What if COVID changes the church?

It may seem that our church is dying…
What if our Church will never be the same again?
What if we no longer have the strength to serve as we did before?
What if when we return we can’t face the church rosters?
What if we can no longer travel outside on a cold winter night for meetings?
What if, as a church, we cannot sustain mission, outreach and hospitality any longer?
What if we don’t have the energy to save the old cocoon of traditional church, with all its structures and large leadership demands?
And the old ways of doing things need to be let go of…

What if new ways of being church are being born?
What if we let go of the old ways of doing things… and instead chose ways of joyfully serving ?
What if we stopped forcing people to come into church and instead worshipped in the midst of people?
What if instead of catering fellowship group at the church … we took the church to the café and supported the local business post-COVID ?
What if we gave up all the mission programs we run … and instead told our neighbour why we believe in God and why God is so important to me? And let that story sit with them in the depths of all they are experiencing.
What if we no longer went out for meetings at night but zoomed each other?
What if we continued on-line worship as a meaningful cornerstone to our faith?
What if we sold our buildings that burden us and were a people of faith in our community?
What if we forgot the words to Holy communion liturgy and broke bread at the pub and gave thanks to God!
What if this new way of doing church was lighter, simpler, and more joyful!

Rev. Linley Liersch, Presbytery Minister, Presbytery of Port Phillip West

Grief and Loss seminars

Lockdown has been hard! After nearly two years of unrest, and a constant shifting of the goal posts, many of us will have unresolved grief and loss issues that have been ‘on-hold’ during the lockdown, and others may be somewhat ambivalent about the security of the roadmap ahead and the continuing presence of Covid cases.

The Presbytery of Port Phillip West is offering two on-line seminars that seek to offer an opportunity to name the grief and loss impact that Covid-19 (and the lockdowns) have had on each of us, as well as provide a pathway for dealing with our unresolved concerns.

Each session will be 2 ½ hours in length and will be offered for either a morning or an evening session Wed evenings or Friday mornings.

Grief and Loss Seminar 1 – Understanding the Stages of Grief
17 Nov – Wed evening, 7-9:30pm, or
19 Nov – Friday morning, 10am -12:30pm

Grief and Loss Seminar 2 – Understanding the Different Types of Grief and Loss
1 Dec – Wed evening, 7-9:30pm, or
3 Dec – Friday morning, 10am -12:30pm

To register for any of these sessions, please go to Trybooking site: https://www.trybooking.com/BVCAP

Updates from Uniting VicTas

(Dated  1st  October 2021)

Dear Friends,

I do hope this email finds you safe and well in these challenging times!

I am writing to you to let you know that a copy of the Uniting Vic.Tas Spring Congregation Connect has now been made available on our website for congregations to access. In this edition, you and members of your congregation can read about Rachael, who was supported through the Victorian Government’s From Homelessness to a Home initiative, hear the difference our Winter Blanket Appeals have made and learn about the opening of a new facility for older women at risk of homelessness.

Congregation Connect Spring 2021

Our Spring Supporter Newsletter, which features stories of hope in the face of crisis has also been made available online. On page 5, there are examples of just some of the ways our dedicated teams have kept our support going during these challenging times. You can also read about the difference your giving has made this past winter and discover new ways to get involved.

Supporter Newsletter Spring 2021

This year’s Coffee Cup Challenge officially launches today (1st October) however It is still not too late to get involved.  All funds raised from the Coffee Cup Challenge will support people experiencing crisis, vulnerability and disadvantage. For more information or to register your congregation to join the Coffee Cup Challenge, please visit our Coffee Cup Challenge page.

It might seem early to be talking about Christmas however I wanted to let you know that our Uniting Christmas cards are now available to order with 4 new additions to the range. Each design has been thoughtfully selected to reflect the joy and hope of Christmas and all proceeds will support people in crisis. As current restrictions have once again made it too difficult for many of you to complete orders for your members by consignment this year, I have attached a copy of the Christmas Card poster and a PDF order form you can pass on to your members. Please note we have made the order form fillable for anyone wanting to complete and email it back to us without printing. Alternatively, they can pre-fill the details prior to printing and mailing it back to us if they prefer this to manually writing their details.

Cards can be also be ordered by calling our Supporter Services on 1800 668 426 or visiting our Christmas Card site.

We are always seeking feedback on how we as your community services organisation is performing and are keen for your thoughts on how Uniting can work better as part of the Church to respond to Christ’s invitation to serve humanity by creating an inclusive, connected and just world. To help do this, we invite you to offer your reflections here and encourage you to share this link with your congregation members so they also have the opportunity to share their thoughts on how we are performing.

If you need to update your contact details or wish to amend the number of hard copies you are mailed in the future, please contact Ida or me on 1800 668 426.

Kind Regards,

Dale

Dale Barker-Harrington (he/him)  l  Church and Community Relations Coordinator

Uniting Barwon Emergency Food Room – Food items required

As you may be aware, demand for emergency food supplies are increasing in the Barwon region.  Uniting runs emergency food pantries in Norlane and Grovedale, and St Luke’s is a designated drop off location for food items.

Currently the emergency pantries are in need of:

  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Tomato sauce or BBQ sauce
  • Peanut Butter
  • Vegetable Cooking Oil
  • Corn Kernels
  • Cup of Soup – chicken
  • Coco Pops
  • Cornflakes
  • Rice Bubbles
  • Oats – traditional or quick oats
  • Self Raising Flour
  • Shampoo/Conditioner

Smaller packets /jars are more useful than large packets/jars.

You can drop items into St Luke’s on Tuesdays and Friday mornings between 10 and 12 noon.

There are many other ways to be involved in the food for families program – see here: https://foodforfamilies.org.au/get-involved-individuals-families/

Let’s Yarn about our Multicultural Church

The Assembly Resourcing Unit is inviting people who are inspired to talk about what it looks like to live faith and life cross-culturally to come together on Thursday 29 July for an online conversation.

  • What does it look like to embrace unity-in-diversity in our Church?
  • What deeper forms or models of shared life might God be calling us to?
  • Where might new opportunities lie for collaboration?
  • Where can you see intercultural creativity and imagination?

Intercultural is one of four pillars in the most recent Strategic Plan of the Assembly describing centres of future work and development needed to enable the Church to move boldly and confidently into the future. In our life and worship we seek to be a community of faith sharing faith across boundaries, in which the rich diversity of God’s people is seen and celebrated.

We would love to hear what our intercultural church looks like from where you stand, and yarn some more about the possibilities to come.

You can join Let’s Yarn About Our Intercultural Church on Thursday 29 July, 7.30pm AEST via Zoom with the following link or by putting in the meeting I.D. and passcode below.

Join the meeting

Meeting ID: 936 4281 6151
Passcode: 479873

More information here:

Let’s Yarn About Our Intercultural Church

Food relief – items of need for Uniting Barwon

Uniting logo as a thumbnail

 

During sharing the journey (Sunday 27th June worship), Jean mentions items that the Uniting Barwon Emergency Food Room are in need of:

  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Tomato sauce or BBQ sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegetable Cooking Oil
  • Corn kernels
  • Cup of Soup – Chicken
  • Coco pops
  • Cornflakes
  • Rice Bubbles
  • Oats – traditional or Quick oats
  • Self Raising Flour
  • Shampoo/conditioner

NB: Smaller packets/ jars are more useful than large packets/jars.

These items can be dropped off to St Luke’s Highton, Tuesday and Friday mornings or can be dropped at Uniting Barwon’s Grovedale location (https://www.unitingvictas.org.au/locations/grovedale-272-torquay-rd/)