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Toorak Uniting Church

Toorak Uniting Church – Update – Pentecost 8

19 July 2015

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Still thinking – Faith’s Journey
In my life there have been several books that I have picked up and started to read and never got past the first few pages. Sometimes it is a novel and the author’s beginning just didn’t grab me. Or there was something in the first chapter that seemed to say, "No this isn’t you; you won’t get much from this!" Often other books come along and the previous book is abandoned. It can sit on the bedside table for a couple of months with other more important and interesting books placed on top of it. It seems such a callous thing to abandon a book after a short read and I know some people feel strongly about always finishing a book that they start. I am not one of those people.

There are other books that I have set aside and come back to later only to find that there was much in the book that I found both interesting and informative. For me an example of this is a rather academic book by James Fowler titled Stages of Faith. In 1987 I had begun my doctoral studies in the Philosophy of Education department at the University of Toronto. I had just completed an M.Ed and was very excited about this new venture. U of T is a large state university with an enormous graduate education department. I began reading the books for the course and found them both challenging and exciting. Authors like John Holt from Harvard University; Laurance Kohlberg; Alfred North Whitehead; Jean Piaget; Erik Erikson; Gail Sheehy among many others. I felt as if I was being welcomed into an exclusive club with its own language and secret handshake.

One of my professors who knew I was a minister suggested I read James Fowler, "He’s coming from a religious perspective so that should interest you," he said. So I got the book and began to read it. For whatever reasons it just didn’t grab me. I think in part it was because I wanted to read what everyone else was reading and Fowler wasn’t the flavour of the month. A year later I picked up the book again and maybe got to chapter two.

Well, I got my degree and a few years later returned to Australia with several boxes of books from my time in Canada. Stages of Faith by James Fowler was in one of the boxes, probably on the bottom under Erikson and Piaget. One day, I can’t remember when or why, I opened the book and read the chapter titled "Stage 5 Conjunctive Faith". I was riveted. As I read more of the book I became increasingly committed to the idea that we are all on a faith journey and the importance of that journey is that we don’t pitch our tent and remain at any one of the stages. I am sure that is what my professor was leading me to. It’s all about the journey and it’s all about faith.

Richard Rohr once said, "Many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of faith"! How strange that the very word "faith" has come to mean its exact opposite. Instead of trusting it is often used to mean certainty. No matter what stage of the religious life one finds oneself at, the only requirement is to be open to the next stage that God and Life will lead you to.

Christopher Page

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Diary Dates

Thursday, 23 July at 7:30pm Church Council. Faichney Room.
Monday, 27 July at noon Time for Fellowship Lunch. Faichney Room.
Monday, 27 July at 7:30pm Finance Committee. Wettenhall Room.
Thursday, 30 July at 10:00am Prayers for Christian Unity. Church.
Saturday, 1 August 10am – 3:30pm Congregation & Council Retreat.
Sunday, 2 August at noon JMC Christmas Lunch. John Macrae Centre.
Wednesday, 5 August at 6 – 9pm PB Handbells. Wettenhall Room.
Sunday, 9 August at 11:15am D Hodges Memorial unveiling. Kinross House.
Monday, 10 August at 10:30am Drop In Card Day Faichney Room.
At 7:30pm Finance Committee Wettenhall Room.
Tuesday, 11 August at 10:00am Coordinating Forum Faichney Room.
Wednesday, 12 August at 6 – 9pm PB Handbells Wettenhall Room.
Thursday, 13 August at 9:00am UAT meeting Wettenhall Room.
Tuesday, 18 August at noon Management Team Wettenhall Room.
Wednesday, 19 August at 6 – 9pm PB Handbells Wettenhall Room.
Thursday, 20 August at 10:00am Morning Group Faichney Room.
Sunday, 23 August at 10:15am Baptism Reunion service and lunch.
Monday, 24 August at noon Time for Fellowship Lunch Faichney Room.
Thursday, 27 August at 10:00am Prayers for Christian Unity Swedish Church.
28 August – 6 November Christopher Page on Roach Exchange to Denver.
2 September – 25 October Wolfgang Stahlberg on Roach Exchange at TUC.
Sunday, 29 November at 10:15am Grandparents’ service and lunch.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Congregation Directory — It’s time for an update.
The Directory is a great tool to help us engage with one another.

The office email address is ToorakUC@bigpond.net.au .
Entries/changes must be received by Friday, 31st July.
Please Note: For privacy reasons, only those whose names appear in the Directory will receive a copy.
By request, they will be printed in A5 size.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Music
Thank you to Gordon Atkinson who is playing the organ at the 10.15am service today.
Yesterday Jennifer performed in Zutphen in the Netherlands and will be performing in Denmark this coming Tuesday. Following that, Jennifer will travel to Malmo to join force with Camilla Hellgren (former organist at the Swedish Church) to perform in Camilla’s church, the two will perform 4-hands repertoire, bringing some additional joy to their friendship founded in Melbourne.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Church fundraising stall
Lenore and Lyn will be having a stall this morning from 9.30 am. Please buy some homemade cakes, biscuits, slices, chutney etc. and some treats to take home. Much appreciated – Lenore and Lyn

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Skills, Opportunity, Survival in Kenya
 Skills, Opportunity, Survival in Kenya Christie Faulks will be speaking today about her small charity SOSK: Skills, Opportunity, Survival in Kenya. TUC’s church outreach project has been supporting this program for nearly four years. We have contributed in helping her purchase land to build an education centre. Christie will tell us about her most recent visit to Kenya.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Reverend David Hodges
There will be a Dedication of the Reverend David Hodges Memorial following the 10:15 service on 9th August in Kinross House. It will include morning tea. Please RSVP to Nina Mumford for catering purposes on 9505 6775 or nina.mumford@optusnet.com.au

Previous Item Page Top Next Item John Macrae Centre
A special mid-winter Christmas dinner will be held at the Centre on Sunday August 2nd at 12.30 pm. Come and enjoy a convivial feast - entree, roast turkey, and plum pud with hard sauce. Our guest speaker, Patricia Begg, will inspire us with her discoveries during a recent trip to Russia – "Opulent Moscow".
Please ring the JMC office on 9829 0320 for bookings. $40 per person. Everyone is most welcome to attend.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Toorak Op Shop
still needs winter clothing donations. 143 Canterbury Rd, Toorak. Ph: 9827 3172.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Encounter - Engagement - Enhancement
Congregation Elders and Church Councillors Retreat on Saturday 1 August we will be holding a special one day workshop where we will explore our theme of Engagement. In the morning we will learn about the practices of Contemplation, Meditation, and Centring Prayer including a quiet pilgrimage around the grounds of our church.
In the afternoon it will be movie time, discussing a current film and its relevance surrounding the deeper issues in life. Everyone from our church community is invited to attend this inaugural event where we can engage with one another and celebrate the multi-faceted and vibrant community which is TUC.

Workshop from 10:00 to 3:30 with lunch provided at a reduced cost of $15. If you are only able to attend either the morning or the afternoon session you will be most welcome and encouraged to be a part of this new event. Please feel free to invite a friend from our wider community to see what TUC is all about. Engagement!

Previous Item Page Top Next Item The Future of Religion, Jesus, & Christianity
The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria & Common Dreams on the Road present a Lecture & Symposium by Dr David Galston.

"The Future of Religion, Jesus, & Christianity"

David Galston is an the Ecumenical Chaplain at Brock University, and an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy.

Venue: Toorak Uniting Church
Friday 28 August 7.00 pm "Has Religion a Future?"
Saturday 29 August 10:00am "Has Jesus a Future?"
11:30am "Has God a Future?"
1:30pm "Is There a Post-Christian Christianity?"
Bookings: Will Open Soon.

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

Kinross House Gallery is normally open Tuesday to Friday 10:00am – 3pm.

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.
The Opening was on Wednesday, 17 June from 6pm – 8pm.

13 August
23 August
GLOW Winter Festival
 www.glowfestivat.com.au This event is delivered in partnership with the GLOW Winter Arts Festival

Proudly supported by the City of Stonnington.

23 August
3 to 4pm
From the Orient and the Middle East – Kinross Poetry Readings
Readings will include: Amichai, Basho, Gilgamesh, Poetry from the Old Testament, including from Job and the Psalms, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Robert Graves), Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore and Tao Te Ching

The Readers
Henry Dobson and Lawrie Groom are passionate about poetry. Both writers, Henry has a deep interest in philosophy and existentialism, while Lawrie's interests include painting and public policy. Both enjoy good conversation and chess. We greatly appreciate Henry Bucks on Collins St for their generous sponsorship of the 2015 Kinross Poetry Readings.

Entry: gold coin donation. Wine, cheese and biscuits will be provided.
For all enquiries, please call Henry 0478 712 881 or Lyndel Wischer at Kinross Arts Centre 9829 0340, email: uat@toorak.unitingchurch.org.au

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 26 July 2015, Pentecost 9
2 Samuel 11: 1 – 15;     Psalm 14;     Ephesians 3: 14 – 21;     John 6: 1 – 21.
The liturgical colour for Pentecost is green.

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