That’s Where the Power Is - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where the power is.” - Unknown Author

Like so many others I watched media reports this week of angry protests against lockdown, mask-wearing, mandatory immunisations, and closed workplaces. The scenes shown were violent. I was horrified — and I caught myself thinking, “this kind of thing happens in other places, not in Australia!” It has led to a reflection on anger and how do we express our anger safely in ways that respect others.

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Centre of the Village

Dear friends,

I read a story posted on Facebook a few days ago. Whilst I haven’t checked it for validity, I found its message to be helpful and hopeful, so I share it with you (paraphrased for inclusivity).

In this African tribe, when someone does something wrong, they take the person to the centre of the village where the tribe surrounds them and for 2 days say all the good the person has done. The tribe believes each person is good but sometimes people make mistakes, which are really a cry for help. They unite to reconnect the person with their good nature.

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Life & Witness Training Day

The Life and Witness Consultation provides an opportunity for the congregation to:

  • Clarify their sense of identity
  • Renew their understanding of context in which they work
  • Reflect on and evaluate their direction and missional goals
  • Identify their leadership needs, and other resources, that might be needed over the next five years
  • Assist with the deployment of resources, and the implementation of missional goals

To register for this training, please email: [email protected] 


Keep Swimming - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

“Hey there, Mr Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.” - Dory, Finding Nemo

In some vulnerable self-disclosure, I confess to feeling overwhelmed at the moment. I go to bed at night feeling worn out, and I get up in the morning somewhat refreshed — until I look at my calendar for the day and exhaustion floods over me again. My calendar is delightfully and frustratingly full. Most things that crowd the hours and minutes are exciting, energising in their own right, and fit within the areas I feel most competent to serve the Church. Even when specific tasks might not be most pleasant, I can recognise my gifts are useful in the particular contexts.

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Synod Parish Mission Video

Rev. Kent Crawford interviews the CEOs of Parish Missions across the Synod to discover how they have operated during the pandemic, how their work and ministry has been affected and the way forward.

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Perfect Love Casts Out Fear - A Video Reflection by Joy

As we look around us, in this time of COVID pandemic, we see a fearful and divided community. I believe we are called as a Church to speak into this fear and division, words and actions of love, peace and healing.

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Learn to Rest - A Pastoral Note by Jenny

Dear friends,

“I don’t think he knows what mood he’s in today. It’s been a roller coaster.”

Message from my son about his (3 1/2 year old) dog this week.

I think it sums up what I’m hearing from a lot of people about how they are feeling at the moment. I’m sensing a lot of confusion - in one minute we might be angry that things are so messed up, and the next minute we might celebrate something new that we have had to learn to accomplish. One moment we might be pleased that we can stay at home to work (well, I don’t have to get out of my Ugg boots, and I can hang out the washing between meetings and tasks) and the next moment we are lamenting the lack of socialisation.

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"It's not my dog" - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

It’s not my dog, I don’t have to take it for a walk.

Just before I went on leave recently, a colleague shared this saying with me. I am quite sure this colleague did not realise the impact it would have on me, and how often I would repeat it as a kind of mantra. I certainly didn’t expect that to be so when I frantically wrote it down “just in case I forgot it later.”

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How easy it is to judge! - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

How easy it is to judge! I was reading a Facebook post written by someone I respect hugely. She was writing about a recent experience in Melbourne with their current lockdown. Walking around her neighbourhood (for essential shopping and exercise), she wrote that she was angry and frustrated by the people gathering on footpaths and in parks, drinking and eating their takeaways together with no due respect to the rules about mask-wearing and physical distancing. She was honest enough to admit that her emotions arose in part from the long queues outside the places from which she wanted to get her own takeaway drink and food, and her sense of “righteousness” (my word, not hers) stemmed from the necessity of having to keep wearing her mask and keep walking back to her home.

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One Brick in the Wall - A Reflection by Susan Russell

On the wall near the café in Wesley Mission at 220 Pitt Street Sydney, you can read the following words attributed to John Wesley:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

How do we do this 300 years post John Wesley’s plea? How can you make that difference in your own corner of the world, when you are dealing with your own issues, looking after family, juggling work and caring roles, and at times struggling with your own mental health issues that can strike any of us at any time?

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