What’s been happening

What’s been happening

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…

Reflection from a Veranda…

When we first moved into our home, in an older suburb, I noticed that many people had put chairs on their verandas. Some of the chairs were old and sagging, others more modern. Most were accompanied by a table. We put a sturdy wooden coffee table on our veranda with a wooden chair either side. Our veranda makes a good place to sit, so one afternoon during the lockdown, I went and sat on one of the wooden chairs. The…

Quasquicentennial

A 125-year anniversary is called a quasquicentennial. This word is pronounced ‘kwos-kwi-sen-ten-ee-uhl’ and it may be used as a noun or an adjective. Thanks to Wikipedia. The Templestowe congregation of the current Manningham Uniting Church was established in July 1895 and the historic weatherboard church that is currently undergoing restoration was built and opened in 1896. So, 2020 is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Manningham Uniting Church in Templestowe as the Templestowe Presbyterian Church, as a new…

Service of Remembrance

Recently, Rev Claire and Megan led a Remembrance Service on Zoom for those who had lost loved ones during the time of COVID-19, those who were revisiting past grief and bereavements, and those who were present to support and care for others. Rev Claire described it as a sacred time, a time that would not replace a funeral service, but a time of prayer which might bring comfort at this difficult time. To help those who do not have internet…

WALKING IN GOD’S CREATION

With the current enforced isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many families possibly having some spare time, walking may be an enjoyable pastime and provide some well-needed exercise. We are BLESSED in the City of Manningham with its many parks and local walks associated with the Yarra River and associated streams. We can thank the City Council and Parks Victoria for the upkeep of these wonderful parks. Did you know you can walk (perhaps cycling would be better) from…

Hughie and his Bucket

Each afternoon Hughie lent on the gate of his home. He liked doing this because he saw the young ones out walking with their families. He always said “hello” to them. It helped him to think of others rather than his own aches and pains. They were his community as well as others who came to help him. When he was younger Hughie was neither short nor tall but somewhere in between. And he had loved footy. He had once…

Lighten Our Darkness …

Lighten Our Darkness … Early one morning during my ‘quiet time’ I looked up and saw the intricate plaster ‘rose’ on the ceiling on which a stainless-steel rod was affixed.  I presumed the rod was hollow through which the electric wires ran conducting light to the shaded globe. Thinking about light my mind drifted to a framed poem that hangs in the same room near the light switch. The poem, by the late American poet Mary Oliver, is also about…

MUC’s AGM on ZOOM!

It was 11.00am Sunday morning.  We had just finished watching the virtual church service.  “Are you going online for the congregational meeting”, Joan asked. I pondered on that question as I sipped on a cup of tea.  Congregational meetings have never been my thing. I have always thought they were to be avoided wherever possible. As for a zoom congregational meeting, Mmm! not sure about that. It came to 11.15am and my curiosity got the better of me. I zoomed…

Prayer Vigil – Recap

On Thursday 30 July at 10.30am – 11.00am, MUC was one of four churches in the area to hold a combined prayer vigil because of the current crisis with COVID-19. Invitations were issued to members of the four parishes to join in this time of prayer. The other churches represented were Koonung Heights, Eltham and Warrandyte. For me personally it was very special to pray and meditate with like-minded Christians many of whom were unknown to me, but like myself…

What about the poor

At last I was boarding my flight from Cebu to Manila in the Philippines. It was Friday night; the plane was full, and I was late returning to my unit in Mandaluyong. Sitting next to me was an American.  He was dressed in a bib and braces, a bright floral shirt, a cap perched on unkept hair. A big man, possibly 50 years old. He was holding photos in his right hand, looking intently at each. I glanced across to…

Pastoral Care in this time of Transition at MUC

What do we mean when we talk about Pastoral Care?? Wikipedia says. “Pastoral Care is an ancient model of emotional, social and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. The term is considered inclusive of distinctly non-religious forms of support as well as those from religious communities.” OR The simple definition that says “Pastoral Care happens when each member of the Manningham Uniting Church cares for each other.” Hopefully, during this challenging time, we have all…

Climate Change – your response

This is a link to get your views heard at synod as young people about climate change.  It follows on from the zoom discussion Bradon and I held a couple of weeks ago – another is in the planning with a really good speaker who will talk to us about different climate change issues…..  I’m not allowed to spill the beans yet though.  Claire

MInister’s Message

COVID-19 continues and so does the uncertainty about what we can and can’t do. The church COVID-19 team is watching the advice carefully and following the guidance of the Victorian government and the VicTas synod. This will frustrate some of you and comfort others, but there is little we can do. At times like these, I find the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr helpful, and I know some of you do too: God, give me grace to accept with serenity…

Young People and Climate Change

At Manningham Uniting, we are encouraging our young people in a passion they have already shared with us – doing something about climate change.  Rev Claire has begun working with our young people to work out a project they want to pursue so they can share how they feel and what action they want to take and see other takes with them.  At the end of July, Rev Claire will be attending the UCA climate change conference which will include…

Follow up – Young Voice on Climate event

Last Sunday afternoon, a group of young people met with the Synod’s Bradon French and Rev Claire to talk climate change and what they want the church to do about it.  3 congregations were represented including 4 young people from Manningham.  This was Amari’s response: “Sunday’s meeting was a great opportunity to engage on the topic of climate change with the church. I really hope that if we have another meeting more people will join in and help us brainstorm ideas to…