayer Walk
In short, the best responses to these and other questions will be discovered through our participation on the day. But since this Prayer Walk is a first for St. Andrew’s, perhaps I can attempt to share my hope and vision.
As a church called to be a place of hospitality, acceptance and care, we are privileged to hear many stories that reveal disparity, injustice and the need for reform in our society. On Good Friday, we remember the cost embodying a prophetic, loving presence in the world had for Jesus. We stand as faithful disciples before the cross, willing to take in the suffering of Christ in our day, to hear and stay with the truth of the stories we hear and, through prayer, we will express our desire for a different future.
We will begin at the front of the church and walk to Centrelink where we will pray for economic recovery that is focused on the common good. We will walk to the Backpackers and pray for paths of permanent settlement for refugees and migrants. We will walk to the foreshore and pray for new ways of being that are good for the environment. Finally, we will return to the church for a blessing and those who wish are invited to stay for hot cross buns and conversation.
It would be helpful for me to know of your intention to come when I print the prayer booklets and for catering purposes. Please respond via email by Thursday 1 April if that is what is easiest for you.
A prayer from Julian to begin Holy Week. The photo is from a stepping stone at the Waite Arboretum taken during our Quiet Morning on Saturday (27 March). Blessings to all as we take our first steps into these sacred days.
This is a beloved poem by Wendell Berry that comes to mind for me often, especially in Lent––this season of dying and rising. The poem seems fitting after last evening’s community meeting when we witnessed what has been growing in the dark and planted more seeds in hope and trust for the future. You might make some time today to contemplate the seeds and growth of your life.
The renewing of creation which is God’s continual work in our world does not come about without the pangs of birth – in us and around us. May Catherine’s words and the prayer that follows encourage us as we participate in this work however we are called to do so.