Hot News & Humour




 An Audio Loop
is installed
in the church
for people
with a 'T switch'
on their
hearing aids


Our Church Office has a NEW Phone Number

 Riches Beyond Compare !    


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 a child in a Presbyterian Sunday School I heard about our church engagement with Aboriginal people at Ernabella and Mowanjum.  I was aware my Sunday School offering went to places like the missions in the New Hebrides.  As a young man in the Presbyterian Fellowship of Australia (PFA) I met some of the people who worked in these places as well as other young people from youth groups across Australia.  
You too have many experiences.

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.

Wherever 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. 
And more!

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)


  News First - 30th Anniversary     


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

Darnum Diary—Diane


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

Zandra—Word processing

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

God’s plan for our relocation to Sutton Street was gradually coming to fruition.
With the remarkable benefit of hindsight, we know there was still a ‘distance to travel’ before we finally moved into our new building in June 2006.


A Slice of History from News First, April 1992


  News Flash !!   


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.


  Men's Group Report for July    


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.

This was a great overview of the Cape’s natural landscape covering coastlines, estuaries, heathlands, tropical forests and Thursday and Horn Islands.   


  One in a Million    


By May this year, $1million had been raised by the Uniting Church Adult Fellowship (UCAF) Stamp Fund from the sales of used stamps.

Stamp collecting to assist missions started in the women’s groups of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches and continued after ‘Uniting’ in 1977 as the UCAF Stamp Fund with “Sammy Stamp” as their mascot.

While only a few stamps are very valuable individually, EVERY stamp contributes to the fund, so we are encouraged to bring ALL the stamps we can collect and place them in the Sammy Stamp Box on the table in the Church foyer.

Celebratory Cake

From 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.

So what a wonderful opportunity we have to help others by contributing to this amazing Stamp Fund.


  State Youth Games    


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.

Members 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.


Website Updates

Photos from last month added to

Photo Album - 'Farewell Bruce & Pam'

and new entries on
Food for Thought  page

From Rev Bruce Wood



Everyone is invited to enjoy

Coffee @ Newmason

25 Mason St Warragul

10.00am, Saturday 20 July

10.00am, Saturday 17 August



All women welcome

To enjoy an evening of fellowship with
a very friendly group of women

Wednesday 14 August at 6pm

at The Downtowner,

55 Victoria St Warragul


 A Typical Senior's Moment ?     


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?"