Society News

ADELAIDE

It was nice to see some faces in Church that had been absent for some time. Shirley Hussey was a welcome attendee, widow of our beloved Frank Hussey, now in the spiritual world.

Also Regina Jaugietis now well into her nineties came to the service accompanied by her carer, Anna and her three children. We hope to see more of them all.

Randall used a sermon downloaded from The New Church College website and we thank David Millar for having these available.

The neighbours alongside our Church have asked if they can have a swimming pool delivered by crane over the fence from Church grounds; Ken hopes our lawn will not be too damaged.

The AGM is scheduled for September 23rd following the service.

Randall Rabone

BRISBANE

Our family services on the first Sunday of each month are continually well supported with the Reverend Brunne, over the last few months introducing and highlighting the inner meaning of the Adventures in the Apocalypse, being the seven deadly traps referring to in the inner meaning of the Seven Churches in Asia as we read in the early chapters of the Book of Revelation.

Over the past months two of our more mature members, Mrs Muriel Barrett and Mr John Sandow have had falls and both have back braces fitted. Another of our congregation Mr Doug Nash recently underwent a serious operation and from all reports had a successful outcome. We wish all three a speedy recovery.

Jordan Brunne, the eldest daughter of Darren and Renee left us in mid-August to attend college in Bryn Athyn where she initially enrolled in an Arts degree.

Recent visitors to Church are Cor, Sally and daughter Holly Visser-Marchant from Canberra who are in Queensland for a month house-sitting a property in the Gold Coast hinterland. Our Secretary, Gaye Heldon, spent around three weeks in the U.K. visiting family. Ruth Evans also had a quick visit to the U.K. late July.

Alexis, daughter of Paul and Ruth Evans is heading to Japan shortly with her Schools Orchestra, where she will be playing at various venues throughout Japan. Alex is a most accomplished cellist.

Brisbane New Church will hold its Annual General Meeting on the 21st October.

Diane Thompson

PERTH

Our New Church Day celebrations this year consisted of our usual church service and a celebratory lunch.
During the service Rev. Trevor Moffat gave a children’s talk with aid of a diorama of the Holy City, which he prepared for the occasion. His presentation captured the interest of children and adults alike.

After the service we all enjoyed a shared lunch. The service and the lunch were held in our usual venue, an Environmental Education centre, which we hire on regular basis. It is set in natural bushland and it is very inspiring and wholly appropriate for services of worship. Trevor had baked a cake for the occasion and had largely undertaken the organization for the day. Thank you Trevor.

Although we are meeting in a lovely venue, there is the occasional hiccup. Last week we arrived early for the service and found the environmental group already there, complete with animals and food, even though the booking was ours. We hastily relocated to the home of one of our members. It worked out just fine!

Trevor and Joy have been away in the north of the State since just after New Church Day. During the first month or so they were working as volunteer rangers at Millstream Lake near the Fortescue River in Millsteam Chichester National Park in the Pilbara area. After that they will be moving to a cattle station where Joy will be supervising the children’s education and Trevor will be co-opted as a handyman/rouseabout/watch-this-space. They will be returning to us in October. While at Millstream we heard that they had been canoeing on the lake. Life is tough!!
Brandon Pisani has just celebrated his eighteenth birthday. Congratulations, Brandon. He is in his final year at school and is also working part time in a real estate office.

Brandon’s mother, Fleur, is in the final stages of chemotherapy treatment – not a pleasant experience. The overall outlook is good and she is looking forward to resuming her life as it was. She is always in our prayers.

Services for our group continue to be held on the first and third Sundays of the month, with the first service being conducted in a generally traditional way. For the present time the third Sunday service will be a workshop format facilitated by Sarah Walker who is undergoing studies under the guidance of the NCIA College.

The Aurora group have been joining us for services and they of course are very welcome.

We hope all of our friends are well and pray that our continent gets a reprieve from the big dry very soon.

David Walker

SYDNEY

Well, the moment finally arrived when the Thompsons, Rev Howard, Debra and Lance arrived in Sydney on August 15th. Pretty tired after their long journey and from packing up their personal effects several weeks before, to be shipped here, arriving later in September. They have been staying in a delightful serviced apartment in Chatswood before moving into the manse and settling in there.
It is a lovely thing too that the Thompsons arrived soon after the Swedenborg Centre moved into the two front rooms of the building.

The Induction service was on Sunday September 2nd, led throughout by Rev David Moffat, the President of the New Church in Australia. A good number of people came for this occasion and the service went very well. The Sydney Society representative, Graham Hall, presented Howard for ministry of the church and promised our support and respect. Howard, with Debra and Lance nearby, was inducted, blessed, hugged and applauded.

A happy barbecue lunch followed, giving hopefully everybody present the opportunity to have at least a few minutes chat with the Thompsons.

David Moffat spoke with the children about the way he dresses when he cycles around Canberra and linked this with the way we need to be prepared properly when we get involved in living our lives.
David’s address started with a question: “Are you a pipe or a bucket?” He showed us in several ways – biblically, doctrinally, life-relatedly and really that the Lord wants us to be a pipe through which things can flow from the Lord through us and shared with the people around us.

Julian Duckworth

VICTORIA

In true Christian tradition, a resurrection has taken place at the church in Melbourne. Brought back from the dead by Mary Alden during her and Glenn’s stay with us earlier in the year, Alexis Jarvis has continued to roll back the stony door of silence leading to the hall, and filled it with the sound of chirpy children. Yes, the Sunday School has been resurrected on the first Sunday of the month. The children listen to Bible stories and undertake various associated activities which they afterwards proudly show to the adults present. ‘Moses in the bulrushes’ and the ‘Calling of Samuel’ were the focus for these months.

Rev. David Millar visited us from Adelaide over the first weekend in August. There was an open meeting on the Saturday afternoon when David ran a session on Logopraxis which stimulated much interest amongst those present. In the evening, David met with most of the Church Board members over dinner, enabling a wide-ranging discussion on church related topics and issues.

David also led our worship on the Sunday morning with 31 present including 7 children. David chose the Eli and Samuel story as the basis for his address on The Emerging New Church, without knowing that Alexis had chosen the same story for the children, a choice she made earlier in the year. Chance, coincidence or cosmic alignment? Hmm…

It was with considerable sadness that we heard the news of Adam Okienko’s passing into the spiritual world in late July after a long battle with cancer. Adam became a member of The New Church in Victoria in March 2006, although it is not known when and how he first came across Swedenborg’s writings and The New Church. In years gone by, Adam would on occasion, bring his two grandchildren with him to church so that they could participate in the Sunday School.

With our demographic firmly entrenching itself into the seasoned, senior citizen category, some of our members are coping with the bodily maintenance issues that go with the territory. However, we won’t dwell and in the sage counsel provided by those eminent philosophers Monty, Python and Co. “Always look on the bright side of life”, a philosophy followed by those that still manage to come to church, despite physical difficulties; always an uplifting sight to behold.

Helmut Lopaczuk

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