Thoughts on Luke 18: 9-14

Jesus is talking about two different people praying, a Pharisee and a tax collector. What they prayed revealed the basis on which they prayed. The religious leader trusted in his own righteousness, Jesus tells us. The tax collector threw himself on God’s mercy. Do we conduct our lives based on our own vision of how much better our own lives are than others, thus in a way justifying ourselves and condemning everyone else? Or do we conduct our lives on the hope that God is merciful to us, and, so, by extension, to everyone else?

If we do the former, we decide “me and mine” and using our power to protect that are all that counts and dismiss – if not destroy – the rest of the world. If we do the latter, we decide that love and mercy are what really counts, and so, perhaps, extend mercy abundantly in a way that includes and offers healing to the whole world.

Keep on… trusting in God’s mercy.

Rev Dawn Chesser
www.umcdiscipleship.org

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Generous Grace: A Retreat at Leura Uniting Church

Retreat Leader: John Bleyerveen
Theme: Generous Grace

Date: Saturday July 16
Time: 10:00AM – 3:30PM
Location: Leura Uniting Church, cnr Megalong St and Grose St

The spiritual writer Richard Rohr writes about the universal call in us all to embrace a new spirituality for the second part of life by falling upward into grace.

He says, ”if you have forgiven yourself for being imperfect and falling, you can now do it for just about everyone else. If you have not done it for yourself, I am afraid you will likely pass on your sadness, absurdity, judgment and futility to others. This is the tragic path of the many elderly people who have not become actual elders, probably because they were never eldered or mentored themselves”.

This retreat will invite participants to explore the theme of grace in their own lives. Grace is an always expanding sense of God’s presence as gift in the world. The retreat will have a variety of special moments formed with different inputs and include personal meditation, creative prayer exploration, small group work and whole community conversation. We actively seek people from a broad variety of backgrounds and God always blesses us with the richness of gifts in the people attending.

We hope to be an authentic experience of the communion of the Holy Spirit.

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News from Picton, Re: Floods

We have received news from Presbytery about Picton UC following the flooding 2 weeks ago. The Uniting Church and Manse at Picton are fortunately on high ground and escaped damage.

However the Anglican Church was flooded and Geraldine Clarkson, the UC pastor at Picton, has offered Picton Uniting as an alternative venue for their services.

There was major flooding in the township which has impacted most businesses and many households. Geraldine writes that “livelihoods have been ruined but we are thankful no lives have been lost”.

Please keep the people and churches of Picton in your prayers, including Geraldine who has particularly asked for them; and those who are supporting the town as they recover from the floods.

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Lent Event: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday heralds Lent coming to a close. If you have been participating in Lent Event, now is the time to get your donations in and sent on their way to Uniting World’s overseas partners. Please donate directly to UnitingWorld – you can make a secure donation online or via the Lent Event App, or post a cheque or your credit card details to UnitingWorld, using the envelope provided as part of your Guide to Living Lent. Tax receipts will be issued by UnitingWorld.

UnitingWorld thanks you for standing with them in the fight against poverty.

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Message From Parramatta Mission

Plans are underway to celebrate the International Day of Peace as the Interfaith Prayer Service at Parramatta Mission. People representing fourteen different faiths and cultural backgrounds will offer prayers for peace and harmony.

You are cordially invited to this Peace service which will be held on Monday 21st of September at 2.00 pm at the Fellowship Centre (next to the historic Leigh Memorial Church and a stone’s throw distance from the Parramatta train station), 119 Macquarie Street, Parramatta. Refreshments will be served after the service.

At a time when there is so much discord among people of different faiths resulting in disharmony and violence, this service offers people of different faith to come closer to look at humanity’s common longing for peace, and work for a harmonious community.

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Leura UC Retreat

Loving yourself into being: A Retreat at Leura Uniting Church, cnr Megalong St and Grose St, Saturday 18 July, 10am – 3.30pm

Retreat Leader: John Bleyerveen

How do we love ourselves well? Love is the beginning and end of the spiritual life. Jesus tells us that the love of God and others is all interconnected with the love of self.

This retreat explores how love of self can be one of the creative channels through which God’s grace pours into our life. How do we claim back our own true self without becoming selfish or narcissistic?

The retreat will have a variety of special moments formed with different inputs and include personal meditation, creative prayer exploration, small group work and whole community conversation. We actively seek people from a broad variety of backgrounds and God always blesses us with the richness of gifts in the people attending.

We hope to be an authentic experience of the communion of the Holy Spirit. Tea/coffee, cake and fruit will be provided, but please bring lunch or buy it locally. There is a suggested donation of $20 (for earners). More details on the flyer on the noticeboard.

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Lent Event 2015: Resources

Lent Event is UnitingWorld’s call on the church to be a loving, active community. Our shared aim is to see people living out a practical faith that is part of and witness to God’s mission in the world. Join this growing movement for the 40 days of Lent through shared worship, study, prayer and simple living. And, by giving up something you’d struggle to do without and donating the money saved, you’ll help break the poverty cycle for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Please refer to the links below for Lent Event resources:
Bible Studies
Resources for Youth & Children
Lenten Worship
Daily Prayers

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