News, Notices & Prayer points - 14 December 2021

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News & Notices – 14 December 2021

Below are the news and notices from congregations, the Synod of South Australia and the wider Uniting Church for Tuesday, 14th December, 2021 edition of UC e-News

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Prayer Points for the week:

We pray:

  • For all refugees that are displaced, living in fear and insecurity that we may be compassionate and generous in our care of all peoples
  • For the people of the United States as they come to terms with the devastation and loss of life due to the recent tornadoes
  • Leaders of worship and faith formation across the Uniting Church as they guide us prayerfully through the Advent season and all congregations as they prepare for joyful worship during the Christmas season. 

 


 

Act2

Act2 is the biggest conversation in the Uniting Church right now - but why are we having it?

  • To be a church of vibrant and life-giving local communities of faith
  • To be always attentive to where the Spirit is leading
  • To be honest about our strengths, challenges, and context
  • To make sure our ways of being Church truly reflect our identity.

In this story we take a look at the vision behind Act2, a process of imagination and discernment about how faithfully following Christ in our time and place shapes our own life and the presence of the Uniting Church in the world. Read: https://uniting.church/the-vision-of-act2/

 

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Red Dove Café Update

Thanks to all who supported the Moderator’s suggestion to donate to Red Dove Café Day. As the Royal Adelaide Show was cancelled for a second consecutive year, the café was unable to operate and raise much needed funds for various mission initiatives. A total of almost $18,000 was raised, which together with some donations made in 2020 and some Red Dove Café reserves has resulted in a decision to distribute $22,000. The funds will be distributed to Uniting Church Mental Health and Prison Chaplaincy; the coordinating Police Chaplain and Disaster and Recovery Ministries and Kairos Prison Ministry.

 

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Bring Hope to Afghan Refugees this Christmas

The situation for refugees from Afghanistan is getting worse. UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis has joined the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) to encourage people to bring hope to those seeking safety and refuge by contacting their local MP before Christmas asking their support for a more generous response to the crisis. More information is available at this link: https://uniting.church/bring-hope-to-afghan-refugees-before-christmas/

 

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CALD-Intercultural Ministry Research Report released

Mission Resourcing has released its draft research report on ‘Mapping Intercultural Neighbourhoods in SA.’ It presents the findings of CALD-Intercultural Ministry Surveys with 55 Uniting Church leaders and interviews with 30 CALD leaders, which was conducted between March and May 2021 by Rev Dr Paul Goh and his research team. It includes a two-page executive summary, guidelines for building relationship and partnership with CALD faith communities and ten recommendations for Action Plans under three foci of Synod Strategic Priorities 2021-2025: Understand Who We Are as UCA; Create Local Connections; and Support Ministries on the Margins. To request a copy of the full report please email: pgoh@sa.uca.org.au.

 

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Refugee Prayer Guide for Advent and Christmas 2021

All Uniting Church members and congregations are encouraged to pray for refugees and asylum seekers with deep compassion and hope during the season of Advent and Christmas. Synod Refugee Advocacy group has put together a two-page Refugee Prayer Guide with the latest statistics and information to use with your congregation. You will find the prayer guide at this link.

 

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Stipends Update

At its meeting on 3rd December 2021, the Synod Standing Committee approved an increase to the minimum ministerial stipend of 2.25% effective from 1st January 2022.  This decision was made on the recommendation of the Synod’s Stipends Committee. You may recall that an increase of 1.5% was provisionally approved at the August Synod Standing Committee meeting, to be confirmed in December. The reason for this change relates to the current level of economic instability brought about by the financial impacts relating to COVID-19. An email update was sent to all Treasurers last week and a copy is available at this link.

The updated Approved Stipends Schedule is also available on the Synod website at this link: https://sa.uca.org.au/stipends/

 

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COVID-19 Compliance FAQs for places of Worship

Last week SA Health sent through an updated facts sheet relating to COVID=19 Compliance FAQs for places of Worship. The facts sheet was promoted on social media and is also available for download from the Synod website at this link: https://sa.uca.org.au/uniting-church-media-releases/covid-19-update

 

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Let every heart prepare him room…

Following on from the success of their Daily Reflections for Advent in 2020, Gartrell Church is again producing Reflections - for its own community and as a way of virtually walking beside those who are searching for God.

The Reflections are posted online daily, and all are invited to share them. The daily Reflections for each day of Advent have been prepared by the community of Gartrell Church … they provide resources and support for a daily practice reading a passage from the Bible, a reflection and concluding with a prayer, and a piece of music.

Reverend Beth Seaman says: ‘In the same way we prepare for Christmas Day by making the rooms in our homes welcoming with decorations and lighting, we make room to meet with friends and family and we make room in our budgets to purchase gifts as an expression of our love … we also make room in our hearts for God. When you make room each day for reading, reflection and listening, you prepare your heart to sing.’

The Reflections can be downloaded at https://gartrell.ucasa.org.au/meditations-and-reflections/

 

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Advent Resources for all ages

The ‘Christmas Family Faith Trail’ is free for churches to gift to households or small groups to explore the events of the Christmas story through five interactive stations. Each station includes a theme, Bible passage, questions to chat about, and activity ideas for different ages including pre-school, primary school and adults; and prayer ideas. The resource can be downloaded at this link: https://sa.uca.org.au/intergen/family-resources/

Also available is a ‘Letter for churches’ with ideas for running one station or modelling elements of this resource.

Year C Advent – ‘Something is Coming!’ is a resource that includes a selection of verses and concepts across all lectionary readings for each week of Advent, and to engage together and interact with the story of Christmas. This resource can be scaled to the size of the congregation and used as part of the worship service. The resource can be downloaded at this link: https://intergen.org.au/product/advent-series-something-is-coming/

Recently an online seminar was held with the author – to view the recording please visit: https://www.facebook.com/UCAChildrensMinistry

 

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A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

All are welcome to a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Scots Church Adelaide (corner of North Terrace and Pulteney Street, Adelaide) on Sunday, December 19th, 2021 at 10.30 am.

The choir will be conducted by Alex Roose, with organist Ashleigh Tobin OAM and poetry readings by James Scott. Ministers: Rev Dr Peter Trudinger and Rev Jill Lienert.

 

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APY Lands Children in Need

Please consider donating toys for children in remote country APY Lands and regions who desperately need resources and toys this Christmas. Melissa Thompson, the new and first female pastor of the Uniting Congress Church seeks your help at this time to set up a ministry that supplies Christmas toys and resources to children who are in very high needs remote areas.

Donations of toys and resources are welcome and Candice in the Uniting Church Congress office can assist to direct toy and Christmas donations up to the end of December. Candice can be emailed on chazeldine@sa.uca.org.au. Alternatively the ministry is located at 17 Bedwin Street, Salisbury North and there is a Christmas tree where donations can be left for children from 0-18 years.

Call Melissa Thompson on 0476 461 528 or Sally McPherson on 0404 616 038. Please label the age of the child on any donations and place in a Christmas wrapping or bag.

 

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Sally Stamp

Thanks are expressed once again to churches, fellowships and businesses who have saved their stamps to enable the UCA Stamp Group to fund shipments to the Pacific Islands and beyond via South Pacific School Aid Inc. who send School books and aids overseas. If you have any books to donate you can contact our group. This year we have also paid $1,000 to Uniting College, Brooklyn Park and the outback pastor Rev Sunil (Sunny) Kadaparambil, Parkin-Sturt, SA. Donations of collections no longer required are very welcome, Maxine Haines, Convenor, UCA Stamp Group, jimmax.haines@bigpond.com or mobile 0427 972 417.

 

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L’Arche Adelaide Annual Community Weekend

A great weekend of fellowship, discussion, creativity, music, worship, fun and games and great food. The theme of the weekend will be ‘resilience.’ All are welcome to attend all or part of the weekend. Building faith community with people with intellectual disability.

Saturday, 15th January, 2022 (9.00 am – 9.00 pm) and Sunday, 16th January, 2022 (10.00 am – 2.00 pm). For more information email: larchadelaide@gmail.com

L'Arche Adelaide produces a quarterly newsletter which is available at this link.

L'Arche is an international federation of faith-based communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live together in a mutuality of care. L'Arche Adelaide is planning to open its first community house soon.

 

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Click here for the News, Notices & Prayer points – 7th December 2021

Check out last week’s UC eNews here to keep you updated.

 


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