PARISH NEWS REFLECTION – Mark 7:1-8, 14-23
Through-out the best part of the pandemic, we have had to pivot and adjust to the many and various restrictions that have been mandated. From social distancing to density quotas and even curfews, it’s what we’ve accepted for the sake of stopping the spread and ensuring we keep everyone as safe as possible, and that seems reasonable enough. Yet, as it is common amongst people, we enjoy painting rules with moral colours, we love to make ourselves feel righteous and perhaps even seek rewards for good behaviour. But for those who break the rules, they are seen as tainted, dangerous and perhaps shamed and shunned for their rebellious ways.
This leads people to see themselves as righteous, perhaps even moral arbiters in the position to judge others according to the morality of the day. This is what happens when we elevate and conflate man-made rules and laws with moral and perhaps even spiritual virtues and commands. This phenomenon is not new but was what the Pharisees did in Jesus day as we will see in Mark 7:1-8, 14-23.
1. The Traditions of Men
2. The Heart of the Law
3. The State of our Hearts
OUR HYMNS FOR THIS SUNDAY
TIS 598 Dear Father, Lord of humankind Yet not I
TIS 599 Take my life and let it be
Due to current lockdown restrictions, all activities in person are suspended except for the Monday community meal which is seen as an essential service. The office is closed and you are not allowed to come on-site without permission. Having said this, church life continues. The clergy are available to speak to on the phone, and please don’t hesitate to call! Bible studies continue via Zoom. Services continue to be recorded and made available for each Sunday morning (Thank you Deve and Naomi!). And we continue to pray for each other from our homes and to learn from God’s word. Hopefully next week we will once again be able to meet face to face.
Under current restrictions, people are not allowed to come to the church to mow lawns and do gardening. As spring approaches, we do hope these restrictions will lift but in the meantime, we must comply.
BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE
Hall renovations – We have some good news on our building project. We have the go-ahead to begin Parish Hall renovations. The idea is to spruce up the hall as it will be used extensively for many of our activities during the building of the new Parish Centre. We plan to begin these works on 13 September and these works will continue for about three weeks as the roofing is replaced, damaged timbers replaced, kitchen cupboards and benchtops replaced, and the whole building repainted inside and out in approved heritage colours.
Basketball Court - We have also received in the last week approval for the new basketball court. As soon as restrictions allow our builder to begin works, we will begin. It has been a long wait for this approval but God willing, we hope to see the court available in October.
New Parish Centre - The planning approval process for building on heritage sites is slow and confusing but we are in the final stages of submitting our planning permit application after many, many meetings. Please pray for our architect Geoff, and for all the building committee (Marien, Margo, Doreen, Jeremy and Graeme) in this important work. Thank you to all who have donated. There is still time to support this wonderful new project if you would like to.
OUR WEEKLY OFFERING
Thank you to those who are either depositing into our bank account or dropping off your offerings at the vicarage. Bank details are as follows:
Name: St James Anglican Church, Dandenong
BSB 703 122
Account No: 05004623
If you have a Stewardship envelope, please use your name and envelope number as a reference so that it can be applied to your stewardship giving.
If you wish to make a donation to the Building Fund:
Account Name - St James Building Fund
Account Number - 05009897
PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS
We pray for those who are sick or troubled in body or mind, or who have special needs: (Please email email@example.com or contact clergy for prayers for anyone who is in need of them).
This week we continue to pray for: Bethuel; Russell; Melanie; Mike; Mark; Hazel; Clovis; Stephen; Shenae. Could those who have placed names in the Book for Prayers please update it by removing anyone who is no longer in need of special prayers. Alternatively you can email the office. Thank you.
We also pray for: Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan; The Diocese of Adelaide; St David’s Doncaster East; Provincial Visit to Gippsland by Abp Philip Frier; Archbishop Philip and all our Bishops in their ministry this week.
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY: 5 September– 15th Sunday after Pentecost
Proverbs 22.1-2, 8-9, 22-23;
James 2.1-10, 2.14-17;
Have a wonderful week and if you need anything please email the office firstname.lastname@example.org