News, Notices & Prayer points - 17 March 2020

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News & notices – 17 March 2020

Below are the news and notices from congregations, the Synod of South Australia and the wider Uniting Church submitted for the Tuesday 17 March edition of UC e-News.



Prayer Points for the week

  • All those seeking to deepen their discipleship through Lent
  • Those who have contracted the coronavirus, those who are self-isolating, those who are fearful or vulnerable, the health care workers and pastoral responders to the pandemic. May God bring comfort and healing.
  • The peacebuilders of Ambon and the work of UnitingWorld.


Providing emergency relief ministry?

Urgent! Could UCA congregations in SA who have an emergency relief ministry (eg food parcels) to help their local community please immediately contact Rev Tim Hodgson, Executive Officer, UnitingCare SA at     


Property Review update

The Property Review project involves a visit to every Uniting Church congregation in South Australia, focussing on helping congregations to provide safe places for their congregants and members. It particularly looks at safety of buildings, asbestos management, accessibility, electrical safety and fire safety.

As of 16 March 2020, 201 of our 269 congregations (75%) have been visited by John Fong, Uniting Church Buildings Officer within the SA Synod. We wish to express our immense gratitude to all of the people who have hosted John so far. John thinks he has the best job, as he gets to meet everyone on his travels!

John should finish his visits by mid-May, after which the SA Synod’s focus turns to production of congregation-specific reports. Each congregation will receive a tailored report outlining all the required actions to bring buildings to a satisfactory safety level, and to comply with government regulations.

Additionally, the report will contain a recommended annual amount which should be set aside for building management and maintenance. A final report, which collates all of the site visit findings, will be presented at the SA Synod meeting in October.

If you would like more information on the Property Review process or have specific questions, please send an email to


Angels in this Wilderness - Andrew Dutney Book launch

Please join Rev Prof Andrew Dutney for the launch of his new book Angels in this Wilderness. A full launch event will be held at a later date so all can attend. In the meantime, a soft launch will go ahead as originally scheduled for this Thursday 19 March from 4:30pm – 5:30pm at the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology (312 Sir Donald Bradman Dr, Brooklyn Park SA). Angels in this Wilderness will be launched by Rev Dr Tim Hein and drinks and nibbles will be supplied.

In this book Andrew asks: “Where is the Uniting Church in the Australian society now and what has it learnt from the journey so far?” Angels in this Wilderness discusses the resilience the Uniting Church will need to continue as people of God on the way to the promised end.

Please view the Facebook event page here.


Reconciliation language

Reconciliation Australia has compiled an inclusive language guide that organisations can use as a resource for respectful and inclusive communication. Using respectful and inclusive language and terminology is an essential component of reconciliation. The way we speak about reconciliation is just as important as the ways we act: language is itself active, and can impact on attitudes, understandings and relationships in a very real and significant sense.

Find your copy here.


NCCA March Newsletter

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) published their March newsletter last week (Friday 13 March).

Find an online version here.


UnitingCare Australia responds to economic stimulus package and aged care boost

UnitingCare Australia has welcomed Federal Government measures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, but asked for more targeted and long-term support to those most in need. 

Read the full statement here.


Prayer for a Pandemic

May we, who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we, who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable.

May we, who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we, who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close, remember those who have no options.

May we, who have to cancel our trips, remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we, who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market, remember those who have no margin at all.

May we, who settle in for a quarantine at home, remember those who have no home at all. As fear grips our country, let’s us choose faith, hope, and love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.


(author credit: Krug the Thinker)


Call for essential service costs relief for those impacted by COVID-19 measures

The South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) has endorsed the national statement by more than 30 community services organisations calling on companies providing essential services such as energy, water, finance, rental housing and telecommunications to take steps to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including committing to:

  • No disconnections of customers from essential services
  • Pausing debt collection and legal/bankruptcy proceedings
  • Waiving penalty and late fees

SACOSS is also calling on the South Australian State Government to commit to a moratorium on debt collection activities, suspend all eviction proceedings and waive late payment fees.

Read more here.



Didn’t read the last “News & notices”? The items below will keep you updated.


A Prayer in Response to Coronavirus

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has written a prayer in response to the current outbreak of COVID-19 (or Coronavirus), along with advice for congregations.

Read the prayer and advice here.


In Memoriam: Rev David Bruce Pill

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the death of Rev David Pill at the age of 88 years. David’s funeral was held at Clayton-Wesley Uniting Church, 280 Portrush Rd Beulah Park, on Wednesday 11 March. A pastoral note was sent on Friday 6 March and can be read here.

If you don’t currently receive Pastoral Notes and would like to receive them in future, please subscribe to the distribution list here.


Easter Services Details

The Synod Communications and Events team would like to remind congregations to send us their Easter services details so that these can be published on the Synod website. This helps greatly for those in our communities who would like to attend an Easter service and rely on information gained via the internet to find the correct dates and times. The best way to send the information through is to submit it via the online events calendar here.

This is also a reminder that the last chance to get assistance with the printing of Easter postcards will be Friday 20 March. A whole suite of Easter resources is available on the Synod website for self-printing. Alternatively, the Communications and Events team can provide assistance.

Find details here.


President’s Conference 2020

This year's President's Conference will be held in Adelaide from 2-5 October, and explores expressions on the theme of "every member ministry". Registrations are open.

Bookmark this page to stay updated with information about the conference or to register.


Correction: Spicer Cottages

It has come to our attention that the wrong email address was published along with the “Note to ministers re Spicer Cottages” (News and Notices, 3 March 2020).

The correct email address for Carole Lyons, to which all correspondence and enquiries regarding the cottages should be directed, is


SACC Office Manager & PA - Position Vacant

The SA Council of Churches, an ecumenical organisation concerned with promoting the activities of all Christian Churches in South Australia, has a position available for an Office Manager and Personal Assistant.

This 0.64 FTE/24 hour-per-week role, worked over three or four days, will provide administrative and management support. For further enquires, contact Rev Anne Hewitt at Applications close 4pm Thursday 19 March 2020.

The SACC also has a weekly electronic newsletter to which people can subscribe. Click here to access their latest newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.


Cashless Debit Card

UnitingCare Australia put out a joint media release with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress reflecting their concerns about the extension of the cashless debit card in existing sites and the expansion into the Northern Territory and Cape York. A copy of the media release is available here.


Aged Care Royal Commission

The Aged Care Royal Commission held a hearing on 4 March at which Counsel Assisting presented proposals for a redesign of the aged care system. The Royal Commission has asked for responses to the proposals by 18 March. For further information on the proposals and to read the transcript click here. 

The Commission has scheduled a workshop on 16 & 17 March focused on research, innovation and technology.  The workshop was held in Adelaide with local and international witnesses.  More information can be found here.



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