It was a busy day at St. Andrew’s with lots of volunteers and many guests. The courtyard was full of conversation and activity. This week we met a few new people which was great but could also suggest something about the stress that the COVID outbreak has brought to some once again.
On Sunday, we are able to gather for worship. Masks are mandatory at this time and we will not be allowed to sing. However, it will be good to be together again. We will begin a series on the Letter to the Ephesians. This positive and inspiring letter will hopefully bring an uplift to these weeks and a new green-and-growing setting will greet us on Sunday.
I thought a poem from Mary Oliver felt just right for today. “The Gift” is from her last collection of new poems published in 2015 before her death in 2019.
A change is upon us today, not just the move from Stay-at-Home to Level 4 Restrictions that will happen at midnight but the weather is predicted to be churning and stirring. Please keep in mind the community who will gather at St. Andrew’s today and tonight amidst the bluster.
Yesterday I heard a politician say Australians needed hope. He said we need to see light at the end of the tunnel that is not just “another train coming at us.” That image stayed with me as did a few others from this week and are cobbled together in today’s offering.
Amidst the days of enforced quiet, I encourage each of us to make time to observe an intentional Sabbath this weekend and commend the attached resource for you. The stillness of Sabbath invites us to turn towards the Source of Life with full attention, to notice the goodness woven through our past into the presence, to give thanks and to be renewed with hope for the future.
May this be your experience as you give yourself to prayer.
Seriously though, if you are looking for ways to be a part of St Andrew’s essential service ministry now and into the future, we have some thoughts.
Donations of non-perishables are always welcome and needed. As you select items, think:
Will I be able to open this if I don’t have a can opener?
Can I prepare this food if all I have is a kettle, camp stove or BBQ?
Will this food support my health and well-being?
Other ways to help
Or you may want to consider these possibilities:
If you value our hard-working staff and our hospitable spaces, you may wish to increase or begin a regular offering to St Andrew’s. Offerings support the infrastructure that make ministry possible. They are a way of saying “Thank you” to God and “Yes!” to Christ’s work in the world.
We would like to give away more fresh, healthy vegies and fruits than SecondBite is able to provide. We would value Caruso’s gift vouchers (a great local business who support us in many ways) or Coles vouchers so we can top up our fresh food as needed. Any amount is great!
An important service we provide is chemist vouchers. This year we’ve added flu jabs to our offerings and one community member who is at no-fixed-address had his first flue jab ever.
How to donate
You can donate direct to our bank account at BSB: 105 015 Account: 089117940.
Or, if you would like a tax receipt for tax deductible donations over $2, please donate at bit.ly/UnitingCareERC. Be sure and designate UnitingCare, Glenelg in the details section to route your donation to St Andrew’s Glenelg, add also other details like “chemist vouchers” if you would like to further target your donation. Click here for detailed instructions.
As we awaken to a new day, I give thanks for the ways St. Andrew’s is able to remain a place of hospitality, encounter and care in the community. Yesterday was a surprisingly busy day despite the rain in the morning and changing COVID situation.
Here are some of the gifts:
Twenty-nine people plus several volunteers came to be part of community during the day. We served food outside in the courtyard and many received fresh food to take with them. Some of these folk represent families who will benefit from the extra food support.
Even though the setting had changed and the day was cool, it was lovely to see people interacting in the courtyard – exchanging names, sharing stories, building connections amidst the distance and masking.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church brought items from their pantry––a gesture of support for our service which is able to remain open.
Because of the lockdown, we’ve been able to unstuff closets, deep clean cupboards and reset spaces. This will be our project over these days!
Mamma Carmela’s Café donated the pasta, sauce and pizzas they will not be able to use. Volunteers made pasta take away packs which we will distribute. We will heat up the pizza and serve it tomorrow and Friday.
Thirty people came for the Mary’s Kitchen Tuesday Community Meal in the evening. We served soup and BBQ with potato bake in a big circle in the courtyard. Though everything was in a take away container, everyone stayed to eat affirming for us the importance of community.
We gave away five sleeping bags to Mary’s guests. We are pleased to have these donations for such a time as this. The gifts went out with our prayers for safety and comfort.
I pray you are all as well as can be in body, mind and spirit. Please don’t hesitate to ring if you are in need of a listening ear or if you wonder how you might help support the essential services we are offering at this time.
As we enter Stage 4 Restrictions in South Australia, I am mindful of the many reactions and feelings this may bring to each of us. My heart goes out to those for whom these days will be especially challenging – those whose work is affected but who will not receive support, those who are struggling with mental or physical health issues, those who feel isolated or who do not have adequate accommodation or basic necessities, health and other frontline workers, etc.
I was moved to write and offer a prayer for us at this time which I will insert below – a small gesture.
Community Support and Emergency Relief Services are available as essential services during regular hours this week. In line with restrictions announced by the SA government, St Andrew’s will serve our guests outside rather than in the Church Hall.
Day service guests will be served hot soup, bread, and coffee or tea outside as they wait their turn for Community Support and Emergency Relief Services.
Tuesday Community Meal guests will be served a takeaway meal in place of the sit-down meal in the Church Hall. The menu for Tuesday 20 July is BBQ, potato bake and vegetable soup.
Community Support Co-ordinator
St Andrew's by the Sea Uniting Church
92 Jetty Road, Glenelg SA 5045
P: (08) 8295 1771
E: [email protected]