OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK
OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK
Uniting Wyndham Christmas Appeal
Uniting Wyndham will be collecting and distributing toys and Christmas food hampers to families in need in December. Please bring donations of new toys and food items and place them in the collection box in the foyer.
Christmas Hamper raffle
George and Robyn Tomkins are hoping to be able to run an ‘in-house’ raffle to raise money to assist people and families ‘out of luck’ and needing a bit of help this Christmas. They are hoping to receive donations of appropriate Christmas gifts to include in the hamper—packaged shortbread, puddings and sweets, small gifts for children, perhaps some tinned goods (with use-by dates after March ’18). Maybe there’ll be enough donated for two hampers!
One small item from many donors will make a wonderful hamper.
Carol Service at Crossroads
The Crossroads carol service will be held next Sunday 17 December, at 7 pm, in the church. Please ring a plate of something to share for supper.
Saturday 16 December—meet at the church at 1 pm with singing voices and in festive dress, as we visit local nursing homes. Please bring some afternoon tea to share at 4 pm. Any questions, please contact Frances Geilen or Sharron Inglis.
Raana Rashidi and her husband Amir Sanaee are rejoicing in the birth of their son Ayden. Raana and Amir were baptised at Crossroads last year and moved to Craigieburn at the end of the year to be closer to her sister. For contact details, please see Mary Dixon.
Please note that the church office will be open only on Thursday mornings between 22/12/17 and 29/1/18. The last Connection for 2017 will be published on Sunday 24/12/17 and will resume for the first Sunday in February.
EVENTS AND NOTICES
Today’s Congregational Meeting
Please see the full statement of the new Strategic Mission Plan that has been distributed today. As is the practice of the Uniting Church, we will try to use Consensus Decision Making as the process for the ratification of the Plan.
Consensus Decision Making is based on the belief that the way forward may best be discerned through the achievement of consensus (as opposed to majority rule). If consensus cannot be achieved, the next step is to recognise a decision by agreement which means that there were some who remained unsupportive of the decision. If agreement cannot be achieved, the chairperson will seek the mind of the Congregation as to whether the decision needs to be made now. If the answer is no, then the matter is not resolved and is held over to another day.
To assist the chairperson see how people are feeling, it is usual for each person to have three cards—an orange card to signify support (or consensus), a blue card to signify that the holder of the card is not ready to support the proposal and would like more discussion. The third card, yellow, is used to indicate to the chairperson that the holder of the card wishes to speak.
Consensus is achieved if only orange cards are being shown. If blue cards persist after further discussion, the chairperson asks whether those holding the blue cards believe that they have been heard, and if so, would they be prepared to accept a consensus. If yes, they show an orange card.
If no, and they persist with the blue cards, stopping consensus, the chairperson asks if they would be prepared to accept the decision as being by agreement. If yes, they show an orange card, if no they hold up the blue card again. At that stage, the chairperson says that formal voting will be then used, which means that the decision can be supported by as little as 51% of those present casting a formal vote.
The Christmas Bowl (Advent 2)
After more than 25 years of violence, the civil war in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009. Those who fled are beginning to make the return home but face many challenges, including whether their house is still standing! This week, pray for families who are seeking to return to their homeland, that they may return safely.
When civil war broke out in Sri Lanka in 1983, many families fled to India in search of safety. The conflict raged off and on for 26 years, before ending in a series of brutal clashes in 2009.
After nearly three decades away from their homes, refugee families in India have real concerns about what their future will look like if they do decide to return home
including whether their house is still standing.
Janarthan is one refugee who, through your support, has recently made the trip home with his family. When he returned home with his family, they were met by a welcome group organised by Act for Peace’s partner, the Organisation for Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation (OfERR). OfERR helps recently returned refugees solve problems as a community and provides them with the knowledge they need to access essential government services. For many returning Sri Lankans like Janarthan, this integration provides a sense of belonging, a role in the community, and an opportunity to rebuild their nation.
Janarthan is now busy growing rice and vegetables on his family’s land and doing day labour to support his family. His two eldest children are enrolled in the nearby school.
By collectively mapping out and overcoming barriers in the way, their journey home was far less daunting. Your support through the Christmas Bowl is bringing hope and good news to refugee families in Sri Lanka and helping to prepare a way home.
$1,600 can cover the cost of materials need to build transitional shelters for refugees as they re-establish themselves in Sri Lanka.
Worship Plan for this week
9.30 am Family Worship, led by Rev. Mike Lewis, including a Congregational Meeting to approve the new strategic mission plan for our Congregation.
Following worship today
Please join us for morning tea in the foyer.
Activities this week
Monday: Playgroup, 9.30 am in the Foyer.
Wednesday: Church Council, 6.30 pm at the Cochrans.
Thursday: Bible Study, 8 pm at Savorys.
Saturday: Roaming Carols – meet at the church at 1 pm.
Next Sunday — 17 December 2017
9.30 am Family Worship, led by Rev. Mike Lewis.
Rosters for Next Week
Duty Elder: Rob Bradley
Morning Tea: Julie Rees & Lorraine Sewell
Flowers: Luciana Aragon
Reader: Blair Dixon
Greeting: Margaret Gook
AV Desk: Brendan Geilen
Prayers: Robyn Tomkins
Piano: To be confirmed
Bible Readings next week: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11; I Thessalonians 5:16–24; Psalm 126; John 1:6–8, 19–28.
Prayer Calendar this week : Winchelsea Congregation and Leadership.
Housekeeping & Help
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
Office hours are Monday–Friday 9.30 am–12 noon.
Telephone 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.
Newsletter items by Wednesday morning, please ...