Covid -19 1st Update

Covid -19 1st Update


As advised in an earlier post today, and in keeping with advice from both our Diocesan Leadership and the Federal Government, St Augustine’s Unley has decided to pause all Sunday Worship Services in the Church Building until further notice.

While we are yet to determine A NEW arrangement for our AVM (we will in due course) we can announce some measures already taken as follows:

  1. Online Services:

You may be able to join online ‘time together’ tomorrow via by keying in “Unley Church” in ‘search’ at the same time as normal Sunday services’,a s follows.

        09.00am  English Service online

        11.00am  Mandarin Service online

  1. Church will open during weekdays between:

      10.00am—3.00pm  for private prayers

 *Strictly abide the DISTANCING RULES


Our church Bell, along with many others, will be ringing at 8am each Friday, a call for all to pray.

4. Aggies will remain open for business as part of our support to the community BUT we ask every CUSTOMER to strictly follow the Government’s DISTANCE RULES.

5. Minister/Clergy in contact: you may like to contact our Pastor the Ven. Mee Ping Lau via his mobile phone 0410 089 039 or the Rev. Peter Williams on 08 8370 4716.

  1. Thank God for all our Wardens, and Parish Council Members who have faithfully served us over the past 12 months. With the conclusion of their role, they have achieved great work for the Church. May the Lord bless them and our Church. We now await the election of a new team of Parish leadership  in due course.


A Covid-19 Prayer

Archbishop Geoff has called on church communities to pause for prayer


This pause can be for just a few minutes to pray for:
– an end to the pandemic
– healing for people suffering from the illness
– those researching a vaccine
– our political and community leaders as they try to provide – wise leadership
– our health workers as they are at the front line

A suitable prayer could be…

Almighty and All–loving God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we pray to you through Christ the Healer
for those who suffer from the Coronavirus Covid–19
in … and across the world.
We pray too for all who reach out to those who mourn the loss
of each and every person who has died as a result of contracting the disease.
Give wisdom to policymakers,
skill to healthcare professionals and researchers,
comfort to everyone in distress
and a sense of calm to us all in these days of uncertainty and distress.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord
who showed compassion to the outcast,
acceptance to the rejected
and love to those to whom no love was shown.

– Archbishop Michael Jackson, Dublin & Glendalough

Covid-19 Corona Virus Advice

From our Senior Minister the Venerable Mee Ping Lau, a letter concerning the Covid -19 Virus and its impact on in-church worship.

Covid-19Please be advised that, as a result of the Government’s latest directive concerning limiting indoor space to 4m2 per person, we are requesting you do not attend in person our church services until advised otherwise.

We are investigating how we might provide you with essential components of the service such as the sermon. This week we are looking at sending you an abridged version of Peter’s sermon by email and posting it onto our web site. Other forms of keeping you connected to God will be examined and advised in due course.

You may like to try to check in online on and searching for ‘unley church’, you may be able to see us onsite.  You will also find regular updates on our Facebook Page

If you have need for pastoral care please give me a call.

Next week’s AVM will likewise not be held in person. We are investigating how we can observe our obligations in receiving reports and in electing a new parish council. Once we have worked this out we will let you know.

In the meantime may I suggest to you that you pray this prayer


The Venerable Mee Pin Lau

Senior Minister/Archdeacon

St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Unley SA 5061

183 Unley Rd. Unley SA 5061

Tel. 7073 9539 Mobile Ph. 0410 089 039



Dear brothers and sisters of St Augustine’s, 

On our final Sunday with you, Allie and I would like to say a deep, heartfelt thank you for the way you have welcomed us into your community. We are going to miss our Sundays together, and will take away many fond memories of fellowship.

It has been wonderful for us to be able to bring the kids along to church on Sundays. And thank you especially for your enthusiasm about having kids around and your insistence that they are just as much church members as anyone else!

We are very grateful to God for all of you and hope and pray that he will continue to work in you to sanctify and cleanse you through his word. God is working his purpose out through his great gift to the world: the new creation that has begun with Jesus’ death and resurrection. God will continue his work until everything is fulfilled at Jesus’ second coming. 

Hold tightly to these promises. They may seem a bit other-worldly, but sometimes the busyness of life makes us quite myopic. We become unable to hope for anything bigger and better because we become so used to the hum-drum of our daily struggles. We forget that God wants much more for us than we even want for ourselves… 

What does the future hold for St Augustine’s? I urge you to continue in prayer, open your Bibles regularly, and to prioritise the clear proclamation of the gospel. I will endeavour to pray for you myself over coming months. 

In His Grace, 


A Message Worth Fighting For?

Good morning and welcome to St Augustine’s! Please stick around after the service for morning tea – I’d love the chance to meet you, especially if you’re visiting or newish.

Today we’re looking at a part of the Bible (Galatians 2:11-21) that goes to the very heart of our faith. And it involves a pretty serious conflict with the Apostle Peter. Why has Paul aired this dirty laundry in front of everyone? Not just the people in the church, but for all of us to read, even 2000 years later!

As we’ll see, this involves the one thing we can never compromise, never let go of, never add to or subtract from: the message of the gospel. But is it worth going public on your grievances? Is a message ever that important?

I don’t want to spoil the talk (and if you’re reading this afterwards, you can download the recording from our website) but I think we can get nervous when people become dogmatic about their message. Perhaps we think of radicals, or sectarians, or any other kind of violent ideologue.

One way we could look at it is this: if we possessed vital information that could stop a war, would we tweak that information? If we had evidence that would exonerate a prisoner, or a strategy that would help reconcile a marriage that is breaking down, would we allow that to be compromised?

I’m not sure the gospel is actually that different from these examples. It’s a message for the whole human race (I mean, obviously if God became a human, this is for all humans, not just privileged humans), it’s a message relating to our biggest problems (our death, our alienation and sin), and it’s a message of reconciliation with the one who is most important to be reconciled with!

Clearly, we are not to be violent ideologues! But nor should we act as if this message we have in the gospel is simply a bunch of principles for good behaviour. It’s a matter of life and death that people come to God only on the basis of what Jesus has done in taking our place on the cross.

Are you open to the idea that this message is something that needs to be protected and defended at all costs? Let me know if you’ve got any thoughts. You can use the Minister’s Q&A forms handed out today or just chat to me.

In Christ, Mark

Galatians: Why all the aggro?

This Sunday we commence our series of sermons on the Letter to the Galatians, Paul’s first letter to the churches, written no later than the year 50AD, making it an extremely early source by any historical standards.

However, we are not going to be looking at the historicity of Jesus’ ministry, rather the centrality of Jesus’ ministry for the whole message of Christianity.

A few years earlier, on Paul’s first missionary journey, he travelled to the major cities in the southern part of what is present day Turkey and planted these Galatian churches. He shared the message of Jesus first with the Jews of the area, and then to the non-Jews.

Interestingly, Galatians is written with great urgency. Is it that Paul forgot to mention something important? Is it that he feels they didn’t quite get the message right or that they need to be revved up in order to be a bit more passionate?

Well no, there’s a major emergency in these Galatian churches. Following Paul’s visit, some Jewish so-called Christians had infiltrated their ranks and were saying that Paul was only half right about the gospel. Paul had said that the grace of the gospel liberated everyone from the rule of the Law of Moses. But this group was saying that not only should Jews remain distinctively Jewish, but that non-Jews coming to faith should also be required to come under the Law of Moses.

Well, Paul is furious. And desperate to correct this heresy. His letter is dramatic and emphatic. The message of Christianity is about grace: always only grace. Other requirements must not be added to it, or else the message of the gospel will be destroyed.

Do you get a sense of how protective Paul was for the core component of the Christian message? We’re going to spend a few weeks exploring just how crucial this is, not only for them, but also for us. I hope you can join us each week or listen to the recordings of any sermons you miss (see our website).

In Christ, Mark

Life’s Short: Have an Affair?

Today’s topic is a tough one. I was unwell last Sunday and was actually grateful for an additional week to ponder it: “You shall not commit adultery”.

Well I’m not going to ask for a show of hands during this sermon. But these are the sorts of sins that can weigh heavily on us. And yet not everyone thinks that the church should be busying itself with people’s private lives. There is a strong sense in the community that we overreach when we make judgements about what is right and wrong in the bedroom.

So what do you think? Are the days of the church’s moral guidance in the community over? And should we even be telling our own people about what is right and wrong sexually? We’re going to think this through in our sermon today, and if you’re reading this after the fact, then feel free to download the sermon here:

I think the answer to all of this lies in the question of what vision God has revealed (in the Bible) for his church. Is Christianity about us selling a product to the wider community? I don’t think so. Whilst we are constantly appealing to people to come to Christ and become a part of his church, it’s not about bumping up the numbers so we can feel less irrelevant.

The picture in the Bible is of God making a holy people to live with him into eternity. And there is a broad invitation to everyone from every tribe, tongue and nation to be part of this. But at its heart, Christianity is a transformative movement. Transforming helpless sinners into holy, hopeful people, at home with the Lord. Of course we need our sins forgiven before he can even get underway. But God’s work in our lives is lifelong. He wants to purify us from the inside out.

And believe it or not, sexuality is part of that picture of purification. Ultimately he wants us to focus our desire on him, not on anything in all creation, not even on the spouse of your dreams, or some other person who is not your spouse. God wants us. It’s all about his love and desire. Could you ever desire him from the bottom of your heart?

In Christ, Mark


The Good Life In 10 Steps

This Sunday (29 April) we’re beginning a series of sermons on the 10 Commandments. What are you anticipating from this?

Some Aussies feel that the 10 commandments are basic rules for life, a good foundation for ethics, or a way to be a good person.

Other Aussies see the 10 Commandments as having little or no relevance to contemporary life. They are at least 3000 years old, which is nice if you like history, but obviously need to be interpreted for modern living.

And this is the point. We will all see them through a grid. By default we will put them up against our existing moral and ethical framework. We will find some (eg “Do not murder”) as reasonably obvious and easy to keep. But others (eg “Do not make any images”) as unachievable and irrelevant in an image-soaked society in which most of us carry image-capture devices in our pockets at all times.

But Jesus has a different grid through which to see the 10 Commandments (and the rest of the Law of Israel). That grid is himself. He fulfils the Law in ways we couldn’t imagine. He helps us to understand the Law and interpret it for contemporary living. Far from it being out-dated and an unnecessary burden on life, it is actually a clue to fully satisfying living.

But don’t just try to do it yourself. You need to understand what Jesus said and did, or else you will simply create a rod for your own back and you won’t succeed anyway… that’s not the idea.

So I invite you to join us over the next 10 weeks (and stream any sermons from our website that you can’t be here for). This promise of “The Good Life In 10 Steps” is real and reliable, grounded in the very words of God himself. After all, isn’t it possible that the creator knows a thing or two about what he’s made and how it works best, even in today’s complex world?

Are You Ready For Easter?

Easter is less than 2 weeks away. Are you ready to celebrate?

As far as the wider community is concerned, Easter means chocolate and a 4-day weekend. The roads are full of cars, but they’re heading out of town, not to church.

And yet it is the high point of our calendar. We remember the death of the Son of God, his Resurrection and the ushering in of the New Age… events of truly cosmic significance.

So in the busyness of life, let us not be surprised by Easter, as if it has snuck up on us! Let us pray now that God would ready our hearts for a time of humble reflection and joyful celebration. Let us dwell on Jesus in our Gospel readings: so perfect in strength, so gentle in disposition, and so powerful in love.

In today’s reading, Jesus is on trial before the Roman Governor. It’s do or die, and yet he doesn’t say much. But the immensity of his character and his determination of purpose shine a light on the other characters in the story. There’s the weak judge, the jealous leaders, the rebellious prisoner, and the violent soldiers. Up against Jesus, the flaws of humanity are exposed.

I think this is partly how Easter works as a festival: Jesus shines light into our lives too. That light shines in 2 ways;

  1. His extraordinary character reveals our weaknesses and failures. Many of us don’t need to be reminded of these. But regardless of our state of mind, Jesus is the wonderful example of humanity at its best. And if we’re honest we acknowledge that in contrast, we fall short. We too have been weak, jealous, rebellious, and even violent.
  2. Jesus’ inaction in the face of all the torment does not come from fear or confusion (as our inaction often does). In his case, it comes from determined love and purpose. His intention is to bring the light of salvation to the world. So his light shining also cleanses and revives. The light of his love is like a warm sunrise over a dark and cold terrain.

Are you ready to celebrate? Let’s spend these remaining 2 weeks in prayer and reflection on the Easter story. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!


Keeping The Phone Off The Hook With God

I was recently listening to a sermon by an American Pastor on the topic of prayer. 2 things struck me particularly.

First, prayer for the Christian should be a bit like leaving your phone off the hook.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to “pray continually”. I don’t think he means that you never do anything else, that you never talk to others, or never have silent reflection! I think he means that we have a constantly open channel of communication. I believe God wants us to face everything in life knowing that he is walking right beside us.

When something worries you, don’t just mutter to yourself… speak (under your breath if you have to) to your heavenly Father, who knows exactly what you’re facing, and exactly what you’re thinking about!

When you hear of someone’s challenges, bring it to God immediately; don’t wait until you have time to get on your knees!

Second, prayer enables us to carry to God the contemplations of our whole heart, not just the “proper and right” things. This includes our yearnings, frustrations, distresses, guilt, even our anger.

Do not think that God’s ears are too sensitive to hear what your really think! He knows it anyway, and if he wants you to tone it down he can prompt you. But truly, he wants you to pour out your heart to him.

So what are your deepest desires? The things that you long for in your quiet moments? Share them with him.

What are your deepest fears? The things that you would count as the worst outcomes imaginable? Share them with him.

I guess the punch line is: prayer is the place we do business with God. No prayer, no relationship. Stilted prayer, stilted relationship. Open and honest prayer, deepening reality of relationship.

Of course in his sovereignty and through his word he prompts us, encourages us and leads us. And yet so much of what he is seeking from us is a heartfelt, humble response to him. And this is why he wants us to pray. Continually and comprehensively.

Why don’t you try leaving the phone off the hook with God this week? And let him listen to what you really think!