What’s been happening (Page 11)

What’s been happening (Page 11)

Interview with a Refugee – JUSTACT

It is better where refugees are not seen as simply a source of information, but rather as a partner for the change. – Pacifique Ndayisaba In late January this year, MUC received an urgent request from the Uniting Church Justice and International Mission (JIM) Unit to financially assist a Burundian refugee to travel from his home in rural Victoria to Adelaide to attend the ‘Refugee Alternatives conference’ https://refugeealternatives.org.au/ which was run on the 19th and 20th of February. This conference…

Palm Sunday walk for justice for refugees

On Palm Sunday a keen group from Manningham Uniting Church joined thousands of others from churches, community groups and political parties across Victoria to protest against the Australian government’s treatment of refugees and to call on them to close Manus Island and Nauru.  Meeting in front of the State Library, the gathering heard inspiring speeches from refugee and prize-winning author Behrooz Boochani, broadcast from Manus, Nyadol Nyuon, African refugee, lawyer and community advocate, author Richard Flanagan and lawyer activist David Manne. All spoke passionately and persuasively regarding the need for…

How Best to do Mission?

I was drawn to the February article by Helen, who asked the question “What is Mission”? In the article Helen suggested that as cultures vary, so do their needs. In not understanding the culture and need we may in some cases be creating bigger problems for a community.    In 2013 Joan and I and our two girls travelled back to Zambia to the birth place of Tanya and Fiona.  It was in Kitwe a large town of 150,00 people, the site of a very large copper mine. I was working at Kalulushi Farm College,…

Manningham Connecting Communities Pop-up Kitchen Trailer

Through Emma Hanna, our Missional Community Development Worker, MUC has played a significant part in the development of the Manningham Council’s fabulous new ‘Pop-up Kitchen Trailer’. The trailer is available for use for groups and individuals within Manningham to foster community cohesion. While MUC is planning to use it at the opening of Stage 1 of our new building, scheduled for later in the year, and perhaps for other community events, we are hoping members of our congregation will also…

The Never-ending Adventure

Propped up on the bookcase in our bedroom is a picture. It’s not a picture made in the conventional way but it is crafted from finely cut bamboo. The bamboo is either straw-coloured, red, green or black, the colours the craftsman needed to create the picture. The end result of the craft person’s labours is a bird. And the bird is a crane. While one of its long legs rests on a branch the other is lifted up. The crane’s…

Persian New Year Feast a Memorable Night

Sadegh and Fouzieh’s ‘Persian New Year Feast’ last Saturday evening (30/3/2019) at Westfield Drive was a memorable night of delicious Iranian food, music and dance, enjoyed by 120 guests.  There was a talented saxophone player and then later in the night a lovely Persian dancer who entertained us. A highlight for me was seeing some of the children join in the dance with the dancer while guests clapped along with the music. Sadegh, Fouzieh and their team worked extremely hard,…

A Visit from ‘The Porridge Pot Lady’

On Saturday 2 March we welcomed Robyn Casey, Founder of Mphatso Children’s Foundation, back to Manningham with an Afternoon Tea to raise funds for her work in Malawi. (The ‘Porridge Pot Lady’ was adopted by the Green Sage Ladies group who collect small change each week and give to the Porridge Pot … 5 cents provides a bowl of porridge for the nursery school children.) Robyn had some very interesting photographs to show and talk about, many depicting the appalling…

Neighbour Day

Neighbour Day was on Sunday 31 March, however every day should, and can, be Neighbour Day. Neighbour Day was founded in Melbourne in 2003 after the remains of an elderly woman were found inside her suburban home … she had been dead for two years, forgotten by her neighbours, friends and family. As a result Andrew Heslop founded Neighbour Day and made it his mission to connect neighbours so it wouldn’t happen again. This year Neighbour Day focuses on combating…

Messy Church comes to Family@10

On Sunday 24 March the members of Family @10 had a new and exciting experience when we undertook Messy Church. Various stations were set up throughout the church, foyer and downstairs where we could explore the theme of Food in the Bible. Each station had a Bible reading, an activity to explore, a section that drew out some focus points of the reading for reflection, plus a section called ‘Going Deeper’ for anyone wanting to contemplate either individually or in…

Your Stamps at work – 2018 RECAP

Thanks to ongoing support of church and community groups, individuals and businesses around VicTas and Australia, Sammy Stamp had another good sales result, whilst helping 18 causes. Up to and including 5/12/18, sales reached $48,788.  Sales since 1977 total $953,334; with interest $988,745. Thanks to helpers from our pool of about 30 volunteers who trim, sort and sell stamps, etc to raise funds to support many worthy causes. Here are the grants approved during 2018: Total $55,100 (last year $50,310).…

What is Café Church like?

We enjoy going to café church together, and enjoy our worship there, although we have very different personalities and so appreciate different aspects of church in a real café. Church in a café means for us real coffee, but much more. Although it can be a bit noisy at times, the management at the Living Room always reserve a large table for us up the back, and the staff know us and are most welcoming. Along the way as Café…

Spotlight on Manus Island and Nauru

Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian journalist and asylum seeker on Manus Island, recently won the top prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for his book “No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison”. In an interview after accepting the award, he described being sent to Manus Island as being ‘exiled’. This word conjures up images of banishment and being cast out; being stuck somewhere with no-where to go. He continues to live on Manus Island along with other refugees…

World Day of Prayer Services

Two excellent, thought provoking services, prepared by the World Day of Prayer committee of Slovenia, were held in city of Manningham. At the morning service, held at 10am at St David’s Anglican Church Doncaster East, the speaker was the Rev Harry Kerr, Convenor of Pax Christi Victoria and a retired Anglican priest. He is married to the Rev Pam Kerr, a previous Moderator of the Uniting Church. Harry addressed the theme ‘Come, Everything is Ready’ and the scripture passage, Luke…

Church in a real café? On Saturday?

Along with Joan and Gloria, (members of the original team who started Cafe Church) I say we are pretty involved with our Café Church and pretty proud of what we have achieved. The manager and staff at the Living Room welcome us and we cater to those who enjoy this type of worship. It works for them and it works for us. The team decided it would be great if we could start having communion before each session. We felt…

Mindfulness – what is that???

I was driving home listening to a podcast when the presenter said 2019 was the year she was committing to being more mindful in her life. I hear this word a lot in church circles and I’m never entirely sure what it means so I’ve decided to drag you on this journey of pondering with me. The dictionary definition is given as: 1. ‘conscious or aware of something’ 2. ‘focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, especially as part of…

Claire gives candid interview

In the latest edition of Just Act*, the magazine published by the Justice and International Mission unit of the Uniting Church, Claire Dawe provides a rundown of who she is and what she stands for. She reveals that she was attracted to become a minister of Manningham Uniting Church (MUC) because of the interest it has in being more than a meeting place for its local worshippers. She said the Chelsea Uniting Church (now called Uniting by the Bay) which…

Frankincense and Myrrh

About 15 men gathered to hear David Beavis and Don Gaff speak about the trade in frankincense and the history of agriculture in the arid lands of southern Arabia, the horn of Africa and the Negev. Frankincense and myrrh were harvested as resins from trees and used widely.  Up to 3000 tons a year may have been traded. They were used as perfume and in burial rites, or embalming. They were so expensive that middlemen handling them were often strip-searched at…

Looking for the Spirit …

It’s easy to think that people have no room in their lives for anything spiritual, just as there was no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph. But I believe the irrepressible spirit won’t be beaten, and can be found in unexpected places Two recent instances come to mind. After my husband was admitted to hospital for an overnight stay, I needed to get home. So I decided to try out public transport. On the first leg of my…

What is Café Church

Café Church takes place in a local café against the background of Saturday morning netball, family gatherings, catch-ups among friends and quiet coffee for couples. The morning begins with The Agape Meal. Blessing of the Meal – We begin our morning worship by sharing together Jesus’ meal of remembering to sustain our souls. We gather to share in God’s love. The Communion – Sharing that food and drink which sustains the life of God in us. Sharing bread and water.…

Building Bridges – the journey

Symbolism of a Bridge What can they mean and how can we use the symbols as discussion starters for different groups? A bridge can be seen as a barrier that people are afraid to cross or may be the only (possible) way to reach a destination or a solution. A bridge can symbolise progress, connection, stability or maybe the only way to overcome an obstacle. A bridge can represent a transition – a crossing over – taking that journey from…