20 Mar Doing Church Differently
Due to the Corona Virus, across the world we are all adjusting to a new ‘normal’. Making this more difficult for everyone, these new ‘normals’ continue to change day by day. Fears of scarcity are driving some to extreme selfishness. At other times we are witnessing breathtaking beauty and generosity shared between people.
At Richmond Uniting Church we have made the decision to no longer gather together for public worship at this time, due to the Corona virus.
However we are still going to be worshipping. On this blogpost you will find all kinds of resources for worship. You are welcome to utilise these whether you have been to Richmond Uniting Church often, occasionally or never before.
There will be weekly audio recordings for Sunday’s worship that you can use on your own, or with others. You may like to play these on Sundays as you carve out space for worship or feel welcome to utilise these at another time during the week if you would like to.
There will also be video clips. Resources for personal prayer will be included and there will be liturgies that you can utilise with others, or on your own, for worship services in your home.
These are such difficult times. When we are afraid it can become almost impossible to extend love, to remain calm or to make wise decisions. In 2 Timothy, in the New Testament, an extraordinary claim is made. The author (Paul or someone writing in Paul’s name) states that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but instead we are given a spirit of power and of love and self discipline (2 Tim 1.7).
I pray that you each one of you know the presence of Great Spirit gently empowering you with compassion and calm and wisdom in your day to day life in these strange times.
Please find below a beautiful prayer written by Melbourne Writer Julie Perrin. Julie wrote this at the beginning of this year as bush fires raged. It continues to reverberate with wisdom. It is used here with permission.
Each week, visit our Worship Resources page for new ways and resources to engage in worship with us.
Blessings on each one of you,
Rev Dr Sally Douglas
Holy One, who suffers with us,
we ask for grace in hardship, and the healing gratitude can bring.
Where there is sorrow, help us to stay with the trouble;
when sickness and affliction come, grant us courage.
May we recognise the smallness of self-pity;
open us to its larger companion, compassion.
Move our hearts to forgive ourselves and our neighbours;
where there is shame may we know your mercy;
where there is blame let us listen without judgement.
Remind us of joy – may we dwell and delight in it.
And always, always, awaken us to laughter –
shake us with the goodness of belly-aching mirth.
Give us insight for articulate, powerful protest,
and the patience to be generous citizens of loss.
May we listen for the clarity and the subtlety of what we are called to be and to do.
Let us tend to that flicker and yearning to love you, Holy One;
to follow the Human One; to be enfolded by Mystery.
By Julie Perrin
To be used freely with acknowledgement.