COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
Operation Buffalo: ABC TV series review
I recommend the Australian-made drama “Operation Buffalo”, which is lightening the free-to-air wasteland of long dark Sunday nights in June on ABC TV.
“Loyalty, love and betrayal are pitted against each other” says the promo. You can also now binge on iView, so tune in!
Ewen Leslie (Leo), James Cromwell (Cranky) and Adrienne Pickering (Corinne) lead an ensemble which portrays the bumbling nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga in 1956–63.
Those tests were a last attempt by the UK Tories to assert imperial power on a forelock-tugging Menzies government in ‘colonial’ Australia.
Maralinga was a secretive event in Australia’s history of racist denial of the rights of its indigenous people. Local aboriginal persons were not protected from radioactive fallout from seven tests, over a large area of north-west South Australia.
Highlights of the mini-series are the comic arrest of ASIO agents, the doctor who refuses to hospitalize an aborigine suffering from radioactivity, and the aerial nuclear bomb which falls silent into a sand dune.
Canberra politicians are portrayed in their strenuous attempts to gain photo opportunities, exposed as a quest for ephemeral glory.
In a time when Australia grasps for an international role as a military force, spending billions of dollars on strike aircraft and submersibles, this show gives Christians with a concern for public policy pause for reflection.
Congratulations to the director and script writer Peter Duncan for re-imagining the players in 20th century Australian history.
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.
Bible Readings – 5 July 2020
Genesis 24:34–38, 42–49, 58–67; Romans 7:15–25a; Matthew 11:16–19, 25–30; Psalm 45:10–17.
Rosters for 5 July 2020
Greetings: Julie Rees
Prayers of the People: Jan Bradley
Reader: Mary Dixon
Flowers: Mary Dixon
Join us in prayer for
- the Church Council, as it seeks to respond to these unexpected and unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19.
- those people in our community who have been badly affected by loss of job or income, and for our federal government that it may respond with genuine concern for all members of our Australian community.
- the federal government as it plans for recovery from COVID-19 losses that it may seek the renewable energy path and an effective response to climate change.
- the state government and all state political parties as they wrestle with the need for reform and renewal.
NEWS AND NOTES
Our Congregation: Nola and Kevin Edgar
Kevin was born at the small mining town of Youanmi, about 50 km south of Mt Magnet, W.A. where his dad was working at the nearby gold mine. Kevin completed an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner at the Shell Refinery Geelong, and worked there for 14 years and then at Hoechst in Altona for another 25 years.
Nola (née Haywood) attended North Geelong Presbyterian Sunday School, played tennis there, and was active in the PFA. She trained as a comptometrist; worked in the office at Shell and later at International Harvester in North Geelong.
In 1969 Nola and Kevin were married at St George’s Presbyterian Church in Latrobe Terrace, and settled in Norlane. The family (eventually 4 children—Kerry, David, Peter and Stephen) moved to Hoppers Crossing.
Kevin is a member of the Property Control Group (PCG); his industrial experience with Occupational Health and Safety is a worthwhile contribution to the congregation’s usage of the church facilities.
Nola and Lyn O’Meara helped lead a youth group in the mud-brick community house on Kookaburra Avenue Werribee, amongst the struggling families in the nearby new housing estate. Nola recalls building friendships and a sense of mutual respect with the youth. A challenging, interesting time!
For some years Nola was on the business committee of the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, planning and organizing the detail of the Synod meetings at MLC Kew. “I learned a lot”, she says. She was also a member of Church Council. Beginning when their children were growing up, Kevin became involved in the Scouting movement leadership, moving to District Commissioner level.
After more than 40 years at Crossroads: “The main positive changes we see are modernisation in worship. This means less formality, a more relaxed and inclusive experience,” she says. (NT)
Geriatric gardeners—can you help?
A new gardening group has emerged as a result of Covid19 lockdown and we are currently meeting at 1 pm Thursdays for two hours (weather permitting) for general gardening at Crossroads. So far, we have weeded five flower beds plus adding mulch. Mulch was donated from Cherry Street railway crossing works, and there is plenty more coming over the next two weeks. Everybody (even if you’re not geriatric!) is welcome to join us. (Geoff Gook)
Restrictions on gathering at Crossroads
Some questions have been asked about what effect the restrictions on gathering at Crossroads have. The main rule that will continue to be important will be the 4 square metres per person rule. What that means is that the foyer (99 squ.m.) can hold a maximum of 25 people, the kitchen (16.5 squ.m.) 4 people, the hall (117 squ.m.) 29 people, and the church (144 squ.m.) a maximum of 36 people.
Even if the (renewed as from June 22) restrictions may be lessened in mid-July, the 4 square metres per person rule is likely to remain in force for the foreseeable future, probably until at least the end of 2020. Given also that a significant proportion of our congregation is aged 70 or over, these factors present our Church Council with some major questions about our life as a congregation and the need to plan ‘for the long haul’. There are also some major questions about property and finance that will require serious thought.
Many members are very much missing the face-to-face gathering for worship, for fellowship, and for mutual support. How do we respond to this anxiety and sense of loss? How do we define and put into practice the mission of God in these circumstances? COVID-19 is forcing us to re-think and re-organise, to discover what God may be calling us to do in these new circumstances.
However, it is not all doom and gloom! Thanks to the energetic and devoted support provided by many of us who are delivering Connection and other items to members, preparing and creating the online services and meetings, keeping pastoral care alive, making phone calls and so on, much is being achieved. And the reality is that in some areas more is being achieved than before COVID-19. More people are in touch with the services online than attended church! Contact with and between the extended membership of the congregation has increased considerably, and a new pastoral care structure is being introduced. And in these unprecedented circumstances, we can still call upon the name of the Lord.
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.