#Immerse 2017

The people of the Uniting Church (Ringwood) are called into God’s mission, contributing in the tradition of Jesus to known and unknown neighbours’ lives, in the Spirit of God’s compassion, justice and liberating reconciliation.

RUC understands mission as cultivating the imagination of the community to see God at work in the world and join in being the Good News. We look to be shaped by scripture, worship and action to grow spiritually, in theological understanding and the risky practices of being the body of Christ.

You can read more about the #Immerse program and the  recommended practices for our Practicing Discipleship Mission Objective here Immerse 2017 – Practicing Discipleship

New logo & website for our Community Living Centre!

CLC LogoOur Community Living Centre has a new logo and website that can be found by clicking here http://www.ssclc.org.au

Mar 31

# Immerse

Today I finished reading the story of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and at the ending my tears flowed.

A man so committed to his Christian faith to boldly proclaim this faith in his God and his Christ in word and action against the evils of Hitler’s Nazi regime.

How this cost him his life, trusting completely in His God’s grace, knowing death as the doorway to the freedom of eternity.

Murdered only days before Hitler’s suicide and liberation.

Unanswered questions rushed into my mind. Is his God also my God? Is my God truly love? Is my God for real?

In the cool of this evening I wandered into our garden and immersed myself into the sound of the crickets, the splendour of the blooms of the Crepe Myrtle and the perfume of the ginger plant flowers.

Their voices calmed my soul, prompted my mind to be still. Surrender to the mystery of the Divine Spirit.

Do not seek answers to unanswerable questions. Be still, be at peace and know that I am God.

– John

Mar 24

# Immerse

Crappy day at work, millions of dollars of water couldn’t be traded because trading system went down for a couple of hours, contract payments due, vendor threatening legal action but quality of work is not satisfactory, competing stakeholder interests remain unresolved as arguments escalate. The day is demanding and eventually comes to an end, thank god. Arrive home and the dogs are waiting for their walk. I’m out the back door and into a joyous welcome, jumping, barking, all manner of carrying on. Put the leads on and we’re off, heads up, skipping along. Down the hill and into the reserve. Even though we’ve walked this path so many times before the dogs act like it’s the first time they ever encountered it. Covering as much ground as possible, searching, exploring, seeking out what’s new, what’s familiar. Tails wagging, noses sniffing and tongues hanging out. The energy is infectious. We meet other dogs on the way, every bum is sniffed, everyone is welcomed regardless of breed, size, sex or number of legs. We continue around the reserve, the exploring is never ending, always more to discover. We head out of the reserve and back up the hill. The steps are slower but my fury children look like they they’re smiling from ear to ear, happy to have once again encountered the wonders of the reserve and optimistic there will be more to discover next time. I’m also smiling and thinking, not for the first time, is it just a coincidence that the word Dog is God spelt backwards?

– Brett

Mar 17

Immerse

Every morning around 7am I go for a walk along the Mullum Mullum track, at the back of the Cherry Tree retirement village where I live. In the two years I have been here, this has been an important way for me to start each day.

The Immerse experience has led me to rethink how I approach this walk. Perhaps I have become too focused on problems I am facing, or other things which cause me to spend the time on the walk on introspection and inward, self-guided thoughts.

Lately, I am choosing to  use the time looking out around me, sensing the beauty and the activity along the track, opening up my thoughts to the wonder of God and His Universe, and reveling in the fact I am alive and have a brand new day ahead to explore.

I have become much more aware of each day being a fresh new opportunity, with the crisp early morning air invigorating me. I have come to notice the ducks paddling in the creek, the bright new rays of early morning sunlight lighting up the trunks of some of the trees and the branches. I have become more aware of the myriad of early morning sounds, from the calls of the magpies to the gurgling of the creek.

A new perspective on the wonder of God, and my privilege of being part of all this, for another day, has emerged. A renewed sense of hope and the wonder of life has occurred. I am much better prepared for the day, than if I were to concentrate on how to solve the problems I am facing.

Deborah Ann  Belka has written a short poem which sums up  my recent  experiences.

A Brand New Day

A brand new day,

Is on the rise …….

God’s beauty unfolding,

right before my eyes.

O what splendor,

O such a delight,

seeing the dawning

of morn’s early light.

Taking in the warmth,

soaking up each ray,

bathing in the glory

God has for me today.

Peter S

Mar 10

# Immerse

Andy is in the middle of changing jobs, but with no time to take a longer break, on Tuesday we took the opportunity to have an overnight mini-break. We went to Marysville—a beautiful but scarred place.

Last Sunday Tony asked us about significant places or experiences of worship, and for me many of these times have been outside in nature. As a teenager at summer and Easter camps I can remember being invited to go outside to spend time with God, and these were often powerful for me. As an adult I find natural settings to be restorative and allow me to focus on a God of mystery and love. So this little trip seemed a good opportunity to find some time to ‘Immerse’ myself.

As we sat on the deck of our accommodation we marvelled at the quiet (minus three children helped) and I sat for a period just watching the little birds flit about in the garden in front of me. I recalled the bible passage (Matthew 6:25-27) where Jesus talks of the birds of the air, how they don’t worry – God loves them and we in turn should know how much God loves us. Wow! I just sat and breathed in the moment feeling closer to God, but reflected how sometimes I get so caught up in the ‘worries’ and the need to ‘get things done’, that I forget this promise.

We also walked to nearby Steavenson Falls. As we hiked to the top of the waterfall we noted the landscape—though beautiful—still scarred from the bushfires in 2009 that nearly wiped out Marysville. But we also marvelled at the resilience of the natural world to regenerate and grow again—a reminder that God continues to love despite devastation that had visited before.

The trip reminded me of the importance of connecting with God—a God who loves me and all of creation. It is so easy to get caught up in our ‘busy’ and broken lives, but God’s love is always there. I need to make the time to ‘Immerse’ myself more often! I hope you can too.

– Kerryn

Mar 10

# Immerse

I was tired after a long day at work.

Report writing, supporting stressed staff, responding to traumatised clients, dealing with the unrealistic demands of workers from various services as well as seemingly endless emails and phone calls had worn me out.

I took my glass of soda water outside to the garden rocker in our back yard. I sat and rocked and enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine. I closed my eyes and listened to the birds and the leaves moving in the breeze. I looked around at the plants in our native garden and admired their growth and beauty. I watched our dog sleeping on the lawn that John has so patiently tended. I watched the clouds in the sky.

I closed my eyes again and remembered to be thankful to God for this Immerse Moment. I rocked for a while longer.

Then I had the energy to head indoors and respond to the life awaiting me.

– Maidie

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