Reconciliation in the Park Sunday 30th June

From Jan at Uniting Barwon:

Hello everyone

Reconciliation week 2021 starts on Wednesday this week the 27th May 2021. The largest local reconciliation event in reconciliation week in Geelong is Reconciliation in the Park held in Johnstone Park on the Sunday of Reconciliation week.  This year this will be Sunday 30th May 2021.

As part of Uniting Barwon’s  Reconciliation Action Plan we have established contact with the local community reconciliation group Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group. Geelong One Fire helped establish Reconciliation in the Park and has supported it each year since its establishment. This year Uniting Barwon is going to assist Geelong One Fire with their support for the event.

Uniting Barwon people will be assisting with;

  • Set up which starts at 7.30am at Johnstone Park and runs until about 9.45am,
  • Various activities during the day, and
  • Pack up which will start between 3 and 3.30pm and run until about 5pm.

Those assisting will be given some time to participate in and enjoy the activities taking place.

If you are interested in assisting in any of the roles please contact Des Younghusband by Thursday 27th May 2021, please also enquire of your families, friends, acquaintances and network members if they might be available to help.

If you are unable to assist please consider coming along to enjoy the activities and again encourage your families, friends, acquaintances and network members also to do this .

20210503 Flier Rec in Park 2021

Attached is a flyer for the event feel free to pass it on to your contacts or request more copies from Des Younghusband.

To register to assist or if you have any queries Des Younghusband’s contact details are:

T 03 4210 1115 M 0417 354 515

Lawnmowing Volunteers Needed – Short shifts available

The lawns at St Luke’s are very “hairy” at this time of year!  Volunteers are needed to mow sections of the remaining lawn around the buildings.  Some can be done by ride-on mower and other parts are push mower only.  

Photo by Eliza Diamond on Unsplash

Volunteers able to do the job saves the church hundreds of dollars per year, money that can be directed towards Ministry and Mission with refugees, and keeping our facilities affordable for community groups like choirs and Repair Cafe by subsidising venue hire fees.

Mowing can be done at times and frequency to suit our volunteers.  If you are able to help on a regular, semi-regular or even a one-off basis, please contact Ken Anderson via the office on 5244 2997.

St Luke’s needs your help!

Hello friends,

As we prepare to re-open our buildings for worship and community use, there are some extra requirements we need to put in place to keep the buildings COVID safe.

Spacing  seating and setting out movement guidelines

We will need some fit and strong people to move furniture around the church buildings so that we can ensure people are sitting, standing, and moving in a way that allows them to keep 1.5 metres apart.


There are more complex cleaning requirements for the building, and we need to recruit and train volunteers in COVID safe cleaning practices.  Volunteers will be needed for Worship and other church meetings held in the building, and people will also be needed to assist with cleaning for community use.

COVID Marshals

As people come together again, it is recommended that there are specific people present at events to ensure that people are signing in and out of the buildling, sanitising their hands and wearing their masks, and following guidelines for physical distancing.  We are hoping to recruit and train a few Marshals so that the work is shared around.

Tech support team for video streaming of worship and other events

To ensure that everyone can be part of worship, whether in person or online, we will be streaming our services at times.  We will need people who can set up and operate cameras, lighting and microphones, and who can operate streaming software.  If you are interested in learning how to do this, please contact Paul or Robyn via the church office.

If you would like to find out more or offer your assistance, (or volunteer a relative – cheeky!), please contact Robyn through the church office ASAP.

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 or on 0409 166 915 by October 28.


Vote for Peter in the Westfield Local Heroes Awards

Peter Wheeler. Photo: Hadeel Al Badhran

Dear Volunteers and Supporters of Uniting Barwon,

Uniting Barwon Volunteer Peter Wheeler is one of 6 finalists in the Westfield Local Heroes awards with the chance to win a grant of $10,000 for Uniting Barwon Norlane.

Peter needs your vote!

Please forward this link to your network of family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

To vote for Peter, click on this link:

Volunteer Peter Wheeler has created an Op Shop and community space that offers much more than second-hand clothes and household goods. With his vision and drive, Uniting Barwon’s new Norlane Op Shop is also a safe place for disaffected locals to socialise and seek help. There are comfy sofas where any members of the community can read a book, have a chat, relax and enjoy a cuppa, plus a kids’ corner with toys, books and puzzles. Thanks to Peter’s dynamic and inclusive approach, there has been a surge in volunteers and shoppers as word of mouth spreads. He is proud that the Op Shop has saved several tons of goods from ending up in landfill each month, while helping those in need.

“We have community members who, by volunteering and participating, have gained an improved level of self-worth,” Peter says.

Peter is driving further initiatives, before COVID-19 restrictions, including a community arts program and literacy and numeracy programs, conversational English for new arrivals (in conjunction with Diversitat), Messy Mums group (an evening program for parents and kids), an evening wellness program (some yoga and relaxation), community internet café, a vegie garden supporting provision of free light lunches from our approved kitchen, community engagement events, including community movie nights and regular car boot sales with sausage sizzles.

“Any profit made from the shop goes to our Emergency Relief Program for those in greatest need in our community.”

Voting closes on 14 September.

Thank you for your vote!

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


Mask Makers needed for Uniting

Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash

Dear Friends,

Uniting Vic.Tas is calling on volunteers to make reusable, fabric face masks.

Victorian health authorities have made it mandatory for people in Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to wear a face mask when outside their home, and recommend that people from regional areas also wear a mask if physical distancing is not possible.

An increase in demand for face masks is making it hard for many vulnerable and marginalised people in our communities to access them.

By having cloth masks available for low-risk situations, we can ensure our supply of surgical masks can be used where they are needed most.

If you are handy with a sewing machine or needle and thread, we’d love your help in making face masks, which will be distributed across our services.

Our community in Canberra have already begun sewing up a storm, you can read about it here.

To register your interest or obtain more information, please visit our website or call our team on 1800 668 426.

Once you’ve finished sewing the masks, please mail them to our Dallas Warehouse, which is using COVID-19 safety measures to receive and store items

Uniting Vic.Tas
38-40 Phillip Street
Dallas, VIC 3047

Any contributions will be gratefully received. Masks will be distributed across Uniting Vic.Tas and Uniting AgeWell services.

Thank you for your help during these trying times as we support people in need.

Best Regards


Dale Barker-Harrington

Community Fundraising Coordinator

Community & External Relations

Tips for recording yourself for online presentations

Dear friends,

It has been so lovely to see our people  in our online worship and other presentations, sharing greetings, bible readings and prayers.

As one of the editors, I get to see your recordings many times and come up  with creative ways to present your contributions so that you are clearly seen and heard.

I want to encourage those of you who are “brave” enough, to consider joining the “digital worship roster”, to help present and prepare items for Sunday morning, Messy Church, Kid’s church and other opportunities we have to share the story of Jesus’ transforming grace and our lives as a community of faith.

Here are some tips for helping you to prepare a great video recording:

In summary:

  • – Smartphones are fine
  • – Record from a fixed position
  • – Make sure the light source is in front of you, not behind you
  • – Record in Landscape, not portrait
  • – Record in a quiet environment
  • – Do a test to check if you are loud enough
  • – Pause at the beginning and end of the video, and after a stumble so that the editor can work their magic
  • – Don’t be nervous! We love to see our people in our worship!

Thanks to Abigail and Christopher for their help with photos and sound effects!

We look forward to seeing many more St Luke’s faces and hearing your voices as we continue to gather virtually to keep one another safe.  If you are interested in helping to prepare a segment for one of our online ministries, please let either Paul or myself know by emailing the office – info (at)


Prayer Shawls For Bushfire Areas

Pastoral Connections have been seeking contacts who could take and make available to those in the fire-ravaged areas some of our hand-knitted and crocheted shawls, with a card assuring those suffering that we are praying for them. We have had a wonderful response, with the following distribution numbers and areas:

  • 6 shawls and 4 knee rugs went to Orbost on 11th January.
  • 7 shawls and 3 knee rugs went to a chaplain in Merimbula for delivery to Bombala on the 19th January.
  • 5 shawls went to Bright for distribution by the UCA minister.

We still have some available to give to those in fire areas. Please contact Beth on 52436874 if you know of someone who could be comforted by the gift, or who can take into the areas for distribution.

Prayer Shawls ready for delivery

Barwon Uniting Combined Pancake Day 10am-1pm Sat 22nd February

Uniting Churches of the Uniting Barwon Local Engagement Group

(LEG) are joining forces with Uniting to host a BIG Pancake Day Event

in the center of Geelong City. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our UCA presence across our wonderful city and support local community needs.  Proceeds earmarked for Uniting Housing and Homelessness Support Services in Geelong.

Volunteers are needed for the following tasks: 

  • Set-up – Pack Up: 9.00 to set up stall/kitchen From 1:00 to pack up
  • Cooks – to prepare and flip pancakes.
  • Runners – to replenish supplies to the stall
  • Admin – to do the paper-work and monitor the finances
  • Servers – to dish-up pancakes
  • Hosts – to be a friendly presence on the day, to share info about local congregations (and to distribute any hand-outs your congregation would like to share).
  • Coordinators – to coordinate volunteers, and oversee operations at the Central City stall site, and the kitchen.



Barbara and Pam – sharing the hospitality of God while raising funds for Uniting!