COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
How do we share God’s unconditional love with those who have suffered unimaginable violence?
When their city of Hama came under siege, Rima and her husband Kateb fled for Jordan with their children. As they were escaping, one of their young sons was killed by a chemical strike, and died an agonising death.
Since then, the family have been living in refugee camps in Jordan, staying together in tents, with no way to support themselves. But they were brave and resilient and have found the strength to carry on. Through the support of the Christmas Bowl they are able to access food packages and hygiene kits from Act for Peace’s partner in Jordan, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR). Rima now also brings in a small income for her family by selling Syrian food.
Through the Christmas Bowl, you can share God’s love by helping to support Syrian refugees like Rima and her family as they rebuild their lives.
(Christmas Bowl envelopes and Gifts for Peace catalogues are available on the table at the foyer door.)
This year it will be celebrated between sundown Sundays 22–29 December.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the Twilight Market last week. We raised $1,100.
Special Congregational Meeting
A special Congregational Meeting will be held next Sunday 29 December at 10.45 am in the church for the purposes of hearing and responding to the recommendation of the Joint Nominating Committee of a Minister for the Congregation, to commence in early 2020. (Ken Storey, Congregational Chairperson)
Many thanks to Wendy Barnes, Gina Lee and all the choristers for the delightful Carol Service last Sunday evening!
An Advent Prayer poem (Ian Higgins, 2017)
So we have our prayer or meditation whatever is comfortable for you/feel most comfortable with;
When Peer Gynt meets the Devil
and carries on about being a great sinner, the Devil says,
“You’re not a big sinner.
Your sins are only mediocre”.
And so it may well be for us.
Perhaps it could help to know that in the bible one under-standing of sin is that of a falling short
like an arrow failing to fly as far as intended.
So many things we want to do but do not do
of course sometimes
we try too much impose this sin of falling short upon ourselves.
Help us remember the words of Jesus and also echoed in the Qu’ran
The burden of doing right is mean to be light not too heavy for us…
May we all seek to be ourselves bearers of peace and goodwill this Christmastime
Maybe that’s enough to aim for
Julie took some time off from her morning as office volunteer at Crossroads, to tell me something about her life. She is a western suburbs girl, born in the Footscray Hospital, to parents John and Dona McHardy.
When Julie was growing up, her family lived in North Altona, and she went with her mum to Brooklyn Presbyterian church and Sunday School near the freeway. Annual Picnics at Altona were a highlight. “At Brooklyn West Primary School there were Italian, Greek and Maltese kids who were my friends”, she says.
Julie says: “At Altona North High School (now Bayside Secondary College) I loved athletics. I did well in 100 and 200 metre sprints, relays and shot put. I competed in the Victorian Schoolgirls championships. Then I went to Holmes Commercial College; this led to a career working firstly for lawyers and then for barristers, preparing briefs, in Owen Dixon Chambers in the city, for 30 years”.
Julie married Greg, and they settled in their home in Hoppers Crossing. When their boys Jack and Darcy (now adults) were baptized, Julie felt drawn to Crossroads Uniting Church. “Before this, I didn’t know anyone in Werribee; I feel comfortable with my friends in this congregation and I find fulfilment here”.
Greg worked in quality control at the Toyota plant for 38 years, until its recent closure. Now he, with Julie and many others in their age group find the job market is hard. Greg fixes and restores cars; Julie keeps the Crossroads church clean, and has found regular cleaning work, but “I miss the mental stimulation of my previous career”. “There’s a lot more to my story that you don’t know about,” says Julie; and I have to agree! (NT)
Worship Plan for this week
9.30 am Advent 4 Service (Rev. Angela Tampiyappa)
12 pm Lisu Service
2.30 pm Dinka Service
Activities this week
Tuesday: Christmas Eve: Family Service 7 pm and Eucharist Service 11.15 pm at HOPPERS CROSSING UNITING CHURCH
Wednesday: Christmas Day service AT CROSSROADS, 9.30 am.
Friday: 5 pm African Youth (Foyer)
Saturday: 10 am African Youth (Foyer)
Sunday: 9.30 am (Rev. Valerie Johnson)
10.45am SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
Bible Readings – 29 December 2019
Isaiah 63:7–9; Hebrews 2:10–18; Matthew 2:13–23; Psalm 148
Rosters for Next Week
Rosters for 29 December 2019
Minister: Rev. Valerie Johnson
Duty Elder: Robyn Tomkins
Greeting: Robert Renton
Morning Tea: Julie Hamilton & Judith O’Keeffe
Flowers: Volunteer needed!
Reader: Carol Nancarrow
AV Desk: Roland Geilen
Piano: Wendy Barnes
Housekeeping & Help
If you or someone you know is in need of pastoral care, please don’t hesitate to contact either Robyn Tomkins or Robert Renton. We’re keen to make sure that when people know that someone has gone into hospital or is otherwise ‘out of sorts’, that they are not forgotten. If we don’t know that someone has suffered some misfortune we are not likely to be able to visit or offer support in some way; so please let us know in such a circumstance.
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.