Trust The voice of Uniting Church SA November 2014

Issue 33, No 10, 2014
The voice of Uniting Church SA
November 2014
Rev Amelia Koh-Butler
A clothing ministry blossoms
announced as EO,
at Inverbrackie Detention Centre
Mission Resourcing p. 7
pp. 10-11
New leadership
Trusting God to provide
Digital disciples
Pen pals in the Pacific
Moderator’s Comment
Getting to know...
Editor: Catherine Hoffman
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Next issue: Joy
We all experience Christmas differently - some find cause for
celebration, while others take time to reflect. In the Uniting Church,
we find deep joy in reflecting on Jesus' birth and God's love for us.
But Christmas can be a difficult time for many, as people struggle
with feelings of loneliness or remember loved ones who have
passed away. In trying times such as these, we are encouraged
to seek God, to persevere and grow in faith (James 1:2-4). This
December, New Times will explore stories of joy and celebration,
perseverance and reflection as we approach the Christmas season.
Wednesday 12 November
Cover details
The editorial team of New Times often
feel inspired by the many older couples
and close friends we see around the
Uniting Church. These are people who
rely on one another, love one another
and trust each other completely as they
walk the path God has set before them.
When speaking about this edition’s
theme of “Trust,” a cover image
reflecting these vital relationships was
one of the first things that came to
mind. This photo is from
Learning to trust
Having experienced a painful relationship, I know how it feels to be
hurt by someone I had once trusted. My experience of a lack of trust
as the relationship progressed made me slowly shut down my emotions
in order to protect myself from ongoing hurt. When the relationship
was finally over, my existence of being emotionally closed in the
relationship had served me well in terms of protecting myself from
harm. However, it was detrimental in terms of opening up to new
people in the future, people worthy of my trust.
To experience the love God designed us for, we eventually have
to take another risk. At the recent Beyond Violence dinner hosted by
the Moderator, attendees, including a work colleague of mine, were
interviewed on what words would encapsulate a healthy relationship.
Many acknowledged trust as a key element. My colleague defined what
it meant to trust another person, to openly express your innermost
feelings and demonstrate vulnerability to another person. In closing,
he smiled as he reflected on how amazing a deep, loving relationship
can be when it is centered in trust.
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I have learnt that being emotionally open can be a little scary at
times, but it is also necessary in order to grow and live the life God
wants us to lead. Recently, I have been a little more selective about
the people I extend trust to, but God’s leading has equipped me with
the strength and courage to open up emotionally and spiritually. As
the Moderator reflects in her article on page 4, “God brings comfort in
grief, strength in weariness, peace in the face of worry, and courage in
the face of fear.” These are all elements of a strong relationship centered
in trust, as I am reminded while growing my own trusted relationships.
Bindy Taylor
Left: Denise Champion (left) and Dr Deidre Palmer celebrate the arrival of Denise’s new book, Yarta Wandatha.
Right: Rev Jock Dunbar (left) is inducted as minister at Rosefield Uniting Church.
Of all the articles I have written this year,
this moditorial on “trust” has been the most
difficult to write. It could be because, in the
space of one page, it is difficult to include
all the nuances that are required to talk
about trust. It may also be because, in my
work as a counselor with people who were
sexually abused as children, I have had many
conversations about the betrayal of trust.
We rarely come to understand trust
through a theoretical explanation of the
notion – rather, we come to understand it
through lived experience. We encounter it
in people who “walk their talk.” We may
learn about its value because of its absence
– times when we feel betrayed or deeply
disappointed by the people and institutions
that shape our lives.
Trust grows in the presence of people
who we experience as authentic and
consistent. We are most likely to trust people
who we experience as having our best
interests as their priority. Trust grows when
our institutions and community life have
transparent processes to ensure that power
is shared and exercised in ways that are just.
In the church, trust grows when our lives,
personally and communally, are lived in ways
consistent with the Gospel of Christ. Trust
grows when we exercise the power entrusted
to us by God, in service to others and for the
sake of the reign of God in the world.
I recently met a number of older women
who each shared some of their faith journey
with me. These women were children during
the Depression and grew up during the
Second World War; they have known the grief
of losing family members and friends. Over
their 90 or more years of living, they have seen
many changes in their church communities.
At times they have been disappointed,
even devastated, by a church which has not
“walked its talk.” Despite this, they persist in
being part of a Christian community and
contributing to our life together. They are
aware of the sustained effort that is required to
grow trust. They are gracious in their attitudes
to others, conscious of their own failures
and of times when they have disappointed
others. Most of all, they live with the deep
and passionate conviction that God is utterly
trustworthy – they have known, and continue
to experience, the friendship and love of God.
God brings comfort in their grieving, strength
in their weariness, peace in the face of worry,
and courage in the face of fear.
I pray that, as the Uniting Church, our trust
in God will shape our life, and strengthen us
to be a people who embody the integrity and
faithfulness of God.
Placements News
Placements finalised since the October
edition of New Times:
Rev Amelia Koh-Butler to Executive Officer,
Mission Resourcing from 1 January 2015
Jo-Anne Lane to Eldercare: Sash Ferguson (0.5)
from 13 October 2014
Tanya Wittwer to Post Graduate Coordinator
(0.5) from 1 January 2015
Upcoming inductions:
Rev Alison Whish, Newland Memorial on
Sunday 23 November at 3.30pm
Vacant Placements:
The following is the current list of vacant (or
soon to be vacant) approved placements as of
Wednesday 8 October.
Profiles available – Belair (0.5); County Jervois
(Arno, Cleve, Coolanie, Cowell, Driver River);
Grange; Hallett Cove (from January 2015);
Lower Murray Linked Congregations (from
January 2015); Port Augusta Uniting Aboriginal
and Islander Christian Congress; Seaton (0.3);
Seeds (from January 2015); Waikerie; Whyalla.
Profiles not yet available – Clearview (0.5);
Klemzig (0.5); South West Fleurieu Linked
Congregations (0.6); Tumby Bay & Districts
(0.5); Windsor Gardens (0.5).
For more information on any of these placements,
or to view national placements, please visit
Dr Deidre Palmer
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ce o / ge n e ral se cre ta r y
Restoring trust
In his book The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey writes that:
“While corporate scandals, terrorist threats, office politics, and broken
relationships have created low trust on almost every front, I contend
that the ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is not
only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it is the key
leadership competency of the new global economy.”
The church will always be a collective of people that require trust.
We need to trust in Christ, and we need to trust one another.
Doubt only serves to slow a relationship down, while trust forges fast,
free-flowing relationships in which people can collectively commit
and go. This is the type of relationship that we can enjoy with Christ.
The scriptures point to the wisdom and value of trust within our
relationship with God:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make
your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In considering trust within a relationship with God, C.S. Lewis
writes in Mere Christianity: “To trust Him means, of course, trying
to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted
a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you really handed
yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him.
But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things
in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already.”
It is my deep-seated prayer for this nation that people would know
the richness of trusting Jesus Christ with their entire life. My heart also
longs for the church to continue to grow as a place where trust is placed
in Christ and in those within the church.
However, that which brings the greatest life to the church is normally
the first thing targeted for removal. Hence, trust is under attack in
our church. How can we stand against the attack and build a stronger
culture of trust across the Uniting Church in South Australia? In a
relationship, trust is engendered by people putting their words into
actions. Conversely, trust is attacked when someone doesn’t follow
through on what they said they will do. We will all fall short of others’
expectations at times. So, what do we do when this happens and trust
bleeds from a relationship?
Forgiveness opens the heart. A gracious and forgiving church will
never be closed to the ability and activation of trust. This is in keeping
with the character and capacity of the one who leads us forward as the
church. Jesus Christ is forever trustworthy and continually trusting in
us as his church.
Presbytery and Synod annual meeting summary
The annual meeting of the Presbytery and Synod of South
Australia was held at Adelaide West Uniting Church from
Wednesday 29 October to Saturday 1 November.
A summary of the meeting will be available in the
December edition of New Times. For further information,
please visit
Rev Nigel Rogers
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8261 8211
All hours
[email protected]
26 OG Road Klemzig SA 5087
(Morgans A.B.N. 49 010 669 726 A.F.S.L.235410)
Participant of ASX Group, A Professional Partner of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.
Geoff Lewis
General Manager
Interested in developing
Fresh Expressions of Church?
Get more info and check out regeneration ministry
vacancies in Port Phillip West Presbytery (Victoria)
at or contact
Presbytery Minister, Mission and Education,
Rev Dr Adam McIntosh
(Mob 0414 725887 or use
the website ‘Contact Us’ page).
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New leadership
Catherine Hoffman
“I want to get right to the point. I want to ask, what are people
most anxious about? What questions do people have for me as
I enter this new role?”
Apart from introductory pleasantries, these are Rev Amelia
Koh-Butler’s first words to me when we meet to discuss her new
position with the Uniting Church in South Australia. Amelia was
recently named the new Executive Officer of Mission Resourcing,
a role she will take up in January 2015 after completing her doctoral
dissertation in Mission and Intercultural Studies.
As someone who has worked largely in New South Wales, Amelia
is aware that she is somewhat of an unknown quantity here in South
Australia. It is her hope to get as many questions and concerns out in
the open as soon as possible, taking these into consideration as she
begins working with the Mission Resourcing team – something she
is eagerly looking forward to.
“During my time working for the Uniting Church, I have
consistently seen that South Australia’s Mission Resourcing ministry
centre does things differently – and I like that!” Amelia explains.
“I’ve seen that people aren’t afraid to take risks if they feel that is
what God is calling them to do. I don’t like to muck around. I like
to take action. The Uniting Church in South Australia seems wellpositioned to move forward.”
Amelia’s past work is a testament to her active nature. Over the past
15 years, Amelia has been involved with the ministry of the Uniting
Church both nationally and in NSW. She has worked across many
varied areas, including children’s and youth ministry, rural ministry
and development, missiology and evangelism, cross-cultural and
multicultural ministry, justice and Covenanting. With a background
in music and creative arts, Amelia has served in congregational,
educational and community contexts.
“Since being ordained as a Minister of the Word in 2008,
I’ve ministered in progressive and evangelical congregations.
Some people think that’s strange, but it comes naturally to me,”
Amelia reflects. “I think that’s because, despite their different
backgrounds and traditions, I was able to love people in both
kinds of congregations, and be loved by them.”
This is love is something that Amelia has experienced
in churches since first becoming a Christian.
“I’m a convert, which is one of the reasons why I’m passionate
about evangelism,” Amelia explains. “I grew up in a Chinese-ScottishAustralian, Buddhist-atheist household. I was evangelised through
the teachings of old ladies volunteering at my school and, later on,
scripture teachers at the Christian school I attended.
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Rev Amelia Koh-Butler (right) with her husband, Terry Butler.
“When I became a Christian at age 14, my family disowned me.
The people at church became my family. I think this is one of the
reasons why I have a high tolerance for Christians with views different
to my own – we are all part of one family, loved by Christ. You love
your family; you don’t choose who’s in it.”
Amelia’s most recent role as a minister has been at The Commons,
a fresh expression faith community she helped plant in Newcastle
in late 2012. In parallel with a high church liturgical service, The
Commons runs a major venue, a Fair Trade cafe and hosts over 20
different community development organisations from Newcastle.
The community saw 11 adult baptisms take place in the past year.
Prior to this, Amelia worked as the Associate Director of the
ELM Centre, an adult education centre run by the Uniting Church
Synod of New South Wales to support rural ministry and education.
She later became the Director of the ELM Centre, a position she held
for approximately five years.
“Although I’m a city girl, I’ve spent about a decade working in rural
education and ministry. My husband and I got very involved in rural
life – my husband worked on a cotton farm for awhile, and I developed
a deep affection for the bush.
“In my new role, I’m hoping to be out of the office frequently,
visiting congregations and communities across the state, both rural and
metropolitan,” Amelia says.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the Mission Resourcing team
and helping to support the wider Uniting Church SA community
in growing disciples across the state.”
Do you have a question you’d like to ask Rev Amelia Koh-Butler? Do
you have a concern you’d like her to address? Would you like to extend
an early invitation for her to visit your congregation or faith community?
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” please send an email to
[email protected] or contact Catherine Hoffman on 8236 4230.
Generations of giving
Julianne Rogers
Left to right: Brenda Cross with her granddaughter Charlotte, daughter Judith Barker,
and grandson Henry.
Out on the windswept shores of Wallaroo,
three generations of volunteers from
UnitingCare Copper Triangle are busily
preparing for another Christmas of giving.
For the last 15 years, Brenda Cross has
volunteered as the local coordinator for the
UnitingCare and Target Christmas Appeal,
joined by her daughter Judith Barker, her
17-year-old granddaughter Charlotte, and
her 13-year-old grandson Henry, who first
participated in the appeal from his pram.
Far from an easy task, coordinating the
Christmas Appeal involves organising the
receipt of gifts – not only those from Target,
but also donations from churches and local
community groups, such as Lions, Apex,
Rotary, the local Masonic lodge, a quilter’s
group and Weight Watchers. Donations
are also given by businesses, including the
local Cheap as Chips retailer, the local Avon
distributor and companies as far away as
Bentleys in Adelaide.
In addition to group and organisation
donations, there are a number of wonderful
personal donations.
“They are a very generous and
compassionate community,” Brenda reflects.
Amongst those who give personal
donations are a 92-year-old woman who
continues to make lovely bags and towels,
a husband and wife team who make painted
and upholstered wooden toys, and a man
who donates the money he raises from
recycling cans.
Each year, the presents from Target
and the community are thoroughly sorted
by Brenda, Judith and Charlotte as they
lovingly handpick items for recipients to
ensure everyone gets the perfect gift. Three
gifts and some chocolates are chosen for each
person, and are carefully wrapped in paper
and pretty ribbons.
“We always choose the gifts by making
sure it is something that the child will love,”
Brenda says. “I’m never sure what teens want,
so Charlotte, my teenage granddaughter,
makes sure that they all get something they
will enjoy.”
The gift packages are put together by a
team of approximately 10 volunteers who
work for roughly four days to coordinate
over 150 gift sets. These are then distributed
throughout the Yorke Peninsula and Kadina
region through UnitingCare Copper
Triangle’s programs, UnitingCare Wesley
Country SA and a school in Balaklava.
These presents are received with joy and
gratitude by the community.
“I didn’t think I would get anything
from anyone,” one quiet young man, aged 14,
said after receiving his present last year.
A parent who received a gift for her
child said, “Wow. Oh, wow. This is just great!
Please thank whoever did this.”
“Christmas is a time for children and
young people - we are celebrating a baby’s
birth, after all!” Brenda says, explaining the
reason behind her family’s involvement.
“We oldies don’t really need to get gifts.
I’d rather give to the children and see the
joy that fills their faces.
“God has given me the energy to run
with this, so I’m glad I can be a part of it,”
she continues. “I’m really quite humbled by
the loyalty of the community over all these
years. We are truly blessed.”
The Giving Box
This month, the UnitingCare and Target Christmas Appeal
begins its 23rd year of partnership with a face-lift! Head out
to your local Target and spot the two metre tall “Giving Box”
and leave a present to help your local UnitingCare organisation
make Christmas wonderful for someone doing it tough.
For more information, please contact Julianne Rogers, State
Coordinator, the Giving Box on [email protected] or 8236
4233 or visit the Giving Box website at
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Honouring Alan Dutton
On Monday 13 October, Alan Dutton passed away suddenly.
Alan served the Church in a variety of capacities, including roles
in the Uniting Church in South Australia.
Early in his career, Alan served as an educator. However, most of his
training in education found expression in the outdoor and Christian
faith formation activities of Scripture Union in New South Wales.
After moving to Adelaide with Scripture Union in 1980, Alan worked
and volunteered tirelessly and enthusiastically in various leadership
and development roles. He later relocated to Tasmania where he served
as a resourcing minister based in Launceston in the Vic/Tas Synod of
the Uniting Church.
Returning to South Australia in 2008, he joined the Uniting Church
SA rural ministry team, a part of Mission Resourcing. Alan was a
thoughtful consultant in mission planning, education and evangelism.
Deeply committed to authentic discipleship and faithful service,
Alan possessed the capacity to push boundaries while affirming
the giftedness of those with whom he worked. He was a much-loved
and loyal colleague who contributed significantly to the Presbytery
and Synod, especially in the rural sector.
Alan expressed his Christian faith compassionately and graciously
in his daily living and work. Throughout his life, he mentored people
from a variety of walks of life, and was comfortable communicating
with a wide diversity of people from many different contexts.
We give thanks to God for Alan’s life and his faithful service to Christ
and the mission of Christ’s church. We offer our sympathy and prayers
for God’s comfort and love to Alan’s wife, Beulah, to their children,
Rebekah, Peter and Andrew, and to their extended families.
A service to celebrate Alan’s life was held on Tuesday 21
October at 2.30pm at Adelaide West Uniting Church.
Uniting Church women seek deeper stories
The Uniting Church in Australia has held women’s conferences
on three past occasions with the most recent taking place 18 years
ago in 1996. In September this year, the conference-free streak was
broken by the arrival of UnitingWomen, which took place in Sydney.
Gathering over 500 people from across the Uniting Church,
this conference provided space for women to share in worship,
story-telling and fellowship.
In keeping with the theme of the conference, “Seeking the deeper
story,” a number of sessions focussed on the personal and professional
stories of women from all walks of life. Detailing her move from Sudan
to Australia, South Australian minister Rev Amel Manyon was among
those who shared her faith journey. Dr Deidre Palmer also gave a
message in which she focussed on narratives of hope.
Across two thought-provoking sessions, keynote speaker Rev
Nadia Bolz-Weber was honest, transparent and unapologetic – and
she challenged audience members to be the same way in their own
lives. Speaking compellingly on themes of sincerity and trust, Nadia
provided insight into her innovative ministry within the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America as pastor and founder of House for All
Sinners and Saints, a church in Denver, Colorado.
Further speakers included Rev Myung Hwa Park, the thenincoming Moderator of the NSW/ACT Synod, and UnitingJustice
National Director Rev Elenie Poulos.
The conference also included a variety of elective workshops on
topics to suit wide-ranging interests – from fitness to leadership,
feminism to eco-spirituality, Godly Play to equality issues facing
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Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber speaks at the UnitingWomen conference.
Pacific women. Dr Liz Boase, a lecturer at Uniting College for
Leadership & Theology, offered a challenging workshop on the topic
of violence and women in 2 Samuel 13. These electives were a highlight
for many who attended the conference.
Through the diversity of speakers and sessions, the UnitingWomen
conference offered an opportunity for attendees to look beyond their
own stories, sharing with women from across the Uniting Church
in Australia.
For more information about UnitingWomen, or to listen to audio
recordings of some of the sessions, please visit
Trust is one of the most important elements in building strong relationships and communities – both earning the trust of
others, and learning to trust them. This edition of New Times explores stories of trust, detailing times when individuals and
communities have had to trust God, themselves and one another.
Trusting God to provide
This year Tenille Chambers, a member of Seeds Uniting Church,
has been involved in coordinating and distributing clothing for families
held at Inverbrackie Detention Centre in the Adelaide Hills. In this article,
Tenille reflects on her visits and how she has watched God’s hand at work
in the lives of those seeking asylum.
Over the last twelve months, my two-year-old son, Quade,
and I have made weekly visits to families at Inverbrackie Detention
Centre, coordinated through the Inverbrackie Good Neighbour
Council. Each time we visit, the families cook curry and cake to eat
with us and they give Quade bananas, boiled eggs and ice-cream
– things they had quickly discovered were some of his favourite
foods. Although language can be a barrier, which has made for
some awkward moments, we have become great friends.
On one of my visits in May this year, a two year old girl I’d never
met before came up to me and trustingly sat on my lap. It was a freezing
morning and she was in boys’ clothes that were far too small for her.
She was very cold. My heart went out to her – I didn’t think that it
was fair that she was in this situation. As she was sitting there,
I made the decision that I would buy the girl some new clothes.
When I returned home, I wrote a post on Facebook explaining what
I felt upon seeing this girl in her too-small clothing. I also shared my
realisation that many parents, including myself, can take for granted
the ability to purchase warm clothes for our children. While I had
not requested donations of clothing in the Facebook post, I started
receiving bagfuls of clothes from places far and wide – from Victor
Harbor to Golden Grove, even from interstate!
Although it had initially been my goal to simply provide warm
clothes for the one little girl, the stories I heard and the donations I
received meant a change to that plan. I said to God: “Let’s not only
clothe this little girl – let’s clothe all of Inverbrackie!” I had seen God’s
hand at work in the amount of clothing arriving at my house. I knew
that, if this was something God wanted, He would make it happen.
Through this ministry, I have learnt to trust God in everything as
I have experienced that nothing is impossible for Him.
I feel a real sense that God started this process, equipping and
providing for us each step of the way – God is the real driver of this
ministry, God has orchestrated each and every step. Doors have
continued to open, allowing conversations with Inverbrackie families
and staff, lawyers for children born in detention, people wishing to
supply items to families in need, and many others.
I have been incredibly moved by the amount of people willing
to assist with providing clothing for people in Inverbrackie – those
who have donated not only goods, but their time, energy and talents.
This ministry would not be possible without the incredible support
I have received from family, friends and church members who have
spent hours and hours (many days over 12 hours) collecting and
sorting through donated goods.
Through the amazing generosity of clothing and financial
donations from individuals, families and churches across South
Australia, this ministry has provided more than 220 people with coats,
jumpers, warm clothes, maternity clothes, baby packs, new underwear
and new pairs of sneakers.
The volume of donated goods became so great that they could
no longer be stored and sorted in my own home or the homes of
the other volunteers. Thankfully, God created an opportunity for us
to utilise a storage area at Woodside Uniting Church, less than five
minutes from Inverbrackie. This space has become our warehouse
of love, generosity and welcome.
I am not the only one grateful for these generous contributions.
I recently received a phone call from a father at Inverbrackie – he was
so thankful for the support and assistance. He told me that his two
year old little girl, who has become withdrawn and depressed by her
experience as an asylum seeker, had gone to bed with her new pink
sneakers on, and had danced and smiled for the first time since being
in Australia. We both broke down in tears.
No matter what your opinion might be on the best way for Australia
to handle the asylum seeker issue, there’s no denying the horrific
things that many of these people have had to live through. The stories
they have shared with me are heartbreaking – stories of families being
kidnapped, killed in bomb blasts and driven from their homes. These
people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect; they also deserve
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adequate clothing, underwear and shoes.
When I visit Inverbrackie now, I see many
families walking around in clothes that we
have provided. There is often a line of people
wanting to share what these donations have
meant to them – how they have felt loved and
supported by these simple gifts. It is always a
very humbling experience.
I never imagined myself starting a ministry
like this – I’m not a huge player in the refugee
space, I’m a mum who visits families at
Inverbrackie. But I have seen what God can
do when we trust Him and allow him to use
us to help the vulnerable in our community.
It is my prayer that God will continue to work
through me in this way. But it’s not only me
that he has used in this ministry. I have loved
seeing how this Inverbrackie clothing project
has enabled so many people and churches to
respond in really practical ways. Together,
the difference that we have made has been
bigger than anyone could ever imagine,
and more than we will ever know.
I encourage all of you, New Times readers,
to ask God where He wants to use you, in
small or big ways, and to trust Him to open
doors and equip you. Doing this will change
your life and the lives of those around you –
it has certainly changed mine.
For further information on the clothing
ministry at Inverbrackie Detention Centre,
including how you can assist in providing
financial and clothing donations to families
in Inverbrackie, please email Tenille Chambers
at [email protected] or contact Seeds
Uniting Church on 8370 6472.
This page: Tenille and Quade Chambers with clothes collected for families and individuals
in Inverbrackie Detention Centre. Inset left: The storage facility at Woodside Uniting Church.
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of the
of the
Providing support and care for women – inside and outside of prison
Rev Frances Bartholomeusz
“Caring for Women in Prison” was the theme
of a recent inter-church women’s fellowship
afternoon organised by the Murray Bridge
Uniting Church Evening Fellowship group.
Gathering approximately 60 women from
across the local community, Faye Menadue
welcomed attendees to the event and led
devotions based on Matthew 25:37-40. She
reminded those present that we are called
to care for one another – those who are sick,
who are in need of food or shelter, or who
have been imprisoned.
“This is the way Jesus demonstrated to
us how to show and experience true love for
our brothers and sisters,” Faye said.
Jill Meakins and Jill Matschoss followed
Faye’s message and lightened the tone,
presenting a competition and humorous
readings that quickly had the audience in
stitches of laughter.
Rev Frances Bartholomeusz, the guest
speaker at the event, then spoke of her
experience visiting the Adelaide Women’s
Prison (AWP) as a volunteer chaplain once
a week. In this role, Frances mainly listens to
women’s stories and struggles, encouraging
them to engage in spiritual practices, such as
prayer and Bible study, as well as educational
opportunities. She also offers worship services
and hands on donations of wool for a knitting
The women particularly appreciate being
able to speak about their concerns and
frustrations to someone they can trust.
The majority of women in prison come
from a background where trust has been
broken, primarily through abuse, trauma and
violence. Most have not attended school past
Year 9 and many have a history of drug abuse.
Frances explained that her only agenda
when visiting the prison is to show a sense
of God’s love, care, faithfulness, hope and
friendship for the women. Some women
in prison have little family support and
relationships are fractured.
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Seeds of Affinity members gather together to share stories of support.
Frances shared the words of one of the
prisoners she regularly visits: “Thank you for
coming. Even if you do nothing else, the fact
that you care enough to visit is enough.”
She also shared some sobering facts.
As reported recently on the ABC, women’s
prisons in Australia are overcrowded. Sadly,
up to 30% of the women imprisoned are
Aboriginal, and the recidivism (overall
return to prison) rate is approximately 60%.
There are limited educational opportunities in
prison, and women face enormous challenges
when they are released.
After Frances’ story, Anna Kemp spoke
about her experience as coordinator of Seeds
of Affinity, a community group that offers
support and resources for women when they
Supporting Seeds of Affinity
As they do not receive any Government
funding, members of Seeds of Affinity
make delicious biscuits and beautiful soaps,
lotions and hand creams to raise funds for
the programmes and resources they offer to
women leaving prison.
Earlier this year, Seeds of Affinity also
produced and launched a book, Captive
Minds – Truth Behind Bars. This book is
are released from prison. Currently based at
Semaphore Uniting Church, Seeds of Affinity
members also attended the event and shared
stories with other community members.
This fellowship event opened the eyes of
attendees to the conditions faced by women
in prison – the lack of trust they have for
others, their need for love and friendship,
and the stories that have led to many being
For further information on future Murray
Bridge Uniting Church women’s fellowship
events (including a High Tea on Saturday
13 December) or experiences with prison
chaplaincy, please contact Rev Frances
Bartholomeusz on 0407 687 311.
a powerful testimony to the conditions
experienced by women in prison, all written
in their own words. The text also provides
information to help readers understand
more about the circumstances that often
lead to the imprisonment of women.
For more information on Seeds of Affinity,
including where to purchase the above items,
please visit or call Rev
Frances Bartholomeusz on 0407 687 311.
Left: Having worked in the area of faith formation for 45 years, John Roberto shares his knowledge with conference attendees in Adelaide.
Right: Pastor Rob Morgan attended the conference hoping to learn more about establishing a new faith formation network along the
Southern Yorke Peninsula. Photos by Rosie Schefe.
Digital disciples
How can the church build lasting relationships with people who are experiencing increasing demands on their time
and resources? How can we trust and use communications technology? An eight-year-old child has not known life before
the iPhone; an 18-year-old has not known life before the internet. People communicate in ways not even imagined a
few decades ago. Some congregations find all this new technology a hindrance to ministry, but could it be a blessing?
Rosie Schefe reflects on insights provided by John Roberto on these topics during his recent visit to Adelaide.
In a series of workshops held across Australia this year, Roman Catholic
educator John Roberto spoke about the importance of Christian faith
formation (the building up of disciples) in our current environment,
as people live longer and their needs change.
Churches have traditionally focussed most of their faith formation
efforts towards children, teenagers and young adults but, according
to John, this is no longer enough. A substantial body of longitudinal
research now shows that focussing faith formation programmes solely
towards the first two decades of people’s lives does not provide the
best possible model for the nurturing of lifelong faith. Within a typical
congregation, following the traditional model ignores the ongoing faith
formation needs of the majority of its members.
In discussing this topic, John explores the work of University of
California researcher Vern L. Bengston, who has studied the passing
on of religious faith between generations for 40 years. Bengston found
that, despite strong societal changes, parental influence is the most
important factor in the spiritual lives of young people. Young people are
socialised into faith through specific religious activities that are firmly
intertwined with the daily habits of family life.
Beyond this, researcher Christian Smith found that a combination
of teenagers’ parental religion, the importance of faith within the family,
prayer, reading of Scripture, lack of religious doubt, the occurrence of
personal religious experiences, and having supportive, non-parental
adults within the church community were all highly influential factors
which helped to nurture and retain young people as disciples of Christ.
Making a difference in the lives of families helped them to make a
difference in the lives of individual family members, John argues.
In turn, this means nurturing the faith lives of parents and
grandparents – teaching and resourcing them to model Christian faith
and practice, engaging the whole family in worship and community
life, equipping families to actively engage in faith practices, and
encouraging parents to develop warm, supporting, affirming and
authoritative parenting styles.
So, what does this have to do with the digital world?
John argues that churches have been slow to adapt to the digital
environment, viewing it as a place filled with threats rather than as
a landscape of opportunity. While mobile devices might seem like
a distraction, they can also open up new pathways of learning and
of faith formation.
Mobile devices have fundamentally changed the relationship
between information, time and space, John Roberto says. This is
paralleled by the rise of social networks, fuelled by social media
phenomena, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn,
Pinterest and Instagram. Rather than looking to authoritative sources,
technology-savvy people now filter and evaluate news and other
information through social networks.
“People have become content curators; when they discover
content they will share it with their broad network,” John says.
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“Reciprocal sharing is the way in which people build their own
social capital and reputations.”
Similar shifts are occurring in education, where digital media is
allowing learning to happen anywhere and anytime, where learners
become active participants rather than just consumers of information,
and where people access material from a range of places rather than
from one single institution.
John believes that, by reimagining faith formation programmes
to suit this landscape, churches could better deliver lifelong learning
and help to maintain connections with families and individuals.
He uses the idea of “faith formation networks” to explain how this
might be achieved. A faith formation network brings people of different
generations together, and supplies them with programs, activities, faith
formation experiences and other resources that are tailored to match
their needs and lifestyles.
By offering multiple ways to learn and grow, including via the
internet, churches can reach into people’s lives and experiences to
help them to grow in their faith.
Worship retains its central position as the time of coming together
as the body of Christ, and the congregation remains the vital place of
connection and relationship with the community.
But, John says, that is not where the work of the congregation ends.
By using the internet and mobile technology, it is possible to build
networks where people can learn, share and experience and grow
together—in their own time and space and at a pace that suits them.
Tools such as live or archived webinars (web seminars, in which
a group meets for Bible study, streaming the content and discussion
through a video link), links to ready-made resources, e-books, blogs
and online prayers can all be used to equip members of the network
where and when it suits them.
According to John, many resources are already in place and
available. The person in charge of planning faith formation activities
(whether a minister or lay person) thus becomes a curator, seeking
out relevant material and creating links for the network, so that people
can access them for themselves.
“Then you can have a soccer mum, for example, accessing Bible
Grandma’s Corner
Pastor Rob Morgan is a Uniting Church lay pastor caring for ten
congregations across the Southern Yorke Peninsula. He came to
John Roberto’s workshop with a goal already in mind: to create a
faith formation network for children, but with its own dedicated,
digital space called “Grandma’s Corner.” He hoped to form a
network model that would work for grandparents across his
different congregations.
“I was approached by a couple of ladies in one congregation who
were looking for something they could use to connect with their
grandchildren,” Rob said.
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study or online prayer from her mobile device while she’s waiting
for practice to be over,” John says. “She doesn’t have to be in the same
time or place as her Bible-study friends; she can do this whenever she
has some time.”
Another way of networking is the “flipped classroom.” In this model,
network participants perform learning tasks (reading documents,
watching clips, writing responses) with material provided online.
They then meet together to share not only their learning, but also new
experiences, which might flow out of joint service projects or retreat
activities. This has the dual benefit of strengthening real-time bonds,
while ensuring that learning tasks are completed.
John’s challenge to congregations is to build their first faith
formation network, targeting a group of people and finding content
to suit their needs.
John Roberto visited Australia in August and September, conducting
workshops in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Adelaide workshop
was facilitated by Grow Ministries (Lutheran Church Australia’s Board
for Child, Youth and Family Ministry).
For further information about John Roberto, LifelongFaith
Associates and the 21st Century Faith Formation Project,
please visit
A version of this story first appeared in The Lutheran.
“The idea is to provide short videos, craft projects, colouring sheets
and prayer patterns. Each week these grandmas can find resources
and send a link to their grandchildren, encouraging them to check
them out.
“We are already using internet-based videos, music and craft ideas in
Sunday school lessons. If a family hasn’t been able to get to Sunday
school, we can send them an email to log in and stay connected to
the group.
“They can see what they missed out on, see what was done and
engage with it. But they can’t do everything; for that they need to
be physically present.”
Oodnadatta faith community meets to worship and pray in the open night air. Photo by Timothy Molineux.
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g e t t i n g t o k n o w. . .
Uniting Aboriginal and Islander
Christian Congress communities
in South Australia
This month’s “Getting to know...” uses a question and answer format to
learn more about the congregations and faith communities of the Uniting
Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress across South Australia – in
Adelaide (Salisbury North), Port Augusta, Oodnadatta and Kalparrin.
What are the mission and vision of Uniting
Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress
(UAICC) communities in South Australia?
The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander
Christian Congress (the UAICC, commonly
called “Congress” in South Australia) was
formed in the early 1980s through meetings
of Aboriginal and Islander Christian leaders at
Crystal Creek in Queensland and Galiwin’ku,
Elcho Island in Arnhem Land.
The UAICC was created to empower
Aboriginal and Islander people to minister
to their own people. As such, the Uniting
Church model of the body of Christ, and
every person having a ministry, is important
to Congress. Holistic ministry, ministering
to the whole person, is also vital to Congress
On our website, we talk about Congress’
vision in the following way:
We have a Dream of:
Aboriginal people serving the Lord
and filled with his Spirit.
God’s love brought to bear on
our problems at every level.
Indigenous people ministering to
other Indigenous people
Indigenous and non Indigenous people
standing together in Christ’s church
To fulfil our Dream, we need :
The support of the whole church
Your support, spiritually and financially
Can you go into more detail about the
recent history of UAICC in South Australia?
By 2000, two old Uniting Church buildings
in South Australia had been restored to
Congress, one in Salisbury North and the
other in Willsden (Port Augusta). We had also
ordained our first Aboriginal Uniting Church
minister, Rev Ken Sumner.
Congress has had a partnership with
Frontier Services for a number of years now.
Through the Mobile Aboriginal Patrol,
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they have offered ministry to Aboriginal
people from the Flinders Ranges and along
the Oodnadatta track.
The early 2000s saw a rapid growth in
the life of Congress in South Australia with
the Synod committing more resources to
Congress ministry. In 2002, a worshipping
community was formed in Port Augusta
through the call of Rev Hohaia Matthews.
Two years later, Rev Dean Whittaker was
called to Salisbury North to form the Adelaide
Congress ministry. Following this, new faith
communities at Kalparrin and Oodnadatta
were established through the work of Rev Ken
Sumner in the Riverland and David Wright
in patrol ministry, and were recognised by
the South Australian Synod.
All four communities provide safe places
for Aboriginal and Islander Christians to meet
together for worship. They are places where
people feel at home, free to be themselves
and to worship in culturally appropriate
ways, including using their own languages
and stories.
Who makes up your leadership teams?
The ministers and leaders of the South
Australian Congress congregations and
communities form the Regional Council
in South Australia, which meets three or
four times per year. The chairperson of the
Regional Council is Denise Champion,
who also works part-time as the Uniting
Church SA Covenanting Coordinator.
Denise is supported by Ian Dempster who
works as the Congress Resource Officer.
The Adelaide Congress ministry team
is led by Rev Dean Whittaker with vital
support provided by Nelson Varcoe and
Baba Sugurutaga. The team attend monthly
church council meetings, in addition to
regular activities for young people and
weekly Bible studies.
g e t t i n g t o k n o w. . .
For nearly 18 months, the Port Augusta
ministry has been led on a supply basis by
Pastor Max Wright, an Aboriginal Churches
of Christ pastor with a wealth of ministry
experience. Through the time he has led
the congregation they have undergone
management changes, including the
establishment of a church council. Port
Augusta has also formed an exciting new
ministry for children, youth and young adults
in their congregation. This project goes by the
name “Ninnal Seeds,” and has been involved
with both the recent Surrender Adelaide
gathering and the Uniting Church’s National
Young Adult Leaders Conference.
The faith community at Oodnadatta is
led by a number of people, including Julia
Lennon. A popular speaker across the APY
(Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara)
Lands, Julia is currently studying and training
in Congress ministry. Towards the end of
2013, Congress was able to employ Julia
as a ministry agent for a few months, but
this was financially unsustainable in 2014.
Young adults interested in leadership in the
Oodnadatta community recently took part
in Surrender Adelaide.
Kalparrin community is led by the
State Elder of Congress, Bruce Carter,
along with his wife, Kathy, and Victor
and Glenys Wilson.
What is God doing in UAICC
communities at present?
Regular Sunday worship services are held
at both Port Augusta and Salisbury, while
the faith communities at Oodnadatta and
Kalparrin meet on a more irregular basis.
Irrespective of the meeting times, God is
doing some amazing things across each
of the UAICC churches and communities.
At Adelaide Congress in Salisbury there
is a big focus on the ministry of prayer and
working with other churches. At present,
this congregation is probably the largest
and many Anangu from the APY lands
have made the church their home.
Port Augusta has been blessed by their
supply ministry and the growth of their
young people ministry through Ninnal Seeds.
During the Moderator’s visit in Easter
this year, the Oodnadatta faith community
saw nine more people become baptised;
this follows on from the 29 baptisms that
took place in 2012.
Members of the Kalparrin community
are beginning to dream and plan their future
with new resources – Uniting Foundation
has provided some funding for their ministry
and Tailem Bend Uniting Church has been
suggested as a possible home for this ministry.
What are your hopes for the future?
The Uniting Church SA Standing Committee
recently endorsed the Regional Council’s
proposal to redevelop the Adelaide Congress
building in Salisbury. This redevelopment
will include a new entrance, bathroom
facilities and kitchen. These changes will allow
disability access to the church, more space for
worship and additional areas for children’s
and youth ministry, allowing the ministry
of the congregation to continue to grow.
The faith community at Oodnadatta
currently worships in an open space known
as “The Church Ground.” It is hoped that they
will be able to establish a church building for
sheltered worship in the near future.
The 2014 Pilgrimage of Healing aimed
to raise funds for property development
at both Salisbury and Oodnadatta.
In addition to these developments,
Congress is hoping to employ a paid ministry
agent to work out of Oodnadatta. This would
provide ministry opportunities that have not
been available for the past three years, which
is how long the Mobile Aboriginal Patrol
position has been vacant.
Looking forward, the Kalparrin
community is excited by the possibilities
raised through the Uniting Foundation
grant, which will enable a part-time ministry
placement to occur in the near future. There is
also hope that the community will soon find
a church building to better enable ministry to
Aboriginal people in the Murraylands.
The Port Augusta congregation is eagerly
anticipating the appointment of a new
minister in the near future, and hope to see
ongoing development of their ministry teams,
especially the Ninnal Seeds project.
How do you connect with
the wider community?
Congress connects with the wider Aboriginal
community simply because it is an Aboriginal
Christian community.
We connect with the wider Uniting Church
through state and national events, including
KCO (KUCA [Kids of the Uniting Church
in Australia] Camp Out), SAYCO (South
Australian Youth Camp Out), the National
Young Adult Leaders Conference, Surrender
and workshops run by TACL (Training
Aboriginal Christian Leaders).
In March this year, Congress connected
with the national Uniting Church in Australia
for a recognition and reconciliation event
titled “A Destiny Together.” The Adelaide
Congress congregation produced banners
for this event, which were used across
Australia for a week of prayer and fasting.
Several members of Adelaide Congress also
participated in a prayer retreat in the Blue
Mountains, New South Wales. A subsequent
prayer retreat was held in the Adelaide Hills
in July.
In order to demonstrate support with
the wider community on a regular basis,
Adelaide Congress also conducts monthly
worship services at the Aboriginal Elders
Village in Davoren Park. Do you have any closing comments?
We’d like to thank you, the wider members of
the Uniting Church, for supporting Congress
in South Australia as we seek to empower
Aboriginal Christians in continuing to walk
with Jesus in this land, and as we seek to grow
our Aboriginal churches and ministries.
For further information on the work and
mission of Uniting Aboriginal and Islander
Christian Congress communities across
South Australia, please visit
covenanting or call 8236 4235.
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Music copyright for churches – part 2
In this article, Trevor Hayley shares some
thoughts on the complex area of music copyright
in churches, continuing on from an article in
the October edition of New Times. Trevor has
worked in the finance industry for many years.
He is a musician, songwriter and copyright
officer at The Corner Uniting Church, and has
advised on intellectual property and copyright
for over 10 years.
How do you store words for projection?
The first time the words are used, they are
typed (or copied off the web) onto a Word
document. Our procedure at The Corner
Uniting Church, involves adding the document
into an individual music folder. The typed
songs are also kept in a folder on the computer.
As part of this procedure, we determine a
“usually sung format” indicating how the
song will be sung each time (the order of the
verses, chorus, etc.) in order to save confusion
on Sunday mornings. At The Corner, we use
Zionworx 2014 for our projection and we store
each song’s words here once only for future
use. For those churches using PowerPoint,
ensure your song library/collection is kept in
one place.
What other records do you keep?
We keep each order of service, which details
the copyright actions taken. We also maintain
a database, which provides details for each
song, including information such as the title
of the song, where the song is from, licence
and copyright information, when the song
was first used in a service, the key, the number
of times picked, and the name of the person
who introduced the song. A spreadsheet with
this information is emailed to worship leaders
monthly so they know what songs are currently
in the database.
What should we be aware of with Together
in Song? As a musician, I have not played
from the Australian Hymn Book for a very
long time, although we do feature a fair share
of hymns. I now feel almost comfortable
stating that the Australian Hymn Book is no
longer required; Together in Song has become
a wonderful replacement. Both these books,
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together with Sing Alleluia, are published by
HarperCollins Australia – at the time of writing
this article, they have not given permission
to photocopy from these books. Please do
not photocopy sections of any of these books
under any circumstances. However, words
can be projected if licensed or if they have
become Public Domain (a definition of “Public
Domain” was provided in the October edition).
What procedure do you follow at
The Corner Uniting Church? Copyright
recording is a weekly process, and it tends
to the follow this procedure:
1.Obtain the order of service a week prior
to it being held (at The Corner, our musicians
practice on Monday nights).
2.Identify the new songs to see if they
can be used.
3.Log the new songs and any chosen
existing songs.
4.If any chosen songs are not listed,
obtain direct permission – this may take
longer than a week so the song may need
to be removed from the service.
5.Enter the song’s lyrics on a Word document
so they can be stored, as described earlier in
this article.
6.If new, photocopy the music (where licensing
permits) and place it in the same folder as the
lyrics document.
7.Update the copyright spreadsheet.
8.Put the lyrics in Zionworx.
9.The service is compiled.
I will sometimes have to exclude a song,
but I will try and get direct permission.
What about Public Performance?
This is covered by the Australasian Performing
Right Association (APRA). There is a general
copyright exemption for public performance
in worship, but a licence would be required for
concerts, carols evenings and similar events.
If you are unsure, please consider contacting
APRA on (02) 9935 7900.
What about YouTube? This website is a
copyright nightmare! Many of the images,
words and music used are not even owned
by the person who has uploaded the video
– copyright breaches are everywhere. If you
must use YouTube, particularly songs, it is a
good idea to use a video that features the song’s
lyrics – that way the lyrics can be logged into
your system. However, it is best not to use this
site unless you are certain about copyright
permissions and licensing.
Do you have any other tips? Here is a
limited list of some other copyright-related tips:
• Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) does not cover
the entire Australian Hymn Book. Songs must
be assessed on a song-by-song basis.
• The CD that came with Together in Song
a few years ago is not a licence to project;
songs must be assessed case-by-case.
• Under no circumstances should musicians
bring personal photocopies to church.
• If recording your service, it may be best to
record only the message; any recorded music
must also be logged.
• Again, do not photocopy Together in Song.
Musicians must use books. The Melody Line
edition is great for guitarists as it has chords.
• Do not type full song lyrics in orders of
service if songs are being projected.
• Nobody seems sure about who wrote
“Mary’s Boy Child.” This song could probably
be projected as “Copyright Unknown.”
Who can I talk to for more information?
Please feel free to email me with any questions
on [email protected]
This article contains views based on practical
experience, and does not constitute legal advice
by Trevor Hayley, The Corner Uniting Church,
New Times, or any person associated with the
Uniting Church in Australia. If you are unsure of
copyright requirements under law, please consult
a legal professional.
positions vacant
Director of
Finance and
Property Services
Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod
The Queensland Synod is seeking an active member of the
Uniting Church in Australia to fulfill the position of Director
of Finance and Property Services. As a member of the church
you will have the ability to work within the mission, ethos
and policies of the Uniting Church to support the Church in
Queensland’s Call and Vision.
To be successful in the role of Director of Finance and Property
Services, you will have had significant experience in the
management of a commercial entity with missional imperatives.
Applicants must submit a current resume along with a
covering letter (of no more than three pages) addressing their
suitability against the selection criteria detailed in the position
description, available on the Queensland Synod’s Personnel
Services webpage:
Full Time Youth & Young Adults Pastor
Westbourne Park Uniting is a vibrant Christian community
for all ages with a strong emphasis on Youth & Young Adults
We are seeking a person with passion and vitality to oversee
and grow this area as an integral member of our ministry team.
Ideally you will have a heart for and interest in young people
and their faith issues and journey. A strategic approach to
raising and nurturing leaders is highly desirable.
This is a full time position. For information about
the position please contact the WPUC office by email
[email protected] or phone (08) 8271 7066
Applications should be addressed to Rev. Tony Eldridge.
Applications close Friday 21 November 2014
For further information, contact Rev John Cox
on 07 3377 9822. Please email your application
to [email protected]
Applications close 9 am on 17 November. .au
Malvern & Unley Uniting Church are looking
for a full-time Associate Pastor to join their Ministry
Team. Persons who are highly motivated with a strong
faith are encouraged to apply.
Contact Michelle Ellis at [email protected] or
by mail to Michelle Ellis, 44 Marlborough St Malvern,
SA 5061 for Position Description and to submit a CV.
Applications close 5pm Monday
24th November, 2014.
Westbourne Park Uniting Church is seeking an enthusiastic Chaplain to
our Netball Club. Currently we have 50 teams operating and we take seriously
our church - club relationship.
The successful applicant will have proven pastoral and interpersonal skill,
ability to coordinate a pastoral team, a love of netball, a lively Christian faith
and committed to the ethos of the Uniting Church.
This position is for 10 hours per week. For more information about the
position please contact the WPUC church office by email [email protected]
or phone (08) 8271 7066 website
Applications should be addressed to Rev. Tony Eldridge.
Applications close Friday 21 November 2014.
RESTORE your phonographic records or tapes
to near original quality & preserve them on CD
Restore your faded 35mm slides to bright colour
and preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS or
MiniDV video tape & 8mm film to DVD conversion,
SA MEDIAWORKS, Kent Town SA Ph: 8362 2251
[email protected]
Calling all card makers and scrapbookers! Regular
workshops held in Blackwood and Ascot Park, and
new venues required for 2015. Contact Fiona Meier,
0424-269-039 or
DISPLAY DAY The Westbourne Park Uniting Church
Thursday Craft Group is holding its Annual Display Day
on Thursday 30 October from 9.30-2.30 pm, at the
Westbourne Park Uniting Church, CNR Sussex Terrace
and Monmouth Road, Hawthorn. Devonshire tea will
be served at 10 am and a light lunch from 12 noon.
Buy your gifts at a variety of stalls and see
the beautiful work of those who attend the
craft group here throughout the year.
Everyone is invited to bring a friend
and come and enjoy the day.
Entry is a gold coin donation. Enquiries: Jo Lane,
Craft Group Co-ordinator: 0427 658 720
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Saturday 15 November, 9am-1pm at St Mary & Anba Bishoy
Coptic Orthodox Church (18-20 Goldfinch Ave, Cowandilla).
All welcome. Please visit for the meeting agenda;
RSVPs to be directed to Helen on [email protected]
CENTENARY CELEBRATION. The Dulwich-Rose Park United
Parish will celebrate Gartrell Church’s 100 years of worship at a service
on Sunday 16 November. All are welcome to come along for all or part
of this special day. The celebration will start with worship led by Rev
Algis Greb at 10am, followed by refreshments in the church hall. At
1pm an organ performance of classical and contemporary music will
be held, along with hymn singing. For catering purposes, please RSVP
to [email protected] or contact Heather on 8331 0274 or 0419
470 500. Minister Rev Adrian Clark can be contacted on 8331 2075.
SPRING CONCERT. The Adelaide West Men’s Choir will present a
Spring Concert in the Adelaide West Uniting Church Auditorium (312
Sir Donald Bradman Dr, Brooklyn Park) on Sunday 16 November at
2pm. Come and have your spirits lifted with beautiful music by this
inspiring choir. This will be their final concert for the year. Assisting the
choir will be Raechel Damarell (soprano), Suzi Cousins (alto) and Julie
Bray on flute. Tickets are available from the church or at the door – adults
$15, concession $12, and children free. Afternoon tea included.
RETIREMENT CELEBRATION. West Croydon United Church is
holding an open afternoon tea to celebrate many years of faithful service
in ministry by Rev Jwee and Tina Teo on the occasion of Jwee’s retirement
from full-time ministry. The relaxed function will run from 2-4pm on
Sunday 16 November at West Croydon United Church (Rosetta St, West
Croydon). All are welcome to attend. For more information, please call
8346 1161 or 0411 248 966, or email [email protected]
GARAGE SALE. The Corner Uniting Church (93 Oaklands Rd,
Warradale) will hold a garage sale on Saturday 22 November, 9am1pm. Numerous stalls including cakes, plants, books, clothing,
Christmas crafts and gifts, and sausage sizzle. The cafe will be open
for coffee and cake. Come along and find some bargains!
ADVENT WREATH WORKSHOP will be held again this year at
Willunga Uniting Church’s Bethany Hall (corner of St Jude St and
St Andrew’s Tce, Willunga) on Saturday 22 November at 1pm. The
workshop will also feature refreshments and a door prize, and will cost
$25. Places are limited. To book, please contact Jenny on 8556 2758.
(162 Williamson Rd, Cockatoo Valley) will hold its 110th anniversary
celebration on Sunday 23 November at 10.30am. The guest speaker
will be Rev Rob Brown, the Executive Officer of UnitingCare in South
Australia. The service will be followed by a luncheon. All welcome. For
further information, please contact Leslee on 8524 4086 or 0417 863 325.
FAVOURITE HYMN SING will be held at Mt Barker Uniting Church (3
Mann St, Mt Barker) on Sunday 23 November at 2pm. All are invited to a
wonderful programme of old hymns with guest artists and music, including
pipe organ, piano and brass quintet. Free admission with donations
to Christian charities. The event will be followed by afternoon tea.
STATE MISSION FELLOWSHIP. Tuesday 25 November, 10.30 am
at Scots Church, North Tce, Adelaide. Thanksgiving Day (offerings
to National and World Mission Support and Frontier Services),
plus speakers from St Andrews by the Sea, Clayton and Woodville
Gardens who will talk about their respective op shops. Come
early for morning tea and stay for lunch ($5). All welcome.
TWILIGHT ADVENT RETREAT. The Australian Christian Meditation
Community is holding a Twilight Advent Retreat themed around “Active
Waiting.” The retreat will be held from 6-8pm on Tuesday 25 November
at St Columba’s Hall (3 Rosevear St, Hawthorn). Free entry, all welcome.
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STRAWBERRY FAIR. It is almost time for the annual Vines Uniting Church
Strawberry Fair, (corner of Reynell Rd and Rolton Ave, Woodcroft), which
will be held from 5.30pm until dark on Friday 28 November. This has been
a traditional community event in the Happy Valley (and now Woodcroft)
district for well over 100 years. Along with the usual food, amusement, craft,
white elephant, book and produce stalls you’d expect to find at a Christmas
fair, Santa will be making his customary appearance for the children.
A great evening for all the family! Please note: all stalls have been allocated
CENTERNARY SERVICE. Did you attend the old Murray Bridge
Methodist Church on Fifth Street? Perhaps you were married or baptised
there? Murray Bridge Uniting Church is inviting members of the wider
community to celebrate 100 years since the first service was held at the
Methodist church in 1915. People who share a history with the church
are particularly welcome to attend a special service at Murray Bridge
Uniting Church (Narooma Blvd, Murray Bridge) at 9.30am on Sunday 1
February 2015. A pooled lunch will follow. For more information, please
contact Ken Wells on 8532 2669 or Graham Edwards on 0428 813 070.
CELEBRATING 150 YEARS. Semaphore Uniting (Wesley-Methodist)
Church will celebrate 150 years of community in 2015. The congregation
would like to contact anyone who has a history with the church or has
had family links with the community across any of its three forms. Photos
of past events at the church are also being sought. The main anniversary
gathering will take place on Sunday 13 September 2015, and will include
a service and a picnic on the Semaphore beach lawns. Each month of
2015 has a theme, and the church will hold special services and events to
celebrate their long history. The congregation is also seeking information
on the exact site of the first gathering held before the Semaphore church
building was constructed. For further information about the anniversary
celebration and 2015 themes, or to provide information and photos,
please contact Helen Staggard via email on [email protected]
To have your upcoming event or message published here, email
[email protected] with ‘Diary’ in the subject line.
letters to the editor
Our unity
Paul Turley laments a disconnect between worship as it is practised
in many Uniting Church congregations and current events in the
surrounding society and world (New Times, September 2014).
A likely reason for this is the fear that the mere reference to such events,
and especially those that have political overtones, has the potential to
polarise and even split congregations. This is sad, not just because it
reduces the local church’s ability to engage with the issues of the day
but, more importantly, because of what it says about the fragility of
our unity in Christ. It begs the question: which stream runs deeper –
our union with and through Christ or our political tribalism?
P. Shackleford,
Payneham South
Send your letters to:
[email protected]
or PO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001.
Be topical, be brief, be timely.
Letters over 150 words will be edited; responses to previous letters /articles will
be considered within two months of the original item’s publication only.
All letters are published at the editorial team’s discretion.
Celebrating together
The date 10 October is significant for the people of Fiji, marking the
day the country gained independence from Britain. There is a growing
community of Fijian worshippers at Vermont Uniting Church, and
this year the congregation decided to celebrate the special occasion
with a day dedicated to the people of Fiji. On Sunday 12 October,
the congregation invited the local community to share in worship,
communion and a traditional Fijian meal.
An extended 10am worship service was led by Siti, a Fijian
lay preacher. Siti was supported by other Fijian members of the
congregation and Rev Angie Griffin, who presided over communion.
The service recognised the courage of those who were instrumental
in creating change for Fiji as an independent state. Those leading
the service also gave thanks to God for their current community,
and offered prayer for friends and family members who are still
residing in Fiji.
The gathering attracted Fijian people from the Christian Mission
Fellowship, Assemblies of God and other denominations. A traditional
hangi meal was served, along with seafood, Islander curries and local
desserts. Later the guests were treated to traditional dance and music.
Worshipping, working and celebrating together in growing
relationship at Vermont Uniting Church.
Vermont Uniting Church holds occasional, special Fijian worship
services on Sunday afternoons. For more information regarding these
special services or regarding Vermont’s regular 10am family service,
please contact the Vermont Uniting Church office on 8293 2646.
Honouring, recognising, celebrating
Book: Witness the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
Author: Christopher C. Walker
Recommended for: people wishing to explore the ministry of Rev
Prof Dean Drayton, a recent leader of the Uniting Church in Australia
In short: A series of chapters written by church leaders about Dean’s
life and ministry, and how his work connects to the theology and
ministry of the wider Christian Church.
RRP: $29.95
Available from: MediaCom
This book is a festschrift. This unusual word with German origins
refers to a “celebratory publication” that friends and colleagues from the
academic community have collated to honour Rev Prof Dean Drayton,
who, among other things, was President of the Uniting Church in
Australia from 2003 to 2006. The theme and title of the book, Witness
the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, echoes Dean’s presidential
theme, which was based on 2 Corinthians 4:6.
You may be tempted to simply dip into this book, reading authors
or topics that catch your interest. However, Editor Christopher Walker
has crafted this book to reward the reader who journeys from cover to
cover. We start with understanding the context, are reminded of God’s
glory at the centre, and are then invited to participate in God’s mission
for reconciliation and renewal.
At the outset, Dean’s curriculum vitae provides clues about what
has shaped him in his life so far. Each of his presidential addresses
highlights key themes of his ministry – the interconnectedness of all
of creation, the need to have a public voice, being reconcilers across
cultures, the need to share the gospel, and the wonder and joy of
transformation through Jesus.
“A meddlesome priest” announced the Weekend Australian
when reporting on Dean’s retiring address as President of the Uniting
Church. In this, I am reminded that we are in a season where the
Church has to humbly, and yet fearlessly, renegotiate its place in
the public square.
We are further introduced to Dean by Kennon Callahan,
who speaks of Dean as friend, shepherd, theologian and leader.
Christopher Walker picks up Dean's passion for God and God’s
mission, framing it in a Christological way.
Following on, Bruce Mansfield provides an intriguing map of
the historical context for Dean’s ministry. James Haire underlines
how social and cultural context impacts on the work of theologians.
Clive Pearson describes the discipline of public theology, which is
concerned with working for the common good and fostering a civil
society. Robin Lovin’s chapter on Niebuhr and Christian realism
presents the challenge of what it means today to confront “children of
the darkness” without becoming stupid or naïve “children of the light.”
Throughout these chapters, Dean is honoured for his courageous
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engagement with political, social and
market contexts.
The book pauses in the centre,
pivoting on John Squire’s reflections on 2
Corinthians 4:6 and 5:17, which recall the
glory of God in the whole of created order,
and in human beings. After this chapter,
the focus of the book turns outward.
Jione Havea frames Elijah’s cave
encounter with God as a border-crossing
experience, between wanting to die and needing to live.
Also addressing the idea of crossing boundaries, Myong Duk Yang
describes John Brown, who has been involved in both Korean and
Australian communities. In these chapters, Dean is honoured for
modelling respect when entering the space of others.
While focussing mostly on the work of Dean Drayton in relation
to their chosen topics, the contributors in the latter half of the book
also point to tools to equip readers. William Abraham, a theologian
from the United States of America, writes of Athanasius, a fourth
century bishop who drew on the renewal movements of his day
to strengthen the Church. Anita Munro highlights the importance
of lament as a purposeful tool for commissioning ministry.
Using language suitable for the wider community, Peter Kaldor
reminds readers that, while leadership is important, it is something
that we may all give. In these sections, Dean is honoured for taking
on the difficult labour of renewal work.
Finally, Andrew Dutney’s chapter on the glory of God and the
unity of the Church reminds us that we are a “pilgrim people,” called
to be passionate about sharing the gospel, and confident that it has the
power to heal and transform broken lives and societies.
This compelling book honours the ministry of one of the Uniting
Church’s most influential recent leaders.
Ruth Powell
Rev Dean Drayton has had a long history
in the Uniting Church in Australia.
Left: Rev Ian Dow (centre) with the four bishops of the Kiribati Protestant Church. Right: People gathered for worship in Kiribati.
Pen pals in the Pacific
Rev Ian Dow, the minister of Naracoorte Uniting Church, recently visited Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean.
During his time abroad, he spent two weeks on Arorae Island and attended the biannual Assembly of the Kiribati
Protestant Church. Speaking to Bindy Taylor upon his return, Ian shares his experience of the culture and people of
Kiribati, and outlines several projects Naracoorte Uniting Church is currently undertaking in support of the Kiribati
The nation of Kiribati consists of 33 coral islands of which only 21 are
inhabited. The smallest island, Arorae, is a mere seven kilometres long
and 500 metres wide, and currently has a population of 1,250 people.
It is a strong society with equally strong and cohesive leadership.
While other Christian denominations have established congregations
across Kiribati’s other islands, on Arorae the only church represented
is the Kiribati Protestant Church (KPC). Arorae was also the location
of the KPC’s most recent biannual assembly.
Having established a relationship between Naracoorte Uniting
Church and the people of Kiribati in 2011, Rev Ian Dow was invited
to attend the KPC Assembly in September this year, representing
UnitingWorld and the Uniting Church. Ian was also resourced
to undertake important missional activities whilst visiting people
in Kiribati.
The first of Ian’s activities was to supply the local communities with
Bibles, which are difficult to find in I-Kiribati, the language spoken
in Kiribati. Typically, Sunday lay preachers are given an I-Kiribatilanguage Bible for just one night in order to prepare each sermon.
During his time in the community, Ian was able to distribute 76 Bibles
in I-Kiribati, but felt he could easily have given away a further hundred.
Secondly, Ian aimed to provide support for the local library on
the island of Aurora. Naracoorte Uniting Church has been active in
fundraising for this library. Using over 100 metres of contact adhesive
covering, Ian provided practical assistance to the library by repairing
and covering a large number of vital books and resources.
Fundraising and supporting the Aurora library is just one of the
ways Naracoorte Uniting Church has connected with Kiribati.
The congregation has also contributed financially to a guesthouse
on the island of Tamaroa. This guesthouse is frequented by
government employees and is one of the most upmarket
accommodation properties on the island due to its Western-style
shower and toilet. Maintaining the upkeep of this property has
provided significant income to the community.
In addition to providing financial assistance, Naracoorte Uniting
Church has established a pen pal relationship with people in Kiribati.
This helps the locals improve and learn English. Some children have
been writing from an early age and have now successfully continued
on to high school with dramatic improvements made to their Englishspeaking abilities. On his recent visit, Ian was able to play courier for
letters shared between Naracoorte and Kiribati.
During the three years Naracoorte has been in partnership with
the KPC, many Western influences have crept into the community.
The impact of DVD players to the region has been a mixed blessing,
bringing Western influences to the nation and also a perception that
all Western people are very wealthy.
Naracoorte Uniting Church will continue building their relationship
with the Kiribati Protestant Church, and some congregational
members are keen to visit in 2015. The visiting group plans to assist in
the school library and return with more Bibles. The congregation also
hopes to work on additional projects and continue its support to the
community. These projects will be developed and progressed through
prayer, God’s leadership, and partnership with people in Kiribati.
For more information about Naracoorte Uniting Church’s
Kiribati projects, please contact Rev Ian Dow on 8262 2370
or [email protected]
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