News, Notices & Prayer points - 24 March 2020

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News & notices – 17 March 2020

Below are the news and notices from congregations, the Synod of South Australia and the wider Uniting Church submitted for the Tuesday 24 March edition of UC e-News.


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Prayer Points for the week

  • Wisdom and courage to take action to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 
  • Compassion and comfort for those mourning the loss of loved ones, those who are ill, those who are isolated, and those who are suffering.  
  • Uniting Church communities and members: that we creatively find ways to nurture people in faith and Christian community, and continue to compassionately serve people who are needing practical support, love and hope during this tumultuous time.

 

Free resource from MediaCom Education

Mediacom Education is providing a free ‘Seasons Fusion’ resource for this Sunday 29 March. It is available for download in pdf format here. More resources at heavily discounted prices and Andrew Dutney’s new book ‘Angels in this Wilderness’,  are also available for purchase on their website here.

 

UC National News

The Uniting Church Assembly’s newsletter for the week 20-27 March 2020 contains articles and information on the upcoming President’s conference, how we as the UCA are responding to the global pandemic, how to access COVID-19 resources and an update from the Assembly Standing Committee meeting. It also shares a pastoral response to the pandemic from President Dr Deidre Palmer as well as a pastoral letter from the World Council of Churches.

Access the newsletter here.

 

Cancelled events

If you have an event that is currently advertised on the SA Synod’s Upcoming Events page, please let us know if your event had been cancelled/postponed so that it can be removed or adjusted accordingly. Contact the Synod Communications team by sending an email to communications@sa.uca.org.au.

 

New Times deliveries

The April/May 2020 edition of New Times will be delivered to church offices and nominated collectors during next week. As all worship services in church buildings have been suspended, we understand that distributing copies of the printed magazine will be difficult to achieve. However, we do feel that it is an important link to the wider church which is treasured by many UCA members.

While a digital copy of New Times will be available to read on the SA Synod website, many of our members do not have access to the internet or prefer not to read magazines online. Please make the effort to ensure they receive a physical copy where possible.

If your congregation’s or organisation’s New Times copies are delivered to the home address of a nominated member, please collect these from them by the end of next week.

Delivering a copy of New Times to members of the congregation in person is a great way of providing pastoral care during these difficult times. At the same time the church’s leaders or other volunteers may also deliver printed copies of church services and other resources to help sustain those in isolation. Even delivery to a front door or letterbox, with no face-to-face contact involved, can make an invaluable difference.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Response to COVID-19 in the UnitingCare network in SA

There are many UnitingCare organisations in SA and each is responding to the COVID-19 crisis according to its emergency plans. To find out more about a particular organisation, please visit this website

 

CSG (Creative Singing Group) Reunion

Are you a former member of CSG (Creative Singing Group) or know someone who was? A reunion as well as a public performance will be held on 19 September 2020 to celebrate the 50-year milestone. Former CSG members are asked to please contact Jan Oliver for event details through Facebook Messenger, janoliver52@gmail.com or by calling 0425 607 500.

 

NCCA March newsletter

The National Council of Churches published their March newsletter on Friday 20 March. Access this newsletter here.

 

Staying connected

Two of our UnitingCare partners in the Ending Loneliness Together consortium have provided some tips on staying connected in the current climate in a great article found here. This consortium has grown from the concerns expressed a few years ago by a Uniting Church congregational member about the impact of loneliness on us all.

 

Worship resources in times of isolation

Over the next few weeks the Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts (CMLA) will be posting worship resources for worship planning which can assist worship leaders through the current circumstances where so many restrictions apply. Keep an eye on their website. For more information or support with these resources, you can also contact Jenni Hughes at jennifer@cmla.org.au or Neryl McCallum at neryl@cmla.org.au.

 

Hope at Home Film Festival

Movies Change People has changed their original Faith Film Festival, which would have been held in cinemas across Australia, to an online 10-week film festival, starting 5 April. Across the course of the festival period, ticket holders will receive a new film in their library every single week, an accompanying Q&A with the filmmakers and/or fellow storytellers, and access to a range of online events including panels, workshops, in-conversations and more. 

The films include The Passion, The Heart of Man, Loud Crazy Love and more. Purchase your ticket here, or find more information here.

 

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Didn’t read the last “News & notices”? The items below will keep you updated.

 

Property Review update

The Property Review project involves a visit to every Uniting Church congregation in South Australia, focussing on helping congregations to provide safe places for their congregants and members. It particularly looks at safety of buildings, asbestos management, accessibility, electrical safety and fire safety.

As of 16 March 2020, 201 of our 269 congregations (75%) have been visited by John Fong, Uniting Church Buildings Officer within the SA Synod. We wish to express our immense gratitude to all of the people who have hosted John so far. John thinks he has the best job, as he gets to meet everyone on his travels!

John should finish his visits by mid-May, after which the SA Synod’s focus turns to production of congregation-specific reports. Each congregation will receive a tailored report outlining all the required actions to bring buildings to a satisfactory safety level, and to comply with government regulations.

Additionally, the report will contain a recommended annual amount which should be set aside for building management and maintenance. A final report, which collates all of the site visit findings, will be presented at the SA Synod meeting in October.

If you would like more information on the Property Review process or have specific questions, please send an email to propertyreview@sa.uca.org.au.

 

Reconciliation language

Reconciliation Australia has compiled an inclusive language guide that organisations can use as a resource for respectful and inclusive communication. Using respectful and inclusive language and terminology is an essential component of reconciliation. The way we speak about reconciliation is just as important as the ways we act: language is itself active, and can impact on attitudes, understandings and relationships in a very real and significant sense.

Find your copy here.

 

NCCA March Newsletter

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) published their March newsletter on Friday 13 March.  Find an online version here.

 

UnitingCare Australia responds to economic stimulus package and aged care boost

UnitingCare Australia has welcomed Federal Government measures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, but asked for more targeted and long-term support to those most in need. 

Read the full statement here.

 

Prayer for a Pandemic

May we, who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we, who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable.

May we, who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we, who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close, remember those who have no options.

May we, who have to cancel our trips, remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we, who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market, remember those who have no margin at all.

May we, who settle in for a quarantine at home, remember those who have no home at all. As fear grips our country, let’s us choose faith, hope, and love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.

Amen

(author credit: Krug the Thinker)

 

Call for essential service costs relief for those impacted by COVID-19 measures

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) has endorsed the national statement by more than 30 community services organisations calling on companies providing essential services such as energy, water, finance, rental housing and telecommunications to take steps to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including committing to:

  • No disconnections of customers from essential services
  • Pausing debt collection and legal/bankruptcy proceedings
  • Waiving penalty and late fees

SACOSS is also calling on the South Australian State Government to commit to a moratorium on debt collection activities, suspend all eviction proceedings and waive late payment fees.

Read more here.

 


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