Feed Your Resilience - A Pastoral Note by Jenny

Dear friends, 

The past two weeks have drawn me to focus on a theme of resilience. I engaged in “extensive research” (a euphemism for “I Googled it!”) and learned that Psychology Today defines resilience as “that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.” The site goes on to summarise it like this: “In a nutshell, resilience can be defined as the ability — and tendency — to ‘bounce back.’

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Unprecedented Love - A Pastoral Note by Jenny

Dear friends,

I got to listen to someone tell a story the other day — a story about a childhood event. She had climbed up a ladder onto the roof of the house. She cannot remember if she had been tasked to clean the gutters, or what the purpose of this lofty trip was. She does recall finding herself stuck up on the roof, and not sure how to get down. Her sister, who had made it to the ground safely, went indoors to ask their parents for help, but received the gruff reply, “She’d better find her way down.” The child was ten or eleven.

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"Hey universe, you are doing a great job!"

Dear friends,

A father posted this on Facebook:

“My little girl is 2 and whenever she’s happy she will just shout out ‘HAPPY’, there is nothing purer in this world than when she’s just sitting playing with toys or eating toast and just yells out ‘HAPPY’ to let the universe know it’s doing a good job.”

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Free to Live and Love and Serve

Dear friends,

“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free someone else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.’”

Toni Morrison (The Oprah Magazine, 2003)

(note from Jenny: if you have some time, Google Toni Morrison - she’s pretty awesome!)

This has hit home for me in the last few days as I entered a ‘slump.’ It isn’t a major slump, rather one that is born out of criticism and accusation, which has pulled wind from my sails and caused me some sleeplessness and sadness. Toni Morrison’s words landed hard when the criticism came from trying to do exactly that — freeing and empowering another so that they may live into the call God has for them.

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Live & Laid Back Episode Three

In Episode Three of Live & Laid Back - Liu & Andrew talk to Aletia Dundas from UnitingWorld & Joseph Zane Sikulu from 350.org about climate action in the Pacific during #COVID & how we can take action.
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Waiting On The Year to End - A Pastoral Note by Jenny

Dear friends,

“I can’t wait for this year to end!”

Overheard in numerous places

I understand! Yesterday I ‘woke up’ to the fact that we are now near the end of August. Part of me cries out - “What? August already?” whilst another part sighs - “Is it only August?” The year thus far has felt so long in a way that seems particularly unexplainable. And at the same time, it also seems to be marching to an increasingly rapid drumbeat. I feel exhausted and raring to go at the same time.

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Building Houses and Planting Gardens - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

“I don’t care and I’m not getting any more cares today.”

Anonymous, 7 years old

I can imagine the tantrum as a 7-year-old says this! I feel like saying it too — except that I know that I do care. Like so many people, I am finding this year is stretching on interminably. The variety of each day is marked by numbers — how many new cases and how many deaths related to COVID-19? I keep saying I am not a “numbers person,” yet the numbers seem to be very important this year. Or is that simply the impact of media coverage?

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Keep Climbing - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

A fear of heights is irrational. Or at least, that’s the way it has been for me. At age 4, apparently, I climbed up an 8 metre high antenna in our back yard and got myself safely down without a problem. At age 10 I was clambering over the roof of the church where my father was in ministry. Granted, it was the transept roof and not the highest part of the towering 1865 Methodist Church, but still high — and steep. In subsequent years I could climb up ladders to legitimately access a roof, take any tree top walk, and swing around on rope courses without batting an eyelid. And, oh, how I loved suspension bridges!

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Let's Not Rush Back - A Pastoral Note by Jenny

Dear friends,

In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider

which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

Dave Hollis

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Announcing the CSU CLIMATE FEST!

Christian Students Uniting presents the CSU CLIMATE FEST!

This unique event will focus on young people sharing what gives them hope and also what they know about living sustainably with the Church. RSVP here: https://bit.ly/ClimateFestEvent

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