BRISBANE AND S. E. QUEENSLAND
In Brisbane we held our Annual General Meeting on the 18th October and have a few changes of Officers. Matt Heldon has been elected to the position of Treasurer and Brian Heldon has become our Investment Officer. Previously Brian held both positions. Ken Barns was elected to the position of Secretary replacing Gaye Heldon who is still a committee member. All other positions remain the same.
Our search continues for a suitable location for our Church and we continue to hold services in the Trinity College Chapel.
Our teenage youth have planned a visit to the movies at Cineplex – Southbank to see Starwars – The force awakens. This being the first of several planned excursions in the following year.
Our last service of the year will be on the 20th December which will be our Christmas Service and Pagent.
Services for the New Year will commence with the Family service on the 7th February.
We wish all our sister societies a happy blessed Christmas and New Year.
A mobile service was held at the home of Randall and Pauline on October 18th. This was made easy with the use of a DVD ” In good faith” by Rev Julian Duckworth. The venue was at McCracken , a suburb of Victor Harbor, one hours drive south of Adelaide. It was a lovely day and after the service we all enjoyed a BBQ. It was good to have Ken Johnson there after his recent illness, June drove the Jaguar as Ken is not yet allowed behind the wheel.
Michael Delbridge continues to help a group of African refugees to assimilate into society, with paperwork and health checks required to gain employment. Michael also is the only white player in their soccer team that plays in matches in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.
Angel meditation is held in the Church hall on a Tuesday once a month. Book study of “Divine love and wisdom” is held on Wednesday evenings on a fortnightly basis.
Christmas is approaching fast and we in Adelaide wish you all a happy and loving time.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – 50TH JUBILEE REUNION
With the 50th anniversary of the building of our church at Ballarat St. looming, we planned to have a Reunion weekend on 19th-20th September. Invitations were sent out to people who attended in the past, especially young people who came to our camps in the 1980s. It was lovely to have 11 of these attend part of the weekend, bringing their own children with them. They enjoyed reconnecting and there was a great ‘buzz’ in the air.
We had two friends travelling from afar – Marian Fraser from Nelson and Clive Morgan from Waitomo. The Morgan family had hosted annual camps for us at their sheep farm near the Waitomo Caves, from 1959 –1987; a very important part of our church history.
We started our celebrations on the Saturday with a ‘drop in’ afternoon, where people could meet and reminisce over photo display boards, ranging back over the 50 years, featuring people, church events, outings and camps. We had activities for the children – Face painting provided by Holly and Pam (nee Keyworth), craft activities and a special child sized bubble maker provided by Lesley, Sharon and Tammy (nee Keal)
Special visitors were Gerry Howe and his grown up family. Gerald is the oldest son of the late Rev. Ted Howe. Although they had not had much to do with the church here, they were invited to come as a tribute to their father/ grandfather’s huge contribution to the building of the church. He not only played a big part with the actual building, alongside Norman Sutton, but also created the indoor furniture. He made the pulpit, lectern, baptismal stand and all the pews, with special carvings as well. So he added many unique features to the church, as well as being the minister throughout it all. After enjoying a scrummy afternoon tea, we set up the tables for our formal meal next day, before heading back home for a rest.
On returning next morning it was so lovely to have a full church for our thanksgiving service, reminding us of bygone times! Rev. Richard Keyworth started the service and then handed over to Rev. John Sutton. John showed us pictures of the refugees we had recently seen on our T.V.s desperately trying to find a new home for themselves where they would feel safe. How important it is for us all to have a home where we feel safe and loved. This is what the church has provided for us over the past 50 years – a spiritual home where we are accepted, just as we are, by our loving Heavenly Father.
John then produced a model of the church with its big sloping roof. He invited everyone to write on a ‘post it note’, something they had received from the church over the years and come up to stick it on the roof. The children meanwhile were working on tables up at the front, colouring and decorating words from the Two Great Commandments and The Golden Rule, to stick on the other side of the roof. It was good to see everyone being involved in the service.
Afterwards we had a chat and a drink while waiting for the caterers to arrive with our ‘ready-to-go’ luncheon. All went according to plan and we enjoyed a very nice sit-down meal, for over 70 people. Richard was our M.C. We enjoyed Clive Morgan giving a talk about the Waitomo camps, between courses. At the end we had the cutting of a cake by our oldest member, Doreen Akrigg, a toast to the church’s future and greetings from various friends. Some more memories were shared before we cleared a space for a group photo. Soon we were reluctantly saying our goodbyes, with hopes of meeting up again sometime (maybe for the Christmas service?)
Everyone agreed it had been a most successful and enjoyable weekend with nearly 100 people attending at some time or other!
THE NEW CHURCH IN VICTORIA
Services continue each Sunday, as before, with our two Worship Leaders basically alternating Sundays; however, this can be stressful especially when either of them is away on holiday. Plans are well under way for some visiting Ministers from interstate next year which will be helpful. The first Sunday of the month is the Musical Service with Helmut Lopaczuk now playing the accordion for all the music required with words projected onto a screen. We were pleased to have Rev. David Millar from Adelaide visit during September. It was a busy but much appreciated weekend for him with a Swedenborg Association meeting on the Friday night, a Workshop on Saturday which 10 people were able to attend and a Service on Sunday morning which included the Holy Supper.
On Sunday 15th November we were delighted to have Mrs Judy Robinson from Ballarat lead us in worship. Judy’s personal approach was appreciated by all.
Towards the end of the service Karl Robinson and Neville Jarvis invited Norma Whelan and John Cook to come before the congregation to express their belief in the Sacred Scriptures and the teachings of the New Church. It was lovely to have Norma’s daughter, Robyn, with us for the occasion.
After the service and refreshments those members and friends who wished to stay on assembled in the hall for a special meeting of members. This being the first general meeting since the passing of Rev. Chris Skinner, there was a minute’s silence. The first two items were to formalise Norma Whelan’s and John Cook’s membership of The New Church in Victoria by their signing the Members Roll. They were welcomed with enthusiastic applause. The next item was consideration of a new Constitution which was unanimously approved. At that point a buffet-style lunch, kindly provided by Judy Robinson, was served during which discussion of the final agenda item took place. This involved activities and suitable leadership to offer more people our helpful life-related teachings, and generating the means for achieving this. The Church Board will now proceed to fully examine the feasibility of all options in terms of enabling the Church to better fulfil its objectives, with relocation to more suitable premises being a possibility.
Our organist, Graeme Scoble, has recently had a bad fall requiring several days in hospital. He is now having treatment for a pinched nerve and, although currently needing a walking frame, is making a good recovery. For the two services where he was unable to play the organ we used recorded hymn tunes.
We wish all members and friends of the Church in Australia and New Zealand a joyous Christmas and a peaceful and safe 2016.