Dear Living Faith Uniting Church Family and Friends
"But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish..." Jonah 1:3 NIV
Jaffa, known as 'Joppa' in ancient times, is the harbour town pictured above where Jonah set out on a journey that would end with him in the belly of a whale. God was hot on his heels, but Jonah was running from his calling. He was told to go to Nineveh to preach the message of God's salvation, but Jonah wanted to control the outcome. We can concede that Jonah was but human; letting go of control is difficult for most of us. The challenge comes in when our rebellion towards God leads us into a "whale of a situation".
I once heard someone say, "if God orders it, He will pay the bill." There are many lessons for us in the story of Jonah but perhaps one of the most pertinent is this - if God is calling you, He will provide what you need to fulfil the mandate. Self sufficiency can sometimes end us up in situations that entrap and bind us. The question we need to ponder is this; what or where is the "Nineveh" that God is calling us to go to today? Jonah's long way round was frightful. We can embark on the peaceful pathway of God's providence. Where is your "Nineveh"?
I want to highlight an important change that will take place from the 1 November 2020. For the foreseeable future, the church council have agreed that the last Sunday of each month will be an online pre-recorded service i.e. we will not meet in the church building on the last Sunday of each month. This change is necessary as a duty of care towards our volunteers who have been working extensive hours to keep the church open. The online services will be available for viewing through our church website www.livingfaithuniting.com and by clicking on "Online Ministry".
We welcome new friends to our newsletter and new visitors to our church. It has been a joy getting to know some new people and hearing their stories.
Synod begins on Friday 23 October and ends on Tuesday 27 October (inclusive). Please keep the Uniting Church in Queensland in prayer as we deliberate and discern God's will for the wider church.
Have a great week ahead,
Your friend, Iris
Tel: 0432 067 227
Sermon notes for the Sunday 25 October services are available for you to print and bring to the service by clicking below:
People large, medium and small
God love us one and all
Regardless of our colour and creed
He loves us yes indeed Submitted by: Graham Leslie
NEWS FROM CHRISTINE IN SENEGAL
Hi! I am very sorry for the long delay between updates, I had hoped to write much sooner, especially given the constantly changing world situation! In terms of Covid, things are going ok, only one of our current student families has had an experience with Covid, and they were in Brazil on furlough over the summer. You actually know the family – it is Jair’s family, who we prayed so much for around this time last year! Jair is well (and has fully recovered from last year’s health concerns) but his dad and sister contracted Covid in Brazil, delaying their return to Senegal. They have recovered and are now back and plan to be at school on Monday.
This term we are still doing online lessons as many of our boarders were not able to return due to border closures, and we also felt that it wasn’t wise to start the boarding program again straight away, given the situation. The students who live close enough to come on a daily basis have been coming three mornings a week to do their distance education lessons at school, where they can have help and the occasional in person lesson with their teachers. We all wear masks in the school buildings (it’s the law here) and try to keep things as distanced as possible. There are bottles of hand sanitiser everywhere! The system has been working well and the kids are happy to be back together again at least for a short time each week.
However, several of the teachers are struggling with the workload, as we prepare the distance education lessons, mark and give feedback on work (both via email and in kids books for those who are here), interact with those who are here and keep up with all the other bits and pieces that come up. It is a lot of work. I spent the last 5 weeks working through meals and staying up late just to get the school work done; most other things in life just haven’t happened (like this update!) In terms of an update I kept thinking, I’ll just do it today, just make space, do it quickly, but there are always deadlines to meet and distance education emails to deal with and it just didn’t happen. It’s funny to think that when Covid first hit, I had the impression that working without the kids would take less time and I would have some time to catch up on life … how wrong I was!
I know that working like this isn’t good for me and this week I finally managed to cut enough corners to meet the deadlines without working late or during meals (not even once!) The problem is that some of the corners just can’t keep being cut, so I’d really appreciate your prayers for wisdom. Don’t worry, I won’t go back to working so much, I am determined to work sensible hours and look after myself and from now on I will simply say no to some things each week, maybe different things each week – but something definitely needs to change. So please pray for setting priorities and that I will recover from the overwork of the last half-term. Also pray for ways to meet the educational needs of the kids, especially those taking their final exams in May, and of course pray for the students themselves.
It has been a bit discouraging, working so hard behind a computer all day without the kids here to interact with and bring the joy and life that usually comes with this job. I often remind myself though that I am doing it for all these amazing kids who I love so much, that we are facing this challenge together and that of course I would never walk away and just leave them to it. That inspires me, as well as knowing that around the world we are all facing challenges at the moment, and that God is working through all of these situations to do all sorts of good things, despite the circumstances.
So it’s been tough, but this week was so much better! It’s so nice going home from work at a normal time! And of course that makes me feel much more encouraged already.
I pray that you are also seeing God’s hand at work in your lives, no matter the circumstances. Do feel free to let me know how things are going for you as well, I’d love to pray specifically for you. Thank you so much to those who have, I am very sorry that I haven’t been able to reply to your emails but I loved reading them and I have been praying! Thank you so much for your prayers and loving support.
Let Iris know if you would like to give one or more of her business cards to folk in need of pastoral care and we'll arrange to get business cards to you.
SPOTTED IN CARINDALE
Look what our friends Charlie and Leonie spotted while out on a local walk...
TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
We join Norelle and Alan this week as they sojourn through Canada...so exciting!
Tithes and donations can be made through online banking during this season.
Please contact TIM EAKIN or NORELLE DEETH for assistance with online banking if you are unsure of the process
Bank details: ANZ BANK; BSB: 014010 ACC NO. 191452412
Living Faith Uniting Church has a team of people who faithfully pray over matters affecting our lives, our church and our world. If you have a specific need and would like prayer, please contact Norelle on email@example.com or Iris on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll commit your needs to prayer.
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