Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Prayer for Quarantine

The practice of quarantine, as we know it, began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This practice, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which mean 40 days.

These lines could be broken up over fourteen days of quarantining...


Let me begin with you, O God,
For you are every beginning, the Author of all life.

As I take a breath and plan the coming days,
Guide my thinking and my planning.

Remind me who you are 
and what you have done
And what you promise...
Mostly, let me remember your promise of eternal Life!

As I wonder what is still to come, I humbly ask:
Please don’t let me be sick. 
Built if I do, help me get through it 
without putting others at risk.

Give me grace when I get cross with others.
Give me patience when I get frustrated with myself.

Let me celebrate this day - it was given by you 
- and you have placed me in it.
May this day be a day of blessings.

May I rest in your arms, O God.

As I approach the phases of continuing this discipline 
I take the opportunity to spiritually stocktake my life.
Show me, Lord, your ways - teach me your paths.

How can I reflect you today, Lord?
What if your creativity finds a place in my soul?

Are you doing a new thing today, O God?
What has died in the life I once knew? 
What must I bury and leave behind?
What will emerge from these days (and weeks)?

So many questions, O God...
So few answers...
I struggle with the way forward.
I wonder. I wait.
I wait upon you.

Is this my time of rest and renewal.
It feels a little frustrating, but I have entered a new rhythm.
Is this a new form of monasticism.
Did you like that era, O God?
Are you inviting us into a deeper companionship?

In this Baker’s dozen, I am trying something new today.
I pray - I wait - I listen for the sounds of holiness and sanctification.
Are you changing me? Is my body strengthening?
Do I feel cleansed? 

I have had a detox of sorts.
I have learnt to be with myself and you.
I did not know their intimacy and even now I am unsure what this holy friendship means.
I rely on you to take us forward - you and I.
Bring me into tomorrow.


Prayer for Isolation

On my own...
I stand by the window, my own community,
wondering what it means to be relational in isolation.
In this time and space, I see a faint reflection in the glass.
Eyes look back into mine, searching my soul, wondering what is there?
I consider my predicament, my identity, my desires.
I understand there must be more to life than this...

So, I pray:

What did it mean for you, Emmanuel,
to depart and break away from the community of holiness?
What did it mean for you to come here, leaving Heaven, to be Human?
What is it for me, one of your creatures,
to discover myself, apart from you, Yet, loved by you?
What is it for me to follow your footsteps
in discovering my life’s purposes,
not in self, but in being yours?

I cannot see others, yet they are on my heart.
I wonder if others remember me?
Lord - I feel alone.
Sometimes - I feel forgotten.
Is this a prison? Are my curtains the new version of prison bars?
O God - I feel grief and the panic rises inside me.
I place my faith in you.
Please calm my speedy heartbeat.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy

In the confusion of my disturbed spirit,
I ask you, in your Holy Spirit,
To come and bless me.
Fill my spirit with your wisdom and strength.
Fill my mind with your thoughts.
Guide my praying and guide me to be still.

I breathe ....
And pray you give me air in my lungs,
even as I pray for those who struggle to breathe.
In their isolation, I pray your make yourself known to them.
Guide me also to find ways of making your presence known to others through me being me.

In this isolation,
help me to know you better,
help me to know myself better,
help me discover your place for me in this new strange world.

In this isolation,
Be my Holy Friend.
Don’t leave me alone.
Help me remember you are always there.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Prayer for Waiting for a Covid Test

Holy God,
Are you there?
Do you see me? Waiting?
Do you see anxiety and wondering?
Do you see into my cells?
Do you see what is happening in my body?
Are you issuing any directions on my behalf?

Spirit of God,
Surely you could be merciful to me.
Look upon me and have compassion,
For I am afraid and I do not want to show my fears to others.
I want to be strong. I want to be courageous.
I want to enable my body to be well and to fight off any illness.
Please let this just be a cold or a mild flu...

And yet, I know, Jesus came and understands my humanity.
Give me hope when things feel hopeless.
Give me light when things seem dark.
Give me an encouraging word and let me live my waiting well.
Comforter, draw near to me,
Hold me safe in your arms.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Recipes - Koh’s Kitchen

Welcome to our online Cooking with a Chaplain series.

What I am trying to do is teach students how to survive on basic staples made interesting and palatable with some tiny luxuries - and keeping the costs to a bare minimum. This is a passing on of knowledge from my two grandmothers who were children in the Depression - one in Australia and the other in Malaysia and China. They passed their knowledge on. BTW - Koh was my ‘maiden name’.

Once upon a time, I was a student supporting myself in a foreign country and struggling to survive. I was studying in France where food is important but also pretty expensive. I am trying to help people see they really can make nutritious meals for $2-$3 and enjoy them.

My best advice to you is to learn 5-6 basic recipes that can be modified according to what ingredients you can get hold of. A few spices can make things more enjoyable and make you feel as if you are still exploring adventures.

If you are struggling to find ingredients, I will make suggestions about what you can substitute. AND - I can send you some mini ziplock bags with samples of spices and herbs so you can try them out. Note: I pack these myself out of my own stock, so these will be in limited supply and depend on my capacity to do this myself.

Some weeks I am hoping to get guest cooks in... Cooks and Youth workers from all over the place.

Hoping you can join in!

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/472329307?pwd=RGpaeHlhQnBpN3VIdlQ4YkFJL0FKQT09 
Meeting ID: 472 329 307 Password: 055802 


Week 2 Thursday 9th April with a TENEBRAE Service(Easter Week)

CHANGE OF RECIPE - because some students didn’t get soup mix!

DAAL (or Dahl) and Rice

Note: I use a commercially available Garam Masala mix in a box packet. The most common spices in the mix are:
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Bay Leaf
  • Peppercorn
  • Fennel
  • Mace
  • Dried Chilli

(Some mixes have other things)
All this tends to be toasted and then ground up into a powder... it is time consuming to make, which is why I buy it in a pack pre-done.
  • Red Lentils (or other lentils)
  • Dried Fried Onions (or fry some up)
  • Garlic (can also be fried up)
  • A small spoon of yoghurt
  • A dessert spoon of Tomato paste or a tomato
  • potato or sweet potato or carrot
  • Mushrooms or peas
  • Whatever other veggies you can get
  • Meat or Fish or Tofu or nuts can be added as you like


I will also teach you how to make an Easter egg with an egg, some string and some tea!


Generally,  I rinse any lentils and rice before cooking...

Boil water (1 part lentils to 4 parts water) - add lentils and stock/coconut milk powder/spices packet
Simmer for 15-20 mins

Prep any other veggies to add

Put on rice (1 part rice to 4 parts water) to boil
Simmer for 10-12 mins - then drain

(If you are cooking any meat or fish or nuts, now is the time to do it, but these are not needed to make this dish nutritious and yummy.)

Cook Veggies - these can be added to the Lentils OR fried for more flavour.
I will show both methods

Add Onions and Garlic and Methi (Fenugreek leaves) And anything else you wanted to add and cook/heat through for the last couple of minutes...


Here is a good link for decorating Easter eggs with tea...



Friday, 20 March 2020

Fone responsive prayers

For when the phone call is the pastoral visit...

The Party Line

Call:  God, as we pray...
Response:  hear us and be with us.

We pray for this time together and give thanks for technology and the ability to meet safely.
We ask you blessing on our devices and ask for clarity and wisdom.

Call:  God, as we pray...
Response:  hear us and be with us.

We pray for our neighbours and give thanks for smiles and waves and the possibility of jokes.
We ask for humour and signs of joy and hope to be the infection that passes around most quickly.

Call:  God, as we pray...
Response:  hear us and be with us.

We pray for anxious times and ask for the ability to listen and ease one another by our connection of spirits.
May your Holy Spirit guide our listening and our speaking.

Call:  God, as we pray...
Response:  hear us and be with us.

We pray for those around us and those absent, as we find new ways of being your people,
May our lives and prayers become entwined in new and precious ways.

Call:  God, as we pray...
Response:  hear us and be with us

Now and always.

Prayer for a relative in Aged Care

Dear God
I pray for .......
May kindness be the daily fare,
For all our loved ones in aged care.
May laughs continue while we are apart.
May life be full of music and art.
May words of wisdom flow free
And plans about for when we see
One another...
For some tea and cake.
I smile at the thought of the réunion of love,
Whether here on earth or in heaven above,
Who knows what will happen? I’m sure I don’t!
But I trust in You, Lord,
So please watch over ........
And thankyou for ....... in my life.