OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK
CHURCH COUNCIL NEWS
Upgrade of audiovisual equipment: We applied for but were not granted financial support from the Presbytery for an upgrade to the audiovisual equipment in the church; nevertheless, we are proceeding with the upgrade now as there is sufficient finance available to support this.
Young adults bible study has commenced with the support of Mike Yu, a theological student at Pilgrim College. They plan to meet each month.
Church Council noted with thanks the strong support by the congregation for the soup and sandwich lunch on June 23, the hosting of the Bendigo Interfaith Network visit on June 29, and the working bee at the manse on June 29.
Sponsorship of an Australian child through The Smith Family will commence once one of our current overseas children’s sponsorship ends. This has been suggested by Vivienne Bleakley.
Financial report was presented by Salote Tupou, and because of the extended vacancy we are working with a substantial surplus at the present time. Rose Geilen then presented a report from the recent stewardship letter that was sent to all members of the congregation. The report showed a pleasing positive response overall, with three new requests for the use of envelopes and three starting direct giving through UEthical (Synod) and several increases in envelope giving.
Joint Nominating Committee work continues, and Church Council has authorised the placing of advertisements in other states in the event that we may need to ‘widen our net’.
Music report was presented by Wendy Barnes, and it has been very pleasing to see happening a small choral group, new music books, and now some experimentation with the use of a keyboard as well as the piano.
Worship Plan for this week
Today’s worship service
9.30 am Family Service (Rev. Valerie Johnson)
11.45 am Lisu Service
2 pm Sudanese Fellowship
Activities this week
Monday: 9.30 am Playgroup
Friday: 5 pm African Youth (church foyer)
Saturday: 10 am African Youth (church foyer)
Bible Readings – 4 August 2019
Hosea 11:1–11; Colossians 3:1–11; Luke 12:13–21; Psalm 107:1–9, 43.
Rosters for Next Week
Rosters for 4 August 2019
Minister: Rev. Neil Tolliday
Greeting: Robert Renton
Morning Tea: Margaret Dent &
Flowers: Bev Cox
Reader: Ian Gainey
Prayers of the People: Ken Storey
Piano: Asanka Pakura
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.
NEWS AND NOTES
From the Moderator, Rev. Denise Liersch
The following is an extract from the Moderator’s Letter, a full copy of which is on the notice board in the foyer.
“When [Voluntary Assisted Dying] legislation was passed in Victoria, it became more important to know how the Church in the Synod might respond. … Last week members of the 2019 Synod of Victoria and Tasmania met together in careful consideration, discussion and prayer to discern our response to the … legislation.
Together we affirmed aspects of our core Christian beliefs. We affirmed that life is a gift of God, that all life is precious to God, and has dignity before God, regardless of circumstances. We affirmed that the love of God in Christ holds us throughout all of our lives and in our dying, and that there is nothing that can separate us from the unbounded love of God. We affirmed the distinctive Christian theology and mystery of suffering. We are held within the love of God who enters into our sufferings, bringing grace and peace even in our darkest moments. We affirmed the calling of Christians to be discerning communities of love and care to others, in their journey through life and death.
We affirmed that palliative care is the primary way in which support and care for those at the end of life, including their families, and called on the Victorian Government to increase resourcing for this.
We recognised that there is a range of faithful Christian responses to voluntary assisted dying which reflect these deeply held Christian beliefs. In relation to the very specific limitations of the 2017 … legislation, we recognised that exploring or accessing voluntary assisted dying, as well as conscientiously objecting, are all faithful Christian responses.
In light of all this, permission was given to the relevant UCA institutions and associated hospital group within Victoria, to make voluntary assisted dying allowable for their patients, clients and residents, under the specific conditions of the legislation.
This decision honours the diversity of faithful Christian responses within our Church, and gives people the freedom to follow their own conscience in this matter. While this decision may be difficult or challenging for some members or communities of our Church, the resolution commits to respecting the range of faithfully held Christian responses.
Taking into consideration the range of cultural and language needs, and the range of faithful Christian responses, the Synod resolved to resource those who offer spiritual and pastoral support to people (and their families) who are exploring, accessing, or who have accessed voluntary assisted dying.”
I asked Shelley Johnston, volunteers co-ordinator about the Uniting Op-Shop next door to Crossroads church, begun by Uniting Church members, and for many years a part of our church scene.
She says the Op-Shop accepts clothing items in good condition—“no rips, no tears, no stains”. Manchester—sheets, doona covers, blankets and table cloths, all in good condition are very acceptable. Please look in your cupboard at those things you will never use again! Handbags, jewellery, shoes in good nick for adults and children; scarves and beanies are popular at this time of the year in the Op-Shop.
Great news! With donations support, the Op-Shop has been able to increase sales to help support un-funded programs in the community. “We appreciate every volunteer and donor who is committed to the work of Uniting,” she says.
Food assistance for emergency relief is always a first priority amongst Uniting Wyndham’s clients, who value the gifts of food received in the box each Sunday from Crossroads members. “UHT milk, tins of soup and 2-minute noodles, pasta sauces, Weetbix, Vitabrits and kids’ school lunchbox snacks are favourites. As the cost of groceries steadily climbs, low income families are glad of our help,” she says.
“There has been an increase in the need for food security which has not been currently matched by government funding,” says Shelley.
Community support comes in various ways; Hoppers Crossing Apex Club has donated new flooring in our reception area, in the old manse.
“I’m glad of volunteer help with parcels preparation for emergency relief, sorting foods and packing, from Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 2.30. Volunteers come from word of mouth, Centrelink job providers, and through the Volunteers West web site; we support people getting back into the workforce and education,” says Shelley.
Do you know, that three qualified hairdressers take turns in providing free haircuts at Uniting Wyndham on Monday mornings, for emergency relief clients. (Cutting only). Appointments are booked through reception 97426452. (NT)
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
Church Office is open 9.30 am–12 noon, Monday–Friday
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.