Celebrating the Seasons of Creation through September

The World Council of Churches has declared 1 September to 4 October as the Season of Creation.

From September 1 to October 4, Christians around the world are praying and caring for creation.  It’s the “Season of Creation”. The beginning and the end date of Season of Creation are linked with the concern for creation in the Eastern and the Western traditions of Christianity, respectively.

The Uniting Church has developed some wonderful resources for us to use in our worship and devotional life which you can find here.

During September three Congregations in Geelong are working together to highlight the blessing of God’s creation and our call to care for it.

The Congregations are Wesley, Western Heights and ourselves at St Lukes. This idea was initiated by the environment groups of each congregation.

This will take the form of three services which will be shared around the three churches. In practise this means for us at St Luke’s as follows:

September 11th

Paul and our environment team will be celebrating the cosmos; and encouraging us to stop and wonder at God’s amazing universe of which we are a part.

September 18th

Rev. Denis Tomlins and the team from Wesley will visit and focus on caring for flora and fauna.

September 25th

The team from Western Heights will visit and be celebrating the gift of water and our need to care for it.

(The St Luke’s team will visit Western Heights on the 18th and Wesley on the 25th.)

Messy Church Nature Walk Tuesday 12th April

Photo by gryffyn m on Unsplash

You’re invited to an intergenerational Nature Walk with Messy Church friends!

As we soak in the beautiful natural surrounds of the Barwon River, we’ll explore what it means to walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem as Holy Week and Easter approach.  This walk is for people of all ages, children, parents and grandparents are welcome!

Meeting Point:

Buckley Falls Lower Carpark, accessed from Buckley Falls Road in Highton.

Wear: Comfortable shoes for walking and clothing that can be easily adjusted to suit the weather.  (Be ready for rain!)

Bring: Hat, waterbottle, insect repellant, sunscreen, snacks

After a short gathering time, we’ll head off to explore the wilder parts of the Barwon River, coming together for afternoon tea and an Outdoor Messy Celebration, finishing by 5pm

Let us know you’re coming by Monday the 7th of April—

Contact Robyn 0427571453 or email



Dreaming Big – and St Luke’s Salt & Light Plans (as at 16 Dec 2021)

In 2017 St Luke’s Highton UCA began a process toward regeneration ministry. In 2018 with the arrival of Rev Paul Stephens the community undertook Dreaming Big studies, built on the Synod’s Property for Mission Workbook.

In 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we applied to City of Greater Geelong for an Infrastucture Planning Grant of $20000 to work with the community to understand how we could use our site and resources for the benefit of the broader community and to continue to be Christ’s “Salt & Light” in our community. We were successful and in 2021, we implemented this planning – throughout the challenges of another covid year.

The Design Brief (pdf format) that was developed is available here: StLuke_DESIGN BRIEF_9oct2021_CoGGlogo_Stage2

Deakin School of Architecture & Built Environment team gave an initial presentation of architectural ideas in response to the Brief in October to the “Community Voice” and Church Council groups. They took feedback away to refine the ideas.

On 17 December, Stewart Seaton & Dr Igor Martek presented their refined concepts to a broader group from church and community. A recording of the session is available on Youtube. Send us a message if you’d like to view it.

The plans show how the site could be transformed to create the environment to enable the Design Brief to become reality. The Deakin Team also created an animated 3D fly through that Stewart has narrated. (this will open in YouTube)

There were seven drawings and images presented:

StLukes_Concept_Plans – Overview

StLukes_Concept_Plans 2021 – Elevations

StLukes_Concept_Plans 2021 – Sectional elevations

StLukes_Concept_Plans 2021 – Views from the NE corner

StLukes_Concept_Plans 2021_ Views inside the Sanctuary precinct including possible extension of Sanctuary into the ‘gardens’

StLukes_Concept_Plans 2021 – View in the NW corner – repurposed Lane Memorial Hall in the market garden and looking to the original church

StLukes_Concept_Plans2021 – 3D model image of site

In the months to come, this will be refined and agreed on as a ‘Master Plan’ that over coming years will be ‘staged’ to implement as people, finance and most importantly, God’s Spirit, guide us.

If you have any questions or are interested in being involved in (or partnering with) this vision and work, contact admin@stlukesuca.org.au   (or call the Church Office or our Minister)

Thanks to City of Greater Geelong for the Infrastructure Planning Grant 2021 ($20,000) which was matched by the Congregation & partners (My Pilgrim’s Way, and Deakin University School of Architecture & Built Environment).

City of Great Geelong Logo

Online Worship – Sunday 6th June 2021

Care for Creation: Restoration

Dear friends,

Our theme in this video will centre around the care of God’s creation … prompted by the marking on June 5th of the UN world environment day.

Humans have a particular place in creation and that is to care for it … that we have a responsibility to be good stewards … so generations can enjoy the blessings of this wonderful planet and universe.

And we as Christians … who take this stuff seriously have a role in this …

The UN website for World Environment Day speaks about “restoration” and I think that resonates with plenty of Biblical concepts such as healing, renewal, new beginnings …

The website includes this statement which I found helpful:

We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts.  (World Environment Day)

For a little more of a deep dive into the Genesis readings for today, you might like to take a look at this video from “The Bible Project”:

You can find out more about “A Prayer, a Plea, a Bird” from Julie Perrin at her website here:

A prayer, a plea, a bird



March 11th at 11am – Ringing the St Luke’s Bell for Climate Justice

Sacred People, Sacred Earth:  Please join us at 11am on  March 11 to ring the St Luke’s bells and say a prayer as part of a global multi-faith day of call to action and prayer regarding climate change.
All over the world people are standing together to say:
“We are united by a fundamental belief that all people, all living things, and the Earth are sacred.  As we consider the state of the world today, our hearts overflow with concern.  
We are frightened and frustrated by the damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on our communities. The pandemic has revealed cruel injustices. The vulnerable suffer the most severe impacts. We know about this injustice. We have seen it before.
These same communities are disproportionately and catastrophically affected by the accelerating climate emergency.
… A far better future is possible if our collective response to the pandemic and the climate crisis is guided by compassion, love and justice at a scale that meets this moment.”

In support of the statement and to draw attention to it, faith communities around the world are being asked to ‘sound the alarm’ for the climate and call for climate justice as we try to get our economies going in the wake of COVID.

Please join the biggest ever global faith-based Day of Action for the Climate. The theme of of the day is Sacred People, Sacred Earth.

Each place of worship, faith-based small group or household will choose its own way to do this: by ringing its bells, by sounding a note on the shofar, calling the Azan, by chanting and by meditating. Just as long as make a noise – or even some thunderous silence!  We each have our own traditions, but we will be united in one clear message.

After the Day of Action, GFI will call for  a “Year of Action” in the lead-up to COP26 which will be held in Glasgow in November 2021. 

We hope you can join us!

Michelle, for the Environment Action Team



Farewell to a St Luke’s icon

The Moreton Bay Fig Tree on the corner of Scenic and Barrabool Roads

Today we farewelled an iconic Moreton Bay Fig tree that has stood on the corner of the St Luke’s property for many years. The decision to take it down has been really hard – St Luke’s has a proud history of caring for our environment.

In the last 12 months several branches have fallen during windy conditions, and the roots are making it increasingly difficult for City of Greater Geelong to keep the footpath safe for the increasing numbers going past. We sought advice from an arborist, landscape architect, and consulted with the City of Greater Geelong – all agreed with the final decision. To quote our landscape architect who admired the tree “unfortunately it is the wrong tree in the wrong place.”

As our carpark needs resurfacing to fix a number of hazards that have developed, we have taken the opportunity to redesign the whole corner with assistance from a local landscape architect to:

  • Introduce a native rain garden on the verge to help manage the water run off from the car park
  • Plan a range of new native trees and shrubs around the edges of the carpark to offer shade, animal habitat, and not impede traffic visibility at the roundabout
  • Incorporate trees into the carpark itself to provide shade and reduce urban heat

You will see lots happening in the coming months, as we work to continue to upgrade our site to be a great resource for our local community and the many users who come from across the region to participate in the many groups who use our buildings.

Climate Change Taskforce

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Climate change taskforce

The Justice and International Mission Cluster is asking you to be part of a taskforce on climate change action. The taskforce’s purpose is to identify, encourage and support the implementation of measures across the Synod to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. To lodge an expression of interest, contact Mark Zirnsak at mark.zirnsak@victas.uca.org.au or on 0409 166 915 by October 28.


Mission Outreach Ministry Team and Environment Action Group Meetings

Here’s a quick update regarding these ministry and mission teams.

Mission Outreach Ministry Team

  • The team is not meeting monthly but rather staying in touch via the phone.
  • Material support for refugees is still available but now happening by appointment and with contactless pickup.
  • Bread deliveries are not happening at the moment as Ken has “retired” as the organiser.  This wonderful connecting ministry has been deeply appreciated by many refugee families over the years and we are grateful for all the volunteers who have helped to make it happen.  There is certainly an opportunity for another leader to take up this ministry, should you feel a call and have a van – though we will need to navigate our way through protocols needed to keep everyone safe during the COVID19 pandemic.

Environment Action Group

  • Is not meeting monthly but group members are keeping in touch with one another and doing what online action that they can
  • Recycling can still be dropped off at the church during open times
  • Repair Cafe is suspended until it is safe for groups to meet again


Sunday 14th June: Online Worship – Biodiversity and caring for creation

Hello friends!

This week’s worship online is presented by Paul and the St Luke’s Environment Action Team.  Thanks to Claire, Ian, Michelle, Jean and Lloyd for working with Paul to prepare this thoughtful devotion, and thanks to everyone who contributed photos and footage – featured at the end of today’s video.

O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thorn bush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
– Walter Rauschenbusch

You can watch today’s online worship here:

The hymn “All things bright and beautiful” is included within today’s service, but if you are looking for another tune for today, here’s “This pretty planet”:

If you would like to explore ideas of biodiversity and our faithful response, you might like to check out the Faith Ecology Network here: https://www.faithecology.net.au/

And the Uniting Church’s Just Act page here:


What position should the Synod take in response to climate change?

The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania meetings have passed resolutions relevant to climate change since 1977. However, the last resolution of a Synod meeting that directly addressed the issue of climate change was in 2008. Members of the Synod congregations have been expressing greater concern to the Justice and International Mission (JIM) cluster that the Synod needs to play a more significant role in responding to climate change.  The JIM cluster believes there is a need for the Synod to update its position on the urgency of addressing the causes of climate change and the actions that need to be taken in response.

The consultation paper that can be downloaded from this page explores how serious is the threat of climate change. Based on the assessment of the danger, the paper explores what actions we as Australians should be taking as part of the global effort to respond to climate change. It proposes a position for the Synod to adopt at the next Synod meeting.


St Luke’s Environment Action Group Bushfire Appeal

The St Luke’s Environment Group are growing seedlings of herbs, veggies and flowers for the bushfire victims to start their gardens and add a bit of colour.  Jean Daw is going to Bairnsdale end March for starters, with a load for the victims in that area. All pots to be at St Luke’s 11am Sat 21st March to be loaded in her car.  We may have more going to other areas as well.

If you are interested in helping, please see one of the Environment Group – Claire, Michelle, Jean, Jenny, Ian A, Ian L, Phil. 

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pixabay