Connect in a real way with those we encounter this Christmas

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The Uniting Church SA Moderator, Bronte Wilson delivers a Christmas message to members of the Uniting Church SA.

Below is the script transcribed from the Moderator's Christmas message for 2019 - Connect in a real way with those we encounter this Christmas. 

 

As Christmas approaches, many of us take the opportunity to reflect on the past year and think about what the future may hold.

The year of 2019 has been a year of change and instability —in the world, in our country and in the Uniting Church here in South Australia. We have seen natural disasters, new governments and the formation of multiple presbyteries, to name a few. Even in my personal life, I have had a few changes, one of which was my recent appointment as the Moderator of the Uniting Church in South Australia.

Many things are changing around us, but one thing stays the same and that is the unchanging love of God.

His love is expressed in the coming of Jesus which is the Good News that sustains and gives comfort. This allows us to ponder what it really means to be the “Uniting Church” in our communities. 

Each of us have the option of choosing not to be connected with others, or we can try to connect in a real way with those we encounter. 

  • We can share in special celebrations, such as community Christmas Carols, nativity plays, Christmas tree festivals, and other special occasions. We can build relationships with the people we meet.
  • Many Uniting Church congregations share in a special Christmas meal, especially for those who are alone during Christmas. Others take time to remember that Christmas is not a joyful time for all and hold “Blue Christmas” services.
  • For some, we bring extra gifts and food to distribute to those who are doing it tough, through the work of the many organisations in the UnitingCare SA network. There is also an opportunity to give through the UnitingCare Australia Christmas Appeal. By purchasing a bauble tag at Target or donating online, hundreds of families and individuals who are our neighbours here in South Australia will be supported by the dedicated work of UnitingCare.
  • Another opportunity is to share our money through the Christmas Bowl. Since its humble beginnings in 1949, Christians have been called to address the contrast between our abundance in Australia and the needs of others around the world. Now called “Act for Peace” and run by the National Council of Churches in Australia – eighteen denominations working together to put the word of the Gospel into action – well over $2 million was raised last year to help within Australia and around the world.

In whichever way you celebrate this Christmas, may you experience God’s love and peace as you remember our Saviour’s birth and share the joy with those around you and beyond.

Bronte Wilson

 


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