Posted in Uncategorized

Celebrating 40 years! The Uniting Church in Australia.

40th Anniversary UCA

I am so excited I actually managed to do this doodle drawing this week. In 2 weeks we are celebrating the 40 year anniversary of the Uniting Church, where the Methodists, Congregational and Some of the Presbyterian Churches came together to create this new Church. I was only new to the Church (by a couple of weeks!) at it’s 10 year anniversary and remember going to the Horden Pavilion with bus loads of people from all over the state to celebrate. Ever since then I have grown in love for this Church God has raised up and I have found my home here.

This is my doodle of the Uniting Church logo(it might be hard to recognise but I promise it is there! ) and what the Basis of Union says who the Uniting Church is in relation to the areas covered in the logo..UCA_WebColourLarge-300x300

The Basis of Union is the foundational document of the Uniting Church and it says what is important to who it is. You can read it here. I love it! (I know super Church nerd, but I am ok with that!)

So what I noticed when I drew it.. or Karen’s translation of bits of the Basis of Union!

It started with God who brought the world into being.. (I had to draw the circle first) It was beautiful and good. Unfortunately it didn’t stay that way, even into the Heavens we have dumped our junk and used things however we want, including people.

So Jesus came along to help us understand how much God loves us and that we are God’s children. We are called to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. His death acted as a sacrifice for all people, his ressurection reminds us that God does not finish the story with our own mess but gives us a chance at new life.. We are a ressurection people! You can’t see Jesus face, only through the Spirit, we do not have that human with us anymore, but the Helper who was sent for us. Jesus uses the Spirit to awaken the people in the Church to be his disciples, who God calls them to be.. (Note the alarm clock and people asleep), and in “His own strange way constitute, rules and renews them as his Church” paragraph 4

The Spirit leads us, moves us, teaches us and stirs within us particularly through the sacraments, of Communion and Baptism. I tried to make the water touch both the adult and the Child as whilst we beleive in one baptism it is for all. It blows through us like a cleansing wind and sets our hearts on fire.

We are given the gifts of the New and Old Testament, to guide, direct and inspire the people of God. Our life in faith is directed and guided by the Biblical witness.

The Church is ever reaching out, both to the world and to the other faithful of God, it is an incomplete circle because we are still Uniting in how we are Church together.

The Church relies on the Saints who have gone before us, those who have studied God’s word and share it with us through their writing and the Creeds. Yet God still calls up God’s people to ponder and see it afresh and anew in the light of the churches current context. We as Christians are called to use our brains!

God has created the Church with great diversity, we have a priesthood of all believers, where everyone from our youngest to our oldest has a place and is gifted with gifts and skills to share with the community and the whole world. In the Uniting Church we have the ordained ministries of Ministers and Deacons, who are called to work alongside the Church offerring their gifts in leadership.

The Church belongs to the people of God, on the way to the promised end. The Uniting Church prays that through the gifts of the Spirit, God will constantly correct that which is erroneous in it’s life, will bring it into deeper unity with other Churches, and will use it’s worship witness and service, to God’s eternal glory through Jesus Christ. Amen!” Paragraph 18

Posted in Lectionary Yr A, Pentecost, Uncategorized

The fire of God, present within us. Pentecost

pentecost

John 20:19-31

I have done a lectionary doodle closer to the reading here  if you want to take a look. This year I decided to reflect on what happened as a consequence of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

I was pondering how the disciples hidden and afraid defeated from Jesus death, not knowing how to move forward, were miraculously transformed from the encounter with the Holy Spirit.  They were no longer ruled by fear and instead were so confident in the faith they would not stop proclaiming the Good News that Jesus delivered to the world that for most of them, it cost them their lives.

I don’t know what the church is like where you are, but a lot around me are seeing the church aging and the lack of young people coming or staying in the church and they are very afraid. What will  the future become? What about this church? What are we to do? This weekend we celebrate Pentecost, one of my favourite seasons, swarming with red and orange and flames. The symbol of the spirit that of fire from the acts reading.  The promise that God chooses to remain with us even today!

We have pretty bad fires here in Australia they are really powerful. They destroy homes, lives and property and move so quickly that you cannot out run them. I discovered recently that Churches are particularly bad in a fire they burn very hot and very quickly because of the big open spaces in them. Last week I talked about the Spirit as companion but this week I want to reflect on the Spirit as fire. You cannot control it, it changes the landscape in a moment. This companion who journeys with us  is not one we can control but holds within the fast paced powerful creativity of God that transforms.

I wonder what would happen in the people hidden in their churches afraid if this weekend they were blessed with the reminder of the Spirit that was within them, one that blows thier thinking in a whole new way, one that gives them the courage to speak where for so long they have been silent. What have we got to lose people? The land is barren and dry the seeds cannot sprout until the heat and the flames pass over it. That breathe that fire is still with us today. The disciples lives were so transformed they were never the same again, no longer hidden in fear, but courageous in action and word. I wonder what would happen if we stopped holding the spirit so tightly as our companion who journeys with us alone and let ourselves be open to the courageous acts of love service and word that maybe we have been too afraid to do. My prayer is that small hidden frightened band would transform my city, which would spread the fire of love across the planet. Wouldn’t that be amazing!

May this week as we sing and celebrate how brilliant it is to have God’s presence with us  may we have the courage to let it go a little and see what God can do even within us!

Blessings people!