Week beginning 19 Apr 2020-No 60
A message from Vicar’s Warden
We trust you have had a good Easter notwithstanding the limitations imposed by the coronavirus matter.
Through some magnificent work by our Vicar Roberta, Judy Moore on the music scene (great piece after the on-line service on Easter Day, thanks Judy), and superb technical audio/visual work by Ama, we have kept the spirit of Holy week and Easter alive in our parish. There have been numerous positive comments on our response to these difficult times and your feedback has been most appreciated.
However, this demanding time has taken its toll on Vicar Roberta who is currently unwell and has been advised to take some time on sick leave. Please keep her in your prayers and thoughts.
We are blessed that Bishop Alison Taylor is taking the on-line services in Roberta’s absence and for this we give much thanks. What a joy to have a much loved and respected former vicar amongst us and taking on this role at this time.
If you have a need for some pastoral care and contact in the meantime, please call me on 0405 120 133 and I will engage with you and the persons who can assist.
Your continued prayers and support for our parish are much appreciated.
- Please continue to pray for each other from our Parish Prayer List:
- If you currently contribute by cash to the open plate, please consider moving this to an electronic transfer or a direct debit set up. We want our church to survive this current crisis and we may not be able to do this if our giving falls away. If people can’t come to church and stop giving, our church may not be able to survive.
Our banking details are as follows:
St Dunstans Anglican Church
BSB: 633 000
Account No: 1374 96667
If you need help with setting this up, please contact Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Don’t forget to follow our Facebook page St Dunstans Anglican Church Group .https://www.facebook.com/groups/482613181793174/and bookmark our websitewww.stdunstans.org.au. We will be live streaming Sunday services at 9.30am on Facebook and soon after, the Vicar’s message will also be uploaded onto our website.
An article by Richard Rohr OFM.
The “Backside” of God
Monday, April 13, 2020
I feel a deep solidarity with individuals throughout the world who are wrestling with health issues. In 2016, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a complete prostatectomy. The wisdom lessons that God offered me before, during, and after the surgery were pretty much constant. The experiences were initially disempowering, sometimes scary in their immediacy, and only in hindsight were they in any way empowering. Prayer was both constant and impossible for much of this period.
About ten days after the surgery, during my attempt at some spiritual reading, I opened the Bible to an obscure passage in the Book of Exodus. Moses asks YHWH to “Show me your glory” (33:18), and YHWH shows it in a most unusual way: “I shall place you in the cleft of the rock and shield you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I shall take my hand away, and you will see my backside, but my face will not be seen” (33:22–23). In several sermons, I have used that verse to teach that our knowledge of God is indirect at best, and none of our knowledge is fully face-to-face. God is always and forever Mystery. All we see is the “backside” of God.
During that time, it was not the indirectness that hit me in this passage, but the directness! My best spiritual knowing almost always occurs after the fact, in the remembering—not seen “until God has passed by.” I realized that in the moments of diagnosis, doctor’s warnings, waiting, delays, and the surgery itself, I was as fragile, scared, and insecure as anybody would be. If I could stay with the full narrative all the way into and through, only afterward could I invariably see, trust, and enjoy the wonderful works of God (mirabilia Dei).
The foundation of faith is the ability to look at our entire salvation history and then trust that this pattern would never—could never—change! It is largely after the fact that faith is formed—and gloriously transmuted into hope for the future. Only after the fact can you see that you were being held and led duringthe fact. During the fact, you do not enjoy or trust your own strength at all, in fact, quite the opposite. You just cry out in various ways. Then God, for some wonderful reason, is able to fill the gap.
Gateway to Action & Contemplation:
What word or phrase resonates with or challenges me? What sensations do I notice in my body? What is mine to do?
Prayer for Our Community:
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.