5 May, 2021

Weekly Bulletin 2 May 2021

WEEKLY BULLETIN: May 3, 2021 EASTER 5

God Is Love

John was a very interesting writer. In his Gospel he writes about signs rather than miracles, and has dialogues between Jesus and a variety of characters on a range of subjects. In all of this John is teaching us about God. John was fond of writing about contrasting opposites – light and darkness, flesh and spirit etc. John uses certain words much more than other New Testament writers and one of these words is love.

We know that in the original Greek that the New Testament was written in, the word we translate as love was almost always ‘agape’. John uses the word 27 times in his Gospel; by way of contrast Matthew uses it 7 times, Mark 4 times and Luke 9 times. In his 1st letter John uses the word 28 times, a massive emphasis on the word when we consider that there are only 4 chapters in the letter. That works out to be 7 mentions of love in every chapter and they are not long chapters. The most important mention of the word is in 1 John 4.8 - God is love.

Love, or more accurately agape, is the most accurate description we have of God.

We know that in English, love is a very fuzzy word and is used to describe almost anything we like. People us use love to describe friendship, beer, sport, cars, houses, patriotism and even sex. This word agape however is VERY specific and is perfectly understood in the life of Jesus in the way he treated people. Agape is expressed as behaviour that seeks the best for every person. Jesus said we must love our enemies, love our neighbour. Jesus said we must treat others as we would want to be treated. It is behaviour toward others that is motivated by the heart and mind, not by emotions. It is love that knows no boundaries and is not restricted to family, friends and attractive people; it is love that seeks the best for strangers and enemies. Agape is the way that God loves us . . . love from God that we certainly don’t deserve. That’s why John says that ‘God is love’ – it’s Gods very nature. The old King James translation of the Bible has a better way of translating agape in English; it uses charity rather than love as the English word of choice – a much better word that avoids any confusion. Charity in its original meaning meant a gift, not a handout to the poor and needy as we understand it today. God’s love is most certainly a gift that we must receive with thanks, a gift can’t be bought or earned, just accepted.

Prayer of the Week:

Saving God, who called your church to witness

That you were to Christ reconciling the world to yourself.

Help us so to proclaim the good news of your love,

That all who hear it may be reconciled to you:

Through him who died for us and rose again

And reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

One God, now and for ever. Amen.

Parish News:

Stewardship: As previously stated, the successful running of the Parish is solely dependent on the generosity of its Parishioners, and we are encouraged by the increase in giving we are seeing and the 3month snapshot of Parish income confirms this – THANK YOU.

Thank you also to those who have returned their stewardship form. The information from these forms help us plan our budget with greater clarity, so if you have not returned your form can you please do so at your earliest convenience. If you did not receive a form, please contact the office to arrange one to be sent to you.

Building Works: Will commence on May 10. While church services will remain possible during the construction process, a reduction in seating capacity will be experienced.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Atrium): This valuable children’s activity is held after school on Fridays (during school terms). Meet at church entrance for afternoon tea before walking to the hall until 4.30-5pm. Ages 6-9yrs. Contact Pam Ohtomo 3379 9092.

Office Hours: The Parish Office will now only be open on Monday & Friday 9am – 11 am. You may telephone the parish office at any time, and leave a message. All messages will be checked and actioned when possible. If the telephone gives a “busy” signal when you call, this means that the telephone is in use. Please call again in a few minutes and speak to Kim or Rillis (or leave a message).

Volunteers Needed:

We are looking for more people who will be willing to become a COVID Warden or an LA. If you are able to help, please tell one of the Wardens who can assist you with details.

Dump Vouchers: We are currently having to pay each time we go to the dump, so if you could please leave any dump vouchers you may not need in the Church office, or give to Doug or one of the Wardens - our Grounds and Maintenance team would be MOST grateful.

Recycle your bottles & Cans: Don’t forget you can easily help raise valuable funds for the Parish by recycling your bottles and cans. Just bring along any eligible bottles/cans to church and leave in large black bins (with yellow lids) in North Entry, or you can take them to a recycling station and use the Church code: C10204572

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4 November, 2020

We are well placed - 8 November 2020

It was a joy to worship with the people of Crows Nest and Goombungee again last weekend. This visit was the first visit we have made it personally to our mission partner parish in the West since they have returned to gathered worship. There are some photos on this page of our time with the people St Mark's and St Georges. It was easy to sense their excitement to be gathering again as a church community.

I am thankful to the Ven Rob Sutherland for leading St David's for our service celebrating All Souls. Rob's excellent sermon is being made available to other churches in our diocese and across Australia as a resource for Defence Sunday on November 8 (just before Remembrance Day). Rob reminded us of the strong connection that St David's has had to the work of Chaplains in the Australian Armed forces. He powerfully reminded us of the vital role the churches can play in welcome and healing to those who return from serving in areas of conflict. The sermon is available from our parish website.

I have recently had some inquiries regarding our current service times at St David's. Since returning to gathered worship, we have chosen to hold only one service on a Sunday at 9.30 am. This choice was taken to enable a cautious return to gathered worship. In this time, we have been working to ensure we comply with the COVID safe plan as well as provide ongoing ministry to those unable to attend. We still hold an 8 am service on the phone each week to which about 10 - 15 people participate. It is clear, though, that more people are returning to gathered worship. I think it is helpful for me to make the following observations.

- We continue to offer a mid-week Holy Communion service at 9.30 am on Wednesday.

- The early more traditional Holy Communion on Sunday is on hold for the moment. I think it is likely this service will again find a place in our regular pattern in the new year. We are still awaiting some equipment that will assist as to sanitise the church between services appropriately.

- We will be taking the opportunity of clearing more furniture from the Western end of the church to increase our capacity before Christmas.

Registering for Worship

It has now become more important to register to attend worship through our parish website or by contacting the office during the week. It is possible to register up to 5 pm on the day before the service. You will receive a confirmation email, but you do not need to bring the ticket on the day. If you have not registered, you may still be able to attend, but we cannot guarantee that space will be available.

It will be particularly important to register for the following dates, including Christmas.

November 15 - 9.30 am Visit from Bp John Roundhill

November 22 - 9.30 am Admission to Communion

December 24 - 6.30 pm and 9 pm (extra service in 2020)

December 25 - 8.00 am

Annual Leave

I will be taking my annual leave from November 23 for three weeks. During this time The Ven Rob Sutherland, The Rev'd Gillian Moses and The Rev'd Owen Strong will assist in leading our Wednesday and Sunday services.

November 8 Free Workshop

Careless generosity: The transformative power of freely-given relationships in mental health.

St David's is supporting this event that is being held in our Memorial Hall. You can find more information at this [link](https://www.stdavidschelmer.com.au/events/free-community-workshop-careless-generosity).

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4 November, 2020

Archbishop's November Appeal 2020

Coming of the Light - Mission and Ministry in North Queensland and the Torres Strait

2021 marks the 150th anniversary of Coming of the Light – Mission and Ministry in North Queensland and the Torres Strait. The London Missionary Society with Pacific Islander evangelists landed on the shores of Darnley Island and introduced the Bible to the people who lived there. This event, The Coming of The Light, is an integral part of culturalidentity to Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is marked as a public holiday within the region and there is much joy around its anniversary. It is also an important anniversary for the national Anglican church, hence it being in our lectionary.

The Coming of The Light invites us to reflect on our national history, on the good and the bad. It invites us to celebrate mission and ministry, particularly within the Torres Strait, and it invites us to listen to the church in the Torres Strait, which is made up of vibrant communities of hope.

This November members of the Melanesian Brotherhood will begin a new household in the Torres Strait. The Melanesian Brotherhood is the world’s largest Anglican religious order and is headquartered in the Solomon

Islands. The Brothers will live and minister at the Cathedral on Thursday Island, nurturing community and supporting clergy and lay ministers across the islands of the Torres Strait. They will also conduct outreach visits to Yarrabah and the communities of the Cape York Peninsula.

The Anglican Church of Australia faces many challenges, and in the words of the Revd Canon Victor Joseph, it is time for the church to be “missioned to” by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leaders. The church in the Torres Strait has much to teach the church around Australia, much salt and light to bear. The Coming of the Light is not simply a historic event, it is an invitation for all of us to be changed by the work of God in First Nations peoples.

ABM invites you to celebrate and support the vibrant ministry and mission of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Church. Funds donated to this project will be used to: support the establishment of the Melanesian Brothers’ ministry in the Torres Strait, provide for the work of the Ministry Development Officer for the Cape York Peninsula, and assist with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ministry formation in the Diocese of North Queensland.

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28 October, 2020

We are well placed - 1 November 2020

It has been lovely to welcome so many of our church family back to face to face worship over the last few weeks. We are now starting to push the limits of our maximum numbers on Sunday morning while still recognising that some remain cautious about meeting in larger groups. I am conscious that there is a lot of information to share with you to help you engage with St David's either face to face or online between now and the end of 2020. I will try to briefly summarise the important things below and point you to further information if you would like to know more.

COVID Plan

We are allowed to gather under our Place of Worship COVID plan that remains in place. I sense that these restrictions, regarding numbers and hygiene, we will have to keep well into 2021 as well. We remain committed to follow this plan as closely as practicable and play our part in minimising risk to all.

In the coming weeks, we will work towards increasing the maximum number of people who can gather in St David's from about 50 to 70 (depending on the placement of seating). We are also working towards being able to share fellowship over some food after our services.

Registering for Worship

It has now become more important to register to attend worship through our parish website or by contacting the office during the week. It is possible to register up to 5 pm on the day before the service. You will receive a confirmation email, but you do not need to bring the ticket on the day. If you have not registered, you may still be able to attend, but we cannot guarantee that space will be available.

It will be particularly important to register for the following dates.

November 1 - 9.30 am All Souls service including Defence Sunday (see more)

November 15 - 9.30 am Visit from Bp John Roundhill

November 22 - 9.30 am Admission to Communion

Annual Leave

I will be taking my annual leave from November 23 for three weeks. During this time The Rev'd Rob Sutherland, and The Rev'd Owen Strong will assist in leading our Wednesday and Sunday services.

November 8 Free Workshop

Careless generosity: The transformative power of freely-given relationships in mental health

St David's is supporting this event that is being held in our Memorial Hall. You can find more information at this [link](https://www.stdavidschelmer.com.au/events/free-community-workshop-careless-generosity).

God's Peace,

Michael Stalley

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