What’s been happening

What’s been happening

VENUE UPDATE: Day of Mourning Service

VENUE CHANGE TO 20 WESTFIELD DRIVE, DONCASTER Sadly the forecast for Sunday is unpredictable.  To ensure the comfort and safety of all our attendees, and to avoid last minute confusing changes, we are moving the service from Westerfolds Park to the church in Westfield Drive. Please ensure all your friends are aware of this change.  If you live in a retirement village, please share so everyone knows. Don’t assume people will know of the venue change. We regret this decision…

Never left to Struggle Alone

I bet the angel that appeared to Mary didn’t have bright, orange-dyed hair.  Mine did.  At the time I was struggling through an unfamiliar cavernous supermarket, trying to drag a broken basket on wheels towards the checkout.  I was hot and bothered when suddenly my ‘angel’ appeared.  Unbeknownst to me she had witnessed my struggle and offered to help me.   She took the recalcitrant basket, shepherded me towards the checkout, unloaded my groceries and after seeing me safely on my…

Christingle 2019

Our service began late as lots of people were finding it hard to secure a parking spot – but as we were assured – “it won’t be long and we will have our new building and parking will be ok”. The Advent candles were lit as readers appeared from the east, west, north and south. The service was led by Rev Claire with lots of singing of carols. Some words of some carols were a little different and it seemed Drew had…

blessed are you – East Gippsland

This prayer of blessing was written by Presbytery of Gippsland UCA Minister Rev Jennie Gordon in between shifts working at a firezone relief centre in the town of Bairnsdale. She asked us to share it for all affected by the bushfire crisis. blessed are you – East Gippsland blessed are youwho walk the scorching beachesand shelter in the oceanbrushing burning embersGod beside you blessed are youwho weep with grief and sorrowand bear an ashen imageof a life of green and growingGod beside you blessed are…

Lessons learnt…

…FROM OUR CLOSE CALL WITH ONE OF THE MANY RECENT THE BUSH FIRES Dale and I watched, from our balcony, the Bundoora bush fire rapidly growing in size and heading in the direction of our home. Our first thoughts were that we’ll be fine as the CFA, the MFB and the helicopters will arrive soon. However, with the strong winds behind the flames, the pace of the fire’s advance was frightening. It looked as if the fire would miss our…

Funeral Workshop Recap

The funeral worship held at Westfield Drive on 4 December  was extremely helpful and informative. Megan opened proceedings and introduced James and Peter from Bethel Funerals* who gave a comprehensive presentation about what to do to plan for a funeral and happily answered all questions. The presentation began with the useful information that if someone dies at home, the first call is to the ambulance. The paramedics are able to sign the death certificate to save calling the doctor also.…

The Christmas Luncheon

I was glancing through my emails on my phone when George wandered into the hall at Westfield Drive. We greeted each other as George sat down beside me.  “Must be a party on today” said George, as he glanced across the room. Before us were a row of tables neatly set up with white tablecloths and decorated with a Christmas theme. There was a shortbread biscuit in a clear plastic sleeve for each person.  The top was tied with a…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 8

So what? And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’ Luke 2:13-14 Reflection And so you have reached the final station.  We hope that these stations have challenged you to consider current issues around the world, this nation, this community.  As you ponder the nativity scene in the stable, remember the messiness of life, the…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 7

Wisdom of elders Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband…

Back to Bethlehem

A carol service with an alternative nativity was held at the Woodhouse Grove site on Sunday 15 December, 2019. Read more about the evening

This is your life

Back to Bethlehem ‘Back to Bethlehem’ seemed a good introduction to the Christmas story. But then what’s new in this familiar story told annually at this time of the year. I was attracted by the thought of a sausage sizzle, onions cooked to perfection, fresh white bread and an assortment of sauces. My disappointment, when at last, bread in hand I selected my sausage, I was told “no onions”.    It’s the golf, I was told.  The Presidents Cup had delayed…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 6

Seeking refuge Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’  Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what…

Journey of Hope to Christmas Morning station 5

Poverty While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2: 6-7 Reflection Poverty is a complex issue.  There are people just trying to survive in our community around here.  There are people who can only afford to pay the rent or buy food,…

People with Disability

The 3rd December wass the International Day of People with Disability. As a lead up to this day, at our combined service on Sunday 10 November, Rev Deacon Andy Calder spoke of people with difficulties and differences in our community and in the Uniting Church. He referred to defining stereotypes people hold about disability and importantly pointed out the overtones of terms such as ‘inclusion’ as presupposing a group which is ‘in’ and a group which is ‘out’. He emphasised…

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…