President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer has a beautiful Easter message available for congregations and the wider world. This year's message was filmed on Kangaroo Island here in South Australia, where people are rebuilding their lives in the wake of devastating bushfires.
"Australians are standing with each other in a time of crisis and trauma", she says. "In the Easter story we see the power of God's love to overcome. From death and devastation, new life and hope emerges."
While Easter observances in the Church are taking different forms this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Deidre says that Christian communities were responding in ways to keep vulnerable people safe.
Deidre's video message is embargoed from publication until Easter Sunday, but is available for download for online worship leaders preparing for Easter services using the password Christisrisen.
The message also has closed captions in nine different community languages: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Fijian, Indonesian, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and Tongan.
Please do share this message on Sunday with your congregation, but don't share it on social or other media outlets before Sunday. New Times will publish the full transcript of the video after Sunday.
View the message here (using the password).
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Assembly General Secretary Colleen Geyer has delivered a wide-ranging reflection on the future of the Church at the Uniting Leadership and Theology Symposium in Adelaide. In a speech traversing sustainability, diversity, structure and identity Colleen asks can we as the Uniting Church be bold enough to listen to our history, step away from what has always been, be open to where God is leading us and step aside for the leaders who'll take us there?
Whilst the situation with the spread of COVID-19 is concerning, there are simple and sensible actions we can take to help reduce the spread and help allay fears in our community. This is also an opportunity to take a fresh look at some of our practices and consider if there are more suitable alternatives that will help to maintain a safe church.
All dates and venues have been finalised in the consultation rounds for what future Presbyteries in South Australia might look like.