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Toorak Uniting Church - Update

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Toorak Uniting Church

Toorak Uniting Church – Update – Easter 7

17 May 2015

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Still thinking – Spiritual Practices
Last week I wrote about activities or practices that encourage our growth in the Christian faith and life in general. The four I began with were, Contemplation, Meditation, Centring Prayer and Reading. Those practices may be seen as rather "religious" because they were developed within religious communities. However, there is almost nothing that can’t become a spiritual practice when it is approached as a way of centring and "deepening" our lives in God or the sacred. Here are a few examples:

Writing, Journaling or Art:
Each of these activities draws us out into a wider more expansive space where we can encounter our own creativity.

Fasting is not the same as dieting. Fasting is the deliberate act of not eating for a day to experience the feeling of hunger and to reflect on that sensation in our spiritual lives.

This takes on a whole new meaning when the goal of conversation is not speaking but listening. Listening is in fact a "holy" thing as Kay Lindahl suggests in her book, Practicing the Sacred Art of Listening.

Dancing, Movement and Exercise:
While we often associate these activities with the body, they are ways of connecting body, mind and spirit. This is most obvious in practices like, Yoga or Tai Chi, but all forms of movement provide us with the opportunity to reunite the dichotomy our culture place between body and spirit.

Worship, Walking in Nature, Gazing at the Stars:
Worship can take many forms in our lives. Essentially it is the experience of finding oneself in a place of wonder and awe. This can be in church, sitting by the river or camping under the stars. The key is to open one’s "heart" to experience the gift the universe is offering you.

It is hard to think of a better way to enter the inner life that through the experience of gardening. Not only does it keep us "grounded" in our daily lives, but it is also a connection with the great cycle of life and death.
I am sure each of us can think of many other daily activities that can become spiritual practices when we pay attention to where we are and what we are doing. The only skill necessary for growth in our inner lives is to be aware and to be awake.

Christopher Page

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Diary Dates

Sunday, 17 May - all day JMK working bee. Kindergarten.
At 10:15am Youth led Whole Church Service. Church.
Tuesday, 19 May at 12:00pm Prayers for Christian Unity. TUC.
At 12:00pm Management Team. Wettenhall Room.
Wednesday, 20 May at 12:00pm Prayers for Christian Unity. Swedish Church.
At 6:30/7:30pm Handbell Choir/Quartet. Wettenhall Room.
Thursday, 21 May at 10:00am Morning Group. Faichney Room.
At 12:00pm Prayers for Christian Unity. St John’s.
3:30 – 5:30pm John Macrae Open Day. JMC.
Friday, 22 May at 12:00pm Prayers for Christian Unity. St Peter’s.
Sunday, 24 May at 7:00pm Pentecost Service (TEM). TUC
Monday, 25 May at 12:00pm Time for Fellowship Lunch. Faichney Room.
Wednesday, 27 May at 6:30/7:30 Handbell Choir/Quartet. Wettenhall Room.
Thursday, 28 May at 7:30pm Church Council Meeting. Faichney Room.
Friday, 29 May at 10:00pm Prayers for Christian Unity. St Peter’s.
Sunday, 31 May at 11:30am Congregation Meeting. Church.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Meeting of the Congregation and Election of Elders.
A meeting of the congregation will be held on Sunday, 31 May immediately after the 10:15 service.
The agenda items will be the election of elders and non-elder members of Church Council, the annual report, and the financial statements for 2014. Jenny Stewardson, Isobel Negri and Dougal Lee offer themselves for election as elders. The annual report and financial statements will be available via email this week, and paper copies in the church next Sunday, 24 May.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Cranbourne Food Truck
 Cranbourne Food Truck The Cranbourne Food Truck provides free food (hot meals, fruit, vegies and non-perishable food parcels) four nights a week to the homeless, poor and disadvantaged in the Cranbourne area. Our major aim is to make our clients feel socially included in a community which is caring and supportive of their needs.

Volunteers regularly report a sense of social inclusion and worth as they participate in this work which is of major value to the local community. The need for continuing financial support: Ongoing costs include fuel and maintenance of the truck, the costs involved with purchasing and/or collecting food supplies, power costs for the container, and costs relating to the registration and insurance of the truck itself. There will be a collection plate for a retiring offering at the door at the end of the service this week and Christine Marsh will be presenting more information during the service on May 24th.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Week of Prayers for Christian Unity

12noon Tuesday, May 19, at Toorak Uniting Church
12noon Wednesday, May 20, at The Swedish Church
12noon Thursday, May 21, at St John’s Anglican
12noon Friday, May 22, at St Peter’s Catholic Church

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Ecumenical Pentecost Service
Sunday May 24 at TUC at 7pm. Preacher is Fr Brendan Hayes from St Peter’s.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Time for Fellowship Lunch
The Time for Fellowship Lunch will be held on Monday, 25th May from 12noon in the Faichney Room. The topic for discussion will be ‘Something interesting on television last month (May)’.
All welcome. No need to RSVP. Lenore N. & Jean A.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Morning Group:
This Thursday 21 May 2015, Father Brendan Hayes of St Peter’s is coming to Morning Group to speak on Pope Francis – the Man and the Vision.
Everyone is welcome. Please come to hear our ecumenical neighbour.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Retreat

Exploring, Experiencing and Practicing
Contemplation, Meditation and Centering Prayer
The Retreat will provide personal and group reflection, meditation, silence and input through poetry, readings, reflective activities with quiet times and conversation. Includes all meals, study materials, accommodation in modern rooms.

At The Centre for Ecology & Spirituality
183 Burns Rd Glenburn Vic 3717
(Burns Rd is 2km past Glenburn on the right off the Melba Hwy)

From 9:30am Saturday, June 13 to 3pm Sunday, 14 June
Weekend Cost is $250 (Saturday only $80)

Register by Friday, 5 June by contacting:
Christopher Page at cpage@netspace.net.au (m) 0417 506 338
or Margaret Loftus at margloftuslc@gmail.com (m) 0418 375 229

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Book launch
 Beyond Literal Belief On Thursday June 18 at 6.00pm, David Tacey will launch his latest book "Beyond Literal Belief: Religion as Metaphor" in the Toorak Uniting Church Hall. All Welcome.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item News from Kinross
Lyndel Wischer and I were lucky enough to spend the first two days of May in Queenscliff experiencing as much of what the SacredEdge Arts, Music and Spirituality Festival had to offer as we could squeeze into just over 24 hours! This is now an annual festival driven by the vision and energy of two Ministers: Kerry Lingham, Charles Gallacher and Community Officer Heather Gallagher; all based at Queenscliff Uniting Church.

I arrived early enough for the Welcome to Country and Smoking ceremony. This was followed by a dance by the "Deadly Dancers", a delightful group of local indigenous children rediscovering their culture with enormous enthusiasm.

We then took in a panel of speakers on various social justice issues chaired by Jennifer Byrnes (familiar to us at TUC) and a concert by 1970s heart throb Mark Holden who spoke of his historical investigations into the early settlement of the area.

We participated in a poetry workshop with Joel McKerrow a Performance Poet who challenged us to write without thinking too much. In addition, we heard Shanaka Fernando, a former asylum seeker from Sri Lanka, share his journey from homeless person to the founder of the "Lentil as Anything" restaurants, providing food to all comers in exchange for a donation or no money at all.

A moving highlight was listening to Archie Roach share his music and experiences as a member of the Stolen Generation. It was worth the trip to Queenscliff just to hear Archie's impersonation of his Glaswegian Foster Father whom he remembers with much love.
 Christina Rowntree and Lyndel Wischer
Dr David Tacey, former Professor of Literature at La Trobe University, has just published his latest book "Beyond Literal Belief: Religion as Metaphor" (which will be launched here at TUC June 9th). His childhood was spent in Alice Springs where he experienced indigenous culture and its connection to country. This has strongly influenced his approach to spirituality.

Kinross contributed to the Festival through curating an exhibition with the Centre for Theology and Ministry. "Art for Wellbeing" featured artists using art to heal personal pain or share stories for the wellbeing of others. Hundreds of people viewed the exhibition and both Lyndel and Christina Rowntree of CTM spoke about the exhibition (immediately after Mark Holden sang, apparently unfazed by his celebrity!)

Nina Mumford

UAT & Kinross Arts Centre

Previous Item Page Top Next Item News from Kinross Arts & Spirituality Centre

Kinross House Gallery is normally open Tuesday to Friday 10:00am – 3pm.
7 May
31 May
Home – Anne Cuming

A solo exhibition of paintings by Anne Cuming – sensitive responses to nature and contemplative moods.

On display in the Manse Gallery Café until Sunday, 31 May.

7 May
7 June
Gallery 1
 Surreal Encounters Surreal EncountersSarah Clark

About the artist:

Sarah Clark has always had creative flare. Her early artistic work was as a picture framer and leadlight window designer.
Currently, Sarah loves working with alcohol inks on Yupo paper because it creates joyous colours and a high sheen surface.
Some of her art uses complimentary colour schemes to make a bold statement, whilst others use analogous colour schemes to create a serene design which mesmerises the viewer.
Please come and enjoy this special evening with the artist.
The Opening of the Exhibition is on Thursday 7th May; 6pm - 8pm

Enquiries to: uat@toorak.unitingchurch.org.au; tel 03 9829 0340

Open 8:30am - 3:30pm Monday to Friday.

21 May
A Day of Beautiful Things – Sarah Clark
Stunning NZ Possum Silk Knitwear Gloves Scarves Socks Jumpers Slippers 100% Cashmere Dressing Gowns. Exclusive Range of Pashmina Shawls.

CATHERINE REYNOLDS, MISTIE MOUNTAIN - is a beautiful collection of New Zealand Possumsilk Knitwear, 50% Merino lambswool, 40% possum fur, 10% silk. These natural fibres combine to make a premium quality garment which is luxuriously soft, lightweight, warm and breathes with the body. Feel the difference, 100% Natural Luxury. Men's & Ladies' Zip Jackets, Vests, Jumpers, Scarves, Wraps, Fingerless Gloves, Fur Trim Gloves, Socks, Bed socks, Fur Trim Hats, Beanies, Knee Rugs, Throws, Shoe Liners, Slippers and more.

Contact: 0419613113 Email: catherine@mistiemountain.com Web: www.mistiemountain.com

JILL NAZAR - lives in Sydney and once a year comes to Melbourne to exhibit her unique & genuine collection of pashmina shawls, stoles, baby blankets & throws. The collection is very diverse & features 100% pashmina shawls & stoles in wonderful colours and designs - mostly "one offs" & of a quality not seen elsewhere in Australia. Some of these pieces are hand embroidered exquisitely and each trip become harder to find. Also featuring are Kashmiri hand embroidered in hook stitch woollen stoles, & 100% silk pieces in wonderful colours & patterns. Jill travels to India twice a year & hand picks her collection which are mostly hand made or hand loomed in Kashmir or Nepal. There are 100% Cashmere Dressing gowns for men & women in the colour of their choice. Plus hand carved soap stone elephants from Rajastan.

Contact: 0402 907 377 Email: becknazar@bigpond.com

Also exhibiting on the 22nd May at the Habitat Uniting Church, Hawthorne 10-5pm & 23rd May at St Andrews Anglican Church, Brighton 9.30-5pm.

17 June
31 July
Power & Purpose Ceramic Exhibition – by the Stables Artist Co-operative
A group exhibition of ceramics by women experiencing mental illness. Each artist has been mentored by professional ceramic artist, Ann Ferguson.
Generously supported by Stonnington City Council, Toorak Uniting Church and Boroondara Community Outreach.
Opening on Wednesday, 17 June from 6pm – 8pm.

23 June
Tour of Duldig Studio, Museum and Garden – Malvern East
A tour of the fascinating and rare art collection of the Duldig family featuring sculpture and painting by Karl Duldig.
Tuesday, 23 June from 10.30am–12noon, $20 per person. Followed by morning tea.

21 June
3 – 4:30pm
Kinross Poetry Reading – With Henry Dobson & Lawrie Groom
The brilliant poetry readings by Henry and Lawrie are back in 2015.
Listen, discuss and enjoy!
Gold Coin Entry.

Manse Gallery Café
The café is filled with light, warmth, flowers on the table and good food. Please call in for great coffee, hot soup or delicious cake. It has a wonderful atmosphere with outstanding meals and coffee. Why not meet up with friends or conduct your next meeting there? The Café now has EFTPOS – no need to remember to have cash.
For enquiries and (group) bookings contact Raz Psonis on 9829 0341 email: meetatmanse@gmail.com
Raz and her team will make you very welcome. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am – 3:30pm.

Gallery Contacts: For all exhibition enquiries and bookings please telephone Lyndel Wischer on: 9829 0340 or email: uat@toorak.unitingchurch.org.au 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.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Lectionary Readings for 24 May 2015, Pentecost
Acts 2: 1 – 21 or Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14;     Psalm 104: 24 – 34, 35b;     Romans 8: 22 – 27;     John 15: 26 – 27; 16: 4b – 15
The liturgical colour for Pentecost is red.

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