Christmas is coming – organise your cards now from the Leprosy Mission, Uniting and Uniting World

Not wanting to emulate the shops, however given the slower delivery rates of letters through Australia Post these days, those of you who still like to send Christmas cards may be interested in the charity cards we have available.

A thankyou from our visiting speakers last year

Leprosy Mission

Val Grills, our Leprosy Mission “champion”, is ordering cards through the mission to sell to our regular church supporters this year.  If you would like to place an order through the church, please send an email to the office and we will let you know what is available once Val’s order has arrived.  You can also support the Leprosy Mission through their online shop here:


They have some beautiful and useful items available which would make great gifts for the people you’re missing.   Our friends at the Leprosy Mission have called to let us know that they are praying for us and to offer their support – some of you may remember the visit of Tim and Amar last year to share the good news of the work they are doing to help people with Leprosy overcome discrimination and have a good quality of life.


Uniting Christmas cards are available in packs of 10 for $10 from the office on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Cards can be dropped off to you in the 3216 postcode.

Uniting World

Uniting World is working with our church partners in other countries to try to limit the impacts of COVID-19 as well as other work of poverty mitigation and peace building.  You can support their work through purchasing gift cards which represent things like health care or school packs, or goats and chickens!

If you’d like to place an order, you can check the online “Everything in Common” gift catalogue here:

and email the office to place your order and organise payment – or simply shop online!  We do have gift cards left over from last year here at the church.


Worship Online Sunday 11th October 2020 – God and the Pandemic: Learning from Jesus

The altar at St Luke’s, where today’s service was recorded.

Greetings Friends,

In this video we are again delving into some of the themes of Tom Wright’s book, “God and the Pandemic: A Christian reflection on the coronavirus and its aftermath.”

And the theme for this video gets right to the heart of things from a Christian perspective … the place of the man from Nazareth …Jesus … and in particular what we learn through him about God and suffering, God and the Pandemic.


For music today, an encouragement to keep hope from Audrey Assad with a beautiful lyric video of “How can I keep from Singing?”

This week is anti-poverty week – and here’s a message from Bronwyn Pike, COE of Uniting VicTas:

And reminder of the beautiful prayer from this week’s service:

Holy God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you bless us in so many ways.

We praise for you the beauty of creation … for the wonder of spring … for bud and flower … for the song of the Magpie.  But most of all, we praise you that you come to us in the person of Jesus, the crucified and risen One.

Compassionate God, we are lost for words when we consider the cross of Christ … the extent of your love made clear on Calvary … we give thanks that through the cross we know you share in the worst that this life can bring.

We celebrate and pray for the witness of Your church throughout the world, in all its colour, diversity and difference.

We hold before you those who have been wounded by life … all who suffer because of hardships, illness, injury, unkindness or abuse. We pray for all who work in caring professions: for the services which seek to sooth and heal the sicknesses of body, mind or spirit.

In these difficult times when we can hardly bring ourselves to watch the news, we pray for our country and the world … particularly remembering before you places of conflict, confusion, oppression, poverty, hunger and thirst.  Help us to be some way a part of the answer to this prayer.

We give thanks for and remember the people who have encouraged us in your way … particularly holding before you those who now share in that great cloud of witnesses .. . the saints in light.

And we offer this prayer in the name of Christ, Amen.


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!

Sunday 30th of August is Share Sunday for Uniting

Dear Friends,

The focus of Share Sunday this year is on Youth Homelessness, with the theme ‘A place to call home.’

Your congregation was sent a pack that shared the story of Bronte and how Uniting supported her through a challenging time in her life.

Unfortunately there have been delivery delays with Australia Post, meaning many of you have not received these resources to use on Sunday.

If any members of your congregation would like to make a donation as part of Share Sunday, we have created an online page where members of your congregation can securely make donations directly to our Share Sunday Appeal –

Many thanks for your ongoing support.

Kind Regards,


A little treat in the grocery donations for Uniting

Photo: Abigail Hodge McAvaney

Anyone who’s had kids in Australia would understand that whenever there’s Milo in the house, it disappears very quickly!!

Our helpers at Uniting Grovedale have a request – while you are at the supermarket this week, could you pop a small tin of Milo in the trolley for Uniting?

The folk who rely on supplementing their food needs from Uniting’s emergency pantries in Grovedale and Norlane would very much appreciate this small treat for their kids.


New staffing arrangements at St Luke’s Preschool

Some of the learners enjoying time together at St Luke’s Preschool

Cathy Coles, the Early Learning Co-ordinator at Uniting, has written to advise that there are new staffing arrangements at St Luke’s Preschool:

“With the resignation of our permanent team leader and early childhood teacher, Tanya Henry, Uniting has undertaken a recruitment process and it is with great pleasure that we can announce the outcome.

We are delighted to announce that Emma Lane has been appointed and will be stepping into the St Luke’s Highton Team Leader role in an ongoing capacity.

In addition, we are further delighted to announce that Caroline Davies has been appointed to our permanent early childhood teacher role at St Luke’s Highton Preschool. 

 In the past months both Emma and Caroline during the challenges of COVID-19 have shown resilience and compassion while navigating the daily challenges this has presented.  They have collaborated with the team at St Luke’s Highton and demonstrated all of Uniting’s values. We are delighted that they are now both permanently part of our Uniting team.

Please join me in congratulating both Emma and Caroline to their roles at St Luke’s Highton Preschool.

It’s great to hear that this ministry of caring for and education young children and supporting their families continues at the St Luke’s Preschool and we give thanks for the skills and dedication that Emma and Caroline bring to their roles.  It has been a very challenging year and these two educators have met the challenges with grace, commitment and compassion.

We give thanks also for the many years of care, education and leadership provided by Tanya Henry and we wish her the very best in her future activities.

Be sure to give the St Luke’s preschool team a smile and wave if you see them in the yard when you’re visiting St Luke’s!


Uniting Food for Families

As the ripples of COVID-19 restrictions continue to be felt in our community, Uniting’s Emergency Assistance pantries are experiencing higher demand.  Now that we no longer gather each Sunday in person, the number of food donations to Uniting from St. Luke’s is dropping.

But!  You can still help!

The church office is open between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesdays and Fridays to receive donations in our trolley – these are take to Uniting by Jean Daw who is a regular volunteer there.

Jean has advised that the following items are currently needed:

  • Tinned Peas and Carrots
  • Laundry liquid or powder
  • Toothpaste
  • Rice
  • Cooking oil – 500ml sized bottle

The regular list of items for you to add to your shopping includes:

  • Pasta, rice and noodles
  • Flour, polenta and couscous
  • Tinned tomatoes, pasta sauces
  • Beans, chickpeas and lentils
  • Tinned tuna, salmon and ham
  • Soups, curries and vegetables
  • Baby food, nappies and formula
  • Spreads – e.g. jam, Vegemite
  • Long life milk and cheese
  • Tea, coffee, Milo and sugar
  • Stir fry sauces and soy sauce
  • Coconut milk and coconut cream
  • Breakfast cereal and muesli bars
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soap

Please remember to:

  • Give undamaged, packaged items
  • Check the expiry date
  • Make sure food is sealed
  • Make sure the label is visible
  • Get friends and family involved
  • Share on social media
  • Check drop off locations

Your donation of a few items from your weekly shopping makes a huge impact on our ability to help people in need – thanks for your support!

Sunday 17th May – Online Worship: Easter 6

Greetings friends!

Today’s worship will be premiering on YouTube at 9:30am, followed by our first Zoom gathering.  Details have been emailed and will also be posted in the Facebook Group.

The beautiful celtic flute playing in the prayers was by a group called Senor Cabrales, and here’s a little more of them:

For singing today why not join with the Notre Dame University Folk Choir?  They’re joyous!

Verse 1

Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Verse 2

Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has pow’r to save us.
Make us your living voice.


Verse 3

Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.


Verse 4

Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.


Verse 5

Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.


© Bernadette Farrell 1993.

Uniting have made their newsletters available online and you can find them here:

Supporter newsletter

Congregation Connect 

Be sure to read them and if you are able please continue to donate to Uniting as their services will be more in demand than ever in these coming months.

The Uniting Church Synod has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID 19 restrictions and what congregations are able to do.  You can find this information here.

Church Council are meeting online this Tuesday to review the changes in restrictions and see how they will impact St. Luke’s.  The Annual Meeting of the Congregation remains deferred, however we hope to have the Annual Report for 2019 out to you sometime this coming week.

Please continue to pray and care for one another and for our wider community.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Zoom today at 10.  The details have been emailed and are also available in the Facebook Group.

Grace and Peace to you!