What’s been happening

What’s been happening

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 4

Leaders Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May he be like…

What on earth is this ‘Messy Church’ thing?

It’s just Church! Messy Church is simply a way of being church. It isn’t a gimmick and it isn’t particularly new anymore, the first Messy Church having started over 14 years ago in the UK. The name sounds weird, I admit, and it isn’t a new concept at all, but I feel it has taken different lessons and experiences from a variety of places and has come up with something that engages people in a faith community who would not…

Do you have a ‘thin’ place?

As it’s Advent, my Iona prayer and reflection books have been well thumbed. As I re-read them, I am reminded of previous Christmas services where I’ve used prayers and poems or been inspired by one of the songs or stories.   Iona is a small island off the west coast of Scotland. In the 6th century, it was the home of St Columba. It is the burial place of ancient Scottish, Irish and Norwegian kings and a 13th Benedictine Abbey. It…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 3

Australia’s First Peoples In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. Luke 2:1-4 Reflection: The Romans occupied Palestine…

The child who always asked “why”?

Ministers, just like all other professionals, are strongly encouraged to keep up to date with professional development and learning plans. This is partly about acknowledging that we are all on a life-long journey of learning, reflecting, and relearning. It’s not just about keeping up to date with latest ‘trends’ but about being open to new ways, to challenges, to different ways of viewing the world and faith. It’s about growing in discipleship and acknowledging that we do not remain static.…

Playgroup in new surroundings…

Many thanks to the amazing band of helpers who helped us move all the Playgroup toys, furniture and outdoor equipment into the church including upstairs onto the balcony and down to the cave. The removal of some pews has allowed for a fabulous space for Playgroup and the veranda is a great spot to ride bikes and cars as well as looking over the edge to all the work going on below. Morning tea is fun to have on the…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 2

Family violence An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet. Matthew 1:20b-22 Reflection:…

Art as an instrument of healing and connection at ‘Building Bridges Through Story’

 Attendees of BBTS were privileged to be able to view artworks from artists of Aboriginal and refugee backgrounds. During the morning break, four of the artists described a little of the context of their art. A common thread could be found with three of the descriptions – two from Aboriginal Australian women and one from a woman of refugee background. The common theme was the healing nature of being involved in art. It is a way of diffusing the feelings…

SHARED GARDEN MAKES WAY

After almost 6 years of operation the Shared Garden has made way for our new development. This is an exciting time, but also a little sad for the small group of gardeners who have nurtured it for that time. It has been very successful. Happier times were when playgroup children visited to pick strawberries, tomatoes and other produce; morning teas enjoyed by gardeners and others, working bees to set up the planter boxes with shared refreshments; plant stalls for the…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 1

As we begin Advent, we enter a time of expectation and anticipation.  Christmas churns up so many memories of celebrations as well as feelings of grief and confusion. These stations, written by our Minister, Rev Claire Dawe, offer you the opportunity to focus on the Christmas message of hope through the lens of justice, grace and love.  Every few days, a new station will be available for you to ponder.  We hope they will encourage you to connect these ancient…

Fresh Theatre Camp

The Manningham Freshies headed off to Camp Oasis in Mt. Evelyn for the annual FRESH CAMP. Where they met up with all the other Freshies from across the other 3 Fresh Youth Theatres. Over the three days the Freshies were given the opportunity to explore creatively through a number of different challenges. It started with our wide game, where two teams competed against each other to gain the most points by capturing pegs from each other. The teams came up…

Environment Victoria says climate change now manifest

This story looks at current environmental degradation and puts into question the survival of the planet, our only home. For over 30 years the world’s leading climate scientists have warned us that climate change is man-made, and that as it progresses, adverse weather patterns will develop and become more intense, last longer and be more disruptive. Such events are now happening all around the world. Jane Stabb, Community Organising Manager of Environment Victoria, a lobby group, does not want her…

History Snapshot – Caledonian Fair 1910

Originally published in the Reporter (Box Hill, Vic: 1889-1918) Friday 23 September 1910 on page 2. Copy courtesy of National Library of Australia. A Caldedonian fair was held on Friday and Saturday in the mechanics’ institute at Templestowe for the purpose of raising funds for the erection of a vestry at the Templestowe Presbyterian church, and to generally renovate the building. The fair was opened on Friday afternoon by Mrs. Robert Harper, who, notwithstanding the torrents of rain, motored out…

WHO IS OUR DRIVER?

Catching a bus or train earlier than was necessary was a habit of my English grandfather William. His habit caused amusement in the family as it meant he often caught a bus or train before the one he needed to. I’m glad we followed his custom when the tram we caught en route to a train station ground to a halt mid-journey. A truck involved in an accident was blocking the way. In order to determine how long we would…

Musical Memories 19 September Recap

Over 30 old-time music lovers gathered at Westfield Dive for our second sing-a-long of the year. We were grateful to again have the brilliant Dianna as pianist.  Bill, our compere, added interest with background information on the musical items. Janet and her friend Margaret also sang individual items and led the community singing. Of special note was Janet’s singing of Braham’s Lullaby in German and Margaret’s amusing rendition of the English vaudeville song “Waiting at the Church”. We completed Book…

Building Bridges through Story – a reflection

Arriving at the Ajani Centre, I was immediately confronted by a row of florescent vested people sitting at tables, happily directing me to other people with lists eager to register me.  A green band was placed around my wrist, I was sold a lunch ticket and handed a Bendigo Bank bag with lots of goodies.    Looking at the program, I noticed the first activity was a Welcome to Country with a Smoking Ceremony led by our aboriginal friend. We were invited to share in the ceremony by washing ourselves clean in the smoke created by green…

Building Bridges Through Story – Snippets

Building bridges was a fantastic opportunity to hear the voices of a range of people in our community.One take home message was that we all need to think about the things we say and do in our lives that may be unknowingly marginalising or hurting others around us.For example,by welcoming “ladies and gentlemen” to an event this may make 99% of people there feel welcome; but to that one person there that doesn’t see themselves as fitting either category, that…

USING CHURCH PROPERTY TO BUILD MISSION WORK

As published originally in Crosslight, October 2019. Article written by David Southwell. When Doncaster East Uniting Church decided to ask some tough questions about its future it could little dream the answers would lead to a new $8 million community and worship centre.In 2012, the circumstances facing Doncaster East (which later became Anderson Creek Road Uniting Church) would be familiar to many congregations.Former church council secretary Robert Bairstow said with few young people attending, the ageing congregation in the increasingly…

What can be our response as Christians in creating a ‘dementia friendly’ Church community?

The theme of the 2019 Dementia Action Week, which ran from 16 to 22 September was: Dementia doesn’t discriminate. Do you?  The CEO of Dementia Australia Maree McCabe says “Assumptions might be made about a person’s capacity to contribute to conversations, decision-making, whether they can still drive, cook or even continue to work. Friends and family might stop calling or inviting a person living with dementia to social occasions – not out of deliberate neglect but possibly out of not…

Minister’s Message – October

This month, I have conducted a funeral, a baptism and a wedding and I have only done so because I am an ordained Minister of the Word. This vocation allows me access into the most intimate parts of people’s lives through pastoral conversations and listening to their stories. It is an honour that I don’t take for granted. Recently, I was in conversation with a retired minister who had originally been part of a Methodist circuit. I had never met…