Pastoral Letter to the Maroochydore Congregation
Dear friends in Jesus Christ
My prayers, and the prayers of our whole community are no doubt united right now, that we might find a stable and peaceful centre with such disruption and uncertainty around us.
Even on such a beautiful day as today, which is as always, a gift to us for God, our thoughts and our hearts are being consumed by the news and the experience of coronavirus and its growing impact. For many of us it is a word, with images and words attached, a strange and surreal sensation; for others it is a very real and unsettling possibility.
Over the past few days as news, reports and advice have escalated we are living one day at a time, sometimes even hour by hour as the rate of change varies. The most recent message came in the form of a Pastoral Letter from the Moderator, Rev David Baker which I am attaching with this letter.
There is also a pastoral letter from Rev Chris Crause, Presbytery Minister.
Suspension of gathered Worship Services
By now some of you will have been hearing that face to face worship gatherings have been suspended; I am confirming this with you now. The Uniting Church in consultation with presbytery leaders has determined that face-to-face public gatherings and events (including regular worship) should cease as of 18 March, even if the numbers present are below the current government-mandated limit. This means that this coming Sunday there will be no gathered worship at Maroochydore Uniting Church and will continue until we receive further advice.
Standing in solidarity with this decision our Church Council is now conveying this decision to all of us.
To not to be able to worship in a time of relative peace is unusual indeed but we are reminded that God is still with us, we are still the church.
Our Moderator reminds us …
“In times like this, we often ask the question, “Where is God in all of this?” It’s often a statement of exasperation, or fear. Yet we can answer that conclusively: “God is with us!” and we can draw strength and courage from God’s presence. We can be generous and confident for others. We can be a safe space, a healing space. We can bear witness to the goodness of God in Jesus Christ, for our lives are hidden in Christ.”
For Our Care
I ask that we seek to slow our hearts and minds and souls, and to allow the Spirit and presence of God meet us and give us peace. It all feels a bit too much at the moment.
We are hearing a new term, “social distancing” which describes the distance we need to keep between one another. This really refers to physical distancing in a social setting. The last thing we need at the moment is to feel any further social distance. Let us find other ways to keep in touch.
Let us keep a hopeful message as we keep the faith and encourage one another hope and love.
I ask you please to pass this information on to those you may know who do not have email or SMS.
Please take time to talk about this that our fears and anxieties will not overwhelm us. I am seeking to prepare and send out for us all some material that we may use together while we are apart.
Grace and peace
20. March. 2020
Worship toward Easter
We have moved into 2020 having celebrated Christmas and the wonderful birth of Jesus and now welcome the new year. Soon we will be preparing for the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday on 26 February. We invite you to watch this space for special service and moments to gather and pray. Please note that we will hold Holy Week Services each evening from 6 April leading to ur Easter celebrations on Sunday 12 April.
Services of Worship
- Worship is held each Sunday at 8:30am, followed by morning tea in the hall.
Our worship style has a relaxed traditional feel.
- Holy Communion is celebrate Holy Communion in our 8.30am service on the first Sunday of every month. We offer an open table in the Uniting Church, where all who love God and would like to love God more, are welcome.
Korean Language Worship Service
- Worship is held each Sunday at 11:00am, followed by a community Lunch in the hall. Sunday school and children’s activities are offered during this time too.
- Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of alternate months.
Greek Orthodox Church
- are now meeting at Mooloolaba Uniting Church
- Please contact Steve Doulgeris 0414 612 527 for further information
Thank you for the ongoing support for the Ministry & Ministry of our Church.
Our Church Details:
UCA Maroochydore Uniting Church – St George Bank
BSB 334 040 Acct. 553 864 511