Happy new year from Coburg Uniting Church.
Two gifts of our spiritual practices, of conscious contact with our Higher Power are: a restored ability to see reality more clearly, and becoming aware of our ways of repression. When we repress we avoid awareness. We are all struggling to become aware of ourselves, our motivations, the meaning of our relationships, and especially the meaning of our suffering.
Repression is the reaction of the self in which memories, feelings, and meanings are blotted out of consciousness, only to haunt us later. Whole nations can do this. Repression occurs when the self is too weak to deal with issues or aspects of experience that are too painful. But memories, feelings and meanings of which we are unconscious may seriously shipwreck our well-being and influence our existence.
Neurotic symptoms are expressions of suppressed material that have gained control of our soul and mind, often in disguised ways. So developing our awareness is necessary to the control and direction of ourselves as whole persons. It also plays a huge part of our religious experience. Sadly bad religion weaponizes guilt and authoritarian power, it uses shame and non-acceptance to make people conform to group-think.
Jesus rejected this graceless soul destroying form of religion. It was a religion controlled by elites.
Join us in the seasons of Epiphany and Lent in February and March. We will open doors to greater awareness, less obsessive-compulsive thinking, and rediscover the place where true joy is found; being fully present in each and every moment.
Rev Ron Rosinsky
“If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.”
This newsletter is also available on the Coburg Uniting website and Facebook page.
Worship Topic for February-March:
‘Native American Theology, Zen Buddhism and Christian Mysticism’
Looking forward: February
First Sunday: Celebration of Communion, featuring music by Josh Cake
Second Sunday: Featuring music by Ruth Sandy and the singing group
Third Sunday: Featuring music by Keith Hoffmann
Fourth Sunday: Featuring music by Josh Cake and the Coburg band
- Sunday 5 February: Topic – Christianity: Celebrating Queer Identity
- Sunday 26 February: Season of Lent beings
Spiritual Growth Programs
- Men’s Group Dinner and discussion: First Saturday monthly, 6-9pm at church. First meeting of 2023, Saturday 4th February.
Topic: ‘How not to live life dead on the inside’, featuring Richard Rohr’s, ‘Falling Upward, A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life’
And studying chapters 8-13 from Rohr’s book in the first half of 2023.
- Guided Meditation Group: Third Sunday monthly, 11:45am- 12:30 in front room at church. Next meeting, Sunday 19th February
- Social Board Games Night: Thursday 9 February and Thursday 23 February (2nd and 4th Thursdays), 7:30-10pm in the front room at church
- Coffee Chat and Play: Playgroup every Friday 10:30am-12pm during school term. Recommences Friday 3 February
- Coburg Common: located behind Coburg Uniting Church. Come and garden, or buy a plant, or have a chat
Call out for volunteers to lead and serve at Coburg Uniting in 2023:
We have started the year with enthusiasm and momentum. In January we had two open discussions after church; one for those interested in planning music and liturgy for worship, and a second to dream and plan our programs and activities for the year.
Both meetings were excellent and very well attended. More information about the excellent ideas from those meetings is forthcoming. But here is a sample of the ideas:
- During the service use simple hymns which are memorable, and use uplifting tunes; include chants, and appropriate secular music which underscores the worship theme in a soulful way;
- Tradition and ritual are good for an individual’s well-being and in important part of worship, but keep it relevant, not fossilized. Sustain the balance between ritual and variety.
- Overall Emphasis: our church offers a unique Christian spirituality that supports an individual’s well-being and mental health.
- Three main areas of focus on in 2023 under the overall emphasis: Developing our relationship with Merri health; mental health and wellbeing; LGBTQA+ focus in some services.
- Lifting our church profile through Tik-Tok and Instagram.
- Upcoming events that we are planning for: International Women’s Day lunch; Music in the Garden; Blessing of the Animals Service; Christmas Carols Service; and fifth Sunday lunches
We are looking for leadership. This can come in the form of your ideas, or giving your time to support our Sunday morning programs and weekday activities. We are also moving our operations from the church to the hall in 2023 to complete a renovation.
Please see Rachel or Ron if you can help.
International Women’s Day: Annual Heather Pover Oration and Lunch
Sunday 5 March 2023 at 12pm
Theme: “A ‘Telling’ Tale: Celebrating Women Storytellers“, featuring a panel of distinguished women who are community leaders and innovative thinkers.