OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK
COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
The third week of Advent is the week of joy. Joy is different to happiness. The word happiness shares its origins with the word happenstance. We are happy because of things that happen to us, our circumstances or context affects our condition. Joy is the opposite. Joy arises from a place within. In the case of joy, it is our condition that affects our context. Imagine the scandalous story of Mary and Joseph, an unwed mother giving birth to a child whose father was not her betrothed! In spite of the fear and shame associated with such an event, there is also much joy: the joy of the miracle of birth, the joy of the miracle of love, the joy of ‘God with us.’ And it is the joy of Jesus’ arrival that becomes a polemic to the shame of the circumstances surrounding his birth.
Joy changes our circumstances. True joy confronts, re-interprets, and reshapes our context. Or as Isaiah so beautifully imagines, there will be ‘streams in the desert’ (35:6) and the way of joy will make ‘sorrow and sighing flee away’ (35:10). Christians believe that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit – in other words, joy grows within us as the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives.
(Christmas Bowl envelopes and Gifts for Peace catalogues are available on the table at the foyer door.)
On Saturday a small but enthusiastic group of singers met at Uniting AgeWell Manor Lakes to spread Christmas cheer to the residents. Dressed in Christmas attire, with bells jingling, the group sang traditional Christmas carols as well as some Christmas favourites. Thank you to Robyn for helping organise the event, and for Wendy for accompanying the singers on the piano. A massive thank you for everyone who came, and brought the spirit of Christmas to our community.
Report from Presbytery
At the Special Meeting of Presbytery on 12 October, (using video conferencing!) calls were issued to two new Presbytery ministers, and accepted. They will begin their settlements with Presbytery at 1 January 2020. They are Revd Linley Liersch, from Horsham, Victoria and Revd Narelle Collas, from Perth Western Australia.
Revd Ian Pearse, convenor of Mission Strategy and Education reported inter alia that short term grants are available up to $500 for specific training of church members in the Presbytery.
It was announced that Playdate Café, for young mums and their children, located at Hoppers Crossing UC, which was originally set up as a Presbytery venture, has been closed. It was explained that the project did not reach the goals set for it, and financially it became unviable. The lesson learned is that in the future, Presbytery will support congregational initiatives.
The Rev. Charles Gallacher distributed promotional material for next year’s Sacred Edge Festival, on May 1–3, at Queenscliff UC, a Presbytery sponsored event. He said: “It’s about the church of today; you are encouraged to register for early bird booking, on 5258 2854”.
Our Presbytery representative is Wendy Barnes.
Come and join us
Crossroads Carol Service tonight at 7 pm, in the Church,
following the Young People’s Get-Together (4.30–6.30 pm) in the Hall.
Bring a friend!
Nooran Mahoney: Baha’i neighbour
Nooran is a member of the Baha’i Community of Wyndham, which gathers every nineteen days for prayer and sharing. Additionally the “Deepening” study circle reflects on the teachings of Bahai’ullah, and there are activities for children and youth.
Over three years I have come to know Nooran; she is an active participant in the Wyndham Inter-Faith Network, helping to organise the Annual Multi-Faith Dinner, attended this year by fifteen Uniting Church folk.
Nooran says “I grew up in Tehran, Iran; after year 9 I moved to Izmir, Turkey and completed my graduate degree in mechanical engineering. I and my husband Sam, also a mechanical engineer, married in Izmir, just at the time of the Islamic revolution. Being of Baha’i faith, it was unsafe for us to return home. The regime in Turkey froze our application for citizenship, so we lived in Cyprus for 3 years, and then the Greek Island of Chios”.
“Through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, we came to Australia in 1985 and experienced migrant hostel life. We found a house in Pakenham; Sam qualified as a technical teacher and obtained work in Victoria. Thankful for our welcome to Australia, we volunteered with Australian Volunteers Abroad”.
Mahonys worked in Mutare, Zimbabwe; Sam as a teacher, and Nooran taught hand sewing to village women. Later, they worked in Botswana, and after eleven years at Oodi, near Gabarone, they returned briefly to their home in Pakenham in 2010. Then, returning to Africa, they taught for two years at the International School in Lusaka, Zambia.
Nooran explained “The teaching of Bahai’ullah is that the religion of God is progressive. God has sent all the prophets to teach us. Science and religion should work hand in hand. The desire of God is love and justice”. (NT)
Worship Plan for this week
9.30 am Advent 3 Service (Rev. Ian Pearse)
12 pm Lisu Service
2.30 pm Dinka Service
7 pm Carol Service
Activities this week
Monday: 9.30 am Playgroup (Foyer)
Friday: 5 pm African Youth (Foyer)
Saturday: 10 am African Youth (Foyer)
Sunday: 9.30 am (Rev. Angela Tampiyappa)
Bible Readings – 22 December 2019
Isaiah 7:10–16; Romans 1:1–7; Matthew 1:18–25; Psalm 80:1–7, 17–19.
Rosters for Next Week
Rosters for 22 December 2019
Minister: Rev. Angela Tampiyappa
Duty Elder: Robyn Tomkins
Greeting: Robert Renton
Morning Tea: Julie Rees & Jan Bradley
Flowers: Jennie Kirkman
Reader: Elaine Belcher
AV Desk: Brendan Geilen
Prayers of the People: Mary Dixon
Piano: Jeremy Withers
Housekeeping & Help
If you or someone you know is in need of pastoral care, please don’t hesitate to contact either Robyn Tomkins or Robert Renton. We’re keen to make sure that when people know that someone has gone into hospital or is otherwise ‘out of sorts’, that they are not forgotten. If we don’t know that someone has suffered some misfortune we are not likely to be able to visit or offer support in some way; so please let us know in such a circumstance.