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Toorak Uniting Church - Update

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Toorak Uniting Church

Toorak Uniting Church – Update – Pentecost 15

6 September 2015

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Still thinking – Gathering together around the centre
I have the most wonderful memories of youth camps in my teenage years. Spending a weekend at Binna Burra or O’Reilly’s on the Lamington Plateau in the Gold Coast Hinterland was life changing. Our youth camps would take months to organize because we would camp in tents. The six or seven ex-army tents with the necessary pots, pans and provisions would be packed on to a couple of large trailers and hauled up the mountain. The programme was like most youth camps, Bible study, morning and evening devotions; swimming, hiking, camp fires, sing-a-longs, and worship in the outdoors. Living arrangements were simple and clear, boy’s tents to the left and girl’s tents to the right. Of course that didn’t dissuade us from finding creative ways to get together.

Strangely, the Bible studies, the devotions and the worship seemed to have more relevance in that context than back home in the city. We would sit by the campfire late at night and looking at the stars in that warm darkness, sharing our deepest and sometimes most intimate thoughts and feelings. Everything seemed "more" real. God was closer; the Bible made sense; friendships were stronger and emotions higher. Perhaps it was an encounter between the adolescent world and the world of the Spirit. Whatever it was, it was both real and enduring.

It is a rare person who can find God outside of community. While it is possible, human development has brought us to the place where we need both the wisdom of the tradition and the warmth and intimacy of community to access the inner life. It is why in church we need to encourage small group gatherings. On Sunday morning we come together with friends and acquaintances on a journey into the sacred. Often it is a very personal experience and can be like being alone in the community. While there is time for fellowship in these gatherings, our souls crave a deeper more intimate experience of meeting each other. Small groups can be such places, where we can be intentional about meeting each others deeper needs. This is where Parker Palmer’s Circle of Trust can be of great benefit. He suggests that when groups meet they should be (and here I paraphrase)

Open to new discoveries and learning
Hospitable, safe and trustworthy for all who are present
Inviting to those who want to be honest
Honouring of each person’s story and the Great Story
Supportive of both conversation and silence.

When small groups gather they are often places where the how, when, where and why of life’s great questions can be explored. But in an intimate sharing group perhaps the most important question is the "who" question, "Who am I at my very centre?" "Who am I in relation to others in this group and the world around me?" These are the kinds of questions we discussed as sixteen year olds, gazing into the night sky around the camp fire. Yes at those youth camps there was plenty of discussion about this and that (and he and she) but our greatest question really was "who am I." For me the answer in my teenage years came in the last line of Francis Thompson’s epic poem, The Hound of Heaven, "Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest, I am He whom thou seekest."


Previous Item Page Top Next Item Welcome to Toorak Uniting Church

Wherever you are on your faith’s journey,
wherever you have come from and wherever you are going to,
whatever you believe, whatever you do not believe, you are welcome here.
Please come and join us after the service for fellowship and a cup of tea or coffee.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Diary Dates

2 September – 25 October Wolfgang Stahlberg on Roach Exchange at TUC.
Sunday, 6 September at 11:30am: Welcome morning tea. Faichney Room.
Thursday, 10 September at 11:15am: Ladies Coffee and light lunch. Faichney Room.
Saturday, 12 September 10:00 – noon: PB Handbells rehearsal. Wettenhall Room.
Sunday, 13 September at 2:00pm: SoO Organ Students’ Concert Church.
Monday, 14 September 10:30am: Drop In Card Day. Faichney Room.
Tuesday, 15 September TBA: Management Team. Wettenhall Room.
Wednesday, 16 September at 6:30pm: PB Handbells rehearsal. Wettenhall Room.
Thursday, 17 September at 10:00am: Morning Group. Faichney Room.
Saturday, 19 September 10:00 – noon: PB Handbells rehearsal. Wettenhall Room.
Sunday, 29 November at 10:15am Grandparents’ service and lunch.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item In our Thoughts and Prayers:
Family of Joyce Hill, especially her daughter Glenda Benness, following Joyce’s death.
Ian and the Mackay family following Patricia’s death.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Attention Kitchen users:
This week we have had a freezer failure in the main kitchen due to overloaded drawers, a build-up of ice, and the door not properly closing. People shoving the drawers in has also broken them. The freezer has been emptied and defrosted and we believe it is now working again. Most of the freezers contents were more than two years out of date. Please take care with freezing food, gently moving the drawers and ensuring that the freezer is securely shut before you leave. Thank you.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item John Macrae Centre’s – Annual Spring Dance

Tuesday, 22 September 2015
11:30am – 2:30pm
Toorak Uniting Church Hall
603 Toorak Road, Toorak.
Community Event
Featuring: Less Sallisbury
Light Lunch       Door Prizes       Raffle
Entry: $5.00
Bookings: 9829 0320

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Refurbishment of Toilets
Renovations should be completed by mid-October. While construction is in progress, men are encouraged to use the Kinross loos and women the disabled loos off the Faichney Room. (Entry to the Faichney Room during the week is available using the concrete ramp at the Eastern entrance.)

Previous Item Page Top Next Item The Congregation Directory
is now available at the rear of the church. For privacy reasons, only those whose names appear in the Directory will receive a copy. Please dispose of your 2014 directory by shredding it. You’re welcome to bring it to the office where Kimberly or Catriona can shred it for you.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Can Christianity and Islam Co-Exist? A National Dialogue
Join us to hear two eminent Christian and Muslim public scholars discuss key issues for a multi-cultural, multi-faith Australia. This important and timely dialogue will address Christian-Muslim relations in the Australian-Indonesian context and seek to build fresh understanding of how people of different faiths and cultures can grow together in under-standing and appreciation of one another.
The Rev. Professor James Haire AC – Christian scholar and Companion of the Order of Australia for his leadership in ecumenical and interfaith relations.
Professor Azyumardi Azra CBE – Prominent Indonesian Muslim scholar and public intellectual.

FREE Admission, bookings essential. Register via email: nceis-office@unimelb.edu.au
Monday 7 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room, Level 1, Room 106, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne.
Facilitated by distinguished journalist Jim Middleton

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Strength and Vitality Foundation

Supporting women newly diagnosed with breast cancer
Why do we need emotional Healing?  Strength and Vitality Foundation
Help us build our resource centre in St Kilda supporting emotional healing
Fundraising event
Where: Manse Gallery Café
Address: 603 Toorak Rd, Toorak
Time: 2:30 – 4:30pm
Date: Sunday 13th September
Cost: $35.00
Limited numbers: booking essential
Bookings contact: Michelle Sorensen
Mobile: 0405 040 217
RSVP: 8th September
Web: www.strengthandvitalityfoundation.org.au

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Daydreams and Torments of Love
A romantic literature and musical event dedicated to Frédéric Chopin’s 205th anniversary.
Program features Sergei Suetin, pianist.
TUC, September 20th at 3.00pm. Tickets at the door: $25 / $20 (conc).
Call Sergei on 0402 831 304 for details.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Time for Fellowship Lunch
Monday 28 September 12-2pm. Topic is "Advice from a male forebear." All welcome.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Missing from TUC archives
Videotape of a Service recorded 3 Sep, 1978, telecast on ABC TV, 11 Feb, 1979. Unfortunately, the ABC no longer has a copy in its archives either. I am hoping someone might have a videotape of this Service and allow me to borrow it to convert to DVD. This recording is significant. Not only was it David Hodge’s last televised Service before his retirement in 1983 (including his excellent sermon ‘Man and Society’), but it is also an historic document. This video will show images of the interior of the Church before refurbishment in 1979, with the old pipe organ and choir stalls in the east transept! If anyone can help, please contact me on 9809 0550 or 0429 907 908. Thank you. David Ross-Smith.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item Roach Ministerial Exchange
Our Welcoming Services today will be followed at 11.30 by a special morning tea. Come and join us in providing a warm greeting to Wolfgang, Liliana and Rebecca!
The Roach Exchange provides a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to experi-ence a minister from a different country and tradition. The Messiah Community Church in Denver is well established and well attended with similar worship and activities to TUC. It is a church in the Lutheran tradition and affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) - a progressive denomination in a traditional environment.

Sunday, 6 September
9am and 10.15 Services – Welcome to Rev Dr Wolfgang Stahlberg, his wife, Rev Liliana Stahlberg, and granddaughter, Rebecca Nagel.
11.30am Official Welcome Morning Tea by Dr Robin Stewardson, Chair of TUC Congregation
Thursday, 10 September
11.15am Morning Coffee Welcome and meeting with Rev Liliana Stahlberg by the ladies of TUC Congregation, with light lunch to follow.
Sunday, 13 September
9am Service – Rev Wal Baker
10.15am Service – Rev Dr Wolfgang Stahlberg
11.30 am – Coffee with Discussion with Rev Stahlberg, light lunch.
Tuesday, 15 September
7.30pm Management Team Meeting
Thursday, 17 September
10.00am Congregation Morning Group meeting – Welcome to Revs Wolfgang and Liliana Stahlberg with discussion on what led them to the ministry and how their congregation in Denver functions.
Wednesday, 7 October
8am Breakfast In Kinross with Rev Wolfgang Stahlberg speaking on aspects of American life.

Previous Item Page Top Next Item 2015 Christian Singles Network Conference

‘Enjoy: the Joy of the Lord is my Strength’
A weekend conference for singles of all ages to grow in faith, friendship and fullness of life in Christ as single people. The Conference aims to empower single adults to fulfil their desires & know the value of living out a single life. There will be time for fellowship, a choice of workshops, prayerful reflection, live music, praise & worship, small group interaction and a dinner dance on the Saturday night.
17-18 October at the Clifton Centre, St Clement of Rome Parish, Bulleen.
Cost: $100 (early bird before August 31 $90). www.trybooking.com/IADB
For more information see csn.coglife.org or email Johanna csnmelbourne@gmail.com

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

Kinross House Gallery is normally open Tuesday to Friday 10:00am – 3pm.
9 August
11 September
Snowball Effect – Anne Cuming
 Deja Vu by Anne Cuming Snowball Effect is a solo exhibition by established artist, Anne Cuming. The exhibition is a collection of evocative paintings from 2008 to 2015. Through the use of colour, composition and subject matter Anne's work portrays sentiments about happiness, loneliness, reflection and contentment and the momentum of life.
Artist statement

Metaphorically speaking a 'snowball effect' starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger and more momentous. A common example of this is a ball of snow rolling down a snow-covered mountain. As it rolls the ball picks up more snow and momentum it grows in mass to arrive at the bottom of the mountain in a different, more noteworthy form.

This exhibition explores the notion that the snowball effect applies to our lives. Every life comprises of a diverse range of complex emotions and experiences which contribute to our individual perceptions and reactions. As the snowball rolls down the hill, its path may be altered by inclines and obstructions, and so our lives change from what we may have first anticipated. No matter which path we choose our experiences will continue to contribute to our lives and affect the momentum at which we travel toward our individual destinies.

I believe that these thoughts are relevant to the event that I am thrilled to be part of during my exhibition at Kinross Arts Centre - the naming of 'Hodges Gallery'. It all began with an idea the Uniting Church Minister, Reverend David Hodges, had many years ago about the arts at Toorak Uniting Church, which 'snowballed' into the wonderful reality of Kinross which supports a wide array of artists and affords them the opportunity to exhibit in such a beautiful and historic place.

This exhibition is a collection of emotive paintings from 2008 to 2015. Through use of colour, composition and subject matter my artwork seeks to connect with the viewer through the portrayal of sentiments including happiness, loneliness, reflection and contentment.
For more information about Anne Cumming please visit www.annecumingart.com.au
Morning Coffee with the artist will be on Sunday 9th August 2015 at 11.30am.

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 13 September 2015, Pentecost 16
Proverbs 1: 20 – 33;     Psalm 19;     James 3: 1 – 12;     Mark 8: 27 – 38.
The liturgical colour for Pentecost is green.

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