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Latest News 1 April, 2020

The Prayer Collective

This is a call to PRAYER as we, and all the world, deal with the COVID19 pandemic.

We are forming a prayer collective and inviting you and everyone in your household to join in by contributing a prayer. You will need to email or post it, so it can be added to the collection. Once compiled, some will go onto the website and some will be copied into a booklet. The aim is to share them with one another. The original pages you send will be placed together into a folder or book.

Please consider joining in and be encouraged that prayer takes many shapes and forms and is as varied as we are. The Bible tells us to pray in the Spirit on every occasion with all kinds of prayers eg:

· Prayers can be long or short,

· formal or informal

· An artist may express what they want to say to God visually as well as with words.

· A musician may set their words to music.

· Prayer can be expressed through movement and symbolic action.

Some prayers we pray aren’t even our own words. They may be words of scripture or specific prayers from the Bible, like the Lord’s Prayer. They may be prayers written by someone else, but we make them our own when we pray them.

While some prayers are private between us and God, other prayers belong to the church, the whole community – or communion of saints. In these public prayers we affirm that we are the children of the same Father, connected to him and one another as members of the body of Christ, and united in the Holy Spirit. When we put these types of prayers “out there” we invite others to join with us in heart, mind, and spirit, and give assent with our joint, “Amen”.

So, will you join in and pray? What words of prayer express what’s on your heart and mind?

Please put your prayer on a sheet no bigger than A4. You can write/type your own prayer, draw what’s on your heart. Keep it plain and simple or decorate your page. You can contribute a meaningful prayer written by someone else so long as you attribute it to them, or use a prayer from the Bible etc.

This is your prayer and it expresses what you want to contribute to OUR prayers at this time of crisis in our community and world. Please put only your first name on the page, and don’t include any personal information about yourself or others in the prayer.

Email or post to Karen Pietsch karen.pietsch@internode.on.net PO Box 499 Angaston SA 5353

The Spirit is our Helper and reminds us that as we pray, we are held close to the Father’s heart by Jesus’ love for us. God always hears our prayers, be they eloquent, creative or simple, he hears our ragged, raw, stumbling efforts and, even when words don’t come at all, he hears the cries of our hearts. (Rom 8:26-27).

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Devotionals

Jesus wept

I'm sharing this journal entry from one of our sheep / shepherds for your encouragement and invite you to share your stories to keep us connected David

Thursday April 2, 2020: A journal entry:

JESUS WEPT.

A Morning mist of low cloud wrapped soft around the hills.

I read John 6 and tried to ponder on Jesus the living bread. But the mist beckoned and drew me outside, quickly enfolding me in its clammy embrace.

There was no pausing to choose direction. I headed straight up the hill blanketed in the foggy stillness, only birdcall echoing the inner certainty – she’s coming to pray.

Pray up the hill. I haven’t prayed up there for a while. I’ve prayed. But not there on God’s hill, my place of retreat.

At the summit, as cloud drifted and lifted, it was my heart that rained out its anguished plea, the cry for help with COVID19: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER. Help us Jesus.

That was it. No wordy waffle. I perched on the rim of the damp bench, poised in grief and need; heart, mind and spirit turned to God, “Yet still do I praise you Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Living God.”

A lull then settled over me, like a mute button had been pressed to hush the turmoil of my distressed thoughts and wretched emotions concerning the plight of the world’s people. Wait. Be quiet!

Jesus wept. The words from last Sunday’s reading came to mind loud and clear.

33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Judaeans who had come with her crying, he was deeply stirred in his spirit, and very troubled. 34 ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Master,’ they said, ‘come and see.’ 35 Jesus burst into tears. (John 11:33-35 NTE)

I too burst into tears, and as I wept, there at the top of the hill, I knew he was weeping with me. Weeping with all the world. Weeping for us all.

Turn to me. And I, turning, vision all awash, could see clearly, he was there. Feed my sheep. To this I shook my head, and thought, I’m no pastor. You are a minister of my word. Therefore, speak my word to others. Speak my word to one another. And suddenly understanding dawned. “You aren’t just saying this to me, are you? It’s your call to all of us: Feed your sheep. The responsibility is ours collectively.” And I pictured the scattered sheep, isolated from one another but belonging together and needing creative new ways of being church and speaking grace and hope to one another and others.

I plunged, then, down the hill, not following the worn paths but winding down the steeper slope, weaving through knee high weeds, around rocky mounds and patches of slippery flattened grass, to emerge at the wider base track.

Now is the time to forge new paths. Jesus is still the Way, the “base track” of my faith remains the same. It’s the network of familiar paths that represent how we have lived out our faith, that have fallen away, not God’s word or his kingdom, or his love.

I am thankful for this love that comes to us where we are: scattered sheep weeping in the mist of uncertainty. I’m thankful that Jesus wept and that his way isn’t set in stone. That he comes and calls us to discover a new and living way, today and tomorrow and the next day. Hallelujah! This is a new day! And the Jesus who weeps with us in our distress will renew us and lead us on beyond COVID19.

JESUS WEPT.

The autumn sun filtered a pale ray through the drifting grey. A reminder that the God who weeps, also sheds light as well as tears.

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