A Prayer for 20th September
Lord, let your continual pity cleanse and defend your church, and because it cannot continue in safety without your aid, keep it evermore by your help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thoughts from Greg
(Not so) everyday wisdom.
This Sunday we begin our series on Ecclesiastes. This enigmatic and thought provoking book is part of the wisdom literature of the Bible. Its teaching is echoed in Jesus’ ministry and it will teach us some important lessons in our search for meaning and practical wisdom in our chaotic world.
Ecclesiastes is full of questions and the author will not let us jump quickly to answers until we have felt the full force of these questions. We often want to take convenient short cuts in life but, when it comes to the big questions of existence, this can be misleading and even dangerous. Ecclesiastes validates our questions and encourages us to spend time on the “slope of the question mark” as one pastoral care trainer told Janine. The questions asked by Ecclesiastes are the questions of real life. Through the ages men and women have reflected on these questions and, by God’s grace and the work of his Spirit, have discerned some wise, but partial, answers. These insights are not restricted to people of Christian faith. Over the next few weeks we will feature some wisdom members of St. Anne’s have gleaned from various sources in our culture. If you have some examples please send them in. Here is one from Chris McGregor:
“I used a quote attributed to John F. Kennedy in my leadership coaching of executives in the Tax Office. Here it is: ‘The person of most use is the idealist without illusions.’ It helped to have it on my desk too.”
Help End Modern Slavery
Micah Australia is inviting us to sign a petition asking the NSW Parliament to debate the NSW Modern Slavery Act which it has passed but is not yet proclaimed as law.
With 20,000 signatures from NSW citizens, NSW Parliament will be called to debate the legislation, and hopefully work towards making it a law.
If enacted, the Act will increase accountability for purchasers of cybersex trafficking of children (also known as Online Sexual Exploitation of Children, or OSEC). Sadly, Australians are the third highest contributors to this heinous crime—one that robs children of their innocence.
The Act will also address slavery in supply chains—which is incredibly important, given that NSW is the seventh largest economy in the Asian region.
Easy, practical opportunities to help end slavery don’t come about often. If you choose to, you can sign the petition here: act now.
Thank you Rebecca
This week will be Rebecca’s last in her roll as Student Minister with our Mandarin Speaking Congregation. We thank God for Rebecca and her faithful ministry among us.
Greg would like some contributions of wisdom you have gleaned from non-biblical sources to complement the sermon series on Ecclesiastes. Short sections of poems or songs or something you have read – just a line or two would be best. Not from recent internet searches but from your own experience. If you have a contribution please email it to the office with the subject “wisdom”. We look forward to sharing your insights.
This month’s diocesan magazine, Southern Cross, can be downloaded here.
Continue to ask God to restrain the evil of dictators and other authoritarian regimes who oppress and persecute their people.
Pray for wisdom for our State and Federal Governments as they consider the indirect effects of the Covid-19 health regulations on vulnerable people. Pray especially for adequate support for families at risk of increased domestic violence, homelessness and poverty. Pray for young people completing their education and looking for employment in difficult economic times.
Please continue to pray for our SRE teachers as they share the good news of Jesus with students each week. Pray for the protection of staff and students at our local schools.
Pray for our Wardens and Parish Council as they have the difficult task of preparing a budget for next year. Thank God for their godly leadership and wise management of our funds and property.
Pray that God will use each of us to bring hope into each situation as we live out our faith.
Prayer for those in need:
Ask God to comfort, strengthen and deepen the trust of those who are sick, grieving, or in special need at this time.
SOAP Bible Readings
Read Scripture daily, write a few thoughts, an application and then pray.
Week beginning 21st September
* Ecclesiastes 2
Week beginning 28th September
* Ecclesiastes 3
Luke 22:66 – 23:56
* Sermon Reading
I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. (Psalm 119:26)
On the Lighter Side