The Cost of Discipleship - CSU September Poetry Blog

Each month, Gabi Cadenhead from CSU writes a poetry blog. The latest, titled: 'The Cost of Discipleship' is really worth a read.

"On 3rd September, some of us from Christian Students Uniting had the pleasure of attending Pulse’s Young Adult Gathering. Pulse is a state-wide organisation tasked with engaging people in their “first third of life” in the Uniting Church. It was wonderful to build community with other young people from different congregations across Sydney, and to reflect together on what it means to be “more like Jesus”. I was asked to perform a poem in response to the Bible readings shared on the night, meditating on the cost of discipleship..."

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The Space Between

I have a hunch. That hunch is that the people reading this Easter message are deeply involved in leading communities of faith through their personal and communal discipleship experiences of Holy Week – Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. There are so many opportunities in this week for us to dive deeper into this most central, this most transformational of weeks. If my hunch is right, you’re likely to already be well and truly into the shaping of experiences for others. Worship services. Public events. Communal meals and remembrances. Bible Studies. All kinds of moments carefully curated to encourage God’s people to turn their ears, their eyes, their hearts and their lives once more to what God is doing in and through the story of Jesus, especially in the historical events and theological significance of this week.

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Plant Flowers - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

“𝙄 𝙖𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨𝙩, 𝙄 𝙨𝙖𝙞𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙄 𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨.”

- 𝙈𝙪𝙝𝙖𝙢𝙢𝙖𝙙 𝘼𝙡𝙞.

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A Disciple’s Resolution - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

“Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”

Susan Sontag

A new year brings a sense of a fresh start. A promise of newness and possibility. Perhaps that’s the reason around the common practice of setting ‘New Year Resolutions.’ This year I’m going to… take better care of my health… read more books… make better choices for the sake of the world and climate change… etc. January 1st brings the opportunity for beginning again, and somehow it seems that the expectation is that things will be different in this new year. Better somehow.

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Ready or Not

Dear friends,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…

In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…

The Word became flesh and lived among us.

John 1:1, 4-5, 14

I am not ready for Christmas. This has nothing to do with organising family and food or buying presents or setting up a nativity scene or Christmas tree. It has to do with a spiritual sense of unreadiness.

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Sydney Presbytery Annual Report 2021

"It is an honour and privilege to present Sydney Presbytery’s Annual Report for the financial year 2020-2021. This is a brief summation and glimpse of the enormous task and missional work that has continued to take place during these challenging times as we seek to live our purpose in ‘Leading the Church to Life’ (our mission) and ‘Thriving, well-resourced, missional churches’ (our passion)!"

- Rev. Vini Ravetali, Chair of Sydney Presbytery


I Pray You Will Have...

Dear friends,

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see,

it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly:

“You got this. Keep going.”

Anonymous.

 

Talking with a colleague early this week, I observed that one of the things I feel this pandemic has ‘taken away’ is the ebb and flow of the liturgical year. I have been used to intense seasons, like Lent and Easter, Advent and Christmas, and somewhat quieter seasons like Ordinary Time (which is anything but ordinary). However, since early last year it seems like it has been ‘on the go’ all the time, with the pace gradually ramping up. And sometimes not so gradually! The battle to keep being creative, to keep being present, to keep on ‘doing’ is taking its toll.

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Beyond Our Four Walls

Dear friends,

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.”

Jesus. John 3:8

This seems to capture the essence of the last two years — an invisible force has ‘blown’ through the world. We cannot tell where it is coming from, nor can we say where it is going. But we hear its sound: fear, anxiety, stress, grief, restriction. And also love, care, hope, community, connection.

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CSU Magazine 2021

Presenting the 2021 edition of CSU Magazine! A collection of creative works by members of Christian Students Uniting 💌


If You Knew You Could Not Fail - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

 

Dear friends,

When something is important enough,

you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.

Elon Musk

A very long time ago it seems, I attended a workshop that engaged a process to help each person discern where God might be calling them to serve. It was called Discover Your Ministry. I was young, with a young family. I just knew that God was calling me to stay at home with my children, to be their full-time caregiver. It is probably one of the biggest understatements to say I was stunned when I discerned God was calling me into ordained ministry. It was nowhere on my radar. In fact, it was one of the two things I had long said to God that I wouldn’t do! 

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