WEEKLY UPDATE 15 March 2020

This morning we welcome back Sr Miriam for her second Lenten Message in our series “Into the deep”. We welcome her along with Sr Naomi and Sr Narelle from the Holy Transfiguration Community.

This weekend Tim, Mary, Sally, Andrew, Alice, Valentina, Robyn, Miriam and Judith Cook are participating in WellSpring’s Autumn Retreat in Lysterfield. We pray for them all deep places of rest, encounter and renewal.

Community Kitchen resumes this Monday after the break for Labor Day last week.

There is a deacons meeting on Thursday night (19/3) so there will be a one-week break from our rhythm of Thursday night reflective services. Let David Wright, or any of the deacons, know if there is anything you would like to bring to their awareness.

Next Sunday (22/3)  following the service, there will be our quarterly church meeting. Amidst the usual reflections on church life, there will be some recommendations for new members, some follow-up on the semi-commercial kitchen proposal and some thoughts about consolidating our church’s vision, values and processes.

A fortnight later, on Sunday 5th April (Palm Sunday), following our service, we will hold a special church meeting to consider a nomination from the Pastoral Search Group.

Transport home for Les

As mentioned last Sunday, Les Whitehead’s eyesight is such that catching a tram to travel to and from church has become a hazardous undertaking. He’s happy to catch a cab to church, but it would be great if we could form a roster of people who can occasionally offer him a lift home to his Caulfield house. If this is a possibility for you, please see Digby or Andrew.

SKBBS Banking details Last Sunday Barry and Di reminded us of the financial support that SKBBS provides to the running of Community Kitchen. All donations are tax deductible and receipts will be sent out at the end of the financial year.   Don’t forget to include your name as a reference. If you would like  to make a donation here are the banking details.

Bendigo Bank SKBBS General Account

BSB: 633 000

ACC: 164 552 424

We thought it might be helpful to offer a few thoughts about our own church’s response to the Coronavirus threat. We have been watching reports from medical officers and received briefings from the Baptist Union for Victoria. Here are a few thoughts at this stage:

  • At present, the Government’s focus on containment seems to be sufficient. There is minimal evidence of any community spread. If you find yourself with a sore throat, running nose, cough or fever, you only need to be checked if you have recently returned from overseas or have been in contact with someone who has returned from overseas and been unwell.
  • Like any virus, the best thing you can do is to maintain good hygiene: wash your hands thoroughly often and dry them well. Try not to touch your nose, eyes and mouth, the usual points of entry into the body for a droplet infection. If you do cough or sneeze – and we all do – try to use a handkerchief, tissue, or into your sleeve.
  • There is no indication that there is any benefit in a well person wearing a face mask.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
  • We are not yet needing to eliminate handshakes or hugs, but it’s also OK to give permission for alternate greetings: fist bumps or hand waves and smiles are quite acceptable.
  • As a general principle, if you are unwell, it’s probably wise not to come to church events and risk passing on your illness to other people.

Some of us may have already heard of the City of Port Phillip Interfaith Network. This is a group of people who meet every six weeks or so at the St Kilda Town Hall in order to discuss issues about which we all care deeply and to consider ways of working together. Remarkably the meetings are chaired by a City of Port Phillip Councillor, Tim Baxter, and secretarial assistance is also provided by the City of Port Phillip as an indication of their support for the idea of the various religions represented in our region meeting together to learn a bit more about each other and to work together for common causes. This network includes members from the local Anglican, Uniting and Catholic Churches. There are representatives from the Buddhist community, the Jewish community, the Moslem community, Hindu and Harie Krishnas.

Unfortunately it has been a while since we have been able to find a representative from our church. There is much shared passion within the group. The social, economic and environmental issues which concern its members are very similar to those of many or our members at SKEB. Climate change has recently been on their agenda and a letter was recently sent to the prime minister urging a more humane treatment of our off shore refugees. The Interfaith Network assisted with the organisation of the recent Morning of Mourning on Jan 26th. 

It appears that the City of Port Phillip may be hosting next year’s state-wide interfaith conference. This possibility will be the main focus of the next meeting of the Port Phillip Interfaith Network. The main presenter at the following network meeting will be  CEO of The Victorian Pride Centre – home to a range of LGBTIQ focused organisations and businesses. The new Pride Centre in Fitzroy is almost completed and is being eagerly awaited by the LGBTIQ community.  Involvement in the interfaith network is, I believe, really important if we are to be truly engaged with our community. Churches of our tradition do have a long history of operating very separately from the rest of their communities – let’s not become one of those churches in a bubble! If you are interested in participating in this group please let Digby or Andrew know. 

 BIBLE READING for this week

John 4:5-52 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A5-42&version=NIV

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