CONNECTION – 23 DECEMBER – ADVENT 4


Crossroads Connection

OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

Rosters for 2019

You are invited to contribute to our worship services as the leader of the prayer of intercession, assisting with the children’s ‘CRUNCH’ program (during the worship service), and in decorating the church by arranging flowers.  If you are prepared to join the roster for these activities, please let the volunteers in the office know.

Christmas decorations sale

Crossroads Uniting Church Relay for Life team have been given baubles and Christmas decorations to sell 100% of profits are going to Relay for life through Crossroads Uniting Church team.  Baubles and decorations are available during morning tea or by contacting Samantha Gourley.

Donations

Donations to Mike and Caz Lewis’ farewell gift can be either left with the office volunteers or put in a marked envelope in the offering plate.  These will be gratefully received!

Card-making Group

The Cardmaking Group would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

We will continue to make and send cards in 2019 and ask that you save all your old Christmas, Birthday and other cards and drop them off at the Church office.

Carols Against Coal

I heartily recommend that you google Carols Against Coal, written by members of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.  "Cool down the world, the time has come for targets tight and fair.." Download, and sing lustily with good courage!  (A suggestion from Neil Tolliday.)

Join us in prayer for…

  • Prisoners and their families, separated in more ways than bars and prison walls.
  • Asylum seekers and refugees, many separated from loved ones in Australia and elsewhere.
  • Divorcees and their children, often separated by bitterness or misunderstandings or violence.
  • Widows and widowers, separated by death from their loved ones.

EVENTS AND NOTICES

Christmas Bowl: 4th Sunday in Advent

Donations to the Christmas Bowl are tax deductible.  Envelopes  are available on the foyer table or you could use your own envelope with name inside if you would like a receipt. Donations may be placed in the offering plate up to the end of January.

Planet Earth’s global warming warning –  in the Carbon Dioxide greenhouse

Moses said to Israel: ”Today I put before you the choice between life or death...  Therefore, choose life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Crossroads Uniting Church Justice Task Group (JTG) and Werribee River Association are leading an alliance of concerned citizens in Wyndham, raising awareness of Earth’s climate change. Supported by the City of Wyndham, a series of three movies “Awake in Nature” were screened recently, organised by Armando Aragon.

We learned that ocean temperature increase is killing coral reefs around the world.   Industrial overfishing on a massive scale is causing a steep decline in marine life; ocean biologists are deeply concerned at the vast accumulation of plastic in fishes’ guts.

The movie “An Inconvenient Sequel” produced by former US vice-president Al Gore portrays humanity’s moral dilemma; as glaciers melt, seas rise, droughts extend and typhoons accelerate, all are inter-acting on a global scale.

Al Gore says “The task of citizens is to convince your community and your businesses to switch to 100 percent renewables.”

The Justice and International  Mission unit of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania invites concerned folk to send a post card to The Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for the Environment. The Commonwealth Government is urged to not support the Adani Group’s proposal to develop a massive Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Adani coal exports will contribute thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions.

I have copies of the post card; call me (Neil Tolliday)

Worship Plan for this week

Today’s worship

9.30 am   Worship Service (Rev. Mike Lewis)

Activities this week

Most activities will resume at the beginning of February.

Christmas Services

11.30 pm Christmas Eve

9.30 am Christmas Day

Next Sunday – 30 Dec: Christmas 1

9.30 am Family Service (Rev. Mike Lewis)

Farewell morning tea (please bring a plate) for Mike and Caz Lewis.

Rosters for Next Week

Duty Elder: Mary Dixon

Greeting: Robyn Tomkins

Morning Tea: Lorraine Sewell & TBA

Flowers: Mary Dixon

Reader: Wendy Barnes

AV Desk: Roland Geilen

Prayers: Rose Geilen

Piano: Wendy Barnes

Bible Readings 30 December: I Samuel 2:18–20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41–52.

OUR PRESBYTERY

Tevita Holani, Prison Chaplain

While I talked with Tevita on the phone, I imagined him preaching; a short, stocky figure, at the lectern in the cavernous nineteenth century Noble Street Uniting Church building in Newtown.

I don’t envy Prison Chaplain Tevita Holani his job. And I marvel that this South Sea Islander, a son of Tonga’s palm-fringed coral island can share every week the inner hell of rebellious men incarcerated in Barwon, Marngoneet and Karreenga prisons.

“I was a prisoner, and you visited me” from Matthew’s gospel causes us to reflect on what Jesus expects of his followers. Tevita gets it.

Working as a medical scientist in Hobart, and a member of Kingston congregation, Tevita Holani felt deeply the call of God to preach the Gospel, so that he studied for ministry in the Uniting Church in 1998-2000.

From his exit appointment in a Mallee network of small churches, Tevita went to Noble Street Newtown Uniting congregation in 2005.

Corrections Victoria funds Tevita’s prison work, two days in each week, through the Synod.

“My work is helping prisoners in their spiritual walk” he says.  “Behind bars it’s very stressful, with lots of anxiety and worry. I try to share the peace of Christ.  I use my life as a teaching tool, surrendered to Christ. Many prisoners have mental health issues, often drug induced.

Tevita encourages prisoners to avail themselves of medical help and education.  “When they are released, they need a place to live, money, clothes, and employment; these things are not easy to gain. It’s a difficult transition from prison to normal life,” Tevita says.

Asked about his main message to readers of this story, Tevita says: “I hope that church members can be alert to the plight of the ex-prisoners.  When they come out they are often labelled.  They have served their time. They are human beings, needing redemption, as much as any other person. Let’s remember them in our prayers.”  (NT)

Housekeeping & Help

If you or someone you know is in need of pastoral care, please don’t hesitate to contact either our minister, Mike Lewis or Robyn Tomkins.  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.

CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER

Telephone 03 9741 1084.  Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.   Email office@crossroadsunitingchurch.org.au