Dear Parish Friends
The news from the Queensland Government of a roadmap to the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions is very welcome for the mental health of the community, and for the economic benefits to both individuals and businesses. However we need to remain aware that the virus has not been eliminated and so things will not be ‘back to normal’ for quite some time yet. Ongoing advice to protect the vulnerable in our community and to prevent a resurgence of infection will influence what we can and cannot do.
For us to return to sharing worship at St Luke’s is probably still two-three months away. However the Faith and Worship 365 group who met last Sunday started the conversation about what that may look like. Two points particularly struck me. Firstly, we have learnt a great deal about being the church in this time of doing things differently, such as online services and telephone contacts. What of this can we carry forward into the future? Then this is a great opportunity to review how we act out our mission to be God’s people in this area. We don’t need to automatically seek to restart everything just the way it was, but reconsider where our resources are best spent. A summary of our discussion will be included in the next edition of ‘Church news’ and I welcome your feedback.
In our reading next Sunday from Acts (17:22-35), we hear of how Paul speaks a word of God into the situation in which he finds himself. Paul looked around and listened to the Athenian philosophers and then, with an understanding of his listeners needs, told them of the Good News. This is a time for our church to do likewise. We need to listen to each other, and indeed to others in our wider community, and then seek the most appropriate, Spirit-led, way forward into the future.
In the Athenians, Paul sensed a spiritual hunger, and shared with them the God who could fulfil this. I read a report from a Danish academic that the number of searches for ‘prayer’, or ‘God’ on Google has doubled for every 80,000 new cases of Covid-19. There is a spiritual hunger in the world. What is our response?
In this month’s ‘Pray Daily’ (daily prayer points for the church throughout the world) there is this prayer, which we have been using regularly at Evening Prayer which speaks to this.
Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation,
be close to us in our distancing,
be healing in our sickness,
be light in our darkness,
be wisdom in our confusion,
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
we may, with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ