The ubiquitous hot cross buns in the supermarkets are an early reminder of the beckoning journey towards the suffering of the Crucifixion.
Across our life as the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania, there is a call to us. Our synod’s Vision and Mission Principles remind us that “the Spirit is calling us forward to new things and back to the hope in the Gospel of Jesus”.
It might be working with young mums and babies, volunteering in our op shops, flipping pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, or participating in homework clubs, worship, breakfast clubs, Bible studies and community gardens – we don’t have to look far to see the Principles embodied in a rich diversity of life-giving ways. And whether it’s the work of Uniting, or congregational life, the Principles are all the same.
Our contemporary expressions of mission, words and deeds are sustained and renewed by the Spirit for our continuing participation in the mission of God in the world.
Shrove Tuesday (this year 13 February) is traditionally the last day to eat all the flour, eggs and dairy products in our kitchens before the start of Lent, a time of abstinence and reflection as we head toward Easter.
Every year, people come together for Uniting’s Pancake Day to flip for a good cause. Congregations around the country are encouraged to host their own Pancake Day event in February or March, helping Uniting to support Australians living in crisis, including those suffering homelessness, domestic violence, addictions and financial hardship.
Rev Lisa Stewart said Pancake Day events at Glen Iris Rd Uniting Church and Community Centre provide important connections within the local community.
“We always make a feature of Pancake Day,” Lisa said.
“Pancake Sunday is an informal get-together and fundraiser for the congregation, but by far the most popular is Pancake Day on the actual day at our family drop-in centre.
“The congregation links up with the community centre for a Pancake Day event, creating an event with direct community benefit at the same time as raising funds to support Uniting community services.”
Go to www.pancakeday.com.au to register. While many of our congregations are experienced flippers, there’s information to help set up Pancake Day events with colleagues, friends or at your church. There are resources, tips and ideas about how and when to run an event.
Rev John Clarke is the director of mission at Uniting.