Hot News & Humour
Our Church Office has a NEW Phone Number
One of the aspects of the Uniting Church which I value most is belonging to a church that has such a rich spectrum of relationships and activities. Through my membership of the church, I share in all these numerous dimensions of our shared faith.
As I became a minister in the newly fledged Uniting Church I could embrace our Methodist and Congregational friends with their traditions and visions. For my 3rd parish I was privileged with my family to spend 3 years serving in the Methodist Church in a place called Featherstone in West Yorkshire. It was good to experience the heritage of another part of our broad Uniting Church. You too share our Congregational-Methodist-Presbyterian heritage or whichever part of the church you have come from – or maybe you have not been in any church until now. Every one of us brings valued perspectives.
In each of my congregations I have encountered people with a diversity of theological perspectives and an even broader range of ways to live out their Christian faith, both personally and in their congregation and community. You too have numerous relationships and conversations, often not directly theological – but with an impact on your views and ideas.
Whenever I have conducted a wedding or a funeral, I have journeyed with women and men who have had their own unique life story, many of whom are only loosely involved with a church. You too have had many conversations about the key stages of our life journeys – in birth, marriage, success, illness, death and all the rest.
I have had opportunity to worship, think and pray with women and men of many denominations: Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed, Pentecostal. We all know people from other churches, faiths and none.
it is, you and I, as participants in a Uniting Church congregation, are part
of all this: our partnerships with churches in other countries, our
engagement in social justice issues, our encouragement of contemporary hymn
writing and art, our ecumenical relationships in Australia and around the
world, our numerous community service programs and institutions, our public
statements or our work with Australia’s indigenous people, even our
administrative support through Synod and Presbytery of congregational life
and new missional initiatives.
I can’t be involved in all that as an individual. I don’t even necessarily agree with all that is done. But I rejoice that God, you and I share in it together.
Christian faith is not all about me – valuable, interesting, challenging and rewarding as each personal experience may have been. These are opportunities in which God has been present, connecting me with others. By God’s amazing grace, through the presence of God in every human being, Christian faith is a shared enterprise.
Today in the UCA you and I, as members of Warragul UC, are part of a huge network of Christians and a huge range of people working for God.
Isn’t it good to belong to such a wide-ranging fellowship? It puts flesh on the statement in our old creed “I believe in the Communion of Saints”.
You just have to love our rich, shared faith!
Peace be with you,
Eric (Rev Eric Smith)
The following is about our monthly church newsletter
July 1989 saw the first edition of News First, with a print run of about 480 copies. Back then, our Parish comprised the congregations of Drouin, Darnum, Ellinbank and Warragul.
Our little photo copier in the Choir/Fellowship Room at Wesley literally ran very hot. For example, 480 x 4 double sided pages equated to 3840 passes through the copier!
Lindsay had a passion to keep everyone up to date with developments and directions for our church properties. He approached our minister, Rev Ross Turner.
Ross was very supportive of the suggested concepts of News First — to provide a monthly publication with personally labelled copies and a method of distribution.
The idea ‘took off’! News First would be delivered by Elders and designated Visitors, facilitating pastoral contacts.
Labels were produced on Lindsay’s tractor feed—dot matrix printer. Every so often there was a mis-feed. “Oh help!”
Ron was for many years ‘the keeper of the church rolls’. Data was transferred from a card system to computer, and a listing for News First recipients was compiled. Each month, Ron would deliver amendments for the labels on a slip of paper — until one memorable month, when Ron handed Lindsay a floppy disk, saying “Here are the roll amendments.”
Computers were rather new to us! Much of the newsletter content was typed, then pasted on to a ‘master sheet’ for photocopying. Hence multiple font sizes and styles!
News First content was more than just information about property! People news and happenings, a Parish Register, Diary of Worship Services, Meetings and Events; and an opportunity for exposition, guidance and encouragement to support our faithful Christian journey.
Each month on a Friday night, a team of six or more helpers would arrive to collate, staple, label and bundle the three or four double sided A4 page production.
‘Lindsay’s team’ included Christine & Ron, Dawn & Howard, Iris, Isobel & Alan, Olive & Don, Eileen & Les, Mary & Ian, Rilda & John. It was a rather social event!
One winter’s Friday night, the annual exodus to warmer climes such as Evans Head and Hervey Bay, resulted in just Iris and Lindsay reporting for duty. News First assembling took somewhat longer that night, but we persevered and won.
As a four congregation Parish, it was valuable to have our ‘reporters on the ground’ — and so four special columns were incorporated:
Drouin Doings—Bev (and later) Jeannie / Val / Pam / Elva / Alison
Ellinbank News—Iris / Gwen / Zandra
Warragul Whisperings—Judy / Marilyn
We are grateful to all the people who have contributed regular or occasional content for publication, including our Ministers: Ross Turner, Andrew Hope, Peter Beale, Graeme Harrison, Robyn Schaefer, Rosalind Terry, Chris Cohen, Bruce Wood; and congregation members, including: Diane, John, Edna, Stan, Betty, Des, Judith, Alan, Mary, Don, Lesley, Bruce and many, many others!
With the advent of a new photocopier in the church office, which could automatically print on both sides of an A3 page, Judy quickly realised the tasks of collating and stapling could be avoided.
This is the method we continue to use today!
Over the 30 years, various Editors/Teams have taken responsibility for production of News First.
Lindsay stepped down in July 1996, after a seven year stint as Editor, following a production run of 79 issues.
A new team from August 1996, comprised —
Pauline—Word processing & Layout
Jenni—Word processing & Labels
Judy—Diary & Warragul Whisperings
When the parish system was changed (and Warragul became a ‘stand alone’ congregation), News First became a production of the Warragul congregation.
The present team is Zandra, Lindsay and Heather. Current print run is approximately 175 copies, plus several copies emailed.
Over 26 years ago
plan for our relocation to Sutton Street was gradually coming to fruition.
A Slice of History from News First, April 1992
5644 3384 is the New Phone Number for our Church Office.
With the NBN roll-out upon us, and the imminent loss of our current phone line, it was time to take action.
As the church office already has a wireless connection for the internet (and it’s working just fine) we have added the phone (VoIP) to that system. There was a potential delay of ‘some weeks’ with ’porting’ the old phone number, whereas using a new number gave us immediate connectivity.
On Monday 1 July, Graham (one of our members) presented photographs from a recent trip Wendy and he took from Cairns to Cape York. They shared their experiences of their tour which was one of the first groups into the area following the wet season.
was a great overview of the Cape’s natural landscape covering coastlines,
estuaries, heathlands, tropical forests and Thursday and Horn Islands.
there they will be sent, like others from all over Victoria to the UCAF
Office in Melbourne where they are sorted ready for sale by a team of
volunteers every Thursday morning.
what a wonderful opportunity we have to help others by contributing to this
amazing Stamp Fund.
Over the Queen's Birthday weekend (in June) 3,000 young people took part in the State Youth Games at Lardner Park, and twenty six of these young people camped in our church.
The State Youth Games is an annual event run by the ministry arm of the Vic/Tas. Church of Christ, for church youth groups and youth organisations to form teams and come together over the weekend in sporting competitions.
Young people can invite friends from school, work, University or the community to join them in a casual Christian environment. Games are played in and around Warragul sports grounds during the day, and music and a speaker feature in the evenings.
of our Congregation provided showers for those staying at the church.
Do consider offering your home as a venue for showers next year as it is a
wonderful opportunity to meet some very enthusiastic young people.
An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.
The two elderly gentlemen were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant, and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly."
The other man said, "What's the name of the restaurant?"
The first man knitted his brow in obvious concentration, and finally said to his companion, "Aahh, What is the name of that red flower you give to someone you love?"
His friend replied, "A Carnation??"
"No. No. The other one" the man said.
His friend offered another suggestion, "The Poppy?"
"Nahhhh," growled the man. "You know the one that is red and has thorns."
His friend said, "Do you mean a rose?"
"Yes, yes, that's it. Thank you!" the first man said.
He then turned toward the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?"