Pentecost 8

Collect: O Lord, mercifully receive the prayer of your people who call upon
you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought
to do, and also may have grace and power to faithfully to accomplish them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: Installation of the New President of Uniting Church
Rev Charissa Suli
was installed last Thursday in Sydney as the 17th president of
the UCA. I think it would be important for us to know the background of the new
president of our church. Only three women have been president of the Uniting
Church. The outgoing president, Rev Sharon Hollis was the first ordained
female to become president. Rev Charissa Suli will be the first coloured
woman to become the president.
This is a big move from the norm of our
church since the beginning in 1977. Every time the General Assembly discerned
who to become president, it was a delicate task of hearing the voice of God who
will be the one. Most of our presidents that were ordained were older matured
Christians in their 60s and 70s. The uniqueness of our new president, not only a
coloured person, but a young woman in her 40s. The Assembly in Brisbane 4
years ago decided that Rev Charrisa will be the President-Elect, and last Thursday
I was there together with Members of the Assembly and many people to witness
this new paradigm shift to install this young woman to be our leader for the next 4
years. Rev Charissa grew up in Dee Why NSW and she was a member of a Cecil
Gribble Tongan Congregation. Her parents brought her up in the faith early in life
and Charrisa was gifted with a beautiful voice and she has used it to best of her
ability. That wonderful gift has taken her to so many places singing to praise God.
She was working in the Assembly Office as a Youth Leader Consultant before
she went to Uniting Theological College and then to a few placements as minister
of the Word. She once said before her installation, “It will be a joyful and
painful journey but our diversity will be a resource for how we be the church
We do pray and hope that the Theme of the Assembly will be truly
impacted in our churches as we journey together; “Threads of Love, Weaving
Christ’s Love Across Cultures and Boundaries.”
Congratulations Rev Charrisa
Suli for being the new president of the UCA.

Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Pentecost 7
Collect: O Lord, from whom all goods proceeds: Grant that by your
inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful
guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: The rejection of Jesus in his hometown.
In Chapter 5 Jesus has been busy preaching the gospel, healing the sick and
casting out demons. He has been away from his own town for quite sometime.
Now it’s time to come home with his disciples. In the synagogue, he began to
teach and the people were amazed. They wondered, where did this man get these
things? They question themselves, wait a minute, we know this fellow, he is the
son of Mary, his brothers and sisters are amongst us. This new thing can’t be
happened from him. He is our simple carpenter man.
They try to bring him down to being just an ordinary person just like them.
They look at his roots – He is a carpenter, he was not a Rabbi, how come he is
coming with those powers? No, no! He is just a simple person. He was not a
person of high regard when he was here.

Jesus knew all about their attitudes and ill feelings about him.

He said, “a prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his
relatives and in his own home.”
As a result of their attitudes, Jesus did not do
much in Nazareth. It was their lack of faith that caused Jesus to move on to other
places. We learn a lesson from this episode – Jesus cannot force the message of
the good news on his own people. If they don’t want to hear it, move on to
another place.
We learn another point here; the people miss out on the gift of life that Jesus is
presenting. Jesus moves on to a place where they want to accept and listen to him.
We cannot judge a book by its cover. The people judged Jesus as they knew him,
but Jesus came back as a special God person to offer a better life after they
rejected it. May be the reason of his sending his disciples after this episode, to
show that if they trust and have faith on Him, they will be able to do what Jesus
had been doing in the previous chapter. We learned at the end of our scripture,
the disciples were successful in their mission.

Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Pentecost 6

David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan
17 David sang this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and ordered it to
be taught to the people of Judah. (It is recorded in The book of Jashar.)
2 Samuel 1.17-18
Why do leaders not weep anymore?
Our public/political response is to denounce carefully, to offer “our thoughts and
prayers”, a cool kind of compassion that evades true and costly empathy.
At the end of this financial year, we conclude a tragic period of the collapse, the
insolvency, the ruin of businesses large and small, industries hopeful and
speculative and the shattering of the hopes and dreams of so many being pushed
into a cruel and dispassionate poverty, a new kind of homelessness that denies
human rights for decent and adequate shelter.
At this moment in history it is the prophetic act of the Church (our) in calling out
the structures of exploitation and injustice and point scoring lip service.
And to our great surprise, it may not be the Church as we know. It will be the
Church of poets and singers, speakers and artists, they will be children and elders,
the disabled and those have been disturbed mentally.
At one level this takes great courage and personal cost but it is not an individual
response to be made alone, although it often begins with one person or a lone
voice. Lament is the collective action of the whole Church, the whole community,
even a whole nation. And that cost may well be our being ridiculed,
our being threatened, our being bullied.
But, there can be no gloating in lament, no call for revenge, only justice; even at
the demise of those we call enemies.
When we move to the Gospel (Mark 5.21-43) for today Jesus meets a woman
whose name is “bleeding” and a little girl whose name is ”Jairus’ daughter.”
In Jesus’ response in lament he renames them both “daughter”.
Lament is the beginning of resurrection. It is the howl of the heart, the
rage of the conscience and the yearning of the soul, Amen.
Grace and peace, Rev James Stevenson

Pentecost 5
Collect: O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy
Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon
the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever,

From the desk of the minister: Storms in Life Miracles
We know for sure that God is looking after his own creation. He is at work at
every moment, keeping the entire universe operating and caring for all his
creatures. Most of his powerful acts are not recognised by us human beings as we
take them for granted. However, from time to time God breaks through the barrier
of man’s blindness to allow us to see his power in action; this visible act is what
we call a miracle.
The disciples had been following Jesus since day one and they have seen a few of
the miracles that he performed. He cleansed the lepers, the blind had seen, he
casts out demons and they were amazed by his capacity to restore people back to
new life. Today, it was a different story for this is the first time for them to see
Jesus rebukes the storm. They disciples were very fortunate because Jesus was
there on the boat. His sleeping showed his humanity, but his stilling action
showed his divinity. They knew that he can stop this wild wind that they
experienced. As a result of the miracle, Christ was able to teach a valuable lesson
to his disciples. Man tends to show off his own power to frighten others and to
impress them with how great he is. Christ’s purpose for performing miracles was
not to impress, but to teach a lesson. They were surprised to find that Jesus had
power over the forces of nature. We are surprised when we actually see God do
something unexpected or something that seems impossible. Of course, this shows
our limited idea of what God can do and our lack of faith. There are few storms in
our lives; could we trust Jesus to overcome all our problems? Do we trust him
enough? Today, we pray to God to strengthen our faith so that we can encounter
life’s problems with courage and persistence.
Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Collect: Keep, O Lord, your household the church in your steadfast faith
and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness,
and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Saviour Jesus
Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever, Amen

From the desk of the minister: “The Lord looks at the hearts”
Our thoughts are different with God’s because God’s is looking into the hearts.
The condition of the heart is more important to God than what we do for God
outwardly. Robert Louis Stevenson says, “You can give without loving, but you
can never love without giving.” We are reminding of the greatest Love of all.
“For God so loved the World that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We live in a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on the physical appearance.
If you don’t believe that, just have a look at the advertisements on the television.
If you want to lose weight, then there is always a new diet and exercise program
to make it happen. Looking to get rid of the grey hair and wrinkles? There are
countless companies pushing their creams and hair products all the time.
The world is looking to the importance of the outward appearances of the people.
But according to our OT Reading for today –
The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height,
for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the hearts.”
There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, nothing wrong with trying to
look better and stay fit. But the question is where is your relationship with God
is? Are you maintaining your relationship or are you more concerns with your
looks and outward appearances. Don’t forget that God our Father in Heaven is far
more interested in the condition of our inner man than He is with the outer man.
Let us continue to focus on the most important thing in life,
our relationship with God and others.
Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Collect: O God, from all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, Amen

From the desk of the minister:

United we stand, divided we fall

United we stand, divided we fall was a phrase that first used by John Dickinson in America long ago to empower people for war. But nowadays it is used in many different kinds of mottos, most often to inspire unity and collaboration.

Its core concept lies in the idea that if individual members of a certain group work on their own instead of as a team, they are doomed to fail and will all be defeated. The phrase is also often used by sporting team to encourage team work.

On Wednesday night we saw one of the greatest wins by Queensland State of Origin team in Sydney, by far the biggest margin that ever happened in the Blues territory. The team worked together for the benefit of all.

United we stand, divided we fall. Every sporting team will have to do this in order to win. Jesus in our reading today elaborates on this. If a country divides itself into groups which fight each other, that country will fall apart. If a family divides itself into groups which fight each other, that family will fall apart.

The Religious Leaders plan to kill Jesus because of what he did. He healed on Sabbath and his disciples picked the corn on a Sabbath, they are looking for an opportunity to get rid of Jesus. But Jesus is on a mission, he continues to teach and heal people along the way. Jesus’ family seems to be affected by the reputation of Jesus and they came in to see and take Jesus home.

Eternal Relationship is more important than the physical & family relationship. The family unit is the most intimate relationship that we are supposed to have.

Jesus opens up a new paradigm shift here. “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does what God wants is my brother, my sister, my mother.” Those who are doing the will of God are my real family said Jesus.

We can see that there are many divisions in lots of families in this day and age,

however we are encouraged here – that united we stand, divided we fall.

Grace & Peace, Rev Maile


Have you ever driven along a country road in heavy fog? It can be quite beautiful, with trees and landscape shrouded in a soft white mist. However, foggy conditions can be quite hazardous, often obscuring vital road signs or signposts. On one occasion we were driving at night through thick fog on a remote unsealed country road. The fog was so thick that the driver had to open his door and drive by what he could see of the road, slowly inching our way along! It is very easy to lose one’s way in heavy fog.

The journey of life often presents us with a similar challenge. It would be lovely if the road ahead was perfectly clear, unobscured and clearly signed. However, more often our track is obscured by all kinds of fog. It is not always clear and straightforward! Our choices in life are clouded by our own rationalisations, by a variety of prevailing philosophies, and a hundred different opinions from our do-good friends. Our life journey is rarely plain and clear; more often it is complex and perplexing.

Again, some people think that the Bible will have all the answers to our contemporary dilemmas, yet even here it is not always clear cut. We get ourselves into deep trouble by taking old Bible texts and transporting them straight into our present situation.

Much of the Bible’s wisdom is set in the context of its own cultural matrix, and interpretation is never straightforward. It requires careful and prayerful consideration. Nevertheless, the ancient wisdom does provide us with vital “signposts” for our present journey. The essential wisdom needs to be distilled from the ancient matrix in which it is set, and then translated into our contemporary context.

In many ways, the Bible provides us with an objective source of wisdom, outside of ourselves. It is outside of our time, place and culture. However, one cannot approach the Bible absolutely objectively, as every reader brings something of their own subjectivity (and probably bias) into any interpretation. No one can ever claim absolute objectivity. For this reason, one must always seek the wisdom of the ancient Scriptures in community with others. Note that in Acts 8:26-39 the Ethiopian was reading the Scriptures, but could not make any sense of them on his own.

  1. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,

and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

  1. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.

Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”

His question is quite significant:

“How can I (understand) unless someone guides me?”

At this point, Philip sat down with him and interpreted its meaning to him.1

We cannot always make proper sense of the ancient writings on our own. However, as we search the ancient wisdom corporately, sharing insights and understandings, the way becomes clearer to us. For this reason, it is important for us to participate in study groups where we can grow together in our understanding of the Scriptures. Reputable Bible commentaries can also help us in our search for understanding. Above all, we must seek the inner guidance which the Spirit of God can give us. The Spirit was promised to the first apostles to enlighten their understanding of truth (John 16:13). The same Spirit placed a seal of authority on the early apostolic writings, and continues to guide all who seek God’s truth.

We cannot find our way alone; theology is a communalexercise!

“By your words I can see where
I am going; they throw a beam
of light upon my dark path”
(Psalm 119:105, The Message).

Rev Graham Warne

1The recognised discipline of biblical interpretation

is known as “Hermeneutics” from the Greek word meaning “to interpret”

Trinity Sunday

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever, Amen

From the desk of the minister: Born Again is the way back to God

The gospel reading for this Sunday is about this man Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrim, who came to Jesus by night. Maybe, he did not want anyone to know about this encounter with Jesus, but he was curious about something. He knew that Jesus was the teacher sent by God. He said to him, “No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him.” Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again”. St. John calls our Lord’s wonderful works, a breaking through of the power from above, the visible signs of Divine reality. Nicodemus wants to share in the Vision of the Kingdom, but how can one become worthy of it?

Our Lord today warned him that the only way to it was by a new birth.

To Nicodemus this second birth seemed impossible; how can a grown man really have such a new beginning? He takes Christ’s words literally, in the physical sense. Jesus really emphasised to Nicodemus that there must be a new birth, and this can be through water and the Spirit. The Spirit is from above and is sent from the Father, when man looks upon himself rather than God, it is flesh from below. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that the Word became flesh, and it is through him that our new birth takes place. It is only through Him, and through belief in Him, we may have eternal life. Jesus was the source of life to those who look to him with faith and that is when the rebirth is made possible. “For God so loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” The love of God is for everyone, but eternal life is reserved only to those who are born again and believes in HIM. Our faith is based on the Triune God, One God in three persons. God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Grace & Peace, RevMaile

Pentecost Sunday
Collect: Almighty God, on this day you opened the way to eternal life to every
race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift
throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the
ends of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: The Spirit of God empowers us to live again
Today is a special day in our Christian Calendar.
This is the day of Pentecost
where the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and empowered them to preach the
Word of God starting in Jerusalem. Pentecost was one of the three major feasts of
the year for the Jewish people. It was a harvest festival, marking the completion
of the barley harvest. It was a day of joy and thanksgiving and every male
Israelite was expected to appear at the temple to make special offerings to God.
We have heard the risen Christ tell his followers to remain in Jerusalem until he
sends the Holy Spirit upon them. That will enable them to be his witnesses in
Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Having promised that, he ascended into heaven, to rule over all at the right hand
of the Father. That promise was spoken during the forty days that the Lord was
with the apostles and disciples after his resurrection.

So the apostles and disciples have been waiting ten days for the fulfilment of
Christ’s promise. During that time, they have been at prayer, praying for the
fulfilment of the promise that their Lord has given them. The coming of the Spirit
is not a new thing, because the Spirit of God was there at the Creation, hovering
upon the earth. The new thing is this; they experience a new power to speak the
word of God.
These unlearned Galileans were enabled to speak the languages of
all the visitors who were there on the day. It is only through the power of the
Holy Spirit that can change a dead person to become alive again. We can be
walking around but spiritually dead. Today, we are reminded from Ezekiel, about
the dry bones. There are times when our lives feel dry and lifeless, we can be
restored back to life by the work of the Holy Spirit within us and around us.
Let us continue our journey as new people guiding by the Spirit of God.
Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Easter 7
Collect: O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus
Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us
comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to
that place where our Saviour Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: Sent into the world
This is a prayer of Jesus for his disciples. Jesus knew that his time on earth is
running out. He will be soon going back to his Father but his heart is with his
followers to make sure that they will be able to cope with the pressure of the
world. In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, St. Paul is instructing the church in Corinth to
avoid partnership with unbelievers, while in our Gospel reading from John, Jesus
is emphasising that believers remain in the world, while not belonging to the
world. It’s a complicated proposition, but both admonitions are true.
We are often told as children not to befriend bad kids because they may influence
your good behaviours. But in a way, we are also told to be lights for Jesus among
the lost children at school. Hate is mentioned in v.14 because the world will hate
Jesus and his disciples. Why they are hated? Because of what they are doing is
against the world. In our reading today, Jesus is praying for his disciples to
continue on with the mission of God. The mission of God is in the world, you
remain in the world and God will protect you from the evil one.
We are reminded also that the message to the disciples, is also the message for all
believers. We are sent into the world to tell the good news to others.
Telling good news to others is not easy because you have to be firm in where you
stand in your faith.
Are you talking to the lost and unbelievers whilst also
rejecting their lifestyle? There is always a warning here – the world won’t be very
appreciative of the fact that you’re living differently, but God will welcome you.
Ascension has happened on Thursday, but we are waiting to the coming of the
Holy Spirit to empower all those who are going out into the world to tell the Good
News of God. Are we reflecting deeply on what it means to be immersed in
the life of the world and yet engaged with the life of Christ?
Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Palm Sunday
Collect: Be known within our life today, O God who travels with us. Open
our hearts to receive you. Open our lips to sing your praises. Open our souls
to the depths of your love for us and for all people. For this is the day when
we remember your entry into the city, into the city of those who have gone
before us. Be with us as you were with them, O God, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: The journey towards the Cross
As we celebrate the Palm Sunday today, we are reminded of the very first Palm
Sunday 2000 years ago. Jesus rode the donkey into the city. Many people spread
their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they cut in the fields.
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted –“Hosanna!” “Blessed
is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom
of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

They cheered Jesus as the One who will liberates them from their bondage to the
Romans. They don’t know that Jesus was on a different agenda.
Jesus came to liberate us from our sins.
Throughout his whole ministry, all through those fateful events that marked the
last few days of His ministry, one fact stands out supremely.
Love outshines evil.
Jesus has the necessary courage and patience to stay the course. Only then he
gives the cry, “It is finished.” “I have done what I came to do,” and his Spirit
breathes its last. It is a tragic, yet beautiful dying moment.

No unfinished business. Love completed. Life’s purpose fulfilled.
As we continue our journey towards the cross, we are reminded that Jesus was
not killed by the Romans nor the Jewish or any evil set up by anyone? The Love
of God is so huge for our sinful nature. He came deliberately to die on the cross
so that we can be forgiven and have new beginnings. Let today, Palm Sunday, be
the beginning of another journey towards the cross. To see the amazing power of
Love displayed to all his followers.

The greatest victory of all is the victory of
Jesus from death. Let us focus today what the cross can offer to us so that
the resurrection can be ours forever and ever. Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

A teacher attempts to educate in a particular way, teaching a truth as the teacher understands it. A disciple’s single, overriding purpose is to emulate his teacher. If we listen to Jesus’ teachings, the absolute best we can do for ourselves is to be Christlike, disciples of Jesus. In the reading in Matthew 10:26-31 today, Jesus is explaining one of the passages of Our Good News Bible;

Whom To Fear

Through our Christian understanding there is no one to fear (but God). Should we fear the unknown? The unknown does not exist until there is a sense of realisation of its existence. We should have no fear of the dark for when the light comes on, we see the table, the chairs in our room just as when the light went off.

The most amazing discovery when Jesus found us and came into

our lives is that we don’t have to be afraid anymore, that Jesus gives us a power that overcomes fear. Many people have attested to this one feature of their transformation into a Christian life.

We don’t have to be afraid!

Say a small prayer to yourself at times of these stresses;


This actually works, as the true Spirit of Jesus arrives and overcomes fear, the warmth of this love washes over us as we are contending with our own demons.


All the unbelieving spirits that may abound are cast off through the love and power of the name of Jesus.

We don’t have to be afraid;


Mark Chapter 4

“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples,
“Let us go over to the other side.” 36Leaving the crowd
behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.”
Today, we are going ‘off-grid’, or at least off lectionary, as we set
sail for ‘The Other Side’. Please read through Mark four and five
and imagine just how confronting it was for Good Jewish Boys to
leave behind all the known and comfortable things about being
with Jesus on the Galilee shore – to cross over to the other side.
It’s a bit like, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”
On the other side were people who did not believe the same
things, whose politics were different, whose language was weird
and whose morals were questionable….
And Jesus says to His disciples,
“Let us go over to the other side.”
We’ll talk about the storm, but it’s important to ask,
Who is in the boat?
“The crowd” is left behind. “His disciples” go with Him.
Are we the crowd, or His disciples?
Thank you Nambour, for your kind invitation to preach today.
Grace and blessings, Pastor Phil Smith

Pentecost 2
Collect: Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness keep us, we
pray, from all things that may hurt us, that we, being ready both in
mind and body, may accomplish with free hearts those things which
belong to your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: Faith brings life
We have three faith stories in our Gospel reading for this week.
The first one was about this tax collector Matthew. Jesus called him from his
office, and he followed Jesus immediately. Matthew prepared a dinner and other
tax collectors and outcasts were there together with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat
with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t
need a doctor – sick people do.” “I have not come to call the righteous, but
The faith of Matthew makes him respond to the call of Jesus. He knew
that he has done lot of wrongs; he needs to change his life. Faith brings life.
Second story, about this synagogue leader who came and knelt before Jesus
and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her,
and she will live.”
Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
Jesus entered the house and said to the people, “Go away. The girl is not dead
but asleep.”
They laughed at him. He went in and took the girl by the hand,
and she got up. By the faith in Jesus, she was brought back to life.
The third story happened when a woman who had bleeding for 12 years came up
behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only
touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart,
he said, “your faith has healed you.”
And the woman was healed at that moment through her faith.
Faith is acting in what we believe. We are all reminded that faith in Jesus Christ
will bring life, but we have to response to his call and all these people were
healed because they believed through their faith in the power of God through
Jesus Christ.

Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Pentecost Sunday
Collect: Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life
to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy
Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the
preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever, Amen.
From the desk of the minister: Pentecost and Prayer
Today is a very significant day in our Christian Calendar. On this special day of
Pentecost, there was a sudden gush of wind, and tongues of fire appeared and
rested on the disciples, and they were able to speak in other languages as it says
in Acts 2:4 – All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The people from different
countries were amazed when they heard their own languages spoken by the
disciples. In a way, Pentecost is a miracle of hearing and speaking. How come
these people were enabled to hear their own languages? It was only through the
Holy Spirit that can perform transformation in the lives of people. Jesus had
promised the disciples he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them and to help
them. We were told that the disciples and others went back to the Upper Room
and prayed together. They were with one heart, and no wonder, the Holy Spirit
came upon them. Prayer is an important part of who we are as followers of
Christ. We won’t be able to grow and be stronger in our faith unless we
communicate consistently with God in our prayers. The Assembly has organised
a praying-partners with our Church. 1. Indonesian Maroubra, 2. Griffith MultiCentred Congregation. The Uniting Church has called upon members to stand
together in prayer for 26 days. Starting today on Pentecost and finish on the
22nd June, the 46th birthday of the Uniting Church. I would like to encourage
our Pastoral Groups to work out ways of how to engage with this prayer chain.
Let us open our hearts to listen and pray for one another.
Grace & Peace, Rev Maile