Messy Church: Sunday 19th April 2020

Messy Church

Happy Easter everyone,

Despite our inability to join together to celebrate I hope as a family you were able to take some time to reflect on the story and give thanks to God.

Despite our inability to join together to celebrate I hope as a family you were able to take some time to reflect on the story and give thanks to God.

This Sunday would normally be Messy Church. Even though we can’t meet I’ve put together some suggested activities and worship outline that I encourage you to engage with as a family.

We have uploaded all the resources inlcuding order of service, music and activies here.

Rosalie

An Easter Message from Rev. Loni Vaitohi

THE LORD IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

I believe that this declaration ‘The Lord is Risen’, the affirmation ‘He is risen indeed’ and the response of Alleluia, will be ringing and echoed in hundreds of thousands of homes, if not millions this Easter morning. It will be proclaimed in lounge rooms and kitchen tables, driveways and garages, from front yards and backyards, in driveways and drivethroughs, and no doubt will be printed and streamed live across our country and the whole world.

There will be solitary figures preaching from their sanctuaries, and pre-recorded music will be played to imagined congregations. Virtual realities become the new reality, and many are experiencing church differently. The church we use to do is now the church we feel!

The circumstances we find ourselves in, due to the global pandemic is troubling time indeed. Yet, the message is the same as has been for thousands of years. ‘The Lord is risen!’. The scattered community respond from outside the church walls, but the response is still the same, ‘He is risen indeed!’, and the whole creation burst into songs of Alleluia with their responses.

It is true that troubling time brings both challenges and blessings. Challenges in that we have to learn a new way of being in community, and blessings because it reveals more truth about the Lordship of the risen Christ, God in community. Challenges, in that we try to find our peace of mind in ‘things’, blessings are that we hear ‘The Lord is risen!’ Christ is now Lord of both the living and the dead.

S.M. Lockridge in his own troubling times said this: “People are trying to find their peace of mind in things. We are killing ourselves trying to live. We eat our way into ecstasy and drink our way into pleasure…we try to cook our way into popularity and push our way to power. We try to bully our way to friendship and bomb our way to world peace…”

In our own troubling time, the Easter message still rings true, The Lord is Risen! For whether we live, we live unto the Lord. And if we die, we die unto the Lord. The very reason why Jesus died, that He might be LORD both of the dead and the living. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!

It is the Lordship of Christ that makes a better world where evil is being defeated and the dead can be made alive!

May the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Rev. Loni Vaitohi
Shepparton Uniting Church
Shepparton Rural Congregations.

President of the Uniting Church in Australia’s Easter Message 2020

In her annual Easter Sunday video message, the President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer has said Australians are standing with each other in a time of crisis and trauma

While Easter observances in the Church are taking different forms this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Palmer said that Christian communities were responding in ways to keep vulnerable people safe.

This year’s message was filmed on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, where people are rebuilding their lives in the wake of devastating bushfires.

“In the Easter story we see the power of God’s love to overcome. From death and devastation, new life and hope emerges,” said Dr Palmer

The President’s video message has closed captions in nine different community languages: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Fijian, Indonesian, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and Tongan.

Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Website

The Moderator Easter Reflection

Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Moderator, Rev Denise Liersch, reminds us to look to Jesus for a way forward during this time of seismic upheaval. “Jesus put aside conventions to simply be there for people – with them, alongside them,” she says in a special extended video.