Cyclone Seroja crossed our coast at about 8.00pm on Sunday 11 April, beginning its destructive journey in Port Gregory, just south of Kalbarri. Winds of up to 170km/hr, the strongest recorded in more than 50 years, tore homes, businesses and trees apart, leaving behind masses of debris.
Coastal areas south of Kalbarri saw about 70 per cent of homes damaged. Residents huddled in bathtubs or hid in pantries and toilets. Yet, miraculously no-one was injured.
Rev Andrew Syme has been appointed as the General Secretary of the Uniting Church WA. He began his role on Monday 17 May, and will stay in the position until the 45th Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA, in September this year.
It was an exciting day on 20 August 2000 in Wannanup. The Uniting Church WA Moderator at the time, Elizabeth Burns, along with the help of a very young Jaren Picking, turned the key on the new South Mandurah Uniting Church front door and led the congregation and visitors into the service for the commissioning of the building.
Years ago, Alison Xamon began to envisage a new kind of ministry. A church community that would be truly welcoming and safe for all. A group that would see the fight for justice as simply part of being Christian.
It was a type of worship that Alison longed for, but over time it became clear that if she really wanted it to happen, she would have to make it happen. So, she did.
Uniting WA are proud to support hundreds of people experiencing homelessness every day, but there are still up to 900 people sleeping rough across Perth every night and more than 9 000 people experiencing homelessness in WA.
With Winter and the cold weather now upon us, it has never been more important to support people experiencing crisis and homelessness.
Uniting WA’s recently renovated Tranby Engagement Hub provides all the basic services you would expect from a homelessness service, as well as some you might not. It’s the first purpose-designed-and-built crisis intervention space in WA that supports an active referral and engagement service model for people experiencing homelessness.
A simple: “How can we help you?” to every person that walks through the door marks the beginning of a support journey that includes all the basic services you’d expect, as well as some you might not. As well as access to food, showers, laundry and medical support, the Tranby Engagement Hub also provides customised support that’s focused on understanding the individual needs of each person we meet and working with them to identify the challenges they need to overcome to move forward in their lives.
But together, we can do more.
Your donation will help Uniting WA provide more warm breakfasts, showers and wellbeing packs, and enable them to support more people with the understanding and support they need to achieve positive outcomes that drive long-term change in their lives.
Did you know that socks are the #1 requested item at homelessness centres globally? A clean pair of socks can make the world of difference to someone experiencing homelessness. And they’re in short supply. Uniting WA are welcoming socks for men, women and children in all sizes, which can be donated at your local Uniting Church.
Last week, Susy Thomas, Moderator of the Uniting Church WA, and Rev David De Kock, General Secretary of the Uniting Church WA, visited 98five Sonshine FM to view their newly upgraded video studio, for which the Uniting Church WA provided financial assistance.
Ministry Expo is an annual event organised by the Candidates for Ministry Committee to promote a culture of call in our church. This year’s event was held in May at St Andrews Uniting Church in East Perth and attracted about 30 people.
The purpose of the evening is to provide snap shots of a variety of ministry opportunities within the Uniting Church WA.
Rev Lorraine Stokes spoke of the immense privilege of being a Minister of the Word, walking alongside members in their growth in faith and discipleship. Rev Andy Broadbent shared how, as a Deacon, he has focussed his congregation on responding to the needs of the local community. Julie Ridden talked about her role as a Pastor, working with children and families within the Nedlands congregation. Shirley Francis shared how her studies to become a Lay Preacher had deepened and enriched her faith and her confidence in preaching. And Rev Steve Francis emphasised the importance of loving others, children, staff and parents within the context of being a school chaplain.
Anyone wanting to further explore their gifts and calling to ministry are encouraged to undertake a Period of Discernment (POD). Susan Sydney Smith, who has just completed a POD, shared how affirming this experience had been for her, allowing her time to deepen her relationship with God and explore her calling through conversations with her Mentor.
Samuel Annan, who has just begun formation to become an ordained minister, talked about the affirmation he had received from others as he explored his calling and how he was “learning new things every day” as he engaged in formation. Rev Herman Neinaber shared his journey from the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa into the Uniting Church WA and what he appreciated about the Uniting Church.
Finally Rev Dr Anne Wright outlined various courses available, including everything from short intensives, to full theology degrees, and emphasised the wide range of styles of ministry options in the Uniting Church WA, including working in remote areas, chaplaincies in prisons, hospitals, aged care and schools, resource and pioneering ministry.
The evening promoted a lot of conversation which continued over a wonderful supper. The next day, left over food was donated to Uniting WA’s Tranby Centre in East Perth.
Please encourage members of your congregation to attend the next Ministry Expo which will be held in May 2022!
Rev Bev Fabb, Chairperson of the Candidates for the Ministries Committee
Are you looking for fulfilling work that spreads the Christian gospel of justice, love, and hope? Do you feel God may be calling you to ministry in the Uniting Church WA?
The Ministry Expo will provide you with information on the various possibilities for ministry for both lay and ordained in the Uniting Church.
At the expo, you will hear meet people who have walked the path or who are currently in ministry formation. You will learn about the various ministries of the church, what they involve and what it is like to serve in that ministry. You will also learn about how to engage in a Period of Discernment – a year-long journey of seriously considering God’s call on your life.
You can read more about Rev Sione Lea’aetoa’s experience doing a Period of Discernment here.
This year’s speakers are as follows:
Rev Sione Lea’aetoa, newly ordained minister will welcome us to St Andrews Uniting Church
Rev Lorraine Stokes will speak about being a Minister of the Word
Rev Andy Broadbent will speak about being a Deacon
Julie Ridden will speak about being a Pastor
Shirley Francis or Mary Riley will speak about being a Lay Preacher
Rev Steve Francis will speak about being a school chaplain.
Susan Sydney Smith will speak about doing a Period of Discernment
Samuel Annan will speak about the process of candidating and beginning formation.
Rev Dr Herman Neinaber will speak about transitioning from another church into the UCA
Rev Dr Anne Wright will speak about education opportunities available through CEDAL.
Susy Thomas will lead the closing prayers.
Are number of videos about the types of ministry in the Uniting Church WA are available to watch on YouTube, which congregations are encouraged to to share within worship over the coming weeks. Pastor Lindsay Ginn shares his experience as a Pastor; Mary Riley shares her experience as a Lay Preacher; Rev Andy Broadbent shares his experiences as a Deacon; and Rev Lorraine Stokes shares her experiences as a Minister of the Word.
There are also videos available from Carolyn Ebell, talking about the Period of Discernment, and Rev Hannes Halgren, sharing his experience as becoming a Uniting Church WA Minister from another denomination.
The Ministry Expo 2021 is a free event that will take place from 7.00 to 9.00pm on Thursday 20 May at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, Perth. RSVP by Monday 17 May to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also welcome to join the event via Zoom and will be sent a link following registration. Please advise whether you are joining in-person or via Zoom when you register.