Pastoral Care training for caring people

Pastoral Care as we ride the waves of a Pandemic

The Presbytery of Port Phillip West is pleased to offer training in how to deal pastorally with our current “Covid/Semi Post-Covid/Back into Lockdown” on-going experiences. How and why do people drop out of church and activities?

What practical things can we do to help people as they consider returning to church?

We are running two three-hour seminars:

Pastoral Care as we ride the waves of a Pandemic – Part 1 and Part 2 –

These seminars will contain the following material and is based on the study and training developed by Rev Dr John Savage, a United Methodist Minister from the USA.

Part 1 Seminar:

  • Identifying inclusion and exclusion experiences
  • Understanding the track that leads to on-going attendance or no further attendance (relevant to church and any other group life)
  • Identifying the implications for our own setting
  • Coming back after Covid
  • How to care for people who have stopped attending

Part 2 Seminar:

  • Enabling tracks to return to church/group life.
  • Entry/Re-entry process and the readiness grid
  • Visiting inactive members and closure in a visit
  • What keeps active members active?
  • “Why are you still a Christian?” a module from Makes you Wonder.

There will be two time slots for each seminar to cater for as many people as possible.

Pastoral Care as we ride the waves of a Pandemic – Part 1.

Aug 12, Thursday 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm Zoom only

Aug 20, Friday 9.30 am – 12.30 pm Zoom or in person at Hoppers Crossing UC.

Pastoral Care as we ride the waves of a Pandemic – Part 2.

Aug 26, Thursday 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm Zoom only

Sept 3, Friday 9.30 am – 12.30 pm Zoom or in person at Hoppers Crossing UC.

This training is offered free as a gift from the Presbytery of Port Phillip West.

It is open and would be of benefit to ministers, pastors, chaplains, people involved in pastoral care, welcomers and church councillors.

You need to register through the following link

Pastoral Care Seminars

We have had over 200 people attend our previous pastoral care seminars with very positive feedback. The interactive nature and the ability to become more aware of how and why we listen have been common threads from the participants.

We are repeating our initial Pastoral Care Seminar 1 on the following dates and you can register here for this seminar

  • July 16 Friday 9.30 – 12.30pm Zoom and in person at Hoppers Crossing
  • July 21 Wednesday 6.00pm – 9.00pm Zoom only
  • Sept 14 Tuesday 6.00pm – 9.00pm Zoom only

This seminar teaches you about active listening, communication, and the specific listening skills of paraphrase and perception checks. This session is a pre-requisite for other sessions of the Pastoral Care Seminars being run later in the year.

Seminar 7 “Dealing with Criticism, fogging and listening conversation”

September 16 or Sept 24

Seminar 8 “Neuro Linguistic Programming and listening conversations”

Oct 7 or Oct 22

You can register for these seminars here


Jeanne and Narelle

Presbytery Ministers

Presbytery of Port Phillip West

Red Ochre Theology: Northey Lecture 2021 – on Zoom!

So many wonderful events in Melbourne are now available to us through the option to attend via Zoom!  Pilgrim Theological College is where our ordained and lay people undertake their training for ministry and ongoing professional development and formation in the Uniting Church in Victoria.

“The first Northey Lecture for 2021 will offer the theological viewpoint of an Australian First Nations theologian who has spent the past two decades decolonising biblical narratives and constructing a theology that draws on Australia First Nations creation stories (Ancestral Narratives) and our understanding of the Creator’s actions and interactions through our Spirit Ancestors in the creation of our world, humanity, customs, laws, ceremonies, songs, rituals, connection to land, water and sea; language, cosmology, worldview and philosophy – this being the basis to the formation of First Nations identity, faith and Spirituality.”

Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray is an Aboriginal woman who is a descendant of the Bidjara/ Kari Kari people in Queensland and she is a recognised Aboriginal leader within Australia – nationally and internationally. She has dedicated her life to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and she is a strong campaigner and lobbyist and deeply committed to seeking justice, equity and equal representation for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. She is very proud of her Aboriginal culture and heritage and is a strong advocate for Aboriginal women, children, families and community regarding our Cultural and basic Human Rights. She has developed a leadership quality that promotes and builds a deeper sense of community and participation that brings a greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and cultural identity and cohesion with the broader community that leads to beneficial partnerships, engagement and reconciliation.

You can read more and register here:

Red Ochre Theology: Northey Lecture 2021

Lenten Reflection Opportunities

In all of the change that happens around us, one of the constant aspects of our faith journey at St Luke’s is the annual cycle of the liturgical calendar, marking the seasons of Jesus’ journey on earth.

Tomorrow we commence the period of Lent – 40 days of reflection and sacrifice as we imagine the time spent by Jesus in the desert, grappling with fears and temptations.

If you are looking for some resources to use as part of your devotional time during Lent, here are some suggestions:

Common Grace

Every year at Easter, Common Grace brings a Lent series based on the central teachings of Jesus. In 2021 they’ve put together a compilation series from Christian teachers, who show us what it looks like when justice overflows from following Jesus.

To sign up to their weekly Lenten emails, click here.

Uniting World’s Lent Event

UnitingWorld is the part of the Uniting Church with the privilege of nurturing relationships with our global church family, and we love the season of Lent! Through Lent Event, we provide a Bible Study series to help you think through what it means to be a global neighbour, and encourage you to take action with a 40-day challenge to give or take up something that helps make the world a better place. With stories that show how your prayers and gifts are building hope and ending poverty around the world, we aim to cultivate generosity, compassion and awareness of others.

If you’re ready to take a new look at Lent, go for a deep dive online to find resources, and check out for simple ways to get involved.


Messy Church in 2021

Messy Church is one place we can mark special transitions. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stoel

From Barbara and the Messy Church Team:

Welcome Back to Face-to Face Messy Church at St Luke’s Highton!

We really can’t wait to see you all again as it has been a while since we met in person and had fun at Messy Church!  We are starting cautiously due to the ever-changing COVID restrictions regarding numbers allowed inside.

So ….here are our plans so far…………

Messy Church in February

Friday 19th February  5-7pm   At Drewan Park


Our first meeting will be outside at Drewan Park, City View Drive, Wandana Heights – just up the hill from St Luke’s and where we had our picnic last Sunday. It’s a great park with a good view and plenty of facilities.

Theme: The Good Samaritan- we will be planning our usual bundle of fun Messy Church activities outside amongst nature. BYO food and chairs.

Here’s a kid-friendly version of the story:

And here’s a perspective on the Good Samaritan parable from one of the First Nations Christian Leaders – Brooke Prentice of Common Grace – and where she sees the situation of Aboriginal people in this story.  

Messy Church Dates for the remainder of 2021 – put these in your diary!

Friday 19th March– Back at St Luke’s Church , 5-7pm- Easter themes including a Labyrinth and New Life activities- sounds intriguing! Stay tuned!

Friday 16th April  -St Luke’s Church , 5-7pm

Friday 21st May  -St Luke’s Church , 5-7pm

Friday 18th June  -St Luke’s Church , 5-7pm

Friday 16th July  -St Luke’s Church , 5-7pm

Friday 20th August  -St Luke’s Church , 5-7pm

Friday 17th September – St Luke’s Church, 5-7pm

Friday 15th October -St Luke’s Church, 5-7pm

Friday 19th November– St Luke’s Church, 5-7pm

See you soon!

Love from your Messy Church Team: Judy, Shaghek, Paul, Barbara, Jean and Robyn xxxxx







Upcoming Webinar: The Grandparenting Effect

Join author Trevecca Okholm as she shares about

The Grandparenting Effect and it’s implications for the Church and Intergenerational Connections

February 10th, 2021

Find out more here




Whatever life gives you and wherever life takes you, there is always a story.  Life and relationships all begin and are sustained in the context of a story. This is not a how-to-do-it-right book as much as it is a book of stories–personal stories from the author, biblical stories, and stories of ordinary grandparents and grandchildren who have been willing to share their own stories with which you may be able to identify and be encouraged in your own adventures of grandparenting.

This is a book for everyone that either has biological grandchildren or has the potential to influence the lives of non-biological youth and children in the role of grandparenting. This is also a book for churches to consider while planning for ministry to bring generations together in meaningful interactions, and in doing so, to create space for generations to share their stories and share in God’s overarching Story of reconciling the world . . . one story at a time.



Worship online – Sunday 4 October 2020

Paul continues to explore Tom Wright’s book “God and the Pandemic: A Christian reflection on the Coronavirus and its aftermath” this week.  Today we reflect on the question of lament. When the Israelites were exiled to Babylon they wrote down much of the Old Testament we have now (previously it was an oral history). The readings from Lamentations and Job offer insight on how God’s people are called to respond in such challenging times.

You can find more on Tom Wright’s book and where to get a copy by this link.

Led by: Rev. Paul Stephens – with thanks to Lynne Rankin from Belmont for the readings and Colleen Lawrence for our prayers.

There is a reflective post and piece of music recently composed by Rev David McGregor from Brisbane.


And finish with a new song of confidence composed by Leigh Newton and Craig Mitchell – based on Ezekiel.

Belgrave Heights Women’s Convention On-Line – Saturday 10 October 2020

This week we received information from the Belgrave Heights Convention Centre about their online women’s conference.  As the conference is online this year, I thought there may be some St Luke’s women interested in attending.

The theme for 2020 is “Generation to Generation” and our guest speaker is Cathie Hillman.  Although this is the year, we will remember for generations the theme is still relevant so On-Line we go.  We will not be holding a physical convention at Belgrave Heights Convention and you need to pre-register for our online Convention.

Cathie will bring two messages and we have four interactive elective options that will be presented twice. The electives are to be chosen when you register which is why we ask you to pre-register.

The program commences at 9am and concludes at 12.45pm with breaks between sessions.

Our Electives this year are:
1.      Mentoring-Helping others to maximise God’s grace in their lives with Vicki Mustafa
2.      Parenting through the ages with Jenny Wraight
3.      Grieving Well with Dot Hodge
4.      Generations sharing their faith with Ruth Newmarch
Please see the website for more information on the electives.

With the theme of Generation to Generation we are wanting to encourage the ladies in your church / organisation to bring their teenage daughter/s (15 years +) and we still encourage their participation as the registration covers the household.

Registration is available on-line at a cost of $25 per household. $20 for concession card holders.
It would be appreciated if you could advertise the Belgrave Heights Women’s Convention On-Line in your newsletters / weekly bulletin, on your webpage and in your notices. Below are some suggested words for you:
Belgrave Heights Women’s Convention – Generation to Generation. Join us on-line with other women for a time of learning and fellowship. The program starts at 9am and concludes at 12.45pm. Registration is per household / device. We encourage mothers and daughters (15yrs +) to join in together. Our Guest Speaker is Cathie Hillman who fills her days with people, coffee and her 3 littlies. She started her career as a high school teacher, has a master’s in International and Community Development and worked in research at Monash University. Cathie is part of a house church network in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and is passionate about seeing disciples make disciples. There will be 2 main messages and 4 electives presented twice.  Register via the BHC Website. – The electives are to be chosen when you register which is why you must pre-register. Please register by Wednesday 7 October 2020.

If you require more information, please contact me by phone: 9752 6855 or email:

Book Group is Back!

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Thursdays 1-2pm via Zoom – contact the office for the link

St Luke’s Book Group and members of the Trekkies study group are now meeting via Zoom to share their journey of reading various books and reflecting on the insights these books offer.

The first book they are tackling is “God and the Pandemic” by Tom Wright.  He introduces the book here:

It is available as

Rev. Paul will also be exploring themes from the book in upcoming online worship videos.

For those of you who have been missing your weekly Trek through the lectionary, the book group may be a good place to connect, however if you are looking for a weekly discussion on our Lectionary Readings, there are a couple of podcasts you may enjoy listening to:

Tea with Two Revs with Rev Amanda Nicolas from East Geelong UC and Rev Ann Key from St Andrews-St Alban’s congregations in Geelong’s Eastern side

And “By the Well” with Revs Fran Barber and Robyn Whitaker (featured in the latest edition of “Crosslight” here:


Progressive Christian Network now gathering online

Many participants in St Luke’s House Church have an interest in the Progressive Christian Network.  Like many organisations, the PCN has moved their in-person gatherings online.  This means that people who might not have been able to attend events in Melbourne can now join in on Zoom.

For more information about the Progressive Christian Network, head to their new website here:

Progressive Christian Network