Copy
View this email in your browser

MARCH 2020

ASSEMBLY CIRCLES OF INTEREST

National Day of Prayer COVID19

As we are all deeply affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been a time for Christians globally to unite together in prayer. 

This week many of us responded to Pope Francis' Call to Prayer and shared in the Lord's Prayer at the same time as other Christians all over the world.  

Here in Australia, the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) has extended an invitation to Churches across Australia to encourage their Church members to also be united in prayer - with a particular focus on this Sunday 29 March.

NCCA President, Bishop Philip Huggins, made the following suggestions:  

  • Invite our people to offer prayer every evening until Easter at 7pm
  • Make a particular focus of Prayer for the Nations amidst COVID-19 on Sunday week, 29 March 2020

In many Australian Churches, the Gospel reading set down for Sunday is from John 11, as Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life”.

NCCA PRAYER

Gracious God,

We give thanks anew for your providence and presence.
We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas.
We pray for those in need of healing.
We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving.
We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response.
We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders.
We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable.
This prayer for our nation in the family of nations, with all that is on our hearts, we gather now and pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AMEN.


MUSIC
After a similar call to prayer was offered in Scotland inviting people to light a prayer candle at 7pm each night, Rev. David McGregor penned this song

We've Lit a Candle:
https://www.facebook.com/dmacgreg1/posts/10157360176902986

The Assembly has updated its website to reflect the resources being shared in response to COVID-19 in the categories: Pastoral, Prayers, Presence, Devotions, Hope, Streaming, Solidarity and Updates.
COVID 19 RESOURCES

As we seek to connect in new ways, we welcome Seeking Common Ground Circle members to join us for a 30 min Zoom chat next Wednesday 1 April from 6pm (AEDT).

It's a perfect time to look at how we continue our ecumenical, interfaith and non-faith relationships in new and creative ways.

Details:
Link to access meeting: https://zoom.us/j/7987939318
Meeting ID: 798-793-9318
If you prefer to call in via phone (audio only) you can do so by calling this number 02 8015 2088 and entering the Meeting ID: 7987939318

Churches world-wide stand together

In a joint pastoral statement the World Council of Churches and Regional Ecumenical Organisations have united in encouraging Christians to stand together amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time, all regions the ecumenical movement around the world have shared a common message that urges both prayers and action to protect life.

“It is important and urgent that we adapt our modes of worship and fellowship to the needs of this time of pandemic infection, in order to avoid the risk of becoming sources of viral transmission rather than means of grace,” the statement reads.

"This is a time to touch each other’s hearts, by what we say, share, and do – and by what we are unable to do—to protect the life that God created out of love."

READ MORE

The World Council of Churches has collated resources to assist Churches and is providing a team of eight resource people to consult with churches on how they can adapt as faith communities, and how they can connect and share with each other.

Australian Church Women

One of the great ecumenical movements in Australia is Australian Church Women - an ecumenical fellowship for Christian women which began 55 years ago. SA Unit Secretary Aileen Eldridge shares what it has meant to be a part of this group of women. 

Join our conversation on Facebook.

Click the second link if you're not on Facebook, and share your thoughts via email: circles@nat.uca.org.au

  1. Surrender Shalom Sessions: Surrender is hosting a wider church collective for emerging generations Due to COVID-19 they are currently hosting sessions online. WATCH
  2. A message of love: From our Congress family in Tasmania, specifically for this time. WATCH
  3. On words and meaning: a blog about how we use language differently and how sometimes that is part of why different groups misunderstand or mischaracterise each other. READ

PRAY

The UCA President and Moderators have prepared a weekly cycle of prayers as a way of connecting Uniting Church members as we pray each day for one another and the life of the Australian community. 

Here is the first prayer for Sunday

Sunday Prayer : Dr Deidre Palmer – President of the Uniting Church in Australia

Gracious and loving God,
You call us to love you with our whole being, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
At this time of upheaval and distress for nations and people across our world, may your love hold us together.
May your love be the lens through which we see each other and your world.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are present with us, as one who knows our suffering, bring comfort and peace to all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, work, connection and hope for the future.
May we embody your compassion – responding to the suffering of our neighbours, our families, our friends, and strangers with generosity.
Life-giving Spirit, you weave us together as the Body of Christ, strengthen our life together, even though we are physically separated. Nurture us in faith and discipleship, that we may bear witness through our living, to your abundant grace and liberating hope for all people, and the whole creation.
Through Christ our Life and Hope, we pray. Amen.

See the full list of prayers here

Copyright © 2020 Uniting Church in Australia, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.