Still Thinking Reflections on being at Messiah Community Church in Denver, Colorado
When Anne and I arrived in Denver our suit cases were packed with warm woolly clothes. But the cool/cold weather never appeared. I wore sandals and short sleeve shirts for September and most of October!
Anne and I have had a very good experience at Messiah Community Church. It reminded us once again that in the Christian community we share so much in common and yet there is a rich diversity and differences that adds life and colour to the Christian faith.
I enjoyed leading worship in the Lutheran tradition. The celebration of weekly communion was meaningful, coming from our tradition that has a monthly communion service using little cups and pieces of pre-cut bread. It was moving to see the congregation coming forward and being served the bread and then dipping the bread into the wine or grape juice (they had both) it did bring a fresh experience to the celebration of communion.
I led a regular Bible study on each Tuesday morning in the church library which I also found very fulfilling. The focus was on the book of Jonah which I called "the Parable of Jonah" because of its use of myth, symbols and metaphors. I was impressed with the openness and willing discussion that the study engendered.
During our stay Anne and I had the opportunity to attend the annual ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Clergy Conference at Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains. The other "Pastors" we met were very welcoming (Lutherans always call the minister Pastor, so I was always refer to as Pastor Chris which took a little to get used to.)
After our time in Denver, Anne and I travelled to the Grand Canyon, also a great experience. Many who have seen it say it is the greatest natural wonder in the world. This remarkable landscape was formed by upthrust (the top of the Canyon is 7,000 feet high) and then over 4 to 6 million years the Colorado River cut it way down to create the Canyon. It reminded me once again how important it is to recognise that the Earth is a living, changing planet and also the amazing power of water and time. Such visual experiences need to be woven into our faith.
Presently Anne is in New York visiting her daughter Cathy, partner Sergei and Annes grandchildren, Misha and Sebastian, who is now just over 3 months old. Some may know the Cathy had life threatening complications two weeks after Sebastians birth. It was wonderful that Anne could be with Cathy during that time and I am very pleased to report that Cathy is now doing fine.
My hope is that the exchange with Wolfgang and Liliana was also good for our community at TUC. It is strange that at the beginning of the exchange two months seemed to me a long time to be away and yet at the end it seemed to pass so quickly. The people at Messiah generously gave me the stole I am wearing this morning. It was made in Nicaragua. Messiah Community Church works with a group of people in Nicaragua called "Just Hope" to assist in the development of micro banking and a group from the church had just returned from a visit to Nicaragua after helping build a Medical Clinic in one of the remote regions of the country. I was impressed with their sense of mission being a two way street. It was not them going to do good works, but rather working with the people on projects the Nicaraguans had identified.
It is good to be home. "Pastor Chris"
Welcome to Toorak Uniting Church
|Sunday, 8 November at 2:00pm:||V Davey concert: Flute Duo||Church.|
|Monday, 9 November at 10:30am:||Drop In Card Day||Faichney Room.|
|Tuesday, 10 November at 4:30pm:||Management Team Meeting.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Thursday, 12 November at 5:00pm:||JMK AGM.||Faichney Room.|
|Sunday, 15 November 9:30 12:00:||Church Fundraising Stall.|
|Wednesday, 18 November at 6:30 & 7:30pm:||Pamela Brown Handbells.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Thursday, 19 November at 10:00am:||Morning Group.||Faichney Room.|
|At 7:30pm:||Church Council Meeting.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Wednesday, 25 November at 6:30 & 7:30pm:||Pamela Brown Handbells.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Friday, 27 November Sunday, 6 December:||Food for Friends Collection.|
|Sunday, 29 November at 10:15am||Grandparents service and lunch.|
|At 3:00pm:||"Music for David" concert.||Church.|
|At 7:00pm:||TEC Advent service.||St Johns.|
|Monday, 30 November at 12 noon:||Time for Fellowship Lunch.||Faichney Room.|
Toorak Spring Virginia Davey Concert Series 2015
|J.S. Bach:||Trio in D minor|
|Bernard Sanders:||Drei Stücke|
|Caesar Giovanni:||"Theme for a quiet day" for two flutes|
||and other works|
Church Fundraising stall
Sunday, 15 November, 9:30-12:00. Donations of cakes and produce essential! There is a collection of small jars outside the office if you need some. Contact Lyn McA or Lenore N.
Food for Friends
The annual Food for Friends appeal takes place from Friday, November 27th to Sunday, December 6th. "Food for Friends" is an ecumenical appeal that asks Safeway customers to donate a purchased item which is then passed on to one of a number of frontline ecumenical charities. Last year, the appeal raised approximately $40000 worth of goods for needy families. The success of the appeal lies in the volunteers who stand at the entrance to the Safeway supermarkets in Hawksburn and the Toorak Village and hand out leaflets informing shoppers about the appeal and then receive donated goods in a prominently positioned trolley. If you are able to volunteer your time, please contact Barbara McKinnon (ph 0405987890 or Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org) and let her know your availability. Alternatively, you can add your name to the sign up board at the rear of the church. Volunteers are sought for the following timeslots:
Woolworths Toorak Village
|Fri 27th Nov||9am -11am||11am -1pm||1pm - 3pm||3pm - 5pm||5pm - 7pm||7pm - 9pm|
|Sun 29th Nov||
||12pm - 2pm||2pm - 4pm||4pm - 6pm||6pm - 8pm|
|Wed 2nd Dec||9am -11am||11am -1pm||1pm - 3pm||3pm - 5pm||5pm - 7pm||7pm - 9pm|
|Sat 5th Dec||
||1pm - 3pm||3pm - 5pm||5pm - 7pm||
|Sat 28th Nov||9am -11am||11am - 1pm||
|Mon 30th Nov||9am -11am||11am - 1pm||1pm - 3pm||3pm - 5pm||5pm - 7pm||7pm - 9pm|
|Thurs 3rd Dec||9am -11am||11am - 1pm||1pm - 3pm||3pm - 5pm||5pm - 7pm||7pm - 9pm|
|Sat 5th Dec||9am -11am||11am - 1pm||
The Persian Princes "The Road to Shangri La"
Time for Fellowship Lunch
.Is on Monday, 30 November, 12-2pm. Topic is "The future of the Fellowship Lunch". All welcome.
Shares 2015 Christmas card range is now available.
Each pack of 10 cards is only $8.50.
A mixed pack of 10 cards, containing two of each card, is also available.
To order call 1800 668 426.
Sample cards on display in the office.
Postage and handling charge: $7.50-10.00.
Attention kitchen users
Please take care with freezing food, gently moving the drawers and ensuring that the freezer is securely shut before you leave. Thanks.
News from Kinross Arts & Spirituality Centre
Sunday, 15th November
Tuesday, 15th December
Corner of our Eden Solo exhibition by Tea Ercoles
The works on show are paintings and a large outdoor mosaic inspired by my garden.
This exhibition is mounted as a fundraiser for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Friends Celebration Morning Tea
With refreshments provided by UAT and entertainment by Colin MacLeod playing Scottish Fiddle.
End of Year Raffle: Raffle Prizes include original art work by visual artist Barbara Bateman and jewellery donated by Filitsa Giannopoulos.
For all exhibition enquiries and bookings please telephone Lyndel Wischer on: 9829 0340 or email: email@example.com 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 November 2015, Pentecost 25
1 Samuel 1: 4 20; 1 Samuel 2: 1 10; Hebrews 10: 11 14, (15 18) 19 25; Mark 13: 1 8.
The liturgical colour for Pentecost is green.