Weekly letter from St Luke's - 3 December 2021

Dear Parish Friends This Sunday we welcome at both our services Rev'd Luke Collins who is the Anglican priest in Moranbah. Luke and his wife Julia, are supported by Bush Church Aid and without this support they would be unable to minister in this area. He will share some of the highs and lows of life in a regional Queensland mining town. We also welcome, at the 9am service Hamish and Isabel for baptism, together with their parents, Adam and Emma, godparents Nicole, Fenn and Liam, and family and friends. It is also our end-on-term Messy Children's Church, and all are invited to join for a sausage sizzle after the service. As we light our second Advent candle this week, we remember the prophets who proclaimed the coming of the Messiah and called for the people to prepare. It was a word of promise, good news, but also perhaps a degree of uneasiness. We read from the book of Malachi where we are told that 'the day of his coming' will bring 'refiner's fire and like fullers' soap' (Malachi 3:2). Yes, we look forward with joy to the fulfillment of God's promise to us, but what is meant by this refining? What might we need to change in our lives? Will it hurt? John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, another call for change as part of the fulfillment of the promise. The Parish Council met last week to discuss how the potential changes to the Coronavirus situation in Queensland, which will come before Christmas when the state border reopens, might affect the church. It is very likely that the Diocese of Brisbane will require all clergy, employees and volunteers to be fully vaccinated. It is also likely that Queensland regulations will allow individual churches to either hold services and other events open only to those fully vaccinated, or for these to be open to all, but with continuing or enhanced restrictions in place (such as density limits). The Parish Council agreed that our overriding aim should be to welcome as many people into St Luke's as want to come, and not to turn anyone away. However we need to do this in a safe manner. If you have any concerns over any of this, please don't hesitate to talk to me or to one of the wardens. Finally, a reminder about the mission evening with Kelsey (soon to be a CMS missionary) - 6.30pm in the Lower Hall, following Evening Prayer in church at 6pm. Tim Vassella is making Pizza! All welcome. Yours in Christ Rev'd Timothy