Society News

ADELAIDE

Our Church has now been finally repaired and restored to its original glory and was back in use for the service on 26th November. This re-opening was a special occasion as we were blessed with a visit from Rev. David Moffat who conducted the service with a sermon on “Judgement” and also performed a baptism: the great granddaughter and great grandson of June and Ken Johnson, Zoey and Jaxon’s father Daniel is New Church baptised by Rev. John Teed. Also Zoey and Jaxon are the 6th generation New church baptised in the family starting early/mid 1800s in the U.K.
The Reverends Richard Keyworth, John Teed and now David Moffat have performed baptisms for the same family in this country.
A shared luncheon was enjoyed before Rev. Moffat left for a meeting with Rev. Millar.
A carol service will be held on December 10th with a BBQ afterwards.
Adelaide sends love and goodwill to all the societies and their members.

Randall Rabone

BRISBANE

The A.G.M. in October saw both our Secretary and Treasurer stand down from their respective positions due to family, personal and work commitments. Fortunately, Brian and Gaye Heldon, both of whom previously held the Treasurer and Secretary positions, offered to again fill these important roles with the Society.

The meeting received and enthusiastically accepted an application from Mrs Vivien Lawler (Darren Lawler’s wife) to become a member of the Church. It is anticipated her formal induction will be held during the family Christmas Service.

Shortly after the A.G.M. our newly-appointed Secretary, Gaye, underwent an operation for hip surgery. From reports the surgery was successful and Gaye is recuperating and well on the road to recovery.
Christmas Eve we will conduct our carol service and we anticipate having Alison Chambers, our previous organist playing at this service.

The annual Church camp at Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast is fast approaching with final preparations nearing completion. We all anticipate the weather will live up to Queensland’s reputation at this time of year. Hot and Humid!!! Bring your 50plus suntan lotion.

To all our friends and sister Societies we wish you a holy, joyful, safe, peaceful and happy Festive Season and may 2018 meet your wishes and expectations.

Diane Thompson

PERTH

Our main focus and activity during the past months has been a very successful and enjoyable retreat. We met together at the Swan Valley Recreation Camp in the Swan Valley just out of Perth on the weekend of November 10-12. The weekend began with a presentation by Trevor and Joy on their three months in the north, with photographs showing the beautiful Millstream national park in the Pilbara. Following on showing life on the outback station of Koordarrie. Here Trevor fulfilled a very useful role of cook during the Station muster, cooking for up the 15 each evening.He became a dab hand at scones, sausage rolls and pasties to fill a hungry crew.
Joy spent a lovely three weeks in the schoolroom assisting the children with their lessons through School of the Air. All this lead into the theme for the weekend being usefulness. We went along having read several passages from the writings on being useful and the joy that brings to others but also to ourselves.
Saturday morning saw the theme being developed further with useful discussion.
Our two lovely children, Finn and Audrey Ralls enjoyed a session with their grandparents. Being quite hot some of us enjoyed a swim in the pool in the afternoon.
On Saturday evening Trevor lead us in further discussion followed by a meditative time together. As we were obliged to leave the site by 10 am Sunday most of us met at a lovely crafty cafe in the Swan Valley where indulgences in scanned, cake and coffees completed a lovely time together.
Our minds now turn towards the coming Christmas season. Collections are being made to make a donation to Saint Barnabas to assist the homeless.
A Christmas family service on December 17 will be followed by a Christmas lunch contributed to by the ladies of the group.
Trevor and Joy are feeling so very thankful for the medical profession and the health system in general when following a routine mammogram Joy was recalled and needed to have a lumpectomy. She has recovered well and looking forward to the future with confidence.
We take this opportunity to wish all readers a very happy Christmas.May the wonderful story of the Lord’s birth into the world be a source of inspiration to you all.

 

MELBOURNE

We are delighted to have Rev Glenn Alden and his wife Mary with us now, and they are, very readily and quickly, leading our church activities. We are all looking forward to their leadership and guidance over the next few months.
Glenn wrote just before they arrived, “Mary and I are looking forward to our fourth Christmas in Australia! What a blessing those Christmases have been. Though we were apart from our own biological families, and from many of the traditional things that make up Christmas in the Northern hemisphere, we were embraced by new families, families who enthusiastically embraced us and wished to share Christmas as they have celebrated it in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Our news of people: The past six months have been particularly difficult for Adam Okienko with periods in hospital where he has been receiving treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy. This has led to periods of feeling quite debilitated and tired. Currently the specialists are assessing whether or not further treatment is required at this time. Adam is feeling stronger in himself and we send him best wishes for an ongoing improvement to his condition; please keep Adam in your prayers.
We have been sorry to hear that Edna Sharp has not been well recently either. We trust that Edna will soon be on the mend and back to full health. Best wishes also go to Edna and husband Gary at this time.

Helmut Lopaczuk

AUCKLAND

At our AGM the church formally thanked three members for their service to the church.
John Mellor has stood down as President of the Church Committee after three years in the role. Although no longer a committee member John has said that he is looking forward to continuing to fellowship here at Ellerslie. We know that we can look forward to his thoughts about the Writings and his keen interest in analysing societal shifts.
Doreen Akrigg has moved into her new home and has passed on her myriad responsibilities that she has faithfully carried out for many, many years. Doreen has quietly and reliably oiled the cogs in the church. No doubt we will soon be very aware of just how many strings she has gathered together when something comes undone.
We also thanked The Rev. John Sutton. John has been retired for some time and along with Rev. Richard Keyworth (also retired) in the absence of a new minister, they have both continued taking a service once a month. At the AGM, John said he was stepping down from regularly taking the first service of the month. However, John has generously said that he would still be available for Festive services or if needed. John has also offered to coordinate our service on the first Sunday, and will use a ‘streamed’ sermon. John feels it is important to still have someone welcoming people to the service, leading in prayer, and giving a children’s talk. We are grateful for this input as it will mean that a streamed service, which could somewhat disembodied, will connect us in “real time’. John often involves the congregation in his sermons. Everyone contributes, including the children who share their thinking and are enlisted in handing out song sheets, pens, paper and other items that enable participation. Watching children tentatively leaving their parent’s lap to participate is always special.
We are very blessed at Ellerslie. We have two “retired” ministers who love to nourish. It is important however that as a congregation we do not take their generosity for granted by continuing to rely on them to shoulder responsibilities in the church that other members could meet. The introduction of a “streamed service” will enable us to think differently about the shape of things to come. We are taking first steps. We will share our journey with you.

Susan Heeps

 

This is the Pohutukawa which is the traditional Christmas bush of New Zealand which flowers abundantly at this time of the year in wonderful red flowers.

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