June News

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unitingchurch.mr@bigpond.com

 

Breakfast Club – Food and Connection

Every Friday morning during school term a dedicated group of volunteers from the Margaret River Uniting Church run a school breakfast initiative at Margaret River Primary School – Breakfast Club!

In a school as big as Margaret River Primary it’s hard to calculate exactly how many kids we come into contact with, but it is estimated we serve over 200 children each week.  The food is obviously a big part of the program, offering breakfast to children who might sometimes miss out or go hungry.  When it’s open and available to all children, there is no stigma for kids that may be genuinely hungry, or missing out on breakfast at home.  You never quite know how much a friendly face, and a bowl of cereal or a warm piece of toast and Vegemite might mean to a child struggling at home or school.

There are other aspects which flow from the time spent at Breakfast Club.  Our church is part of a vibrant wider community with a lot of families, and our relationship with the local school is important to us.  IMG_0161Each week our volunteers greet a steady stream of kids with a caring smile, and a healthy breakfast to start their day.  It’s also been wonderful connecting with the familiar faces of children we’ve seen grow from our other activities such as playgroup, Ready Set Go and Uniting kids.  And as the weeks and months go on we are seeing regular children come in and say ”good morning” and chat about their week. It has been good to see the growing confidence with the kids, helping them learn basic skills such as buttering their own toast, lining up, sharing and even just saying hello and thank you. We hope that dropping in to Breakfast Club on Fridays is a good start to their day.

IMG_1031Breakfast Club is run by wonderful volunteers, and supported by the staff at Margaret River Primary School.  We are sponsored by Foodbank WA which provides a lot of the non-perishable items such as cereal, tinned fruit and baked beans. It is also made possible because of the generous ongoing support from our local businesses – Riverfresh IGA and Brumby’s for perishable items such as milk, butter and bread.

Thank you to these businesses and our volunteers for helping make Breakfast Club possible!

Farewell to Cathie

On Sunday 29 April we celebrated the journey we have shared with Rev Cathie Lambert in her ministry with our congregations and community at Margaret River and Augusta. It was a wonderful time of reflection, storytelling, laughter and some tears.

There was quite a Wizard of Oz theme through the whole morning, one of Cathie’s favourite movies, and a wonderful theme of journeying.  For the combined service the church was decorated with a yellow brick road running down the centre of the aisle.  During our intercessory prayers we were invited to place footsteps along the road, an opportunity to name the many things and people we would like to give thanks for.  We also shared a photographic reflection of some of the highlights of Cathie’s ministry over the last 7 years.

After the service we shared a morning tea, and Cathie was given a Wizard of Oz themed gift to see her on her next adventure in life.

Thank you Cathie for the many gifts you have shared with us. We wish you and your family much love and blessings on the next steps of your journey.

 

Ready, Set Go…2018!

Do you have a child who will be enrolling in Kindy in 2019? Ready, Set Go…to Kindy could be the perfect way to ease them into their new routine. Commencing in Term 2, the Margaret River Uniting Church are running this great pre-kindy program with sessions facilitated by a qualified Early Childhood teacher and assistant.Playgroup Rainbow
The program is run much like a Kindy class with children staying for the 2 hour session without their parents, learning to listen and follow instructions, take part in fun craft and game activities, and the all-important ‘fruit time’! This will be the seventh year the Uniting Church are running this highly successful program, and are delighted to be offering sessions for terms 2 – 4 of 2018.
“Thank you all so much for such a wonderful term of RSG!!!! Maddy loved it. The activities were incredible and we cherish the work she brought home. We really appreciate the program and everyone I have spoken to speaks very highly of the it.“, RSG parent Term 4 2016.
Playgroup Playdough

Places fill quickly, with a limit of 12 places per class, so be sure to enrol your child soon. Sessions in Term 2 commence Wednesday 2nd May at a cost of $130 for the term. If you would like to know more contact Mary on 0429 797 767 or email elton5@bigpond.com.

Deep Listening – Engage, Connect and Listen

Deep Listening Festival Margaret River – 6 & 7 April 2018

The inaugural Deep Listening Festival invites you to step outside your normal busy schedule to engage, connect and listen. Through an impressive collection of speakers, presenter and artists you will hear wonderful stories to inspire and enrich. Listen to positive stories of overcoming adversity, be inspired by art and hear from the artists, and find ways to broaden your understanding of the community around you.

The festival, hosted by the Margaret River Uniting Church, arose from the congregation’s desire to engage with the wider community, and to share stories of resilience through music, storytelling and art. The inspiration for the weekend came from a similar festival run in rural Victoria called ‘Sacred Edge’.

We are excited to have the delightful ABC ‘gardening guru’ Sabrina Hahn as one of our guest presenters. Sabrina Hahn is a whole lot of hort with heart – master gardener, storyteller of note, qualified horticulturalist with a passion for the creation of sustainable environments that bring life back into cities and rural areas. Sabrina will share some of her story about her connection with nature, and how that has helped her to heal from traumas of her childhood.
It will also feature Scott Darlow from the Yorta Yorta region along the Murray River in Victoria. Scott is a highly respected musician and storyteller who presents sought after workshops for youth. His mission is to unite cultures through his love of music, promoting forgiveness, love, understanding, tolerance and empathy.
The impressive festival lineup will also feature local’s from Undalup Association, Bella Burgemeister with Bella’s Challenge; Ian Hackett from Tig-Le House and Sean Allen from Beyond Blue. We are lucky enough to have Dr Robert Hoskin talk about his relationship with north west Mowanjum community and Lisa Moriarty an international Master Labyrinth Maker.
An exciting part of the Festival will be the opening night where new art commissioned especially for the festival will be on display, featuring local artists Aidan Lee Smith, Laurie Posa, Rebecca Cool, Karin Luciano, Joanna Alferink and Cynamon Aeria. At the Friday sundowner you will be able to get a first glimpse at the artwork, meet some of the artists and hear some of their inspiration for the commissioned work.
We would love to see people from the Margaret River community and beyond join us at Deep Listening. Registration options include full day and half day options. The program is available on our website.
To register or for more information visit https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/deep-listening-festival or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/deeplisteningmruc

Art Exhibition DL

March 2018 Newsletter

If you missed the March edition of the Leeuwin Link in your email inbox, or have visited our website and want to know more about the activities of our church community you can read the March Newsletter by CLICKING HERE

World Day of Prayer 2018

The Uniting Churches in both Margaret River and Augusta hosted the World Day of Prayer service this year for the wider ecumenical community.  The theme country was Suriname.  The following is the address Rev Cathie Lambert gave to both services on the day.  See below for photos from both services.  Special thanks to the organising committee from each congregation for their work on preparing the service, and decorating the churches.

In Suriname, there are many folk tales from different cultures due to the diversity of people living there. One group of these originates in Africa and was brought by the slaves to Suriname. These are the Anansi tales. Anansi is a spider that often acts and appears as a man. He is synonymous with skill and wisdom of speech. Anansi is often celebrated as a symbol of slave resistance and survival. He is known for his trickery and cunning ways.
One story is “Anansi and the dispersal of wisdom”. It goes like this. Anansi was already very clever, but he decided to gather together all the wisdom he could find and keep it in a safe place. With all the wisdom sealed in a pot, he was still concerned that it was not safe enough, so he secretly took the pot to a tall thorny tree in the forest. His young son, Ntikuma, saw him go and followed him at some distance to see what he was doing.
The pot was too big for Anansi to hold while he climbed the tree, so he tied it in front of him. Like this the pot was in the way and Anansi kept slipping down, getting more and more frustrated and angry with each attempt.
Ntikuma laughed when he saw what Anansi was doing. “Why don’t you tie the pot behind you, then you will be able to grip the tree?” he suggested. Anansi was so annoyed by his failed attempts and the realisation that his child was right that he let the pot slip. It smashed and all the wisdom fell out. Just at this moment a storm arrived and the rain washed the wisdom into the stream. It was taken out to sea, and spread all around the world, so that there is now a little of it in everyone. Though Anansi chased his son home through the rain, he was reconciled to the loss, for, he says: “What is the use of all that wisdom if a young child still needs to put you right?”
There is much truth in this story about humanity. It seems in our nature to want to be right or to assume we hold all the knowledge. We are raised within a particular social framework and taught from a young age about “us” and “them”. We are taught to fear, to discriminate and to name as other. Anansi’s learning to listen to the child could very well be a lesson for us all.
Today, perhaps more than ever, we are a divided world; Christian and Muslim, male and female, black and white, liberal and progressive, gay and straight. Our dividing into factions or tribes gives us a sense of security and safety. We all do it. We join groups where we feel we belong. We live in areas where we feel comfortable. We look around for a church that fits us. We associate with people who speak the same language and behave the same way – the right way! This has been true throughout the centuries, but is more pronounced now in our more global world.
I cannot speak about what it is like to live in Suriname. However, from what I read, it is a place of many different cultures, religious groups and languages living relatively peacefully together. It is a land where a huge number of species of flora and fauna co-exist in a beautifully diverse ecosystem. Perhaps, in their choosing of today’s theme, “All God’s Creation is Very Good!”, the people of Suriname have a deeper understanding of what this really means.
The creation story we have heard today focuses at every point of creation on one statement from God, “And God said it was good.” Living in this stunning part of the world, I find it easy to look at the world around me and say “It is good”. In fact, this seems to be an understatement. We see the value and beauty of the world around us, and yet, we have not cared for it as good stewards.
But do we look at ourselves and our fellow human beings around us and say, “It is good”. Do we see ourselves as a beloved creation of God? Do we see the person sitting next to us as a beloved creation of God? But perhaps more importantly, do we see the person that we disagree with, the one who we consider wrong, the one who we fear, as a beloved creation of God? It’s easy to say “Yes, of course”, but the truth is in our actions.

Perhaps, Suriname, in bringing us this theme on a day of world wide prayer, is inviting us to a third way. As followers of Jesus, who himself took a third way, we are called into a kingdom not of “us” and “them”, or male and female, or Jews and Gentiles, but one where every person is known as a beloved creation of God. This is a place where we move beyond the dualistic thinking of the world and see in every person we meet, in every living thing, a creation for whom God has said “It is good”. We cannot do this alone. We can only come close to this hope by a deep understanding and connection to the one who created us. And this is why prayer is so important. This is way of being in the presence of God. We all do it differently. We all have different languages for how we speak about it. But prayer is the place where we hear God whisper, “You are my creation. You are good. You are my beloved”. And when we begin to truly believe that voice, we will believe it about others also.