News, Notices & Prayer points - 21 April 2020

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News & Notices – 21 April 2020


Below are the news and notices from congregations, the Synod of South Australia and the wider Uniting Church submitted for the Tuesday 21 April edition of UC e-News.



Prayer Points for the week

  • The servicemen and women in armed forces, past and present, as well as their families, as we remember their acts of bravery and sacrifice in the pursuit of peace. 
  • Our brothers and sisters in the Pacific as they face the devastating effects of Cyclone Harold and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Health workers and other essential community service providers who continue to provide vital care and support to the most vulnerable.
  • The acts of kindness, big and small, that we continue to witness every day and for which we are immensely thankful.
  • The survivors of rape and sexual assault, and those currently in situations where they experience these horrific acts.


Seeking a Chaplain

Expressions of Interest are now being sought for the Uniting Church Chaplain, Correctional Services 0.4FTE position. Due to COVID-19 complications, the closing date for applications is currently unknown. For more information and a copy of the Position Description, please contact Rev Wendy Prior by email,


2020 Uniting Foundation Grants information

In light of impacts of the COVID-19 crisis across the life of the church, priority in the 2020 round of grants will be given to projects which enable Congregations, Faith Communities and Ministry Centres to:

  • Adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 crisis by increasing their capacity to engage in the online/digital environment, leading to enhanced effective missional activity both now and in the post COVID-19 era.
  • Increase the capacity to produce, print and distribute resources, increasing the missional capacity in their local area and beyond.
  • Resource other Congregations for effective missional activity now and in the post COVID-19 era.
  • Note: We anticipate that applications might include equipment (hardware or software), training, provision of training personnel, or other items.

Read more here.


Send us your Anzac pics!

If you are a returned serviceman or woman, we would love you to">email us this week with a photo of yourself wearing your medals. If you have had the privilege in past years of wearing the medals of a loved one, we would love you to do the same. We want to remember and honour your service in an upcoming Anzac prayer video, and in the next edition of New Times.

Send the photo (and a description) to or via a Private Message in Facebook.



Uniting Church SA Moderator Mr Bronte Wilson has signed the Refugee Council of Australia’s open letter to the Prime Minister (find it here) asking for leadership on three key issues for people seeking asylum, for refugees, and for other temporary migrants who have been made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.  

As a follow up to the letter, the Refugee Council of Australia and all signatory organisations will launch a collective #NobodyLeftBehind campaign this week. If your congregation or ministry agent would like to join the campaign and receive further information, please contact the SA Synod’s Justice Officer, Rev Dr Paul Goh on


Praying for our Pacific brothers and sisters

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has asked Uniting Church members to uphold in prayer the people of Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Harold. 

Read more here.


Bibles for Bubs – registrations open for 2019 babies

The Bible Society has 2,000 “God’s Story for Me” Bibles to give away to babies born in 2019 and their families. All you need to do is register your interest online here (there are some terms and conditions).

Registration closes on 30 June or when they reach 2,000 babies registered, whichever comes first. Don’t miss out.


WCC Assembly 2021

The World Council of Churches is inviting young people from its member churches to engage in its 2021 Assembly in Karlsruhe. There are two opportunities which young adults in the Uniting Church might consider.

Read more here.


A message from Resthaven

During the pandemic, as an essential service, Resthaven continues to support people at home and by offering respite support for carers of older people.  

Some older people may be experiencing an unexpected, increased need for support due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and may benefit from temporary or ongoing services. This can make all the difference when people are struggling.

Resthaven meets all government and clinical guidelines to deliver services safely.

Resthaven is available to partner with people to assist in this trying time. Please contact Resthaven Community Services on 1300 13 66 33 to find out how they can assist you.



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


Praying For Safety

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer issued a Pastoral Note just before Easter, urging Church members to be mindful of the safety of people in violent relationships.

"We are hearing reports of an increase in calls to Domestic and Family Violence helplines across the globe from women who are more isolated than ever, and whose social supports and safety plans are in jeopardy," said Deidre.

"We encourage you as members of the Uniting Church, in this difficult time, to stay connected with your neighbours, your friends and family."

The Pastoral Note includes a Prayer for People Living in Violent Situations and a suite of resources compiled by Rev Charissa Suli of the Assembly Resourcing Unit.

Read more here.


New Times copy deadline change

The copy deadline for the June/July edition of New Times has changed to Friday 15 May, one week earlier than originally planned and advertised. If you wish to submit an article, photo, letter or advertisement for this edition, please do so on or before the 15 May deadline.

Suggestions for articles are always welcome. The editorial team would be particularly interested to hear from you if you have an opinion about  the online church services which our congregations have made available during times of isolation. Please send your ideas/opinions for consideration to


Preaching in a time a of trauma

During a season such as this when we are experiencing a global pandemic and many people are suffering various degrees of trauma, it can be difficult to know how to preach effectively. This article (read it here) is authored by Joni S. Sancken, author of “Words that Heal: Preaching Hope to Wounded Souls”, an excellent preaching and trauma resource.  

The article contains suggestions for trauma-aware preaching that can build resilience in congregations and communities. Her book is great, easy to read and has helpful tools in the appendix for preaching a trauma-aware sermon.


Principles of Emergency Ministry

Another wonderful resource is from Rev Dr Stephen Robinson (National Disaster Recovery Officer, UCA Assembly) who has prepared a PowerPoint (with narration) entitled “Principles of Emergency Ministry”. This resource seeks to convey the essential things to keep in mind when responding to an emergency or disaster – particularly in the context of this pandemic. Here’s a link.


Discipleship resources sharing in un-gathered times

We are in a challenging new season, being the church un-gathered for worship and discipleship. The Synod of South Australia has gathered a list of Uniting Church congregations and ministries in South Australia and the ways in which they are resourcing and encouraging discipleship and pastoral care at home for people of all ages. We have also gathered resources from other denominations and from  interstate churches or ministries.

The resources include Bible studies for individuals, small groups, children and families, and ways to serve and pastorally care for each other. Please send us your congregation’s resources or online links to so we can encourage and inspire one another while sharing the task of producing resources.

The resources can be found here.

Please feel free to download, adapt, share and/or print these resources for your church community.

There is a separate list available of links to resources for online and non-digital worship here.


In memoriam: Rev Dr Rodger Bassham

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the sudden death of Rev Dr Rodger Bassham on Good Friday, 10 April 2020. UC e-News will carry details of when the recording of the funeral may be watched online in due course. A Pastoral Note detailing Rodger’s ministry was sent out last week Tuesday and can be read here.


SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line

Uniting Communities is operating the South Australian COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line, established by the State Government to help those struggling with the current situation or with feelings of isolation. Counselling is offered over the phone and via video calls, along with referrals to a range of services if needed.

The Support Line is open seven days a week from 8:00am to 8:00pm on 1800 632 753.


Support to extend community grants

More than $64 million will be provided by the Federal Government to extend about 3000 grant agreements currently administered by the Department of Social Services for essential services to 31 March 2021 which had been due to cease over the coming months.

This includes grants for family and relationship services, mental health counselling for parents, services for families and children experiencing the impacts of alcohol and drug misuse, and technology to keep women experiencing domestic violence safe.

Read more here.



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Synod Meeting Update

Members of Synod, please note that many of the reports for consideration at our Synod meeting are now available on the Synod website.


Kangaroo Island Disaster Recovery Update

As we approach the anniversary of the extinguishing of the disastrous bushfires on Kangaroo Island and after many delays, we are pleased to announce that Rev Mark Dickens will work with the Kangaroo Island community on behalf of the Uniting Church in a half time capacity.


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