Psalm for Grantham

Grantham, Queensland

Jean Malcolm, priest, has been in Queensland, supporting the people of Grantham as they deal with the chaos, emotion and dislocation following the floods.

Jean has written a powerful Psalm for Grantham, based on Psalm 137.

By the waters of Lockyer Creek
we sat down and wept
when we remembered Grantham.

On the Eucalypts there hung our lives for the world to see,
flotsam and jetsam left high in the branches by the flood waters.

Captives on our roofs and hilltop islands we were;
and now the media come asking us for “songs”;
melodies in our heaviness…

“What was it like? Paint us a picture. Share all the gory details.
How has it all affected you? Tell us, how was it for Grantham?”

How can we say anything in this foreign land,
this devastated space that once was a safe and secure home?

Planted fields sinking under tonnes of sticky mud,
waterlogged spoiled crops stinking in the hot Queensland sun,
houses and shops tossed into crumbling heaps
and cars and machinery crushed by water’s might.

If we forget you, O Grantham,
may our identity as Aussies count as nothing.

We have been bruised but we are not beaten.
We are God’s poor, God’s little ones.

We may not have wealth or status, but we too matter,
and so does our town.

Though the journey back to wholeness is long,
the deconstruction, cleanup and rebuilding,
the ploughing under and replanting,
the battles with red tape and regulations,
and the oceans of grief and anxiety and uncertainty to work through,
you are with us in the midst of it, O God.

You suffer and struggle, weep and laugh with us.

With your strength and love
we will remember who we are,
many members,
building together,
and finding together, new joy.

 

Read more of Jean’s experience in Queensland hereAnd here.

2011 Relay for Life

St Matthew’s has entered a team for the last two relays, and are hopeful of doing so again.

This is a major fund raiser for the Wairarapa Cancer Society, so I am looking for your support to form a team.

When: Saturday, 26th and Sunday, 27th February
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park,
Time: 4pm, Saturday to 10 am, Sunday.

Yes you read it right, team members walk through the night and seek sponsorship for each lap they complete. The more team members, the fewer laps each one has to do.

So if you are capable of walking for an hour or so, are prepared to be part of this real community fun event, and are happy to fly the Masterton Anglican Parish flag, please contact Merv Jones.

Target programme gets underway

Last year, the Vestry agreed to parish participation in the Target Community Programme, an initiative of the Prison Fellowship.

“A Target Community is one that is a prepared community with the heart to minister to both those in prison and those being released from prison. This involves incorporating their families into the community with a view to both providing support and protection during their growth and with the goal of restoring them into full wider community participation.”

The Target Communities Project enables church and wider communities to be trained to accept, coach, encourage and hold accountable released prisoners. This includes supporting their families in a safe and sustainable way and bringing them all into fruitful community interaction.

Each released man or woman will gain a “circle of support” from within a trained community who will work with them to make the adjustments necessary to gain a meaningful life.

Several parishioners are already involved in Prison Ministry, through Unit Seven of the Faith Unit in Rimutaka Prison.

We are looking to provide accommodation for one inmate on his release in July.

Training and resources will be provided to those involved.