OUR COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY AND THE COMING WEEK
Carols at the Mansion
A number of people from our Congregation have been very active in preparing for and in singing at the forthcoming Carols at the Mansion, which is run by the combined churches of Wyndham. It is ‘on’ this coming Saturday, 9 December, with gates opening at 5.30 pm for an 8 pm start to the carols. Take a picnic and a blanket (and warm clothes), meet others, and join in the fun. Tickets for the event (to cover costs) will be available online at $16.75 for adults, $11.50 for concession holders, and children under 12 are free. Bookings
Saturday 16 December—meet at the church at 1 pm, as we visit local nursing homes. Please bring some afternoon tea to share. Frances Geilen and Robyn Tomkins are the organisers—any questions, please contact them.
Remembrance & Thanksgiving Service
Christmas can be a time of remembering loved ones no longer with us, and a service of remembrance and thanks-giving will be held at the church, led by Mike Lewis and Robyn Tomkins, on Thursday 7 December, commencing at 7 pm. The service is open to all and offers the bereaved in our community the opportunity to remember their loved ones in a special way. Light refreshments will be available after the service. If you wish, you may bring a picture for display during the service.
RSVP: Church Office or Robyn Tomkins.
EVENTS AND NOTICES
Special Congregational Meeting—10 December
After worship on Sunday 10 December, a special Congregational Meeting will be held with a view to formally approving the new strategic plan for the congregation that was discussed in detail at last week’s service.
The Christmas Bowl
This week follow the story of Amba, a refugee in Ethiopia who fled from her homeland after her husband was shot in the leg. Learn how your gifts to the Christmas Bowl are helping people like Amba and her family.
“I remember the day I left my home. Shooting and killing had come to my town. When the fighters came my husband, Lisembé, was shot in the leg. We fled straight away, taking whatever transport was available to move from town to town, seeking safety.”
Amba and her family now lives as refugees in Ethiopia. While life there is safe, they still face many hardships. “We are restricted in what we can do. We can’t find work and school fees are high, so it is hard to make ends meet and provide for our family. Lisembé was a taxi-driver in the Congo, but he can’t drive with his bad leg.”
However, your gifts to the Christmas Bowl have given Amba and her family hope. Through Act for Peace’s partner in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-church Aid Committee, Amba is currently taking a computer course and learning skills that will help her to provide for her family. She told us: “The course is very helpful for me—both physically and mentally. When we arrived here, we knew no one, and it can be very isolating. Now I am meeting other women like me and we support each other. It is giving me something positive in my life.”
Sadly, Amba’s story is one of many. In fact, today more than 65 million people are displaced from their homes after escaping conflict or disasters. That’s more people than at any time since WWII and in the history of the Christmas Bowl. Many refugees share the Israelites’ longing to be restored to their lands.
Your support through the Christmas Bowl is one way of sharing the hope and love of God and of participating in God’s work of bringing about peace in the world today. Your financial gifts and prayerful support of the staff, partners and people who Act for Peace serves will help greatly!
Worship Plan for this week
9.30 am Family Worship, led by Rev. Mike Lewis, including the baptism of Asanka & Martin Pakura’s twins, Aniela and Lukyan.
Following worship today
Please join us for morning tea in the foyer.
Activities this week
Monday: Playgroup, 9.30 am in the Foyer.
Wednesday: UCAF: last meeting for the year at Di Caprio’s restaurant, Derrimut Road. Meeting at 12 noon for a 12.30 pm start. Anyone interested in going, please see Lorraine Sewell, Margaret Wade, or Nola Edgar.
Thursday: 7 pm, Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving, at Crossroads.
Next Sunday — 10 December 2017
9.30 am Family Worship, led by Rev. Mike Lewis, including a Congregational Meeting to approve the new strategic plan for our Congregation.
5.30 pm Soul Food.
Rosters for Next Week
Duty Elder: Rob Bradley
Morning Tea: Sandra Savory & Judy O’Keefe
Flowers: Jennie Kirkman
Reader: Rose Geilen
Greeting: Margaret Gook
AV Desk: Paul Kirkman
Prayers: Mike Lewis
Piano: Jeremy Withers
Bible Readings next week: Isaiah 40:1–11; 2 Peter 3:8–15a; Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13; Mark 1:1–8.
Prayer Calendar this week : Chaplains in hospitals and prisons: Sheree Anderson (St Vincent’s Hospital), Robert van Zetten (Barwon Health), and Tevita Holani (Prisons).
Housekeeping & Help
Uniting Wyndham Christmas Appeal
Uniting Wyndham will be collecting and distributing toys and Christmas food hampers to families in need in December. Please bring donations of new toys and food items and place them in the collection box in the foyer.
Christmas Hamper raffle
George and Robyn Tomkins are hoping to be able to run an ‘in-house’ raffle to raise money to assist people and families ‘out of luck’ and needing a bit of help this Christmas. They are hoping to receive donations of appropriate Christmas gifts to include in the hamper—packaged shortbread, puddings and sweets, small gifts for children, perhaps some tinned goods (with use-by dates after March ’18). Maybe there’ll be enough donated for two hampers!
One small item from many donors will make a wonderful hamper.
Crossroads Carol Service
The Crossroads carol service will be held on Sunday 17 December, at 7 pm, in the church. Please ring a plate of something to share for supper.
The 2017 Multi-faith Dinner
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
Office hours are Monday–Friday 9.30 am–12 noon.
Telephone 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.
Newsletter items by Wednesday morning, please ...