This week - two services for your viewing pleasure. Firstly our Sunday offering, this week celebrating the Ascension of Christ. Also, on Friday I celebrated a service for the website of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. This was filmed at St David’s Moorabbin and Bishop Paul Barker is preaching on the first letter of St Peter. Please use the links above to access these services.
We will also have our weekly live bi-lingual service, using the Zoom app, on Sunday at 10am. You can join us by clicking on the link here.
Our church was filled with the sounds of a trumpet this week as a young man recorded a piece to be played at his grandfather’s funeral in England.
No change to the limitations on church services this week. Church services can be“super-spreader” events, serving as incubators for a wider-scale community infection. One church in South Korea is believed to have provided a setting for thousands of people to contract the virus over the course of a month. I expect there may be some movement from 1 June, given that we read that restaurants will be permitted to have more guests, but we will need to consider the strict requirements that will apply and whether we are able comply with them.
Revised guidelines by the US Centre for Disease Control has set out various precautions to take at houses of worship planning to reopen, depending on the existing rates of community transmission of COVID-19. They include daily cleaning of churches, limiting the size of gatherings, suspending “singing, chanting, or reciting” during services, maintaining social distancing, providing hand sanitizer and encouraging the use of face masks.
Our appeal, Save our St Andrew’s, has been launched and parishioners will be receiving a letter this week explaining our financial need. I hope you will generously respond. This would be an important sign of encouragement to others as we seek donations from the wider community so that we can sustain our presence here in Brighton. Donations can be tax deductible i made through the Music Foundation.
The Ascension of Christ
To capture the movement from Jesus’ earthly life to his heavenly exaltation is probably impossible – whether in words or art. It is so difficult to articulate in the dimensions of this world, the dimensions of the next. We can only imagine it out of the resources to hand.
Lots of painters had depicted the Ascension, from icons in the fifth century, through the renaissance and the baroque, to the spectacular version by the American painter Benjamin West, which is represented above.
It was also a problem for the writers of the New Testament. How do they describe Christ’s Ascension?
Scripture needs understanding, and the key to it is the person of Jesus Christ - risen, ascended, glorified; but not beyond us.
His death for us grants us a share in his life, so he’s not a space traveller. He has gone ahead, to prepare a place for us, and invites us to live his risen and ascended life here on earth, in anticipation of heaven.
Living in anticipation is the fate of the Christian: but in the weirdness of the world at present we’re all living in anticipation, of the new normal, whatever that will be.
What’s in front of us is unreadable, and it’s going to be a while before we see shape and shade and colour. The uncertainty is difficult to live with, but we must put our trust in God whose Spirit is with us and we will celebrate this next week at the feast of Pentecost.
本周有俩场崇拜供您访问浏览。首先是我们的主日崇拜，庆祝耶稣升天。周五，我还为墨尔本圣公会教区的网站崇拜中主理了圣餐崇拜。这段视频是在St David， Moorabbin拍摄的，Paul Barker主教讲道的内容是彼得一书。请使用上面的链接访问这俩场崇拜。
我们还将在周日上午10点通过Zoom app提供每周双语直播崇拜。你可以点击这个链接 Link 加入。
美国疾病控制中心(US Centre for Disease Control)修订的指导方针，根据社区传播COVID-19的现有比率，列出了计划重新开放的教堂需要采取的各种预防措施。这些措施包括每天清理教堂，限制集会规模，在礼拜期间暂停“唱歌、诵经或朗诵”，保持社交距离，提供洗手液，鼓励使用口罩。