COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
The Rev. Denise Liersch has written to ask for the people and communities of the fire-ravaged regions to be kept in our minds, hearts and prayers. Together, we are bringing our prayers and support for those who have died, for those who don’t know if loved ones are safe or not, for those who have lost their homes and don’t know what the future may hold for them. (Prayers are on p. 2)
There is a Uniting Church response that you can support. The appeal is to be found at https://www.vt.uniting.org/uniting-vic-tas-2020-bushfire-appeal.
May the God who walks with us, give us the strength, courage and hope we need, now and continuing over these coming days.
An Aboriginal blessing for today
May our footsteps, on these ancient lands,
remind us of creation and connectedness, in our search for truth.
May the Gum Tree, from its roots to its branches,
remind us to dig deep and reach high, in our action for justice.
May the Eagle, who soars in the sky,
remind us of the power, in our call for love.
May the expanse of the lands and seas, of the sky and stars,
remind us of God’s timing in our faith in hope.
May the Holy three, Creator Spirit, Lord God, Papa Jesus,
remind us of community.
Now with grace, mercy, and peace, go in truth, justice, love and hope.
As our new Minister is on the way, it would be wonderful if everyone could wear name badges when she arrives. If you would like to order a plastic badge, please leave your name at the office. Badges cost $12 each.
Our Congregation: Abbas & Sakineh
It was afternoon when I talked with Abbas Moghimies, just come in from a long day working as a technician on street cables. His wife Sakineh had a learning day, studying English full-time at Wyndham Community and Education Centre. Abbas learns English in evening part-time classes.
Abbas and Sakineh’s older children, Leila (16) and Mahdi (13) are at Hoppers Crossing Secondary College; Mostafa (7) goes to Woodville Primary, and Emily (2), born here in Australia, is at home and day care.
Both from Tehran (Abbas was originally from Azerbaijan), they had to leave the country quickly. They made a traumatic journey from Iran to Malaysia and Indonesia; where they had to deal with corrupt police and smugglers. Then they travelled across the Indian Ocean to Christmas Island. They were in a people smuggler’s fishing boat with 136 people packed together on dangerous seas, until found by an Australian navy ship.
Five years ago they arrived in Werribee, sent here after one year in MITA (Migrant Interim Transit Accommodation) Broadmeadows, and then a Werribee motel until they were able to find a house in Hoppers Crossing.
Crossroads Uniting congregation has welcomed the Moghimies family, and has been alongside them with practical care and kindness including assistance with driving licence practice.
Sakineh and Abbas are concerned for their people in Iran, caught between the warlike politics of President Trump and the harsh theocratic police regime of the Ayatollahs. (NT)
For your prayers this week…
- For those fighting the fires, risking their lives, out of a commitment to protect others and our unique bush land and wildlife.
- For community leaders and the myriad of volunteers donating their time, money and goods to support the firefighters and those in evacuation and relief centres.
- For the those dedicated people behind the scenes in planning, logistics, supplies, transport, the Red Cross and other relief organisations.
- For those who are caring for injured and homeless wildlife.
- And thanks for the care, concern, leadership and service being offered by chaplains, Uniting social services, Uniting AgeWell and congregations in the middle of the crisis.
Worship Plan for this week
9.30 am Family Worship (Rev. Ian Pearse)
12 pm Lisu Service
2.30 pm Dinka Service
Sebastian Walker, baby son of Suzanne and Mathew, will be baptised today, with a celebratory morning tea to follow the service.
Aboriginal Sunday today
In 1940, following the Day of Mourning protests in 1938, Aboriginal Christian Leader William Cooper asked the Australian Church to set aside the Sunday before January 26th as Aboriginal Sunday, a day of Christian solidarity calling for full citizenship rights to be granted to Aboriginal peoples. It was not until 1967 that those rights were granted.
Bible Readings – 26 January 2020
Isaiah 49:1–7; I Corinthians 1:1–9; John 1:29–42; Psalm 40:1–11
Rosters for Next Week
Rosters for 26 January 2020
Minister: Rev. Valerie Johnson
Duty Elder: Salote Tupou
Greeting: Rose Geilen
Morning Tea: Judy Franckom & Elizabeth Barnes
Flowers: Lorna Hodges
Reader: Lindsay Davis
AV Desk: Brendan Geilen
Piano: Jeremy Withers
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Lorna Hodge’s UCAF Coach Tour (continued)
Lara we were welcomed by the Rev. Sani Vaeluaga who leads two services each month. Although a small congregation of about 30, it is very active with a worship team working closely with other local churches supporting combined services and the World Day of Prayer. Once a week they have a Mainly Music programme with strong community support now in its tenth year, and also Messy Church four times a year. The Ladies’ Fellowship meets every month supporting many worthwhile causes. A men’s group meet once a month in a local café. Other activities include Uniting Care Norlane’s foodbank, KOGO and Mum’s Listening Lounge at Corio Village shopping centre. They have an excellent pastoral partners program that ensures that every church family has a partner who regularly contacts them.
East Geelong Some of us went on a walking tour of the cemetery which was very interesting in spite of a cold wind. We were then welcomed by their young creative minister the Rev. Amanda Nicholas and a lovely hot roast dinner and fruit salad. It is a small congregation with a very active secretary, Jenny Hickey. Their activities included communion in a nursing home, UCAF (tours, dinner and movies). Their outreach included a program teaching stringed instruments in Whittington Primary School, and hospitality for the bereaved after funerals as they have a good relationship with Jonathan Harper Funerals who lease the corner buildings. Two choir trips from Fiji visiting Australia were hosted during the year. They have a suite of buildings utilised by community groups, two Probus clubs, Social Organisation for the Handicapped socials and the Neighbourhood watch.
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.
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
The Church Office will close on Friday 20th December and will be open only on Thursday mornings during January while our staff have a well-earned break.
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.