Corner Inlet Uniting Church Parish members were delighted to welcome Moderator Denise Liersch last Sunday, as she travels around the Gippsland region meeting with congregations.
Minister Rev Jennie Gordon says it was wonderful to have an opportunity to chat with Denise and share a deep sense of fellowship.
“Denise came to share worship and lunch with us at Foster and it was wonderful,” Jennie says.
“She brought us stories about small and large gatherings of people across the Synod who were doing different things, and of places she had visited before, between and after the lockdowns.
“(She spoke of) congregations that were being brave and embarking on new adventures and people with a divergence of cultures and capacities responding in creative ways to the restrictions of the pandemic, and she asked us to hold their stories and to pray for them.”
Jennie says Denise’s visit illustrated perfectly the importance of those “small stories” and how they enabled the establishment of deep connections among so many people.
“Denise said that she would take the stories of her time with us and share them as she continues to move around the Synod, and she would ask others to pray for us in the Corner Inlet Parish,” Jennie says.
“In her work across Victoria and Tasmania, she is collecting stories like threads and weaving them into the fabric of who we are together, city, suburban, rural and remote, reminding us that we matter, that we belong, that we are part of the whole and that our small stories matter.”
And the simple act of sharing lunch with Denise brought great joy to those present.
“Lunch together was utterly delicious, both the food and the company,” Jennie says.
“In these times we deeply value the simple pleasure of sitting down at a table and talking to others, something we took for granted up until COVID restrictions.
“I was reminded that it’s at times like these that we get to share our small stories with each other.
“We chat about family, friends, the garden, the footy, our lives, and in those small stories we find ourselves woven into the fabric of our church, or family, or community, part of a bigger picture, less isolated and alone.
“We take the stories we hear home with us, and we hold them with respect and care, and pray for each other.
“Our small stories matter, yours and mine. Everyone has a story that matters. Thanks Moderator, for the reminder.”