THE THIRD EPISTLE OF BOB or PASTORAL LETTER 3
It’s good to know that restrictions are beginning to ease somewhat, making life feel a little less like being under house-arrest, but, as the Prime Minister and Premier keep reminding us, the pandemic is not over yet and we need to take every precaution to safeguard against a possible second wave of Covid 19. This is why your Church Council has chosen to follow the following advice from the NSW Synod of the Uniting Church: ‘It is anticipated that the effects of COVID-19 will continue to impact our lives for the foreseeable future. In the coming months we will be asked to make difficult choices between conflicting needs and imperatives... Our commitment to supporting the safety and well-being of people must remain our priority. If we don’t continue our efforts to contain the virus, a new wave of infections and deaths will cause further pain. All that we have gained in this time of isolation could be quickly lost... we therefore request Uniting Church congregations to continue to suspend face to face worship and encourage the continued delivery of worship via alternate means.’
I think you will agree that this is wise counsel, particularly in the light of today’s news that the opening up of public worship by a congregation in Germany has resulted in 40 new cases of Covid 19.
However, the life of NIUC continues as it has always done. My special thanks to those who help me produce our weekly services. Many of you have told me how much you appreciate them, and ave written to tell us that they still feel part of our worshiping congregation.
Remember to go to our church website each Sunday – or anytime you wish –The link is https://northernillawarra.uca.org.au/soul-food-inspiration-for-the-week/. You can also view services via our Facebook page, thanks to Shaz. The text of the sermons and prayers is on the website too. If you can’t access the internet, we’ll deliver DVD copies. We’d also like to know who else might be tuning in, so if you know of others who are watching, please let us know.
I’m also grateful to Nerrida for the weekly email Bible studies, which are now about to go onto ZOOM. And speaking of ZOOM, the Spiritual Group, the Church Council, the Church Executive plus a few others have all become quite proficient at using this technology to keep us talking to each other.
Speaking of ‘talking to each other,’ my biggest joy has been the way so many of you are going out of your way to keep in touch with others – especially those who are alone or struggling. As I telephone people, I constantly hear of encouraging calls they’ve received and how much they’ve appreciated them.
Need-a-Feed and the Friday Community Meal deserves a special mention. We have been producing up to 60 wonderful meals each Friday, ably supported by a group of drivers. A few people still come and pick theirs up (maintaining social distancing) and stop for a chat with Fred and me.
But last Friday exceeded all in that 100 marvellous Italian meals went out – in celebration of the life of a wonderful Italian lady who died a couple of years ago and whose daughter honours her memory by providing this community meal.
Well, there’s a lot more I could say but preachers always tend to ramble – so I won’t.
Rev Robert Smith
Photo credit Thanks to Esther Wechsler for sharing their work on Unsplash.