Coffee Chat and More

Every second Monday a group from our church community gets together in Cowaramup to chat over a cuppa.  Some bring their craft projects, others simply enjoy the informal company over a hot drink.

“These people are my friends. They are like sisters.”

The initiative began about three and a half years ago after a casual discussion over a cuppa was being enjoyed midweek by a few congregational members.  The value and enjoyment of meeting and chatting was discussed, and so they decided to open it up to the congregation by way of a regular time and place to meet fortnightly.

Since its beginnings it has been a popular regular meeting space, and highly valued by those who attend.  We asked some of our regulars what it is they appreciate about Coffee Group, and these were some of the responses:

“This is where I can catch up with my church friends and share ideas and
skills.”

“Conversation is never dull on coffee mornings. We discuss a lot of issues
and I learn a lot, listening to different opinions.”

“It used to be something I attended if there was nothing else to do. Now I
mark it clearly in my diary so that nothing interferes with it.”

“It gives me a reason to get going on a Monday morning. What will I wear? I
watch the clock so that I’m not late.”

“These people are my friends. They are like sisters.”

“We don’t always see eye to eye but we are confident we can be ourselves.”

“We have seen many craft projects completed in the nearly four years we have
been meeting. But this is by no means the reason I go. Even if I sit and do
nothing, I am part of a supportive group that is an extension of my church
and my faith.”

It’s wonderful that something as simple as getting together over a cuppa can be such an important part of people’s week!

Coffee Group meets fortnightly on Monday mornings from 10am at Smithereens Cafe in Cowaramup.  If you would like to know more you can email the office and we will pass on the information – unitingchurch.mr@bigpond.com

Coffee Chat pic 1.jpg
A few of the Coffee Chat group meeting at Smithereens Cafe in Cowaramup

July Leeuwin Link

The July newsletter is now available! 

The combination of school holidays and winter make July a bit of a quiet month for our regular activites, but there’s still plenty happening in our wider church and community.

Click on the Calendar page for the July calendar to see what’s happening in our congregation.  You will also find the roster sheets for June – August.

The 15th Assembly meets from 8-14 July 2018 in Melbourne. You can follow the discussions, statements and decisions of this meeting by going to the 15th Assembly Website – link is in our newsletter.

CLICK HERE

leeuwin link screenshot

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!

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

English Club – Friendship and Learning

English Club is starting fresh for 2018 with a new regular day and time of Tuesdays from 5-7pm. The change was made to accommodate the changing needs of the volunteer leaders, and for the group its directed towards, many of who work on Thursday evenings in hospitality, or prefer an earlier start time as they are working early mornings in the vineyards.

We had a great kick-off to the year with 14 participants and 6 leaders on the first day back, lots of food and lots of laughter! There was an excellent vibe in the room, which is a good forecast for the rest of the term.  The majority of participants were from Taiwan and Japan in the first week, however anyone who doesn’t speak English as a first language is welcome, so that includes all of Asia and South America and Europe! English Club is an informal collective of people with participation changing week to week, and seasonally depending on the work available at the time.

Plans for the term involve interesting discussion and games around relevant topics.  Learning is through casual conversation and discussion, in a supportive and caring environment of volunteer leaders. Last Tuesday we talked about summer vacations and what people do, followed by a made-up ‘crazy story’ about Uncle Lee who wants to come to Australia on holiday and what we would advise to prepare him for the visit.

Some grant money has been received to support English Club activities and we’re hoping to have a ‘field trip’ to Ferguson Valley before the weather turns. Stay tuned for more information about this as plans are finalised!

English Club have a Facebook group you can request to join – CLICK HERE or to find out more contact Barbara Maidment – yuri2au@gmail.com

English Club 2018
English Club 2018 Discussion Time