March 2023 Monthly News

Dear friends,

Here is the March update from St Luke’s.

20230310 Monthly news

Also please find the latest issue of “The Westerly”, our Presbytery update:

The Westerly No.44 3rd February 2023 – Women

If you would like to receive the weekly National Update from the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia, you can subscribe here or read the latest edition here

You can find Lenten reflection 3 here

You can find resources for building a more inclusive church congregation here – this was mentioned in the last Assembly update and looks at ways we can include First Nations people, People with a Disability, and people of diverse genders in our community gatherings.


News from Presbytery

The Westerly No.33  

This edition we explore the theme of ‘Seeking Refugee’ with Rev. Geoff Barker’s story of retreat time in a French abbey, JIM Article Refugee week, Rev. Fi Bottcher (Deacon) encourages us to all practice self-love. Rev. Mat Harry (Deacon) speaks about the statistics around young adults who are taking refuge in their faith. If you missed your June 5th Edition of the westerly back editions are available at Newsletters – Presbytery of Port Phillip West ( .

The Westerly No.33 23rd June 2022 Seeking Refuge

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:

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

Combined Pentecost Service Sunday 23rd May 2021

When:  May 23rd 3pm 

Where:  Western Heights Uniting Church.  

Who: All the Uniting Churches in the region

What: Great Music, Inspirational speakers, quiet meditation allowing the Spirit to speak to us, fun activities for all ages, Mission Expo. 

Why: We love to gather as one people of God, as the body of Christ in this region. We want to worship our amazing, creative God, three in one. 


Preparations are coming along with only two weeks to go – excitement is building. 

The band and choir have been rehearsing and are enjoying working together.

Due to covid restrictions we would like people to register for this worship service.  

You can register through this link