Crossroads Connection
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 woman at the well

Ghazal: Woman at the Well (Carolyne Wright)

In this late season, who is the woman at the well
drawing water, reflecting on the woman at the well?

Millennial fissures in the well-rim, weed-choked cracks
where brackish water rises for the woman at the well.

At the bottom of the well shaft, the sky’s reflective eye
opens, closes on the shadow of the woman at the well.

Where are the rains of bygone eras? Preterite weather
yields more rusted bucketsful for the woman at the well.

Ancestral well of Jacob, where a weary traveller rests,
where Jesus asks for water from the woman at the well.

Oh plane trees of Samaria, in whose shade a stranger
speaks of artesian fault lines to the woman at the well!

Chaldean fountains, oases of date palms and minarets—
how they flourish in the dreams of the woman at the well!

Mirages of marble, pomegranate flowers, cedars of Baalbek
shimmer in the sight of the woman at the well.

On the night of destiny, the angel Gabriel descends
and hovers by the footprints of the woman at the well.

Jacob’s ladder leans against the door of heaven—
on the bottom rung, the woman at the well.

Women of Sychar, women of Shechem! Draw aside your veils,
reveal the features of the woman at the well.

Wise ones, why do you weep? Do you fear your fate
tips a mirror toward the woman at the well?

Oh artisan of sorrow, mystery’s precision, sit down
beside your sister, second self, the woman at the well.

In memoriam Agha Shahid Ali
(The ghazal is a form of poetry in which a phrase is repeated in every second line of each couplet. In this case “woman at the well” is the repeated phrase. Sychar is in Samaria, and Shechem is in Israel. Agha Shahid Ali was the poet who first introduced this form of poetry to Americans. Reproduced with permission.)

For more from Carolyne Wright -






Our congregation: the Laytons

Craig and Louina Layton of Wyndham Vale have rejoined Crossroads congregation, on a faith journey which included their marriage at this church in May 2003; at that time the Tongan Uniting congregation was located here.  Their family lives in the two worlds of Tongan and western culture and language.
Louina was born in Tonga, and went to school in Auckland New Zealand.  After moving to Australia to be with her dad and family, she attended the Tongan Uniting Church here.



Craig was born in South Gippsland, and grew up in Keilor Downs and Kealba.  His work life has included an apprenticeship in upholstery, correction officer at Parkville Juvenile Justice Centre, wholesale stock foods, and night-fill manager at Big W.

Their children Jackson (16), Emma (13), Cooper (9) and Horatio (6), are attending Manorvale Primary School and Wyndham Central Secondary College.
For much of their lives they have attended the Tongan Uniting Church in Canterbury, where the worship services are in Tongan language.  From 2007 onwards they were living in  Melton and attending Melton Uniting Church.
“At Crossroads Sunday worship, sometimes my mum Lepa Talau is with us,” says Louina.
The boys enjoy playing Tonga’s national game, rugby league.  Emma likes rugby tag, for girls.
Since September, Craig has been studying certificate 4 in community services.
Craig says “The church at Crossroads means a great deal to us.  I love the preaching, which is relevant to our daily life as Christians.” (NT)

Worship Plan for this week


9.30 am Family service (Rev. Annetia Goldsmith)

12 pm Lisu Service

2.30 pm Dinka Service

Activities this week

Monday: 9.30 am Playgroup

Wednesday: 6 pm Young People’s Group

Friday: 9.30 am Uniting Playgroup; 10.30 am Lenten Study (Church)

1 pm Sew ‘n’ Sow at Rose Geilen’s

7 pm African Youth (Hall)

Sunday: 12 pm OSLO (Racecourse Hotel)

Bible Readings – 22 March 2020

I Samuel 16:1–13; Ephesians 5:8–14; John 9:1–41; Psalm 23

Rosters for Next Week

Rosters for 22 March 2020

Minister: Rev. Annetia Goldsmith
Duty Elder: Kur Mag
Greeting: Julie Rees
Morning Tea: Jan Sillitoe & Vivien Bleakley
Flowers: Elaine Belcher
Prayers of the People: Samantha Gourley
Reader: Elizabeth Barnes
AV Desk: Noel Savory
Piano: Gina Lee

For your prayers this week…

For women in many countries of the world who are treated as second-class citizens, who are the victims of family violence, who are the victims of oppression.

For the work of social change agencies who seek to empower and support women.


Rev. Annetia Goldsmith’s sermons

A copy of Annetia’s sermon from the previous week is available from the Church Office (in printed format) or via email to upon request.

Lenten Discussion Group

The Rev. Annetia Goldsmith will lead a Lenten discussion group on Friday morning, 10.30 am, in the church. All are welcome!

Stations of the Cross choir

Singers needed! A ‘pop-up’ choir consisting of members of Crossroads congregation, Lutherans and Anglicans, accompanied by Father Mark Winter (Lutheran) and the Rev. Ken Bechaz on ukuleles, will be singing as the Good Friday Stations of the Cross march passes the church. The Rev. Annetia Goldsmith will be a part of the choir, and anyone interested is asked to contact Annetia.

We’re also looking for volunteers to be safety wardens for the road crossings and actors for the Good Friday tableau. Again, please contact Annetia.

Occasional Sunday Lunch Out (OSLO)

Next Sunday at 12 noon at the Racecourse Hotel. We always have a good meal here. There’s no seniors menu but there is a roast of the day with dessert for $22. Please contact Elaine or Lorna for numbers before Thursday. All welcome.

Jesus: Prophet of God or Son of God?

The story of the woman at the well meeting Jesus presents us with the same issues which we face today in the potential clash between two different but related religions, Islam and Christianity. Jews and Samaritans were ‘cousins’ whose religious beliefs had grown apart, and, as is sadly often the case with families, were more antagonistic to each other than to complete strangers.

Christianity and Judaism both honour Jesus; a local mosque here in Werribee is named after Jesus’ mother, Virgin Mary; both claim God to be indivisibly one (although Christians do have the complex idea of the Trinity as three different ways of ‘knowing’ God).

On Thursday, 2 April, at 7.30 pm in the Craig Lecture Theatre of Trinity College Theological Hall (Parkville), the JD Northey Lecture on the topic “Prophet of God or Son of God? Jesus in Islam and Christianity ” will be given by Joshua Ralston, Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. All are welcome. No booking is necessary, but you will be able to book if you wish: go to

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.


The Church Office is open 9.30 am–12 noon, Monday–Friday

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