Week beginning 15 March 2020 No 56
LETTER FROM VICAR TO PARISH REGARDING PROVISIONS FOR COVID-19 ISSUES
To the people of St Dunstan’s
Dear Friends, As you are aware the Covid 19 virus is sweeping through our country and the whole world. It is very important that we take measures to limit its spread and so the wardens of St Dunstan’s and I have put into place some precautionary measures. As I write we are still allowed to meet together and I will keep you updated if that changes. While we are able to we will continue to meet for prayer and the Word and Sacrament, but let me encourage you to be praying in whatever situation you find yourself.
The first precaution is that anyone who is unwell, even if you think it is just a cold, is to refrain from coming to church.
The next thing we are all being encouraged to do is to wash our hands frequently and there is hand sanitizer at the door so that as we come in, we are all sanitizing our hands. We have cleaned and will continue to clean any surface that we are likely to touch as a group including door handles and the communion rail. We have also washed and ironed the vestments that the servers and priest wear.
We are also asked to sit at a distance from one another, which sadly is not as difficult as it might be!
The distribution of communion is being very carefully managed, and at no time are the communion wafers being touched by hands. We had decided on a process in which, I as the priest, instinct for each person with a pipette and distribute the wafers by means of the liturgical tongs, so that the only wafer I touch is the one that I will consume. You receive the communion in both bread and wine, and we are all kept safe.
I understand that some people are nervous about coming to church for a number of different reasons and so I am encouraging everyone in the congregation to have a buddy.
The pattern is that you ring your buddy, or, of course, are rung by your buddy every day- it might be good to take it in turns. The aim is to make sure that each person in the congregation has means to let others know if they are not well and to ask for any help that they need. I anticipate that there might be help needed with shopping, prescriptions and other things as well as the contact which is so important in times of enforced isolation.
It would help me greatly if each pair could let me know that they are looking after each other. I will, accordingly, keep a list. If nobody contacts you tomorrow maybe you could contact someone else and ask them if they have a buddy?
Please, if anyone has need of me, either ring me yourself or ring on behalf of your buddy. The office number 0478 404 179 will find me, and if I don’t answer please leave a message.
The Archbishop has also pointed out that if people who cannot come to church stop giving the church will not survive to be here when all this is over. If you don’t give by Direct Debit, please either contact me or Charles Povey and we will help you to arrange that, or otherwise, of course you could mail a cheque. We, at St Dunstan’s, work on a very slim margin and something like this could easily send us to the wall.
As Camberwell Gardens has already cancelled their visit for this week, there will be no Thursday Eucharist this week. Morning Prayer will continue, on Wednesday and Thursday morning this week. There will be no Morning Prayer on Monday as I will be at a Clergy Quiet Day (unless cancelled).
If it becomes necessary for the doors to close I will let you know and I will make arrangements for the service to be live streamed. This is a very difficult time for all and I pray that we as a church might be there to support one another.
In Christ’s service, Roberta
- No Thursday Eucharist this week. Morning Prayer will continue, on Wednesday and Thursday morning this week. There will be no Morning Prayer on Monday as Roberta will be at a Clergy Quiet Day (unless cancelled).
- Bishop Brad Billings has written to thank us for contributions to the Archbishop’s Bushfire Appeal. Please see letter below.
- Lenten Studies take place on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the meeting room and Thursday afternoons at 12.15pm also in the meeting room. Books are priced at $5.50. Vicar Roberta has ordered some extra copies so even if you can’t make to to any of the studies and would still like to purchase a book, you are able to do so.
- Please consider your stewardship to St Dunstans and give consideration to Direct Debit for your giving. If people can’t come to church and stop giving, our church may not be able to survive. Please contact Charles Povey or the Vicar to arrange this.
- A note from Warden John McKenzie
There has been a suggestion that parishioners would find it helpful to have an explanation of parish finances in a style that resonates with them. That means parish finances showing where the money goes and from where the money comes, in some detail (eg the mission agencies we support, and a breakdown of fundraising activities to name but two categories). The versions of information would include at least the following:
· Text format, that is straight numbers and explanatory notes
· Graphical format such as pie charts, bar charts or line graphs
· A pictorial style
· Oral and visual presentation
Thus we are looking for a good communicator(s) who can use their skills to put an information package together. If this is you or you have someone in mind, please have a chat with Vicar Roberta.
- The Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees has been cancelled.
- For all those interested, the Festival of Bells will take place at St James Old Cathedral (cnr King and Batman, Melb). Come and learn about the oldest church and the first bells to ring – in Melbourne! Plus our very own Vicar Roberta features!
- MAP groups will be meeting during the month of March. If you haven’t heard from your convenor, pleas prompt them!
- Craft Group are looking for anyone who can donate palm fronds to make palm crosses. Please let Chairman or Rosemary know if you can help.
- Please see flyers below for the Bishopscourt Open Garden in East Melbouren and also a Study Day wth Rev’d Mark Oakley, a great Lent opportunity.
- This Lenten, Vicar Roberta invites us to the Garden of the Heart on 24 March. The Wominjeka Garden is a reconciliation garden dedicated to the process of reconciliation with First Nations People. Please see flyer below. RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Garden in the Heart
A Place of Conversation, Food and Friendship
Why The Garden in The Heart?
We are creating a space in the heart of the city for the garden in our heart to blossom & bloom for all who take the time to sit & listen. The Wominjeka Garden is a reconciliation garden dedicated to the process of reconciliation with First Nations People.
The Wominjeka Garden
• Provides an opportunity to share stories & to grow in the heart of God.
• Offers hospitality & a gathering place for all indigenous & non-indigenous people to engage in dialogue for acceptance, understanding & healing.
• Provides space for daily quiet recollection for all who seek silence & reconciliation.
Tuesday Night Conversation & Shared Meal
Dates: 19Nov, 03Dec in 2019;
10Mar, 24Mar in 2020
6:00 pm – Gather & share a ‘bring a plate’ meal.
7:00 pm – Conversation
8:00 pm – Close
- Vicar Roberta has lost a couple go things that she has lent to people but now needs:
1. A book called Life Journey by Mary Fleeson (a beautiful illustrated book of meditations).
2. A large bag of Duplo (big Lego)
If anyone has these in their possession, Roberta would be grateful to have them back please.
- Victorian Anglicans Together is an association, incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act, which promotes an inclusive expression of Anglicanism. They are inviting lay people to join them at a meeting at St Silas in Albert Park on 28 March. Please see Vicar Roberta for more details if interested.
- The March issue of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) is now available. This issue includes:
- A report on a surprise event held at Bishopscourt to mark Archbishop Philip Freier’s 65th birthday on 9 February. The evening included the launch of a book in the Archbishop’s honour, edited by Bishops Brad Billings and Paul Barker, and we also feature this month a review by Bishop Genieve Blackwell of this book of essays
- “Reframing the Story”, a new exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral, highlights the leadership and contributions of Anglican women in Melbourne
- A report on a special panel discussion held at Ridley College on 12 February, which saw acclaimed writer Christos Tsiolkas talk about St Paul and his novel Damascus with Ridley Principal the Revd Dr Brian Rosner, the Revd Dr Fergus King from Trinity College and discussion moderator Bishop Paul Barker
- A report on the coronavirus outbreak, including how it has affected Anglican Chinese congregations in Melbourne, and some of the hygiene measures that churches can take in response to the virus
- News of the ordination of 19 deacons on 8 February at St Paul’s Cathedral, and interviews with two of the new deacons
- An interview with US theologian and missionary Jackson Wu, who was one of the speakers at the recent CMS Summer Under the Son conference
- Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day, and in a special feature this month, some women from the diocese reflect on their faith and share their experiences of being part of the church
- Four Melbourne Anglican schools have started 2020 with new principals. We report on this, and on how two other local Anglican schools have celebrated their centenaries
- Anglicans, including a parishioner who hand-crafted furniture for the new St Peter’s Memorial Anglican Church in Kinglake from the remains of timber from the old church destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires 11 years ago, honoured in the Australia Day Honours list
- Understanding our origins is key to understanding our Anglican identity, writes the Revd Canon Dr Rhys Bezzant from Ridley College in this month’s Faith Seeking Understanding column.