COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath —
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love —
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
(Lynn Ungar lives in San Francisco Bay Area. She serves as the minister for lifespan learning for the Church of the Larger Fellowship, an online Unitarian Universalist church.)
Worship Plan for this week
Online worship services
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all services of public worship are being held online until further notice. See the Facebook address below.
Bible Readings – 14 Jun 2020
Genesis 21:1–7; Romans 5:1–8; Matthew 9:35–10:8, (9–23); Psalm 116:1–2, 12–19.
Rosters for 14 June 2020
Greetings: Margaret Bull
Prayers of the People: Rose Geilen
Reader: Ian Gainey
Flowers: Bev Cox
NEWS AND NOTES
Kate Nielsen: Uniting Wyndham administration
Kate Nielsen may be the first voice you hear, when you phone Uniting Wyndham. Kate is office administrator, and provides part-time back up for the receptionists, Tegan and Lisa.
I find the reception area looks different, as Covid19 regulations are observed. There are now only two chairs, observing spatial distancing. The agency is closed on Tuesdays, when all staff are working on line from home.
Kate’s approach to clients is “We want to be approachable, for people who can’t get through to government departments. We want clients to feel respected, important and comfortable, not embarrassed”.
“I and my husband were working in jobs where we were part of the rat race”, she says. “We both deliberately changed from formerly stressful occupations, downsized, and came to live in Werribee, with our dog Jessie.”
Kate found a temp agency job, archiving at Uniting Wyndham, which led to her permanent employment here.
“Covid19 has changed the way that we offer service to the public. For example, we arrange vouchers for clients on the phone now. They can thus save much time travelling on public transport”.
Meeting in an interview room, I waited while Kate answered a stream of enquiries, and directed people to the Agency’s case managers, using a large computer screen.
“Since the Federal Government introduced Job Seeker payments there’s a significant drop in the numbers of people asking for emergency relief supplies,” says Kate. “If you give people enough money to live on, they won’t need to access band-aid support”.
Kate enjoys her job at Uniting Wyndham. “I’m glad to support the case managers with their required documentation for reporting. I like building spreadsheets, the tools for management”.
“Our staff appreciate the visits of Annetia, Crossroads minister, to all workers here at Uniting Wyndham”. (NT)
Do you remember?
I looked through a Melbourne Herald Sun which told of the US moon landing by Armstrong and Aldrin on 20 July 1969.
My eyes lit on an advertisement requiring registration for National Service – “all males aged 20, excluding aborigines, must register”.
In 1964 Robert Menzies had introduced compulsory selective National Service training, to bolster the Australian presence alongside US troops fighting the Viet Cong in Vietnam.
“All the way with (President) LBJ,” was the slogan, bitterly opposed by significant number of Australian people. The churches were split.
I was working in 1969 at Riverside Presbyterian Church, Alberta, Canada. I had relinquished a Presbyterian appointment in Australia two years previously. I returned “home” in 1971.
I was a member of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, a group of mainly US citizens, led by Benjamin Spock and Martin Luther King Jr. Churches offered sanctuary and supported draft dodgers.
Mass rallies against the Vietnam War on US college campuses brought out the National Guard; four students of Ohio State University were killed by rifle fire on 4 May 1970.
In Australia, church people were deeply involved in the debates for and against the war and National Service conscription. “What would Jesus do?”
Members of churches along with trade unionists and students provided leadership of the mass ‘moratorium’ demonstrations in capital cities in 1970-71. Were you there?
The Whitlam government 1972 ended conscription and Australian participation in the Vietnam war.
Today, Australians are not only dealing with a “war on coronavirus”. We are caught up in a trade war between China and USA; we may have to make the uncomfortable choice: “Which side are you on?”
(Opinion piece by Neil Tolliday)
National Reconciliation Prayer (Aunty Betty Pike)
All creation once declared your glory
Your laws were honoured and trusted,
Forgive us our neglect as our country approaches, the most critical moment of its history.
Listen to our prayer as we turn to you.
Hear the cry of Jesus, your Son on the Cross.
Help us to replace your national shame, with true National pride by restoring the dignity of our First Peoples whose antiquity is unsurpassed.
May our faith and trust in you increase.
Only then will our Nation grow strong and be a worthy place for all who wish to make their home in our LAND.
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
The Church Office is open 9.30 am–12 noon, Monday–Friday
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.