Why we won’t be sharing communion via Zoom

I was delighted with our first Zoom service. So many of you participated in the liturgy, and there was such good conversation both before and afterwards. And your feedback has been strong: that many kids stuck around; that the prayers for the world showed a high level of engagement; and that the tech made some of you actually feel closer and more connected than ever. So that’s wonderful! Continue reading “Why we won’t be sharing communion via Zoom”

COVID-19: Physically apart, spiritually together

Sanctuary is not gathering in the flesh for now. For details of our online gathering, email us.

So COVID-19 is roaring across the earth, my facebook feed is loaded with graphs, and government advice keeps changing. As I write, we still would be permitted to meet on Sunday. However, that could change any moment and, given the imperative of flattening the curve, the leadership team has decided to we should NOT meet. Therefore, we will stop gathering in the flesh on Sundays effective immediately. We believe this closure is necessary to prevent any possibility of becoming a centre for an outbreak; it is also a sign of our willingness to sacrifice our own desires for the common good. Continue reading “COVID-19: Physically apart, spiritually together”

#16: All things reconciled

He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:17-20) Continue reading “#16: All things reconciled”

Healing and community

Last week, we looked at how healing is about wholeness, that is, including, accepting and connecting all parts of ourselves. However, healing is even bigger than this. It is also about wholeness in a wider sense, bringing people into healthy relationship with other people and with the wider creation. We’ll look at creation next week; this week, we’ll focus on communities. Continue reading “Healing and community”

This resurrection life

The church is called to embody a culture where women are no longer silenced, invisible or subjugated, and all people are called into community. (Listen.)

Every now and then, I get a letter addressed to Mrs Paul Holdway; and I reel. Once I’ve stopped reeling, I wonder who on earth this woman is. She sounds like a shadow, a cipher. She’s probably maternal, almost certainly matronly. I’m sure she’s a great supporter of her husband and good at housework. She probably darns other people’s socks, and I’m sure she makes things for cake stalls and fetes. I have no idea what she herself is like, or what she herself is really interested in, but I do know this: There’s something extraordinarily silencing about having my name obliterated in a letter which is ostensibly addressed to me. Continue reading “This resurrection life”

Congregational Commitment 2019

It’s easy to become complacent about both our faith and our relationships in the church. That’s why, here at Sanctuary, we renew our commitment to each other and the congregation every year. During the service, each of us is invited to join with the church. Then together, those who are willing affirm the faith in which we stand, promise to love and serve one another and the wider world, and pledge themselves to a common congregational commitment. Continue reading “Congregational Commitment 2019”

Group Reflection: Sanctuary’s Treasure

Tonight we reflected as a group upon Jesus’ teachings not to be anxious; to strive for God’s kingdom; to know that it is God’s good pleasure to give youse the kingdom; to share what youse have with those in need; and to make for yourselves treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is, so is your heart (see Luke 12:29-34; and yes, Jesus is speaking to his disciples as a group: every occurrence of ‘you’, ‘your’ etc. is plural). So together we wondered what our common treasure is, where our common heart is, and how we might have already received the kingdom … and given it away. Questions and responses follow. Continue reading “Group Reflection: Sanctuary’s Treasure”

The loneliness of the Australian colonial capitalist

The deep loneliness of colonial capitalism: and some pointers to an alternative economy. (Listen.)

The fear of saying the wrong thing means too often we say nothing at all. The following is a stumbling attempt to articulate some consequences of the colonial capitalist economy, to note resonances between some Indigenous economies and God’s kingdom culture, and to tentatively imagine a renewed economics which fosters connection and community. Time, space, audience and ignorance mean I necessarily make generalisations and minimise the extraordinary diversity of expressions of Indigenous economic systems. Continue reading “The loneliness of the Australian colonial capitalist”

Spirituality for the chaos of life

Most spiritual teachings assume solitude and silence, but the story of Elijah suggests that a healthy God-centred spirituality is grounded in the hustle and bustle of community. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, long long ago, when my kids were young, I felt for a while that my faith and spirituality had to go on hold. Life was so busy, and the kids were so demanding, and everywhere I went there were people. People needing a nappy change; people needing a story; people needing a cuddle; people needing a cuppa; people needing a neighbour; people needing a friend; people needing a volunteer; people needing a worker. Everything I had ever read about spirituality was about spending quiet time alone with God: yet quiet time alone was exactly what I never had. Continue reading “Spirituality for the chaos of life”

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