Welcome to St Leonards Church Brighton
We are an all-age, welcoming church, trying to live out our faith in Jesus.
In January we begin to focus on the early part of Christ’s ministry.
Worship services are varied and stimulating.
Up to to February 2 there is one worship service each Sunday at 10:00am. Communion is celebrated on 12 January and all are welcome.
From February 9 there will be two services at 9:15am and 10:30am.
Prayer in the midst of the Australian Fires
This prayer from the snow comes from Maren Tirabassi, United Church of Christ pastor New Hampshire USA.
God, I come to the backyard to pray
holding handfuls of snow
in my bare hands,
as I learn these new words —
I pray for people across the world from me,
in New South Wales and Victoria,
where heat, high winds, drought,
and the warming of the earth,
are taking lives and burning homes,
bush, businesses, schools,
places of happiness.
I pray for families split
as they choose between evacuation and staying
where no fire truck can come if the wind changes,
and last-minute fleeing in a car is the most dangerous of all.
I pray for residents and tourists
crowded on northbound boats
that escape to the sea,
and I surely pray
for those who try, against all odds,
to predict the paths,
who fight wildfire outbreaks,
who send in food and clothing,
who staff evacuation centers
and comfort children
that will be living with fear
for a long, long time.
Against the random danger
of ember attacks,
safety has a snowball’s chance,
but I hold this snow, this prayer
naming our cold and holy hope —
because the world cares.
Rev Kim Cain was Editor of the Synod Magazine “Crosslight” before being called to St Leonard’s. On the anniversary of the 300th Edition, Kim reflects on his time as Editor. This includes the time of the Black Saturday bushfires that ravaged Victoria. As we face uncontrolled bushfires his experiences gives an insight into the role of the Uniting Church then and now.
Managing and executive editor: Kim Cain
“I never saw Crosslight as a news organ that would ‘toe the party line’.”
As I look across the editions of Crosslight from my time as managing editor, then as executive editor, the things that stand out are the people: the people of the church working consistently at the faith in thought and deed – and how little things have changed over the decade since I left Synod communications.
The first front page story I edited for the September 2007 edition was the Governor of Victoria, David de Kretsa, a Uniting Church member, calling on the church “to lead the climate change debate’.
That issue kept on reappearing, including on the spot reporting from the shores of world’s lowest laying nation, Tuvalu in the Pacific.
I never saw Crosslight as a news organ that would ‘toe the party line’.
Ordinary voices spoke, and those in leadership – who had plenty of exposure in multiple places – were quoted when they had something to say and not just fill columns.
We wanted the paper to be a ‘common ground’ for all the church, allowing all the people of the church and those who observe it, to see and hear itself on our pages.
So we drew on the wisdom of the church in getting many voices to offer spiritual reflections, comment and perspective on the things we faced together.
I’ve always felt that Christian communication is an act that stands clearly under the care of the creative word of God. Christian Communication is a life-giving enterprise and each word, image used relates to truth. Ideals, worth preserving.
There were the bumpy bits along the way: quite a few people were less than happy at an article, ‘Ecumenical Emergency’, which took a hard look at ecumenism and life at the World Council of Churches.
But all this was about allowing church publication to speak into not just the public square but the sometimes ‘unspoken’ issues within the church itself. All the along the Good News of Jesus was present. I hope.
Then there was the catastrophe we cannot forget, the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.
The wave of community goodwill that surged in the days following engulfed the Uniting Church, as we tried to make our responses: practical, communal and spiritual.
Our little paper, Crosslight, was determined to cover that response, as we knew many of our people would be there front and centre: some victims, some firefighters, some neighbours, many community responders now.
Our wider church needed to know how our church went about its task of faith in action.
I had heard a little community church had been razed, and so made some enquiries. I found a farming family, with links to the Uniting Church, who had themselves, fought flames to protect their home.
It was at a rural area called Baynton – just a few blistering miles from where the seat of original East Kilmore fire that would eventually grow to sweep through the areas north of Melbourne -taking lives, homes and futures before it.
I visited the family, driving around burnout out trees and thick ash lined roads. As I arrived I saw the burnt paddocks run up right up to the farmhouse door. Fence posts along the side of the house were but cinders; fruit on the trees next to the side walls had stewed in their own juice on blackened branches.
Inside an exhausted Pip and Jenny Easton spoke of the engulfing fear of that day: of father and son taking refuge from the radiant heat behind the house only to run out again and again to battle the flames.
Acres of loss surrounded them yet, they felt lucky in the face of the losses in other places.
At the end of the interview I asked Pip and Jenny if they would let me take their photograph in front of the home. They agreed and stoically stood before the camera. When I suggested they might move closer together, something gave: husband and wife fell into each other’s arms, a kiss, a hug and a wave of love and emotion came over the place out there on the burnt lawn.
It was a tender of moment that still lingers in my mind.
Kim Cain spent 13 years in comms roles at Synod, finishing in 2010. From that time he has been Minister at St. Leonard’s Brighton Beach and until recently acted as Communications Secretary of the Global Christian Forum, a unique international entity that brings together all the major Christian families.
Chamber Philharmonia Orchestra Cologne returns:
Vivaldi – Mozart – Paganini
At St Leonard’s Church – Sunday 2 February 8PM
Tickets on line at www.trybooking.com/BGRQF
or available at the door (cash only)
Adults $40 Concession $35 Student/Child $30
This is a highly recommended performance. We loved their concert last year.