Still Thinking Engagement and Wellbeing
Scientific studies have shown the there is a strong correlation between the spiritual or religious life and ones happiness and wellbeing. An article in the American Sociological Review in 2010 by Chaeyoon Lim and Robert Putnam of Harvard University, discovered that it was not so much the religious beliefs or even religious practices that made people happier and have lives that are more meaningful, but rather the strong social networks that faith communities and congregations encouraged. It reinforces the view that community and belonging is fundamental to a happy life.
Traditionally the church has promoted the idea that first comes belief, then behaviour (how we act and what we do) and then belonging. In fact, if you didnt pass the test of the first two then you were not welcome at the third belonging. However, today many in the Christian church believe this process should be reversed. First comes belonging. That means all are welcome regardless of their belief systems and moral codes. It seems quite obvious that this was the way of Jesus. Those who enjoyed his company were not scrutinised about their beliefs and opinions before they could belong. We know that several of his followers were of questionable moral character and rather poor theologians, but they were welcome and they could belong.
The significance of belonging is that it promotes engagement with others. Some will have similar beliefs and world views, while others will hold diverse and even opposite opinions from my own. Another aspect of belonging to a community or congregation is that it encourages me to engage with the world around me. The healthiest communities are those that focus outwardly rather than exclusively inwardly. There is an important role for care of each person within a congregation, but the objective is to build each other up so that we can engage the needs we find in the world beyond ourselves.
Happiness is a by-product of meaningful engagement with others. As studies have shown, if we seek personal happiness without reference to the needs of others we are unlikely to find it. However, when we know that we belong we are energized to engage others and consequentially experience happiness and a meaningful life.
|Monday, 9 March:||Labour Day Office closed|
|Tuesday, 10 March at 7:00pm:||Lenten Studies.||TUC Church West Transept.|
|Wednesday, 11 March at 6:30pm:||P Brown Handbell Choir.||Wettenhall Room.|
|At 7:30pm:||P Brown Handbell Quartet||Wettenhall Room.|
|Tuesday, 17 March at 7:00pm:||Lenten Studies.||St Peters.|
|Sunday, 22 March at 11:45am:||After-Church discussion.||Faichney Room.|
|Monday, 30 March at 12 noon:||Time for Fellowship Lunch||Faichney Room.|
Stonnington Combined Lenten Pilgrimage
which will incorporate contemplation, conversation and prayer on the Theme of the "Hard Places"
The meetings will be in the worship sanctuary of each of the Stonnington Uniting Churches during Lent. Meeting places and times are as below:
|St Andrews Gardiner:||10am Wednesday, 4 March and||7:00pm Thursday, 5 March.|
|Serrell Street:||10am Wednesday, 11 March and||7:00pm Thursday, 12 March.|
|Toorak:||10am Wednesday, 18 March and||7:00pm Thursday, 19 March.|
|Ewing Memorial:||10am Wednesday, 25 March and||7:00pm Thursday, 26 March.|
Led by Bishop Graeme Rutherford retired Assistant Anglican Bishop of Newcastle.
|Tuesday, March 10th at||Toorak Uniting Church.|
|Tuesday, March 17th at||St Peters Catholic Church.|
|From 7pm 9pm.|
John Macrae Centre Afternoon Soirée
A special illustrated presentation will be given by Patricia Begg on her recent intimate perspective on the palaces at St Petersberg. This will be followed by an afternoon high tea and a glass of bubbles. The date is Sunday March 15, from 3-5pm and the cost per person is $25. Please book at JMC on 9829 0320.
John Macrae Centre Driver required
JMC urgently needs a volunteer driver for our 8 seater bus to pick up our members at 10am-11am on Fridays and to drop them home at 3pm-4pm. If you can help please ring Katrina on 9829 0320 for more details. No special driving licence required.
DVD and After-Church Discussion
On Sunday, 22 March 11:45 12:30 there will be a DVD and After-Church Discussion exploring the future of Religion with Sir Lloyd Geering.
Sir Lloyd George Geering is a New Zealand theologian and Presbyterian minister, who is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.
The DVD is a part of the Progressive Christian Network of Victorias series, Exploring Open Christianity.
ANZAC Centenary Sunday, 26 April 2015
A Special Service of Remembrance of the Great War 1914-1918 will be held on Anzac Sunday, 26 April, at 10:15am at TUC. In part we will be honouring those whose names are recorded on the Toorak Presbyterian Church Honour Board and the Roll of Honour.
We wish to invite family members of those whose Names are inscribed to join us. This is a call to our present congregation to assist if they have knowledge of any relatives and a current contact address or phone number.
The brass Roll of Honour of Fallen Soldiers listing 24 names, is situated on the east wall of the transept. The Honour Board listing 129 men and women who served in the Great War is situated in the Dunlop Porch, the main south-east porch.
Please read the names, or collect a listing from the entry porch table or the church office. All information will be useful please contact the Archives Committee Pamela Wilson 9822 0089 or Jeanette McArthur 9818 2205 or leave a message with the church office. Thank You.
The Stonnington Uniting Churches are gathering together at TUC for our Palm Sunday service at 10:15am on Sunday, 29 March.
There will also be a 9am service.
Easter @ TUC
Maundy Thursday 7:30pm.
Good Friday 10:00am.
Easter Sunday 10:15am.
TUC Flower Roster
Please check your emails for the dates on which you are rostered to arrange flowers for the Sunday morning service as there seems to be some confusion about dates.
News from Kinross Arts & Spirituality Centre
Moments in a Dream The world of Ink Art Seifu Sandaiji
Seifu Sandaiji is a Bokusho artist who studied her art form under the guidance of Kofu Ohashi and Jikihara Gyokusei in Japan.
She has had group and solo exhibitions in Japan, the USA and Australia.
From March 12th - April 26th Kinross will display a solo exhibition by Seifu Sandaiji of new work created for Australia.
The Opening of the Exhibition is on Thursday 12th March; 6pm - 8pm
Enquiries & RSVP to: email@example.com; tel 03 9829 0340
Come and see brilliant contemporary Japanese ink art in a special exhibition.
Open 8:30am - 3:30pm Monday to Friday.
Sunday, 15 March
Visual Art Performance Seifu Sandaiji
As part of the Moments in a Dream exhibition, A visual art performance by Seifu Sandaiji on Sunday 15th March 2pm - 4pm.
Accompanied by the bass flutist Peter Sheridan and and Japanese drummer Takeo Doi.
The event will also be enriched through the service of Japanese green tea by tea master - Scott Rogers.
Gold Coin Entry.
For all exhibition enquiries and bookings please telephone Lyndel Wischer on: 9829 0340 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Kinross House page on the TUC website. You are also welcome to call in to the Kinross House Office which is normally attended 10 am 3 pm, Tuesday Friday or by appointment.
Lectionary Readings for 15 March 2015, Lent 4
Numbers 21: 4 9; Psalm 107: 1 3, 17 22; Ephesians 2: 1 10; John 3: 14 21.
The liturgical colour for Lent is purple.