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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Two Wolves - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends, 

A grandfather was talking to his grandson about his feelings. He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is unforgiving, angry, and violent. The other wolf is loving, kind, and compassionate.”The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?”The grandfather answered, “The one I feed.”
Traditional Native American parable
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Finding Your Joy - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends,

Finding your joy.

There is no doubt in my mind that this year has so far been filled with struggle and disappointment on a very widespread scale. And when hope seems to rise up and encourage us to think that things will be better soon, something else happens that knocks us around and challenges our sense of hopefulness. Or maybe this is not as widespread as it is feeling to me at the moment?

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Finding Rest Amidst COVID-19

I was catching up with a friend over the phone this week. She moved to Brisbane last year and it had been a while since we last spoke. When we started catching up about our lives and the conversation turned to work - she said to me, “Have you found you’ve been doing even more work during COVID-19?” 

Well lucky for me I spent two weeks on leave a little while ago - and it was marvellous!

While some businesses and organisations are asking their employees to take leave to reduce their overall liability during this period, I took leave purely out of the need to. I had originally planned on taking leave at the beginning of April to coincide with Easter. But changed my plans when the possibility of being able to “get away” became unavailable. I will hopefully find my way to Kosciuszko another time.

 

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'Relax. Have fun. Enjoy life. Live in Christ' - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends, 

“Relax. Have fun. Enjoy life. Live in Christ”

Kennon Callahan 

Many, many years ago I read one of Kennon Callahan’s books prior to starting in a new ministry placement. It is one of my books someone asked to borrow and I haven’t seen it since, so I guess they found it valuable. (It is probably somewhere in South Australia. It had my name in it, so maybe it will return to me one day?) The book was called “A New Beginning for Pastors and Congregations.” At the time I really appreciated the book and what I could learn from it.

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Singing in Foreign Lands - A Pastoral Note from Jenny

Dear friends, 

“By the rivers of Babylon — there we sat down

and there we wept when we remembered Zion.”

(Psalm 137:1)

(I wonder if you’re singing the song in your head as you read it too?)

Several conversations recently have focused on the theme of exile. Right from the outset, I want to declare that I have not experienced the devastation of exile — I have not been forcibly removed from my home or country, nor have I been forced to separate from people and places that give me a sense belonging and identity. On a small scale, although it felt large enough to me at the time, I have experienced being rejected by my childhood peers, and recall the loss of identity and “place” that accompanied the hurtful things my fellow schoolmates inflicted. And I have an active imagination.

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