News, Notices & Prayer points - 19th December 2023

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News & Notices – 19th December 2023

Below are the news and notices from congregations, the Synod of South Australia and the wider Uniting Church for Tuesday, 19th December 2023 edition of UC e-News


Prayer Points

We pray:

  • For our world today we pray for peace and hope to abound
  • For those affected by natural disasters, floods, droughts and fires
  • For all struggling with conflict, poverty and starvation.




Tim Hein Appointed Director of Leadership

General Secretary, Rev Philip Gardner announced today that Rev Dr Tim Hein has been appointed Director of Leadership at Uniting College for Leadership & Theology (UCLT) from 1st March 2024. Tim will conclude as Executive Officer, Mission and Leadership Development as he takes up his new appointment.

Tim took on the role as Executive Officer during a difficult season and with the UCLT team has enabled both significant rebuilding and transition in the College and undertaken a strategic review with respect to Mission Resourcing. This new appointment will see Tim return as a faculty member (0.5) and continue as congregational minister (0.5) at Malvern UC. The role of Director of Leadership is a strategic one, including responsibilities for the formation of Ordination Candidates.

‘I am delighted that after a very long search process for the Director of Leadership, we have identified the right person for the role. Tim has both the academic credentials for this position and the experience in leadership across several church and secular organisations. We are very grateful for the strategic leadership that he has shown over the past two years in guiding the Mission and Leadership Development area of the Synod and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role. The process for appointing new leadership has commenced,’ said Principal Vicky Balabanski.




Christmas Angels sending messages of Peace, Love and Encouragement

Following the lead of Beachcomber FX and North Shields and Whitley Bay Methodist Circuit in the UK, Brougham Place Uniting Church commissioned and launched 70 knitted angels into the community on Sunday December 17th. These angels are turning up in Prospect and in hospitals and may even be found interstate or overseas. Randomly spreading messages of love, peace and encouragement, the angels are being photographed and having their travels logged on to Facebook. Who knows you may see one in your suburb!  What a delightful way to share Christ’s birth and love at Christmas! More information is available at this link:




Parliamentary Inquiry into a Human Rights Act for SA

The 75th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th, 2023 was heralded in South Australia with the Social Development Committee for the Parliament of SA announcing an inquiry into the Potential for a Human Rights Act for South Australia.

All people interested in the advancement of Human Rights are invited to lodge a submission to the Committee by Friday February 16th, 2024.

Organisations such as UnitingCare Wesley Bowden, Uniting Communities, UnitingSA and the South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS) have already signed up to progress this discussion in SA.

To lodge a submission or seek further information from the Social Development Committee, please go to

If you wish to obtain more information from a Uniting Church in Australia SA perspective, please contact Mark Waters, Director, UnitingCare SA on Turn on Javascript! or on (08) 8236 4276.




Synod Office/Uniting College Christmas/New Year closure

The Synod office at 212 Pirie Street will close at 3.00 pm this Friday, 22nd December and will re-open on Tuesday, 2nd January 2024 at 9.00 am. The Brooklyn Park campus of the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology (UCLT) will close this Thursday, 21st December at 12.00 noon and will re-open on Monday, 22nd January 2024.




CMLA Worship Resourcing Events - February 7th and 8th

CMLA hosts Rev Dr Sunny Chen for teaching sessions on the Gospel of Mark and the Book of Ephesians on the evening of 7th and daytime 8th February. Sunny is a biblical scholar, lively communicator and a UCA Assembly National Consultant. Program and event details to be announced shortly. Plus resourcing for creative arts and music in the Year of Mark. Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts.




Grant writing help wanted in UnitingCare SA

Are your circumstances changing in 2024? Have you thought about volunteering to assist those in need, but don’t see yourself working in a community Kitchen or outreach service? Do you have skills in writing grant applications or developing a sponsorship prospectus?

A rewarding opportunity exists to assist our Emergency Relief Centres in writing Grant Applications. If this sounds like something that you have the skills for (or would like to learn those skills), then please contact Helene Neilson, UnitingCare SA Support Officer at Turn on Javascript! or call (08) 8236 4256 in January 2024; alternative, please contact Mark Waters, Director, UnitingCare SA at Turn on Javascript! or call on 0417 834 938.




ACHA Christmas Hamper Packing Day Update

UnitingCare and Adelaide Community Healthcare Alliance Incorporated (ACHA) joined forces on December 5th at Brougham Place Uniting Church, North Adelaide to assemble Christmas Hampers for those in need. ACHA, in collaboration with the Synod Office, gathered various items to include in the hampers, and volunteers from both organisations came together to lend a helping hand. To see a glimpse of the day’s events, you can watch the video, which captured the essence of the day at this link.




Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday and pancake days are wonderful opportunities to come together, enjoy delicious food, and contribute to a meaningful cause. The idea is ‘flipping for a cause’ on Shrove Tuesday to raise funds for those in need.

For anyone interested in hosting a pancake day in 2024 or helping spread the word, please register via the QR Code on the poster. You can download the poster here.

May your communities come together, enjoy some delicious pancakes, and contribute to making a positive difference in the lives of those who need support.




International Day of Disabled Persons – Video Series

The theme of this year’s International Day of Disabled Persons was ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities.’

The Synod Task Group (STG) into the Disability Royal Commission highlighted this day as a time where we can focus on making our congregations, services and offices more accessible, inclusive and fairer for people with disabilities.

The STG has produced a series of short videos to assist people in thinking about how they can be proactive in supporting people with disabilities. Bruce Ind, Chair of the STG, and one of its members Rev Peter McDonald have been instrumental in developing these videos. The emphasis in the videos is to ensure that the voices of people with lived experience comes through as well as the interests of carers and community organisations.

The videos are now available on the Synod website at this link: UCA SA - UnitingCare SA

More videos will follow in the coming weeks.




Summary of Review of Missional Needs & Opportunities

Earlier this year the Mission & Leadership Development Board (MLDB) commissioned AngelWings to conduct a review of the missional needs and opportunities in the SA Synod to inform their decisions on how to best fulfill their mandate over the next 5-10 years. That review is 38 pages, and was not intended to be a public document, as it contains information and recommendations pertaining to specific roles, programs, and personnel that may have implications for people’s positions. However there is much in it that is beneficial for the whole Synod, so the MLDB have prepared a summary which can be read here.




2024 Calendars

2024 Uniting Church Calendar orders remain open until January next year. The Calendar celebrates food and hospitality from across the church – including different congregations, faith communities and organisations from around the Uniting Church in South Australia. We extend our sincere thanks to all those involved who submitted photographs and recipes for the Calendar this year. If you would like to order the 2024 Calendar, please visit this link:




Moderator’s Christmas Video

The Moderator’s Christmas message with the theme ‘Joy, Hope, Peace, and Love’ is available for download from the Christmas resources page of the Synod website and can be viewed together with other resources at this link: UCA SA - Christmas 2023.




Grant Opportunities

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield is pleased to advise that Environmental Grant applications opened on 4th December 2023 and close on Friday 29th March 2024. The Environmental Grants Program encourages environmental project initiatives that will protect and enhance the sustainability and environment of the local area. More information  on how to apply and guidelines for project funding can be found here.

Expand Together grants

Multicultural Grants Program 2024-25 currently has Expand Together funding open to support our multicultural communities.

The Expand Together grants assist multicultural organisations to expand their capacity by upgrading community facilities or purchasing equipment to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Expand Together Grants of up to $100,000 are available to multicultural organisations for projects to be delivered over 12 months, commencing July 2024.

Applications for Round 1 are open now and close 11pm, 14th January 2024.

Online application forms and guidelines are available at




COVID-19 Update

All existing directions, frequently asked questions and other information in regards to COVID-19 guidelines can be found here: If you would like further assistance, please contact your presbytery or:

              Sue Page Turn on Javascript! or phone (08) 8236 4217 or 0430 666 959

              Philip Gardner Turn on Javascript! or phone (08) 8236 4268 or 0409 077 076.





MediaCom advises that it closed for Christmas at 4.00 pm, 18th December and will return at 9.00 am 10th January 2024. A letter advertising Lent, Easter 2024 resources will be circulated before the end-of-year closure and MediaCom invites early orders for distribution when the office resumes.

MediaCom Board and staff thank you for your support throughout 2023. May you find blessings in the hope, peace, joy and love of Christmas.




Synod Ecumenical Relations Committee (SERC)

SERC is now calling for submissions for the 2024 award. The award is given each year to a congregation that has done most to foster ecumenical relations within their local community and SERC is grateful to the Synod for the continued funding of the Award. Submissions can be made either in writing or electronically which should be received by the secretary, Don Hopgood 19 Ray Ave, Morphett Vale 5162. Turn on Javascript!. No later than April 30th 2024. Use words and pictures (if possible) to make clear what you have undertaken and the measure of your success.




Retirement a Rewarding Time

The ONECOTA summer edition has a lead article about tips for a happy retirement. ‘It is important to avoid social isolation and grow your friendships and connections.’ The Uniting Church History Centre at Black Forest is open on Wednesday afternoon and volunteers assist and share their skills and interest in family and local history. Enquire about joining in 2024 as the History Centre continues to encourage churches to explore their stories.




Can you help – Carols booklets needed?

Geranium Community Carols Night is seeking to borrow some carols booklets that they need to borrow for their Christmas Eve service. They need 50 or more if available. If you or your congregation have some Carols Booklets that you don’t need this Christmas, they would be very grateful to borrow them. Please contact Margaret Smith on 0427877534 or email: Turn on Javascript!.




Sally Stamp

Every Monday morning a small group of volunteers meet at the Synod Office to collect and sort stamps which have been received from Fellowships and Businesses around South Australia.

This year, 2023 we generated $6,167.50 and donated $3,710.68 to South Pacific School Aid (freight for schoolbooks and aids to Pacific Islands); $1,000 to Frontier Services (Outback Pastors) and $1,000 to the Grove Uniting Church, Woodville Gardens (Kids Craft Club).

Please consider asking local businesses to save their stamps; doctor’s surgeries are one of the best sources of stamp! Any donations of private collections no longer required are gratefully received.

Sally Stamp asks that people continue to send stamps to the Uniting Church Synod Office, Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Pick-up can sometimes be arranged.

For more information, please contact Maxine Haines (Convenor). Phone: 0427 972 417 or email: Turn on Javascript!.




Australian Hymn Books to give away

Newland Port Elliot Uniting Church (Victor Harbor) has surplus Australian Hymn Boos to give away. Email enquiries to: Turn on Javascript! or phone Wayne on 0431 663 560.




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