We acknowledge the original custodians, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin alliance, of the land on which our buildings of worship stand and on which we gather.




The Christmas Bowl Appeal runs until the end of February, so there is plenty of time if you would still like to make a donation. This can be done very easily by using one of their ‘official’ envelopes and posting it to Act For Peace yourself (remember to say it comes from Crossroads UC Werribee). Perhaps an easier way to donate is to use your own envelope marked Christmas Bowl Appeal and hand in your donation to the Church office by the middle of February.
This is a great way to share God’s love for us all. It’s also nice to be working with other Christians in the Australian Council of Churches. Crossroads’ total last year was $2,424.70. Why can’t we beat that this time??

How did the painting come about?

John Fraser Mackie, Water Bailiff
I asked Jan Goates, a director of the Wyndham Community Cultural Foundation also known as Arts Assist. “Years ago, the Foundation began with lobbying for a 500 seat theatre and art gallery; the Committee for Werribee ran fundraisers, which eventually became the City of Wyndham’s Community Arts Centre”, says Jan. See
“Our Foundation directors were looking for an art project to represent the story of Werribee. We were aware of Victorian State Government support for local arts projects; our first submission missed out on a post code basis, but a local MP helped us to proceed”.
“Our research in archival photos led us to the waterman. We never set out to honour or replicate a particular person, but rather we wanted images representing the Werribee South vegetable growing industry. Photos of John Mackie serendipitously worked for our artist Hayden Dewar, along with pictures of farm workers, frog and platypus”, says Jan. (NT)

The Rev. Valerie Johnson

The Rev. Valerie Johnson: today’s worship leader
Valerie Johnson, also Beanland. My family arrived in 1957 as £10 pommies (nothing for me), attended schools, then worked as a children’s librarian. In 1971 I became the first Tasmanian woman candidate as a Methodist minister. I was ordained in 1975 and served in parishes until my daughter’s birth in 1982, then did library work until retirement 2005. For the next two years I was the Interim Intentional Minister at Footscray, then supplied in various congregations (including Werribee). This was followed by two years of Intentional Interim ministry in Tasmania, then more supply. We’ve lived in the Goulburn Valley, the Western District, Coburg, Alice Springs, Lancefield, Bacchus Marsh, plus north and south Tasmania. I write, tell stories, paint and other crafts and run a children’s programme at Bacchus Marsh UC.
[Valerie and the editor were candidates for the ministry and studied at Ormond and Queen’s Colleges 1972–4.]
Bhakta Das
Laurence Gray

A tale of three persons…

John Fraser Mackie Water Bailiff, Valda M and Jan Goates.
I heard on the grapevine that the huge picture of a man in a hat recently painted on the State Rivers Water Tower has a history connected to Valda M, member of our Crossroads congregation.
So I visited Valda and her terrier rescue dog Jack.
Valda says “I was christened in the Werribee Presbyterian church, long before it became Crossroads Uniting. I walked to Sunday School as a young girl.”
“Yes the man on the Water Tower is my dad, John Fraser Mackie, Water Bailiff. He is in a 1953 photo checking the Dethridge Wheel, which controlled the flow of water to the South Werribee vegetable farming properties,” says Valda.
The water tower itself supplied potable water for residents of Werribee.
Water for the farms was stored in Pykes Creek Dam and Melton Reservoir on Werribee River. This continues to be channeled from the Diversion Weir near the Historic Park to many vegie farms you can see as you drive around South Werribee.
The Dethridge Wheel recorded the amount of water used on each farm, and thus the supply was calculated and paid for.
“I didn’t know about the picture until my nephew Andrew Mackie saw it on Facebook,” says Valda.
“My dad, John Mackie, migrated from Aberdeen in Scotland, with his brother, both aged early 20s. My husband Victor and I visited Scotland and found his family cottage when we travelled there some years ago.”
My husband’s Electrical Goods shop was well known in Watton Street Werribee in the 1950s and 60s. “After television arrived we were overwhelmed with orders for TV sets, and our garage was full of them”, says Valda. (NT)

Poetry by Glynn Cardy

Blessed are those unheralded souls who slip
tangentially into situations
coaxing forth possible solutions;
and who, on the edges, help and restore.
Blessed are those who seek the common good
even when it’s not their own;
caring for those who don’t care for them,
caring for those who can’t or won’t be good.

Blessed are those who’ve learnt and give empathy
without needing reciprocity,
without needing recognition or reward.
They emanate contentment; like angels.
Blessed are those tireless encouragers,
who see the best in the worst,
who see the light in the cracks of our lives,
who lead us, guide us, bring us home to our heart.
“Loving all of us”—reproduced with permission.

Greetings from the Interfaith Network

Members of the Wyndham Interfaith Network (WIFN) met recently in Wyndham Park.  They send greetings to Crossroads Uniting congregation for the new year 2021.

The chairperson of WIFN Bhakta Das says “We look forward to combining with Crossroads UC on March 11 2021, for the global day of action for climate justice, when places of worship around the world will display banners and ring bells”. Bhakta is a leader of the Hindu Hare Krishna faith in Melbourne and a member of the state government’s interfaith advisory committee.

Laurence Gray, a member of the Anglican Church in Williamstown, is the facilitator of the Wyndham Interfaith Network. (NT)

Worship Plan for this coming week

10 January

Bible Readings

Genesis 1:1–5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1–7; Mark 1:4–11


  • Greetings: Margaret B
  • Prayers of the People: Ian P
  • Reader: Sandra S
  • Music: Gina L
  • Flowers: Margaret F

Housekeeping & Help

Pastoral care will be maintained during these difficult days but it is subject to the rules regarding access to hospitals and aged care homes.

Please contact Rev. Annetia Goldsmith for any pastoral care needs.


The church office is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30am to 12 noon.

Telephone 03 9741 1084.  Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.