CONNECTION – 31 MARCH – LENT 4


Crossroads Connection

OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK

Refugee

We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
or cosy in a crib beside the font,
but he is with a million displaced people
on the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sign our final carol
his family is up and on the road,
fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
glancing behind and shouldering their load.
Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower,
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,
the lambs are slaughtered by the men in power,
and death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
to stand before the Lamb upon the throne.

(Malcolm Guitte, Seventy Sonnets)

Alison Crotty — new member at Crossroads

Alison is now a regular attender at Crossroads since early January.  She’s aware that since our congregation farewelled Rev. Mike Lewis in December, there’s a fresh challenge for us.  However, she says “Crossroads is where I feel I belong. I find the Uniting Church is where I am surrounded by people of faith and lively action; it’s good to share, and to be renewed. I’m aware of the team work, and I appreciate the social justice focus, making the world a better place.”

I notice Alison’s good voice when we are in Sunday morning worship; “I like singing; our family always sings in the car,” she says.  We agree that the music and words of worship bring us into closer companionship with “the God who sings.”

Alison grew up in a Methodist/Uniting family in Ballarat.  She is a psychologist working in a pain management team at a clinic based at Epworth Geelong.

Alison and Jeff came here from Bairnsdale, because their daughter Lara is attending Susanne Cory High School.

New persons at Crossroads sometimes aren’t noticed, when we meet with old friends after church over tea and coffee. Look out for Alison and other new folk, and make them warmly welcome! (NT)

Worship Plan for this week

Today’s worship service

9.30 am Family Service (Rev. Heather Vander Reest)

This will be the final service conducted by the Rev. Heather Vander Reest, and we thank her most sincerely for her leadership this last month.

Activities this week

Monday: 9.30 am Playgroup.
Wednesday: Uniting Church Adult Fellowship (UCAF)—Sharon from Uniting AgeWell is coming at 11 am to meet with anyone who would like to know more about Uniting AgeWell.  The normal meeting starts at 1 pm.

Next Sunday – 7 April: Lent 5

9.30 am Holy Communion (Rev. Robert Renton)

Bible Readings – 7 April 2019

Isaiah 43:16–21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b–14; John 12:1–8.

Rosters for Next Week

Rosters for 7 April 2019

Duty Elder: Rose Geilen
Greeting: Carmel Woodward
Morning Tea: Margaret Gook & Elaine Belcher
Flowers: Margaret Forrester
Reader: Noel Savory
AV Desk: Rob Bradley
Prayers of the People: Ken Storey
Piano: Wendy Barnes

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.

UNITING WYNDHAM

Adam Raynar

Adam Raynar is a Uniting Wyndham social worker, who grew up in a Western suburbs migrant family, and completed his psychology degree at Victoria University. After several different jobs, he began at the agency in 2006.

He says: “We are working with people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, both single adults and families.  We aim to prevent complete homelessness if possible.  We are case managing people who come to us from Unison Wyndham. I’m part of a team with Jackie, Rachel, and Caroline.”

Unison is the ‘front door’ service, from whom Adam and his team receive referrals. Unison allocate clients from their waiting list into medium term transitional housing, which are then case managed with a view to supporting them accessing long-term housing options.  Complicating factors can be substance abuse, gambling, family violence, unemployment and mental health issues; when there’s a combination of issue, it can be quite challenging.  Where issues contributing to a client’s homelessness have been identified through the assessment process, pending client consent, we would refer them to other appropriate specialist services to address those needs.  In the past two or three years, we’ve seen an increase in conspicuous homeless people, rough sleepers, from what was rarely happening before. The rental market is virtually unaffordable for most people dependent upon Centrelink, and this places great financial strain on families and individuals.

There are infrequently cheaper one or two bedroom options.  There is a long waiting list for public housing and allocation to public housing once on the waiting list can take years.  There’s public housing in the City of Wyndham, with demand outstripping supply.  It’s a big challenge for the whole community.

Adam continued, “I thank members of Crossroads congregation for their donations of non-perishable items for emergency relief, and I’d encourage people to volunteer—all voluntary help is always welcome.“  (NT)

NEWS AND NOTES

Uniting Church Adult Fellowship meeting

The UCAF meets on Wednesday 3 April at Crossroads     Sharon from Uniting Age well will come to the church by 11.00am.    Anyone can come early to see Sharon.  Could you let Lorraine know if you are coming early.   The meeting will commence at  1.00 pm.

Justice Task Group action

Members of the Wyndham Inter Faith Network have endorsed a letter to community leaders, expressing solidarity with the victims of the recent massacre of 50 persons at prayer in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and expressing sympathy with the Moslem community in Australia.

“An atrocity perpetrated in the name of promoting the supremacy of one nationality, religion or race over another is by all accounts a pernicious lie.  Instead we find in all of the world’s sacred scriptures that we share a universal kinship in that we are all children of God and that life is precious.”

“Efforts to build strength in community at times of challenge are needed. Similarly, actions on shared concerns are part of a dynamic civil society.”

Churches and faith communities in the City of Wyndham have been forwarded this letter; copies are available in the Crossroads Uniting Church foyer.

Crossroads Justice Task Group and our Church Council have endorsed the letter and commended the Wyndham Interfaith Network for this initiative.

Plant Stall—time to get ready now!

It's that time of year again when we ask people to start potting cuttings and other plants that they intend to donate to the stall for sale at the fête.  To assist the many green thumbs in our congregation, we are also asking for immediate donations of potting mix, plastic pots (please first wash them in a soapy solution containing bleach – to kill any bacteria that can infect the new plants) and hanging baskets.  The more potting mix, plastic pots and hanging baskets the better!

This year, we are also asking for volunteers to care for some of the plants (in the hanging baskets in particular) once they have been potted.  This will help ‘spread the load’ in the care and attention that the plants need, especially over the cold winter months.  Please start bringing in the potting mix, clean plastic pots and hanging baskets as soon as possible.  Would those who are willing to baby-sit some of the potted plants please let Carmel Woodward or Mary Dixon know.  If anyone needs any further information please call Carmel.  Many thanks!

CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER

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