Community Outreach Mission Network
September Newsletter 2018
Food for Thought by Douglas Monaghan
What is the point of church? No I’m not being morose or sarcastic but genuinely pondering this question in light of the recent tumultuous months we’ve had as members of the Uniting Church. What are we really here for? What matters most to us? It’s these sorts of questions that have been rattling around my mostly empty skull over the past few weeks.
Last week the gospel lectionary reading was the controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees over the application of purity laws. The Pharisees were very keen to stick to the letter of the law as it gave the impression of appearing very holy. Jesus wanted them to see that their pursuit of maintaining an external appearance came at the expense of blinding themselves to what God was doing in the world. I’ve no doubt the Pharisees had the best of intentions. The Law was important, it came from God, it was their way of showing the world they were God’s people. But their desire to protect religion, to keep it safe from the contamination of the world, had the opposite effect; it drove people away from God’s love.
God agreed that the world was in a bad way but disagreed that religion had to be kept separate from the world in order to protect it. So God came directly into the dirt, mess and danger of the world precisely because it needed to be changed. It was through touching the unclean that lives were transformed. Those who were excluded from God through the law suddenly found themselves face to face with God in their broken and messy lives and realised God actually loved them. If religion had kept itself locked away, wrapped up tightly in rules and regulations, how would they ever know this? And the response was universal, they told everyone they met about God and so the kingdom spread, one broken person at a time. Turns out God’s holiness can withstand the world and all the problems we have. Turns out God’s holiness is the only thing that can transform what is wrong into what is right.
If we in the church are obsessing over our rules and regulations, wanting to be seen as the custodians of holiness, are we any different from the Pharisees? If we in the church invested all our efforts and energy into feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, welcoming the stranger and actively showing this world God’s love would we not be more like Jesus? I believe our religion can not only withstand the problems in the world, but has the power to transform it. I believe God is bigger than any of our doctrines. But it is only by getting our hands dirty and plunging into the world that we can show this to be true. For me, that’s the point of church. May we commit ourselves to actually being Jesus for our communities.
At our last Network Gathering Rebecca announced that Brian Dunstan has given notice, he has resigned as our network Administrator. Brian has been in this role for 10 years and he is ready for a new adventure. He will finish his work with us on 30 September. Brian is taking up a placement at West Lakes church.
Thank you, Brian, for your work and ministry amongst us for the past decade. I have tried to compile a list of the things Brian has done (I may have missed a few.
- He organises our gatherings, including making the digital recordings which he then edits and uploads.
- Edits and sends around the newsletter and other information.
- Resources and takes minutes for the executive meetings, and the grants approval team.
- Looks after the finances.
- Organises the annual ministers and leaders retreat.
- Serves on JNC’s, attends inductions and farewells of ministers.
- Brian has been our Network’s representative on PRC and has served on the PRC executive.
- He meets ministers for coffee, keeps in touch and generally cares for ministers and other church leaders.
In all these areas of ministry we have seen that Brian is organised, conscientious and caring.
Thankyou Brian for your ministry amongst us.
This is a half farewell because Brian will still be part of our Network, as both Croydon Park (where Brian is the Pastor) and soon West Lakes are part of this network.
Process from here:
The executive have agreed to continue the position of Network Administrator, this is a .5 FTE position in the Ministry of Pastor. A job and person specification is available from Rebecca Purling,
firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile 0407 993 526
Induction Service of Rev Frances Bartlett
Lefevre Uniting Church
63 Gedville Rd Taperoo
The Induction service will be held for Rev Frances Bartlett at Lefevre Uniting Church on Sunday 23rd September at 2.00pm
Commissioning Service of Brian Dunstan
West Lakes United Church
Bartley Tce West Lakes Shore
A Commissioning service will be held for Brian Dunstan at West Lakes United Church on Sunday 7th October at 2.0pm
COMN Broadview Gathering
Corner Galway Ave and, Collingrove Ave, Broadview SA 5083
on Tuesday 30th October
starting at 6.15pm with a shared meal.
This meeting will include our AGM
followed by our guest speaker Grant Simpson talking about-
“Theology and Practice of Hospitality”
Look forward to seeing you all there
The Adelaide Connection Jazz Choir
Live @ The Morialta Uniting Church
Sept 16th 2pm-4pm (includes 20min interval)
26 Chapel Street Magill 5072
Bookings- Ph (08) 8331 9344
Tickets are also available at the door (cash only)
Wine tea/coffee/water available during intermission.
Proceeds support jazz and church projects in SA
Good-bye from me (kinda)
I’m sure you know by now, I’m stepping down from my position with the COMN after 10 years, so it’s time for me to say good bye (kinda).
I’m blessed that both my congregations are in the COMN so I’ll still be around, just wearing a different hat (so to speak).
It has been wonderful working within the COMN and getting to know so many amazing people who are part of the UCA and beyond.
I’ve truly learnt a lot during my time, being on the PRC/PC and PRC Exec, COMN Exec, Gatherings, JNC’s, Consultations, SLaW, having many conversations with our Ministers and congregation members, and the list goes on.
I do wish you all, every blessing and pray that you’ll continue to find new and exciting ways to engage with your community, accepting and loving all people, as “you” reflect the image and love of God to those you meet and talk to.
There’s a wonderful verse by Teresa of Avila 1515-1582
“Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Take care and blessings
Willunga Christmas Tree Festival August 2018
Each year we invite the community to enter a Christmas tree for our festival. This year we are excited to be sponsored by Onkaparinga council, which will continue to enable enhanced displays, promotion and prizes for the most popular Christmas trees. The 2018 poster will be launched at the beginning of September.
Your past support of this event has been valued greatly. Our theme this year is ‘Going Green’. As with previous years the theme is open to the imagination.
Further details on the 2018 Festival for your diaries:
When: December 1 & 2 – 10am to 4pm. Group bookings December 3 to December 6 and by arrangement.
The community will also be invited to create their own Advent Wreath for inclusion in the festival. The popular advent wreath workshops are on in November. Further workshops will also be announced.
Delivery date for your creation will be Thursday, November 29, 9am to 5pm.
Please complete the entry details on the attached form and forward to: Willunga Christmas Tree Festival, P.O. Box 307, WILLUNGA 5172.
Or email: email@example.com
Contact for enquiries or bookings-:
Jenny Esots – 85562758 or Rosemary – 8556 2650
Many thanks, Willunga Christmas Tree Festival Team
If you are looking for our COMN Newsletters on the COMN webpage
click on the Resources button,
select Newsletter on the drop-down list,
then click on the Newsletter you are wanting to read.
Please share this information and the events
with your congregation.
You never know who may be interested in attending something which is happening??
If you have any articles for the October COMN Newsletter,
please have them sent into Glenys Badger by Friday 28th September
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0403 308 107