Dear Friends,

As we continue to live through this most challenging of times we are writing to offer you the blessing of the Good Shepherd who calls each of us by name and brings us into the green pastures and still waters of God’s compassionate peace.

Things are so different to last year when the long lockdowns gave us opportunity to plan sustained pastoral responses. Now as we move in and out of lockdown repeatedly the resulting uncertainty makes it so difficult to make long term plans. Regular disappointments assail us as we flirt with “normality.” It can be as hard to emerge from lockdown as it is to enter it and we are aware of the emotional toll this is taking on people.

We encourage you to draw on the pastoral care offerings available through the church. If you would like someone to talk to, food, or some other support, please contact our Pastoral Care Compassion Team (details below). We will draw on the many volunteers and pastoral networks that exist in our congregation.

Of course pastoral care is something we all do for each other, so we also encourage you to continue to reach out to one another, to call people you know, so that you may give and receive support.

Opportunities also exist for you to connect with others through various groups which are meeting online during lockdown: for example Sunday Chat, Knit and Natter, Olive Pesto Craft Group, Climate Action Group, the Book Club. See our website for details of these things. Speak to Dave (0417 310 128) about online opportunities for young people and families. And speak to Peter (0431 193 810) if you would like to know more about Olive Way’s planned lockdown food distribution.

Finally, we offer you these prayers from the Corrymeela Community (© 2020 & 2021):

God in our courage,
God in our caution:
on this beautiful day
may we greet each other
as companions
on a shared journey.
We acknowledge what we
gratitude and sadness,
excitement and concern;
private struggles and
collective hopes.
As we take
this next step forward,
may we do so in the knowledge
that we do not walk alone.

God of the billions alive on this earth,
God of the one who feels most alone:
we all share this crisis, this moment;
we all hang on this hinge in our history.
Yet we know that some
are more affected than others:
more vulnerable to disease,
more at risk from injustice;
who can’t afford a return to the normal.
As this pandemic has exposed
a common fragility,
may it reveal a common desire
to learn and to change,
restore and protect,
so that all may enjoy a sense of belonging,
and know that what comes
will be good. Amen.

Yours in the love of Christ,
Pastoral Care Compassion Team
Ian Ferguson, Gwen Arnold, Glenice Cook, Leanne Salau

Contact us
Ian 0438 547 842
Gwen 0413 047 938
Glenice 0414 319 649
Leanne 0449 912 092

Please note, Ian is holidaying at home from 16th to 30th August. Please contact one of the other members of the team during this time.