Sharing your space

Sharing your space

When Feeling Hemmed In

The rhubarb stalks were spindly, and I wondered why. I soon learnt that the plant needed dividing. This made sense as the rhubarb had stayed in the same large pot in which we had transported it to our new home two years before. As advised I waited until we were on the cusp of spring before dividing it.One sunny day I gathered various implements with which I planned to extricate the plant from the pot.  It was hard going as…

Wasting Time

We moved, and downsized (sort of) – after 28 years at our wonderful previous home..The move came just before COVID-19 presented a particularly difficult challenge for many. I have, until recent days, been kept naturally busy on the issues and tasks that are a part of moving home. I am now feeling unusually organised and my mind has turned to a concern about wasting time due to the physical limits that have been imposed, at least temporarily, on life as…

OUR PENPAL

The Community Building Team have implemented a penpal initiative with some of the members of the congregation. Here is a reflection from one partnership: Today is a special day for us. We just found a letter in our letter box from Oliver, our MUC pen pal. We now have three articles on the top of our lounge bookcase that have been sent to us. There is a card with elephants on it, a sand picture of a whale which Oliver…

Waiting

I was having difficulty reaching my desk through the paper files on the floor. The time for a clean-up had long departed. The urgent need to find a misplaced piece of paper became the motivation to begin. In my clean up, my attention was drawn to a document I found on the floor.  ‘Aerograms from our time in Zambia Africa 1971 to 1973’.      Over 15 years ago, while cleaning out Mum’s house I found tucked away at the bottom…

Impact of the Coronavirus Lockdown

I asked Mum, “What did you do for a holiday when you were living on the farm”. “Well”, she said, “We never had many holidays. What with draft horses to feed, cows to milk, sheep to check and the chooks to lock up each night, there was always someone needed |at the farm”.  “I do remember one holiday” she said. “I must have been about 12. There was a widespread polio epidemic. Dad packed us all into the Chevy. We…

When and how can we enjoy singing in church again?

I hope you are all joining in singing lustily during our online worship services! The one thing I am most grieving about during this crisis is that it is looking like it will be quite some time before we can enjoy congregational singing. The reason being that singing is a very effective way of spreading the COVID-19 virus. When someone coughs, sneezes, shouts, talks loudly or sings, a huge cloud of droplets are propelled into the atmosphere and these droplets…

Relinquishment

One evening I noticed a blackbird sitting on the top of our neighbour’s roof. As I looked at the blackbird with its sleek black feathers and golden beak the word relinquishment came to mind. Over the winter months I hadn’t heard it singing and I wondered if it had relinquished its ability to sing because of winter? During our lifetime, we have to relinquish many things ourselves. We’ve had to relinquish babyhood in order to become children. At the other…

BUilding bridges Through STory

Building Bridges Through Story. Today, everywhere we look, everything we listen to or see on TV or read in a newspaper or magazine, is overwhelmingly negative. Will we ever get on top of this virus and be able to keep those we love, safe? With no indication that we will beat this virus some time soon, we had to cancel Building Bridges Through Story for 2020. Well, that’s the disappointing news! How about some good news for a change?  While…

LET US MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR THE SOUL

I was sorting through Mum’s old photos when I came across one of the Swan Hill Methodist Church junior choir. There was Mrs Arnott the elderly lady in charge, dressed in her finest outfit, a fox fur draped over her shoulder, hat perched on her head, with matching gloves. And there I was at the end of the front row.  Dad sang tenor in the senior choir. We sang a couple of duets. One, the 23rd Psalm to the tune…

Photo Competition

MUC is having a photo competition!  Simply email your happy snaps of God’s glorious creation to communications@manninghamuc.org.  You might even get your picture put on the MUC website! The winners will be announced on the 18th of October and will receive some cool prizes. From the tiniest mustard seed to the biggest mountain you can show off God’s creation in so many ways! We can’t wait to see your photos! More information: Contact Young explorers on 03 03 9846 2012; info@manninghamuc.org

Building Progress Photo update

See below the photographs capturing the recent progress on the Manningham UC and Community Centre. Thanks to David for his time photographing the buildings progress.

Pet Blessing Service Recap

This year our Pet Service was conducted in quite a different way to other years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic it was conducted online. Initially I thought how can we do this? It was actually a great way to interact with our church family. It was wonderful to see people of all ages bringing their pets online for us to see. Pets included dogs, foster kittens, caterpillars, and chicken. We brought Robbie, our 5-year-old Shetland sheepdog. It is said that…

Conference – Climate Change and Pastoral Care

When one pictures a conference, images of delegates with lanyards around their necks and sandwiches cut into small triangles normally spring to mind. Not so the Climate Pastoral Care Conference, which was 100% online with meals coming from the participants’ own kitchens (and eaten while chatting in front of a screen). Claire and I attended the conference and were able to do so between other commitments while working from home (I actually attended as part of my role with Uniting…

Some reflections on Racism and Reconciliation

Late last century the Australian Prime Minister said, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body”. I thought that that was a very confident statement for a person to make, especially one slightly older than I and brought up and schooled in Australia. For me, something that I think Dorothy McRae-McMahon said made much more sense. She said that, as a person brought up during the 1930s and 1940s, it was inevitable that her attitudes and reactions would be…

Introducing our New Supply Minister*

After bidding goodbye to Rev. Dhirendra Narayan at the end of August – he has taken a permanent placement in another congregation – we now welcome Rev. Beth Bear. She writes by way of introduction: Hello MUC and thank you for welcoming me for the next few months. I am a Minister of the Word in placement as chaplain at The Scots School Albury and have been here since 2016. My favourite parts of my ministry are building community and…

Aumann Education Grant

This grant was instigated as a result of a bequest given to the former Templestowe Uniting Church by the Aumann Family in memory of Dorothy Aumann, a much loved and revered member of the church who always supported young people. As a result, MUC awards $500 each year to a person who has been nominated by a church member, then selected by the Mission Portfolio, to assist with their studies. This year there were three worthy nominations for the grant,…

From Little Things Big Things Grow

I have been reflecting on our practice of acknowledging the original custodians of the land on which we worship – their elders past, present and emerging.    Standing tall at the Woodhouse Grove property is a large silver leaf stringy bark tree. It was a small seedling in the year 1820. In that year, an old woman, an Elder of the Wurundjeri peoples rests beside a campfire, its lazy smoke rises gently, then lost in a large tree canopy standing on…

Communion during COVID-19 – the wandering continues

A few months ago, I shared a theological reflection on communion during COVID-19. I said then that I had wrestled with this and spoken to colleagues, some of whom were celebrating communion online according to the Assembly guidelines and some of whom, like me, felt deeply uncomfortable doing so. Theologically, I view the church as a body – not a new or original idea! – a whole body with different parts which work together, not apart. At the time of…

Hope for the Homeless

There’s nothing like a pandemic to create changes! There is surely not one homeless person who doesn’t dream of change. Perhaps one of the good things that has been highlighted by COVID-19 is the plight of those without permanent shelter. Since March, the Victorian government has provided $15 million to homelessness organisations to find temporary accommodation in hotels for people who were sleeping in the streets. A further $9.8 million has been provided to keep them there, in the short…