We acknowledge the original custodians, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin alliance, of the land on which our buildings of worship stand and on which we gather.
Book Review: Coniston by Michael Bradley
|The truth about the systematic massacres in the dispossession of Australia’s indigenous people is freshly examined in Coniston by Michael Bradley (UWA Publishing, 2019). Michael Bradley writes with a lawyer’s concern for public justice. He describes the harsh conditions of frontier life in Central Australia one hundred years ago. The Walpiri people’s animal food source had been destroyed, their fresh water stolen, and their sacred places on country desecrated. North-west of Alice Springs, near Coniston Station, Fred Brooks, a prospector, was clubbed to death on August 7, 1928, at Yurrkuru Soak, his body stuffed in a rabbit burrow. Word reached Alice Springs. According to the Walpiri, Brooks was attacked because he possessed a tribal woman, Napurrula. Mounted Constable George Murray, led a party of seven investigating Brooks’ murder. He led a series of killings at several Aboriginal camps along the Lander and Hanson Rivers until 15 October, 1928. Murray’s manhunt admitted to 31 Aboriginal deaths. Aboriginal stories of the massacre indicate at least one hundred people were killed. Reluctantly, Prime Minister Stanley Bruce appointed a Board of Inquiry. Hearings included Murray’s presence, and did not inspect the locations of the killings. Every witness was white. The Board completed its hearings and reported. Among the Board’s findings, the influence of missionaries “preaching a doctrine of equality” made the blacks cheeky. The Board knew what was required and delivered a whitewash report. The Report was tabled in Parliament with no comment. Concerned at a cover-up, church missionary bodies criticised the Board of Inquiry; criticisms dismissed by the Government. The official file was closed, the Coniston massacres forgotten.|
Bradley’s CONISTON documents an important aspect of the Australian indigenous genocide which ran from 1770 until the twentieth century. (Neil Tolliday)
Crossroads Letter Box
Over time communication has been a key for many of our congregational members. Hearing joys and sharing stories of what has been happening during virtual morning teas, and when members make calls, has seen many people connecting in different ways and for some, with people they otherwise may not have known. This has been a blessing to many.
As not everyone communicates the same way, limitations to data or not having devices can prevent members joining our morning teas or chatting through the Facebook group so we thought we would open Crossroads Letter Box.
Crossroads Letter Box is like having pen pals but designed to help make sure all our members households are ok. This idea originated during our Thursday Morning Discussion Group and was felt to be a great way to allow all families of our congregation to stay in touch throughout the rest of the time we spend apart. If your household would like to take part in this then please call the church office on 9741 1084 to leave your name and contact details for Sam Gourley or feel free to email Sam.
A prayer for today
Sitting here, I feel each breath,
a gift of life from you, Lord.
Most of the time
I don’t even think about breathing –
or the grace and blessings
you shower on me each day:
the truth of your word,
the peace of your Spirit,
the joy of your Creation,
the life of your Son, Jesus,
your love for me.
In the stillness, Lord, I know that you are God.
(from Jeff Shrowder, Scattered Seeds, submitted by Dorothy Rookes)
Stan and Elaine Belcher
Stan and Elaine Belcher talk about the bird life on Sanctuary Lakes at this time of the year.
“We overlook a small bay, and we’ve enjoyed watching the little family of a mother black swan and her three cygnets. The cygnets start out looking fluffy, and they swim from an early age. They get their food from the abundant plant life in the lakes”.
“We also watch the coots and varieties of duck. It’s best not to feed them, but to let them forage for their natural foods. There is an occasional pelican, catching small fish. We don’t want to compete with the pelican for his food!” says Elaine.
“Walking around our suburb in springtime we see lots of things coming in to flower; the yucca and aloe vera are looking green and healthy,” says Stan. The Belchers would like to send greetings to friends at Crossroads. “Who knows when we will come together again? This is a time for reflection and ordering our priorities. The Covid-19 rules set by government are there for our protection, so it’s wise to follow them”, says Elaine.
Bernie and Marion Dunn
Bernie and Marion Dunn are no longer “Crossroads people” but recently they were welcomed to our online morning tea.
The Dunns are living now on a country road 15 minutes from Port Campbell, on the far south west coast of Victoria, near the Great Ocean Road and the famous Twelve Apostles rock formation.
Marion and Bernie were active members, from days of the Methodist Church in Synnot Street in the 1970s when they helped form the Young Adults Club. Bernie was a police officer, rising to the rank of Chief Inspector. Their two daughters Jane and Emily are now married, living in Geelong and Camper-down, and there are 3 grandchildren.
“We are able to see our grandchildren, living in Stage 2 zones”, says Marion.
The Dunns keep up their passion for music making – Marion has learned to play the trumpet, and plays with Bernie in Camperdown’s “Lakes and Craters Concert Band” conducted by daughter Jane.
Also, Marion grows orchids in a plant house and joins a walking group on the Timboon Rail Trail. “I recommend a visit to the Rail Trail with its lovely scenery”, she says.
The Dunns attend Timboon UC and the Port Campbell Baptist Church, in their local Christian community. Bernie continues as a regular Lay Preacher.
“We miss our connection with Crossroads”, says Bernie “And we wish folk all the best. When Covid-19 is over, you are welcome to come for a cup of tea with us”.
(This writer remembers Bernie attending the Macarthur-Byaduk Joint Methodist-Presbyterian Church as a 14 year old—his family was on a soldier settler block, and his dad was a Local Preacher … but that’s another story!)
Worship Plan for this coming week
Exodus 32:1–14; Philippians 4:1–9; Matthew 22:1–14; Psalm 106:1–6, 19–23.
- Greetings: Julie Rees
- Prayers of the People: Samantha Gourley
- Reader: Rose Geilen
- Flowers: Elaine Belcher
- Piano: TBC
Housekeeping & Help
Pastoral care will be maintained during these difficult days but it is subject to the rules regarding access to hospitals and aged care homes.
Please contact Rev. Annetia Goldsmith for any pastoral care needs.
CHURCH OFFICE INFORMATION
Please note that due to the Covid-19 Stage 4 restrictions the Church Office will not be attended. Please contact us via email or phone 03 9741 1084
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.