COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
Fiona Bottcher: Presbytery and Sunshine
Fiona is new to Uniting Church ministry; an exit candidate ordained on February 9, and inducted to her mental health role by the Presbytery of Port Phillip West on February 16 of this year. And here she now is, thrust into a totally unpredictable situation within weeks of starting her work.
“My job role isn’t wholly based in the hospital,” says Fiona. “There are two main components; the first is community based at Sunshine UC as outreach co-ordinator, leading an open door community welcoming people with mental health concerns.”
I asked Fiona about her faith journey. “I’m an adult convert to Christian faith. I was facing existential questions, exacerbated by the birth of a son diagnosed with a disability. Jack is an important part of that journey, as I see the world through his eyes and I have a deeper understanding of the diversity of human experience.”
At Brunswick Uniting Church, searching for answers about Christianity, she found the God talk confronting, and said to the minister at the time, the Rev. Ray Gormann “I’m not sure that I’m a Christian.” Ray replied “I reckon half the people in this room would say the same thing.”
After a few years at Brunswick UC, including the “Olive Way” community outreach program, Fiona completed the Period of Discernment, and was accepted as a candidate for ministry.
As the Mental Health Ministry Coordinator based in Sunshine, Fiona has an educational role around the Presbytery. She is available to educate, provide resources and support congregations in their ministry to persons coping with mental health issues.
“I’m as near as your phone, offering to listen remotely to your concerns,” says Fiona.
Fiona’s phone is 0421 027 467; her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Worship Plan for this week
Online worship services
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all services of public worship are being held online until further notice. See the Facebook address below.
Bible Readings – 31 May 2020
Acts 2:1–21; I Corinthians 12:1–13; John 20:19–23; Psalm 104:24–34,35b.
Rosters for 31 May 2020
Greetings: Salote Tupou
Prayers of the People: Carol Nancarrow
Reader: Bev Cox
Flowers: Lorna Hodge
Sunday morning tea on Zoom
As weeks of lockdown have gone by, many of us miss the regular experience of hearing the Word of God preached, and sharing in the music of the church’s praise and prayer.
Crossroads folk with internet are blessed that we have the expertise of Roland Geilen and helpers bringing Annetia’s leadership of worship at 9.30 am on Sunday mornings.
Also Zoom, the internet social platform provides opportunity to catch up at 10.30 coffee time with friends.
Members of a small team of visitors are bringing news and friendship to Crossroads folk who don’t have e-mail or internet access to our morning service, who can know they are not forgotten.
Rose Geilen’s team of volunteers are Jan Bradley, Carol Nancarrow, Elizabeth Barnes and Asanka Pakura.
“We knock at the door, and stay a safe distance; we hand over a compilation of Sunday’s sermon and prayers, a copy of CONNECTION and a written greeting.”
They are a welcome sight on Mondays, bringing a friendly hello from the faith community. “If there is no-one at home, we follow up with a phone call,” says Rose. “We are helping to provide a safety net, so that all connected with our church family can know that it’s reaching out to them.”
NEWS AND NOTES
We have had enquiries about how our offerings to the church will be managed during the time public worship has been suspended. We understand that this may be a time of real financial stress for some families; however, if you do wish to continue your donations, we would prefer you to make a direct deposit at the NAB.
Our BSB is 083-909 and the account is 516109795. Please put your name as the reference. Alternatively, you can leave your donation at the church office, and you’ll be issued with a receipt there.
Nobody left behind campaign
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has in this month of May sent an open letter signed by 188 Australian organizations to PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Letter writer Paul Power, CEO of the RCOA calls on the federal government to extend its COVID-19 response to those 100,000 asylum seekers and refugees on temporary visas, who have been excluded.
Power says “These people, like all Australians, are facing job losses and financial hardship right now. Without access to basic support, there is serious risk that they - including many families with children – will become destitute or homeless. These folk are struggling with the impacts of Australia’s harshest ever refugee policies – interminable waits, crippling visa conditions and indefinite family separation. Despite all this many have managed to find work to support themselves and their families. However the economic downturn means reduced employment and risk of homelessness.”
The General Assembly of Uniting Church in Australia is a signatory to the letter.
The PM and the Treasurer have indicated that the federal government does not intend to extend the COVID-19 pandemic response beyond those who were initially listed as beneficiaries.
Crossroads Werribee Uniting Church supports families of this congregation who are asylum seekers.
Rob Bradley, Convenor, & Neil Tolliday, Secretary, Crossroads Justice Task Group.
Uniting Wyndham and National Volunteers Week
The Age on May 18 (p13) featured a delightful story about Jhez Mattson, a volunteer at Uniting Wyndham and her son Troy. Jhez was helped 12 months ago and she repays the kindness she received, by volunteering once a week with emergency food relief, at the agency next door to Crossroads Church.
In this time of lockdown for coronavirus, the doors of Uniting Wyndham are still open for non-perishable gifts from Crossroads members. Please call Shelley Johnston at 0466 592 505 to arrange your drop off.
We’ve cleaned the carpet in the office, foyer and the church and as a bonus they cleaned all the pews. Almost as good as new. A nice surprise for when we all get back to gathering at Crossroads! Thanks to Alan Thompson (PCG) for arranging this.
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
The Church Office is open 9.30 am–12 noon, Monday–Friday
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.