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Toorak Uniting Church

Toorak Uniting Church – Update – Pentecost

24 May 2015

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Still thinking – Gentleness and the Birds of the Air
Fr Anthony deMello in his book Prayer of the Frog, reminds us of this story:

A young novice priest complained to the novice master that Br Joseph always went to sleep during early morning prayers. Irritated by Br Joseph’s lack of attention he asked the master what he should do about it. "Take his head and put it on your lap so that he is more comfortable," replied the master.

I think the story also highlights the idea that our ministry and our lives should be grounded in gentle care for one another. I think sometimes there is not enough gentleness in our expression of our Christian faith. We can either hold our beliefs and opinions with a clenched fist or with an open hand. I can’t remember who said it, but I agree that we should hold our faith and our beliefs the same way we would hold a small bird in our hand, gently yet firmly.

While Anne and I were in Margaret River some years ago, we stayed at a small farmhouse about four kilometres from the centre of the town. On the morning after we arrived we sat on the veranda and watched the small blue wrens hopping and flittering on the grass in front of us. It was a beautiful sight to see these little birds dancing with delight. When a crow or larger bird would appear they would run and hide under a large grass tree, when the danger was gone out they came to resume their daily activities.

It is not surprising that one of the most persistent metaphors for the Spirit of God and for the spiritual life in the Bible and religious literature is the bird. The image of flight and the sheer beauty and gracefulness of birds captures our imaginations and can lift our souls when we are pressed down heavy with worry. The words of Jesus in Matthew 6: 26 draw their power from the world of birds, "Consider the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value then them?" Of course in one sense we are not more valuable than the birds of the air. We actually need them more than they need us. But the point is that by observing these wonderful creatures the worries in our lives can be minimised and we can hear a "sermon" more eloquent than one from the greatest of human preachers.

Emily Dickenson has reflected on the image of the bird in her poem Hope:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune - -without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Christopher Page

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Diary Dates

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 10:00am Prayers for Christian Unity. St Peter’s.
At 7:30pm Church Council Meeting. Faichney Room.
Sunday, 28 June at 11:30am Congregation Meeting. (new date) Church.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Meeting of the Congregation and Election of Elders Postponed
The meeting of the Congregation scheduled for May 31 has had to be postponed as the financial statements are not yet ready for distribution. The revised date of the meeting will Sunday 28 June directly after the service.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Special thanks to Madelaine Kenihan
who so thoughtfully gave the introduction and concluding comments in last week’s Youth-Led service. Thanks also to Josh Brown and Mackenzie Duncan for the Communion Prayer and welcome – with apologies from the office for leaving their names out of the Order of Service.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Ecumenical Pentecost Service
Tonight, 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 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
 Beyond Literal Belief

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Book launch
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 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 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.
From the artist:
My paintings illustrate ordinary scenes which portray everyday emotions that we experience and which have an impact on our perception, and contribute to the essence of our lives. It is these moments that are often so fleeting; be it a feeling of hope, a vivid memory, or a sense of nostalgia that I aim to capture in my paintings

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.

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.

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.
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.

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 31 May 2015, Trinity Sunday
Isaiah 6: 1 – 8;     Psalm 29;     Romans 8: 12 – 17;     John 3: 1 – 17.
The liturgical colour for Trinity is white.

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