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

 

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!