Fundraising BBQ was Great!

On Sunday 10th November the Margaret River Uniting Church held a Great Outback BBQ to raise money for Australian communities affected by drought.

The Great Outback BBQ is an initiative of Frontier Services, an agency of the Uniting Church in Australia. Frontier Services works in regional and remote communities across Australia, offering connection, support and advocacy to those in need of a listening ear, a friendly face and a helping hand.  Their vision is one of ‘an Australia where everyone who lives in our regional and remote areas are cared for and supported, and have a mantle of safety and well-being.’ Read more about Frontier Services here – https://frontierservices.org/

There was a festive feel in the air as the BBQ kicked off in the carpark, helped by the wonderful entertainment provided by the Uke Club Margaret River and people from the church and community stopping for delicious lunch and a chat.  A big thanks to Woolworths Margaret River for the generous donation of the sausages and buns for our BBQ! Thanks also to our wonderful team of volunteers who helped make it happen, providing a mouthwatering array of salads and cake, giving their time, and promoting the event to the community.  During the lunch Chris Penfold shared some of her experiences volunteering with BlazeAid – helping rebuild fences in farming communities affected by fire and other natural disasters, and Mary talked about the work of Frontier Services across Australia.

We’re pleased to announce that a total of $1000 was raised at the event and will be forwarded on to the Frontier Services Great Outback BBQ appeal. If you missed the event you can still donate online HERE

Here are some photos from our event.

 

Deep Listening Forum News

Deep Listening Forum Committee Announcement – August 2019

Deep Listening Forum V5
Our Committee met on Tuesday 20th August and after thoughtful consideration have decided to postpone the next Deep Listening Forum which was due to be in March next year.

There were a number of reasons for this including that there are now only four of us on the committee, many people have been away over winter and others have been ill. This has all put us on the back foot with our timeline of organisation and feel it would put us under too much pressure to be ready by March.

The topic of trauma had been chosen for next year, and we are still committed to that, as there is a great need in Margaret River. It is such an important issue and we need to make sure we get it right and also involve others in the community in our planning. We also need to source funding all of which will take more time than is available on our current timeline.

Brian, our Treasurer, has organised the new bank account for Deep Listening Forum and there has already been a donation deposited. The account details are:

Margaret River Uniting Church
BSB 016-520
Account No. 317019017
Notation: ”DLF”

We still plan to meet regularly and to encourage others to join our committee. Please talk to any of us if you are interested.
(Rene, Elizabeth, Muriel and Mary)

Ten Years of English Club!

On Tuesday 21 May 2019, some 20 supporters, leaders past and present, and participants past and present, gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Margaret River English Club with a Korean meal prepared by chef JD Kim, a former participant and now owner of Margaret River Kimchi, and a 6-layer rainbow celebration cake from Grab A Spoon, Cowaramup.

10 years ago, on 21 May 2009, 6 young backpackers, all from Korea and all on working holiday visa in Margaret River, gathered to begin casual conversation in English, under the auspices of the Margaret River Uniting Church.

Since that time, nearly 2000 young adults have passed through the program. Taiwan has had the most participants, followed closely by South Korea, however, 9 other Asian countries, 15 European countries and 4 countries from South America have all been represented by one or more participants.

Additionally, some 26 local folks have assisted by being discussion or small group leaders over the years.

At our celebrations, it was noted that 11 marriages have also come out of English Club friendships!

Participants were invited to relate a memory of their time in English Club. Several funny stories were related, along with heartfelt thanks to the Uniting Church and the community of Margaret River for their support.

English Club continues to meet every Tuesday evening from 5 – 7pm during school terms. New participants are always welcome.

New discussion leaders are also invited to make contact with Barbara Maidment, Convenor, on yuri2au@gmail.com

Happy Birthday!Article credit to Barbara Maidment, photos by Theo Matthews.

The Margaret River Uniting Church congregation are so grateful for the dedicated work of Barbara, and the other volunteers that have helped make English Club happen, and of course to the wonderful participants who have passed through our doors over the last ten years! 

 

May Leeuwin Link

Do you receive our monthly newsletter called the ‘Leeuwin Link’? This informative round up of information, events and news from the Margaret River and Augusta Uniting Church, the wider community and beyond is sent out by email.  If you wish to subscribe simply send an email to – unitingchurch.mr@bigpond.com and let us know to add you to the list!

In case you missed it, here is where you can find the latest one:

May Leeuwin Link – Mailchimp

 

Reflections on Deep Listening

Our 2019 Deep Listening Festival, on the theme of “Finding a Place to Call Home”, was inspirational. We’re finding that we are being changed by this experience in ways which deepen our compassion and faith.

Homelessness, multicultural difficulties of settling in a new country and Margaret River and our inner home were explored through sharing stories, experiences, art and music. The dynamic presentations and conversations, complimented by the interactive art and music, created a community of people who were surprised at new learnings and heartfelt connections.

Why ‘deep listening’?
Sometimes we only half hear, or find someone else’s point of view difficult, or perhaps we just don’t have time to let their story unfold. We don’t quite know where it’s going and occasionally where we think it was going is absolutely not where a conversation ends up!

Ultimately we hoped that the community would think about the myriad of aspects of “Finding a Place to Call Home” in a way that they may not have thought about before.

This Deep Listening Festival gave us the opportunity for change in what we think is valuable, and our capabilities to respond to issues which can be painful and leave people on the edge of the community. When we can do this there is a change in culture and community hopefully for the common good.

A BIG thanks to our amazing team of volunteers who helped make Deep Listening possible this year, and to our wonderful contributors and participants. Plans are already underway for 2020, with a slight name change to ‘Deep Listening Forum’ and a growing list of ideas for another meaningful community event.  Follow our Facebook page for news and updates throughout the year – https://www.facebook.com/deeplisteningmruc/

Thanks to Kay Dowling for contributing to this reflection.

Please enjoy looking through some photos from our wonderful weekend! Big thanks to Clare Smith for capturing these moments!