29th August 2021- 22nd Ordinary Sunday

Following Friday’s announcement about the program for school children returning (mainly in November), it seems almost certain that the current lockdown will be extended beyond 30 September, and that the St Jude’s Fair (traditionally the second Saturday in November) will not be happening.  The COVID situation is creating more needs than any one of us can meet.  All I can say is that in these circumstances, I continue to “kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may strengthen you according to the riches of his glory” (Ephesians 3:14-15).  At the same time, let us keep on trying to reach out to one another and those outside the church community with human contact of any permissible kind!!

Time has crept up on us during this lockdown, and we find ourselves at a big moment in our parish which we are not able to recognise in a very satisfactory way.  Many will be aware that our Women’s and Families Minister, Kat Cowell, is expecting a baby.  She is going to be on maternity leave as of mid-September, with the due date for the baby being early October.

Her last Sunday is 12th September, when at both 9 am and 4 pm online services, we will be celebrating and thanking God for her ministry over the last nearly three years.

I am very pleased that Kat, Nigel, the new baby (and Oakley the dog!) will still be a part of the St Jude’s community, living at their townhouse in St Jude’s Close and as members of the 4 pm congregation.  This means that it should be possible eventually for us to celebrate Kat’s ministry in a much more satisfactory way, at an in-person gathering.

We are currently working on recruiting new staff for our ministry team in the area of women’s ministry, pastoral care and family and children’s outreach.  Depending on who God sends us, we may end up with a combination of part time staff to fill these roles.  It is possible that Kat will figure in this combination on her return from maternity leave.  We can only seek God’s guidance on this matter as the coming year unfolds.

For the present time, we must give thanks for all that God has done through Kat so far, in her upfront ministry, her work amongst our women, Kid’s Club, youth, Early Learning and throughout our parish, to pray for God’s blessing on all who are expecting babies, and for God to guide and provide for St Judes’ ministry moving forward into next year and beyond.

Not only that, but today we are farewelling a wonderful member of our Sunday School team in Hannah Matthew.  Hannah has been teaching St Judes’ kids on Sunday mornings for the last three years as part of the team sent by Unichurch to help our ministry.  She is moving away from Randwick to begin a new job.  I am grateful to God for her and sad to see her go.

Finally, given our topic today of Compassion, it seems very appropriate for me to share with you some opportunities to show compassion through Anglican Aid.  Please read on…

Anglican Aid is running a worldwide COIVD-19 appeal to support churches and Christian organisations that are at the forefront of providing services for the sick and vulnerable in developing countries. Your donation will provide ventilators, oxygen machines and cylinders, medicine, PPE, and more, so that God’s people can show Christ’s love to those in most need.

For more information, or to give, go to: https://anglicanaid.org.au/covid-19-relief-appeal/

Pray for Myanmar experiencing a devastating 3rd wave. Many have died recently, including over 100 Christian priests and pastors.

  • Thank God for the Church of the Province of Myanmar (CPM) as they seek to care for the gravely sick.
  • Pray that resources such as oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators and medication can reach them swiftly during these critical weeks.

Pray for India as they continue to battle COVID

  • Thank God for Christian hospitals such as Herbertpur Christian Hospital and Nav Jivan Hospital that are caring for all people regardless of race, caste, creed or religion.
  • Pray that the community might take COVID precautions seriously to prevent a third wave.
  • Pray for the families of Christian leaders who have lost their lives, and for churches whose leaders have died. Pray that new faithful leaders will be raised up.
  • Pray for the families connected through Anugrah Disabilities and other Community initiatives who have lost their businesses and livelihoods.