Hot News & Humour








Do you know who this is?  I failed in business at the age of 22.  At 23 I ran for parliament and lost.  At the age of 24 I failed in a new business, however I was elected to parliament at 25.  My long-term girlfriend died when I was 26 and I had a nervous breakdown at 27.
I was defeated in a race for a seat in the upper house of parliament at 34 and was eventually elected at 37.  I was once again defeated for my parliamentary seat at 39 and again at 46.  I ran for vice president at 47 and was defeated, and finally elected President at the age of 51.  Who am I?  I am Abraham Lincoln. 

What an incredible story of persistence, and tenacity, and perseverance - and there are many other stories of people who have not given up because of setbacks or hardships - stories that give insight into the character of these people.

For instance, Winston Churchill seemed so dull as a youth, that his father thought he might be incapable of ever earning a living in England.

Charles Darwin did so poorly in school that his father once told him, "You will be a disgrace to yourself and your family”.  And Albert Einstein's parents feared their child was so dull, and performed so badly in high school subjects, all except for maths, that a teacher suggested he should drop out of school altogether. 

These are people who have beaten the odds, who have overcome difficulties and setbacks, to make a difference in our world.  Some of them have been knocked down and put down for years, but every time, they stood up, and had another go - despite seemingly huge obstacles and often profound difficulties.

Perseverance is not high on our list of important cultural values - which is unfortunate, as many parts of life require us to persist - especially when times are difficult, or we get knockbacks, or when life is challenging.  A friendship will not last if we are not willing to persevere when we disagree strongly about something, and if we want to become better at a particular sport, or musical instrument - then perseverance and practice are required. 

Perseverance is characterized by determination, will power, and grit.  It’s a positive and desirable characteristic in a person - and one that will allow us to achieve much in life.  Sometimes however, we can get so frustrated, or annoyed, by the processes of our culture, or our life situation - that we either give up, or scream out in exasperation.  Unfortunately, all our frustrated cries, and exasperated yelling, won’t really make any difference to a particular situation - although it might make us feel a bit better for a while.

What does make a difference, is if our pleas and the prayers of our hearts are channelled into actions that make a positive change to our world?  For instance, if people tried to fob Jesus off with half-baked answers - rather than letting them get away with it, he would keep asking ‘that’ question - you know, the one you don’t want to answer - the question that seems to cut right to the core of our being, and lay the truth out, for us to see. 

He never lets us get away with just saying what we think he wants to hear.  The vaguest hint, that our answer might be a pious platitude, or an automatic response, or trying to smooth things over and deflect the spotlight, and he’s back in our face - looking right through us, challenging our thinking, and examining the depths of our soul. 

Challenges and setbacks are the means to refine an idea, to improve a process, or to polish a thought - something to be embraced and grappled with, rather that used as an excuse to spit the dummy and give up.  Jesus used the process of challenge and overcoming obstacles as a means of teaching and refining the ministry skills and perseverance in his followers. 

So add perseverance to your list of character traits, and know that God is right there with each of us - experiencing our joy and our frustrations, feeling our delight and our distress - all the time, weaving something worthwhile and profound out of our pleas, our frustrations, and our prayers.

Peace, Rev. Bruce Wood..


    New Church Entry is Now Open   


Our new street entry is a pleasure to use.  It's twice the width of the old entry, with sweeping curves, gentle incline and new kerbing profile, which gives a smoother and easier transition to and from the road.  Larger vehicles - hearses, buses and trucks will also find it much easier to enter and exit our chuch property!

Monday 15 January 2018—Summer and light misty rain!
Old crossover entry and kerbing removed.

Formwork and Reinforcing mesh in place—ready for Shire inspection.

Wednesday 17 January 2018—Concrete pour.

Sunday 21 January 2018—Barriers removed and new entry is 'ready for church'.

COMPARE—Before and After

(modified Engineer's drawing)


   (PACE) Pastoral And Community Engagement Worker — Di Carson    


Thank you

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to our church family for all of the support and kindness that we received during our very trying times at the end of the year and over the Christmas period.  I know that we haven’t managed to thank all of you personally, but your hugs, calls and “just being there” made the load easier to bear.

Christmas Club

Christmas Club was held on 7th & 14th December and attracted fourteen young people.  Again a big thank you to those who came to help on the days with craft and games, who organised the food, cut out “angel” parts and helped to dress the children for the nativity – this seems to be their favourite part!  Also a big thank you to Robyn and Hannes Schaeffer who did an amazing job of teaching the Christmas story in a refreshing and whimsical way.  A great time was had by all.

Christmas Appeal

We again took part in the annual Uniting Church/Target Christmas appeal and were able to distribute over $1,000 in vouchers to needy families and well over $2,500 worth of toys and gifts. We do this by adding the vouchers and gifts that we receive to the combined churches effort that is coordinated by St Vincent de Paul.  Members of this congregation assisted in packing and distributing the hampers – so again thank you for your generosity and assistance.

Uniting Garden

The surveying of the garden is due to be completed by the end of February and this will allow finally for the planning of the earthworks so that permanent garden beds can be established.  Potatoes are currently being harvested and are available for congregational members – Play Group mums appreciated receiving potatoes last week.  See Tony Carson if you would like some!  A planting and harvesting schedule will be placed on the noticeboard in the near future.

Play Group

Play Group has commenced for the year with nine children from five families attending in the first week. Di Carson is leading the group with assistance from the parents/carers – if anyone is interested in becoming a helper an application form is available from the church office.

Social Justice

Contact Nick Peck if you would like to become involved in advocacy on social justice issues. Nick has placed a folder on the table of letters sent and received to various politicians/government departments regarding current social justice issues.  Nick would welcome your input and assistance!

I along with other members of this congregation are part of a working group headed up by
Dr Mark Zirnsak from the Justice and International Mission of the Uniting Church regarding the treatment of seasonal workers in Australia.  Much has been written in the press of late regarding poor work practices by some employers (mainly interstate) and 13 workers from the South Pacific have died while being on the program.  Many Uniting church congregations across the country are providing pastoral care for workers in their regions and the church is working to ensure that the workers are afforded the protections that are offered under Australian workplace laws.


Discussions are currently underway to bring our Vanuatan workers back to Warragul.  As a result of our visit to Vanuatu in November four projects have been identified that are worthy of support – all are in the early development stage to see what can be achieved, but the proposed projects involve assistance to the children’s ward at Port Vila hospital; building a cyclone proof community centre; providing desks and books etc to a school; and establishing/supporting a scholarship scheme to train primary school teachers for village schools.


    Men's Group     


On Monday 5 February, Royce Nuttall (one of our members) shared his story of growing up as part of a large family in Bendigo; his life long career in the PMG [Post Master General] (starting off as a telegram messenger during the war) and his passion for cricket, football and squash.

Over 20 of us were fortunate to hear Royce's insights into life in central Victoria and surrounding districts as he travelled to Post Offices from Ouyen to Warragul.  

A great way to start the 2018 men's group meetings!


  Direct Offering     


from our Treasurer, Graham

Have you considered making your offering by direct debit from your bank account or other financial institution?  A number of members of the congregation have opted for this arrangement, which has a number of benefits, namely:

- reduces the number of envelopes to be opened and counted each week;

- eliminates the need for cash transactions;

- allows for regular giving even if a member is absent from a service;

- provides the church with regular income.

The direct debit is completely confidential, with the Church receiving a total monthly credit to the Church’s UCA Cash Management Fund, with no detail provided of individual contributors.  In addition, contributors can alter or cancel the amount of their giving at any time.  Both application and amendment forms are available from the Church Office, and when completed should be forwarded directly to the UCA Melbourne office as per the form, by the contributor, to ensure confidentiality.

Some members who contribute directly may like to place a card indicating their direct offering into the offering plate each Sunday, and cards for this purpose are available from the table in the Foyer.

If you would like any additional information or forms,
please speak to Zandra, Heather or Graham.


   Memorial Garden — Scattering of Ashes    


On Sunday 21st January, following worship, a short service was held to scatter the ashes of our church member Rev Ruth Collett, in the Memorial Garden.  Ruth’s sister and brother scattered the ashes amongst the roses.


  World Day of Prayer - Service @ Warragul    


This WDP Service will be held at our Church on Friday 2nd March at 10.00am.

Come and find out more about Suriname (the smallest country in South America) and pray for the people of that country.

About the painting —  designed for WDP program
by Artist, Alice Pomstra – Elmont

Here we symbolically see the hands that receive the divine gift and pass it on to the next generations. Every day the sun shines over the land where animals and plants have found a place. The vegetables and fruit tell us that there is enough food for everyone. The blue hummingbird, the white ibis and the macaw are a few of the many bird species our country boasts. The blue frog (okopipi) is one of the protected animal species that can only be found in Suriname. The red and yellow heliconia is native to our country and the majestic kapok (ceiba) tree is a beautiful giant in our forest. The Voltzberg (Voltz Mountain) is one of Suriname’s many granite mountains. The seven women symbolize all women in Suriname who cherish this gift to pass it on to their children. Seven also symbolizes the seven days of God’s creation.

Read more about World Day of Prayer, and Alice Pomstra - Elmont



2018 Diary Dates

18 March

Congregational AGM

30 March

Good Friday - Service

1 April

Easter Day - Service

7 April

Church Fete




 Irish Logic    

Two Irishmen were sitting in a pub watching the Tour de France on TV.

Seamus shakes his head and asks, "Whoy da hell do they do dat?"

"Do what?" asks Mick.

"Go on them boikes for moiles and moiles, up and down hills, round t'e bends, day after day, week after week?
No matter if it's oicy, rainin’, snowin’, hailin’ . . . . why do dey torture themselves like that?"

"Tis all for the prestige and de money," replies Mick,
"you know de winner gets a half a million Euros”.

"Yeah, I understand dat," says Seamus, "But why do all the others do it?"