The Auckland Society has had a quiet winter this year. In June we celebrated New Church Day on the Sunday before the 19th with a worship service followed by a shared lunch. Children were presented with books from the church thanks to Jenny Keal and the Swedenborg Centre for Spiritual Growth.
Also in June we held a lay-led evening worship on the fifth Sunday based on the theme of “Let there be light”. July was marked by the 101st birthday of Helen Tayler, we wish her comfort during her 102nd year. On the final day of August we held an evening service themed on “Spring and new beginnings” with a wonderful variety of contributions from worshippers.
In early July the Perth group held its second retreat for the year, again at the same Busselton venue. Rev. David Moffat and his wife Pam flew from Canberra to be with us for the weekend. The theme was “All religion relates to life” and David led us ably in the discussions and worship throughout the weekend. There were classes for the six children organized by Revs. David and Trevor Moffat and Pam Moffat prepared interesting activities for the very young. Twenty-three of us attended and we all agree that it was a very successful event. Thanks go to David and Pam for their efforts and their company.
Another retreat is planned for November, this time at a venue in the Murray River area about 80 kilometres south of Perth. Rev. David Millar will be leading us this time and everyone here is looking forward to it.
Rev. Todd Beiswenger joined us for a weekend in early September and led us in further discussion and worship. The theme was “God is good”. Our Saturday morning tea/discussion was held at the Dome coffee lounge in a private room and this proved to be a stimulating experience for those members of the Perth New Church and the Aurora Circle who attended. The Sunday service was also well attended by New Church members from both groups. Overall it was a very pleasant time, with Todd’s somewhat different approach being very welcome and much appreciated.
Rev.Trevor Moffat and Joy have recently returned to Perth after being away for several weeks in the north of the State. Joy has been continuing her work with REVISE, this time with the children on a remote property east of Port Hedland benefiting from her tutorial skills.
Many of our members here are making plans for the journey to Victoria for the annual Summer School to be held once again at Phillip Island. A few are driving over but most are flying. There will be over a dozen coming from Perth, making it the largest contingent from WA for some time. We are all eagerly anticipating the experience, and looking forward to catching up with our many friends from other parts of Australia and overseas.
Best wishes to all members and friends everywhere.
David Walker, Leader
Brisbane Society/South East Queensland
On Sunday October 5th the Church held its 150th Annual General Meeting. The meeting welcomed Rev. Darren Brunne to his first A.G.M., as our Minister. Mr Paul Evans has joined our committee and Brisbane’s two N.C.I.A. Representatives are Mrs. Beverley Sheppard and Mrs. Julie Barns. All other office bearers were elected unopposed. At this meeting the Society welcomed two new members, Mrs Ruth Evans and Mrs Kaye Macfarlane both have been regular attendees to our services for many years.
Peter Larsen and Eva Samachis celebrated their marriage in Romania on the 16th August. On Saturday October 4th at Mt Tamborine in front of family and friends a Blessing ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Ian Arnold. The Society extends its congratulations and best wishes.
Mrs Lyn Williams has had to undergo further major surgery and family has reported her condition is improving rapidly.
Quite a few people went away to escape the winter but most of them have returned, with adventures to tell and photos to show.
The back deck outside the hall downstairs has been completely rebuilt and looks great. There has also been the decision to install an electric chair lift up the side of the church which will be a blessed relief to quite a few mountaineers. Each of the dozen steps down to the hall, or worse, back up, is twice as high as it normally would be anywhere else!
One of our eldest members, Cynthia Marcroft, sadly broke her wrist but is now doing very well. She said that it could have been far worse.
The day workshop ‘Staying Spiritual in a Crazy World’ run by Julian and Todd in tandem on August 30th in nearby Chatswood lacked large numbers but was greatly enjoyed and benefitted from by everyone who came along. It may get tried elsewhere down the track.
Ruth Duckworth celebrated her 60th birthday on her birthday, Sunday August 3rd, with a lunch after the service, with 60 people there, all with some connection with the wider Sydney Society. Nice things were said, and sung, and the Sydney Society presented Ruth with a wonderful four wheel move in any direction carry on luggage case.