Society Reports

Brisbane

On Sunday June 29th the Brisbane Society celebrated three joyous occasions. Firstly, before more than eighty adults and children, the Reverend Julian Duckworth officiated at the ordination of Darren Brunne into the ministry of the New Church. Following the very moving Ordination Ceremony and address including New Church Day remembrance, the Brisbane Society welcomed the Reverend Darren Brunne as its new Minister during lunch by Dr. Ken Barns.

Our third celebration although touched with a tinge of sadness was after some two plus years we farewelled Reverend Glenn and Mary Alden who leave us for their new home in Washington on July 15th. During their two years with us in Brisbane their energy, dedication love and wisdom for the Lords work in South East Queensland has truly been inspirational. President Ken Thompson on behalf of the Brisbane Society presented Glenn and Mary with an Aboriginal oil painting depicting an Australian outback scene together with another Aboriginal outback print. We all wish them a safe trip home and look forward to welcoming them back should the occasion arise in the future.

It is with deep regret we advise of the passing of Reverend Les Sheppard into the Spiritual World on May 6th following a long illness. A memorial service was held on May 11th in the Church attended by family and many friends both within and outside the Church family. Les ministered to the Brisbane Society and S.E Qld. From 1992 to 2002. The Rev. Darren Brunne was privilidged to wear the robes belonging to the late Rev. Sheppard for his ordination.

Towards the end of May Mrs. Lyn Williams (wife of the late Rev. Bruce) underwent major surgery and it was with great joy, (even though she now has a sprained ankle and hobbling in a moon boot), to see her be able to attend our celebrations.
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In the middle of June we held a church picnic attended by more than 30 adults and children at the Daisy Hill Koala reserve on the southern side of Brisbane and a great time was had by all and it is envisaged it will become an annual event.

With our best wishes, Diane Thompson

 

Adelaide

New Church Day Service and celebrations were held on 22nd June for us this year. A long leisurely luncheon, with plenty of chat was enjoyed afterwards n the Social Room. It is always good to celebrate and remember how and why the New Church came into existence and may we continue to grow, individually within ourselves and the New Church as a whole.

Ian Brock celebrated his 90th birthday on 30th June. For those of you who may not know of Ian, his father Rev. Charles Brock was the Minister here in Adelaide for many many years and there is a legacy of the Brock families around Australia and in the US. A family party was held at Ian’s home and as there are currently four of our members away on vacation at the moment and we look forward to their return and news of their travels; that would be Yvonne & David Bell and Randall Rabone and Pauline. A celebration will be held later on for Ian when all are there to celebrate with him and Shirley.
It is with sadness we give news of the passing into the Spiritual world of Rosemary Greenwood on Sunday 15th June, a couple of weeks before her 87th birthday. A Memorial Service was held at the Church on Saturday 21st June, conducted by her son-in-law Rev. David Millar. Rosemary was Mandy Millar’s Mother, and Rosemary had been living in our Manse with them until the time when it was necessary for Nursing Home care after being incapacitated by a stroke. Rosemary had been an integral part of our Church life, acting as Librarian and being on the Committee during her time here with us. We remember Rosemary well for her lovely singing voice in Church; that of course was before she was poorly. We all remember Rosemary with affection and will so miss her lively cheerful disposition.

The Church gardens are currently being well looked after by Ken Johnson and are looking so much better for his care, we are very thankful for his volunteer contribution. Ken also is an R.S.P.C.A. volunteer two days a week, looking after the boarding dogs there. Lucky for us he enjoys gardening too.
This New Age snippet is being written while our regular writer, Randall, is away on vacation. Randall will be back next time (normal service will be resumed)!!

June Johnson

 

Perth

The month of June witnessed the passing of John Frost after a trying illness. John was leader of the Aurora group here in Perth and he was a well respected and well liked New Church person who always worked towards a spirit of co-operation between both groups. He will be sadly missed and our sympathies are with his wife Moira and his family members here in Perth and in South Africa.

The Perth group held a three day retreat in Busselton in March. The theme was centred on relationships and was generally enjoyed by all. So pleased was everyone with the venue that we are holding another retreat at the same place on the forthcoming weekend (July 4th to 7th). The theme will be “All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good.” We’ve heard it often enough, but do we really believe it! We are looking forward to spirited discussion on this topic.

Our New Church Day celebrations this day were held at the home of Rev.Trevor and Joy Moffat at Kauring, 128 kilometres east of Perth. It was well attended and took the form of a service conducted by Trevor which was followed by lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Our thanks go to the Moffats for opening up their house for the occasion, to Rev Trevor Moffat preparing and taking the service and for all who prepared and provided food for the occasion.

While speaking of the Moffats, we welcome them back from their sojourn in outback Western Australia where they have spent a number of weeks on a pastoral property. Joy has been tutoring and supervising the children of the owners of the lease under the REVISE program which is run under the umbrella of the Education Department and which is designed to give the children’s mothers a well earned break from supervising their children’s formal education which they must do in addition to the multitide of other tasks encumbent upon a pastoralist’s wife. Trevor meanwhile assists the station owner with the running of the property, no doubt attending to those tasks that the the owner doesn’t get time to do. The Moffats enjoy the life style and are keen to be off again.

New Church day at the Moffats also saw the return of Ros and David Walker who had been on the road travelling the country for eight weeks. They visited all States and the Northern Territory in mainland Australia (Tasmania will have to wait for another day). The Walkers say it was great experience and can thoroughly recommend it. “You realise just how vast the continent is when you drive across it,” was a comment from David.

George Talbot, a former church member and long time associate of the New Church community in Perth passed away on June 19th. (How very appropriate). George had been a lay preacher in his younger days and comes from a family with a long association with the Church. Our sympathies are with George’s family, in particular his children Adrian and Margaret and his sister Rev Mary Duckworth.

Best wishes to all members and friends of the Church throughout Australia and the rest of the world.

David Walker, Leader.

 

Sydney

Two of our long-standing members passed on into the spiritual world earlier this year: Wilfred Burl, organist, lay-preacher and President of the Sydney Society for some years, and father and grandfather to a good number of church-connected members and friends; and Esma Dempster, a local lady who came to the church in the 1980s, enjoyed the atmosphere and stayed, joining the committee and then taking on the church secretaryship for a few years. Both of them were in their 90s.

On Palm Sunday we were delighted to have Rev Ian Arnold and family members with us. Ian took the baptismal service for his granddaughter Rachel , Ben and Helen Arnold’s daughter.

We enjoyed and met in large numbers in January for the christening of Joel Duckworth and Eva Iken’s daughter Zoe, a special occasion.

Rev Todd Beiswenger in Hurstville and Rev Julian Duckworth in Roseville swapped ‘pulpits’ for a third time in June and apparently both churches benefitted from the experience.

We are holding an event later this year for any interested General Public people, in Chatswood, a big centre near Roseville. It’s called ‘Staying Spiritual in a Crazy World’ and is an all-day workshop offering help and guidance for people to stay focused on spiritual life and values in a very-stressful world.

Quite a number of our members and friends do not enjoy winter in NSW. The trick is to go away for a long time, as they have done, are doing or will be doing.

 

Victoria

Due to the serious illness of the Minister we have had to make changes to the preaching arrangements. Whilst he has been able to take some services over the past few months a major operation in recent weeks has prevented him from taking any services for a few weeks.

We have been very grateful for the help that Neville Jarvis and Karl Robinson have given in conducting services and also the monthly service led by Rev Martin Pennington

Our Good Friday Service was conducted by Neville with the Minister conducting the Sacrament. The Easter Day Service was led by Rev Martin Pennington. These services were quite well attended.

Our celebration of New Church Day was led by Karl Robinson due the Minister being hospitalised.

The Coffee & Chat Group continues to meet on 2nd & 4th Thursday when a small number enjoy fellowship together. The Swedenborg Group which meets on the last Friday in the month is enjoyed by people in and outside the church. Our Minister spoke at the May meeting on the topic ‘Spiritual Physical Balance and the Link between Spirit Mind & Body and the Spiritual and Natural Worlds’ and we had Andrew Rooke from the Theosophical Society ( Pasadena ) speak at the June meeting on ‘The Significance of Ancient Egypt’.

Following the preparation by the Secretary Kim Bentley and the general Committee of a Way Forward Document various plans from this report are being implemented progressively.

The Musical Service on the first Sunday in the months is enjoyed with the lively music provided by Helmut Lopaczuk on his piano according.

We are looking to arrange a special service to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the dedication of the church in Mount Waverley in September.
The Ballarat Group continues to meet monthly with various members of the group leading the worship.

Plans for the Family Camp at Phillip Island in Dec/Jan are proceeding.

 

Auckland, New Zealand

In early March we celebrated the Lord’s bountiful harvest with a special service including donations of fresh fruit and vegetables. These were donated to a women’s refuge, who are always most appreciative to receive our contributions. After the service we shared a ploughman’s lunch with breads, cheeses, and salads. March also saw a successful working bee held at the church to tidy up the grounds and trim back some branches. The branch work was such a big job it went over two weeks, with people arriving for the evening service early to help finish the job. The evening service is held when there is a fifth Sunday and is a chance for people to share readings, prayers, songs or other things which have inspired them.

We celebrated Palm Sunday a week early in Auckland as a decision was made to hold it during the regular worship service on the first Sunday of April, rather than change the schedule and worship on Palm Sunday. Morning worship was also held for both Good Friday and Easter.

Congratulations to Sarah Keal who graduated with a BSc, we are glad she is now recovered from a brief stay in hospital. Also recovered is little Sophia Longstaff who came down with pneumonia.

We are sorry to farewell David Barf from the church committee and appreciate the time and work he has put into running the church.

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