News from Uniting

Here’s the latest from Dale Harrington at Uniting:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to send you the 2022/2023 Summer edition of Congregation Connect.

In this edition, you and members of your congregation can read about:

  • The impact of our Food For Families program
  • Findings from Uniting’s recent report on the rising costs of living
  • How to get involved in our Coffee Cup Challenge.

Meanwhile, Pancake Day – or Shrove Tuesday – is just around the corner on 21 February 2023.

This is traditionally the last day to eat all the ‘luxury’ foods in our pantries before Lent. These include flour, eggs and dairy products, which just so happen to be the key ingredients of delicious pancakes!

Many congregations are already starting to think about Pancake Day 2023.

So, I would like to invite your congregation and its members to participate. Any funds raised from any events you hold go towards programs or services that support people when they need it most.

There are three ways you can register:

  • Complete the online registration form here
  • Complete and return the attached registration form by return email or post
  • Call us on1800 668 426to register by phone.

And of course, please pass this on to the person in charge of Pancake Day or your Church Council to arrange registration if it is not you.

If you need to update your contact details or wish to amend the number of copies you receive in the future to better suit the needs of your congregation, please get in touch.

Yours sincerely and warm wishes for Christmas,


Uniting Congregation Connect – Summer 2022

Pancake Day 2023

November monthly update

You can find the November Monthly update here:

20221110 Monthly news

A story from our Chapel Collectibles –

Some of the charming collectibles available at the Garage Sale

I believe that your continued interest in reading our Collectible stories inpires me to continue – as the Team continues to support and raise funds for newcomers and people in need.

October saw another breathtaking month. Record breaking in the number of new faces visiting the Chapel, record breaking with increased sales, and record breaking as we rostered a new Team from our community – this providing some much needed respite from our St Luke’s regular helpers.

I take a special moment to especially thank Geoff Boehm for his never ending support, encouragement and a supporter of helping solve some Collectible logistic problems. Geoff and his Men’s Shed team are a very integral part of what we do. Thank you team.

The collection of Collectibles continues to change each month. We are boasting a large collection of old land-line telephones, a collection of Japanese furniture and art-work, a collection of porcelain and of course as we think of Christmas we display a large range of gifts and decorations.

So here is our monthly question. How can you help?
If you have any unwanted items in your house and you wish to declutter, why don’t you think about passing them on to our Chapel Collectibles. (But firstly check with your family beforehand.)

Linda Salamy & Rae Anderson – Collectibles Co-Ordinator

Response to the proliferation of Gambling in our city and country

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk:

In so many places in the Bible we are reminded that as the people of God we are called to strive for the best for the community as a whole. The people of Israel who were exiled in the strange land of Babylon were challenged by the word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah, (29: 7), to “… seek the welfare of the city.”

Jesus calls us to love our neighbour, whoever that neighbour might be.  And Jesus so often sought to bring healing for the broken, the rejected and the lost.

As Christians we thus cannot remain passive when we see deep hurts in our city and country. And clearly one such hurt is the damage caused by the currently uncontrolled nature of gambling.

At the Gambling Forum that St Luke’s hosted on the afternoon of October 9th, Rev. Tim Costello addressed questions related to what can be done in response to this scourge. Tim currently is the public face and voice of The Alliance for Gambling Reform. (The Alliance national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimize the harm from gambling.)

In introducing Tim and the theme at this Forum, I made the following comments:

The Mission Outreach Ministry Team of this congregation was meeting a few months ago; and Sue Anderson the convenor handed out an article from The Geelong Advertiser which detailed the most recent mind-numbing statistics related to the amount of money being fed into poker machines in this region.

The group responded in the way many of us have in recent days with a deep sense of sadness about the damage being done to individuals, families and the community as a whole by the industrial scale of gambling in this city. There was also a sense of powerlessness.

All right, we know the statistics, what can we do about this disease?

As a couple of people have asked me, “What can you say to young males (and it is so often young males), who are still at school, who attend a footy match and use their phones to gamble on every aspect of the game?”

“What do we do about the proliferation of gambling advertisements on television, advertisements shown right through major sporting events, advertisements which clearly seek to normalise gambling.”

In recent days there have been many voices seeking action from governments.

In NSW, Stu Cameron, CEO and Superintendent, of the Uniting Church’s Wesley Mission and Sandy Grant, Anglican Dean of Sydney wrote an open letter to that state’s political leaders. This letter reminds the political leaders in NSW of the damage being done by gambling, notes that Australians are the world’s most prolific gamblers and also asks for a unity ticket on this matter in that State’s politics … that all sides of politics would agree to do something.

A segment on the 7.30 program on Wednesday October 5th on the ABC underlined the strong tide of concern in the community about gambling advertisements and gambling Apps. 

The St Luke’s Mission Outreach Ministry Team at that meeting I have mentioned felt it needed to do something and decided to organise the forum: a forum that was about “Next Steps.” And the Team was therefore so pleased that Tim agreed to make the trip to Geelong to address this topic.

You can watch the Forum on the Congregation’s YouTube channel:

You can find out more about the Alliance for Gambling Reform, with which the Uniting Church is formally associated, at   

Paul Stephens, Minister in Placement

Uniting Barwon Emergency Food Relief – Please add these to your shopping list

Friends, our people who volunteer at the Emergency Relief Rooms at Grovedale and Corio-Norlane have sent a request to please add these items to your donation shopping list:


  • Small jars of Vegemite
  • Small bottles of cooking oil – Vegetable or Olive Oil
  • Small jars of coffee
  • 1 Litre full cream long life milk
  • Large tins of Tuna
  • Tinned Fruit
  • Flour – Self Raising and Plain

Donations can be left in the trolley at St Luke’s or taken directly to


The Albert Renshaw Building, 272 Torquay Rd Grovedale

(Mon/Wed/Fri 9:30am – 12noon)


10 Wendover Avenue Norlane

(Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9:30am -12noon)




Seeking expressions of interest in a playgroup at St Luke’s Highton

Are you a parent or carer of a pre-school aged child or children living in Highton or nearby suburbs?

St Luke’s is considering running a regular playgroup session for local families with very young children who are looking to make community connections and spend time with others who are also caring for young children.

The playgroups would also be an opportunity for newly arrived refugee and asylum seeker families to “meet the locals” and make friendships and connections in their new homeland.

Sessions would include unstructured play, circle time with singing and movement activities and morning tea, hosted by a qualified early childhood educator and supported by volunteers.

St Luke’s is committed to being a safe space for people to come together in community, and while we are a Christian community, we hope to include and embrace ALL people who seek community and friendship in the place where we live.

If this is something that would interest you or someone you know, please complete our expression of interest form, and stay tuned for more information.

Register your interest today


Spotlight on Community Partners – The Geelong Chorale

The Geelong Chorale recommenced rehearsals at St Luke’s every Monday evening in 2022 and are excited to present their upcoming concert:

Having been delayed in making this overseas journey for the past two years, we are delighted that we can finally present “Around the World in Eighty Minutes”. Although restrictions have generally eased, overseas travel still remains a challenge. So come on an overseas journey with us, no need to check in or stand at the luggage carousel, as we take you on an epic journey via the world’s treasury of folk songs.

Link for tickets

Tickets are also available at the door and cash or card payments can be accepted.

Spotlight on Community Partners: The Geelong Chorale

The Geelong Chorale have been rehearsing at St Luke’s for many years now on a Monday evening.  Here’s an update from them as they return to rehearsing and performing again:

The Geelong Chorale are pleased to announce that we are in rehearsal again and will present a feast of singing in three major concerts this year.
Our first concert will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the quintessential English composer of the 20th century. For this concert we will be joined by four soloists to present a selection of some of his finest choral music: grand anthems, partsongs, folksongs, and movements from the Mass in G minor.
Having been delayed in making any overseas journey for the past two years, we are delighted that we can finally present “Around the World in Eighty Minutes”: a veritable whistle-stop tour of many countries via the world’s treasury of folksongs. Sunday 10th July at 2:30pm in All Saints Church, Noble Street.
In October we will combine with Music at the Basilica’s Windfire Choir to present the monumental ‘St John Passion” by J.S. Bach. This moving work has rarely, if ever, been performed in Geelong. First-class soloists and orchestra will accompany the combined choir, all conducted by Joseph Hie.
Allister Cox OAM, Conductor.

Autumn edition of Uniting’s Supporter Newsletter and Congregation Connect update is out now

From Dale at Uniting:

Dear Friends,

I do hope my email finds you well and you have all had a safe and happy Easter.

I am writing to you to let you know that a copy of the Uniting Vic.Tas Autumn Congregation Connect has now been made available on our website for congregations to access. I have also attached a PDF copy for your convenience.

In this edition, you and members of your congregation can read about:

  • An update on the Marrageil Baggarrook accommodation facility for older women experiencing or at risk of homelessness
  • Ballarat Lifeline’s 50th anniversary celebrations
  • How the Carer Gateway service is supporting people to manage their wellbeing.

I have also attached a copy of our  Autumn Supporter Newsletter. In this you can learn about:

  • The work of our Heritage Service team in supporting people to better understand their past
  • How your generosity at Christmas helped people to build a brighter future
  • Peter, who has left a lasting legacy through a gift in his Will.

This newsletter is also available online in a new interactive format where you can easily zoom in on the content as well as learn more information about stories of particular interest to you with a simple click.

Kind Regards,