New Norcia Organ Retreat

The Organ Retreat in New Norcia offers a unique opportunity to hear a wide range of music performed on a splendid organ, as well as explanations of what it’s all about, and demonstrations of how it ‘works’. This retreat is for anyone – including of course, organists. You can come for a day, a day and a night or for the whole Organ Retreat.

The superb German Romantic organ in the Abbey is unique in Australasia. It was built in Munich in 1922. Throughout the weekend it will be put through its paces, revealing its kaleidoscope of colours, from delicate whisper to thrilling climax. Accommodation in the Monastery Guest House and other buildings, and meals, are available on a first-come first- served basis and need to be booked well in advance. Continue Reading

Mukinbudin: Uniting ahead of the times

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Mukinbudin Uniting Church will be celebrating their 50th anniversary while also welcoming Rev John McKane as the new minister to the Eastern Wheatbelt Parish, which also includes  Merredin, Bruce Rock and Southern Cross Uniting Churches.

Well before the union of the three churches which formed the Uniting Church, the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches were already  worshipping together in Mukinbudin. Rev  Terry Tero, the minister at the time, used to take services in the local Country Women’s Association (CWA) building, before encouraging the congregation to build their own church in  1964.

The church was named ‘Mukinbudin Pioneer Church.’ A Sunday School hall was built in 1973 to cater for a number of young families that were attending. The congregation are now  looking forward to welcoming Rev John McKane. John, his wife Bronwyn and his two young children will be arriving in Australia from South Africa, where he has been the minister at  Linden Presbyterian Church, Johannesburg. He was ordained in the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa around 15 years ago and has had a connection to our land prior to  his move, his father being Australian.

The plaque unveiled on 21 March, 1964.

The plaque unveiled on 21 March, 1964.

Bob French, from the Eastern Wheatbelt Parish is looking forward to the fresh new faces in the region.

“It’ll be the first time that we’ve had a minister with school-age children in a long  time,” he said.

The induction and anniversary service will be held at Mukinbudin Uniting Church on Sunday 24 August. Past and present ministers and members are invited to commemorate the  occasion.

Top image: The assembled community for the opening of Mukinbudin Pioneer Church in 1964.

Bringing the bush indoors

Busselton Uniting Church will once again bring the bush indoors for their annual Wildflower Exhibition from Thursday 18 to Friday 19 September. Come and enjoy the wonderful  presentation of specimens and displays.

Also on display will be  beanies, woodturning, a video, photos, the Geographe Community Nursery plus teas, lunches, cakes, crafts and produce. Tammie Reid, Rural Leadership Fellow is the guest speaker and Vasse Primary School Choir will perform.

The official opening is at 2.00pm on Thursday 18 September. Admission is $10 adults, $6 pensioners, and children are  free. For more information, contact Linda Stephenson at bsnuca@westnet.com.au or call 9752 3304.

We’ll take families out of detention, West Australians offer

Western Australian churches and leading non-government care organisations have offered support and housing in the community for families with infants being held in offshore detention, following reports of desperate mothers self-harming and attempting suicide on Christmas Island, and offers like this being made by organisations in Queensland and South Australia.

Organisations including the Anglican Diocese of Perth, the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, the Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD), and the Salvation Army have written to the Minister of Immigration to make this offer. The organisations have joined with other not for profits in Australia who are making this sort of proposal offering to house and support detained families with young children, allowing them to live in the Australian community while their claims are processed.

The Acting Moderator of the Uniting Church in Western Australia, Rev Ken Williams said, “We must always remember that asylum seekers are human like us. We find it deeply concerning that nearly 1000 children remain in detention and yet both major parties remain unmoved in their position on asylum seekers. What we are saying today is that alternatives are available. Detention is no place for any child and as a first step towards the release of all people in dehumanising detention, we offer to care for families with newborns and infants.”

At least 71 children have been born in Australia to women seeking asylum. Some mothers are brought to the mainland to give birth before being returned to off-shore detention, while others in the on-shore network have been deported to Christmas Island with their young babies.Continue Reading

Uniting Church condemns escalating abuse of asylum seekers

The Uniting Church in Australia has today strongly condemned the continuing and systematic abuse of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat and those being held indefinitely in unsuitable offshore detention centres.

The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Rev Prof Andrew Dutney said that the Government’s inhumane treatment of 157 Tamil asylum seekers had plumbed new depths of cruelty.

“The revelations about what happened to the Tamil asylum seekers while they were detained on a Customs vessel are truly shocking,” said Andrew.

“Capturing people on the high seas, detaining them in harsh conditions and then threatening to set them to sea without experienced navigators or sailors, demonstrates a level of hysteria on the part of the Government that is extremely disturbing.

“In its single-minded efforts to ‘stop the boats’, this Government has lost its moral compass. What started badly enough as using asylum seekers for political point-scoring has degenerated into a callous disregard for the value of human life.”Continue Reading

New mission development leader sought

UnitingCare West, an agency of the Uniting Church in WA, is a leader in the community services sector with over 250 staff members and 300 volunteers who deliver more than 30  support services for people experiencing hardship. The role of Mission Development Leader within UnitingCare West is a key one. The role is fundamental in providing UnitingCare West  with information about the Uniting Church ethos, structures and network, and the Mission Development Leader plays a vital part in helping the organisation to align its mission and values so that they are reflected in its policy development, decision making, work practices and service delivery.

The role has been held by Robert Watson for some 7 years, and in November 2014 he will be retiring. UnitingCare West is therefore starting the process of replacing Robert in this key  role. Continue Reading

Juniper joins search for WA’s most outstanding senior

Juniper is urging the community to nominate individuals and organisations for the WA Seniors Awards 2014.

This is the second year Juniper has supported the awards, sponsoring the Juniper 2014 WA Seniors Champion Award, which recognises an outstanding senior for their commitment to Western Australian communities.

A/Chief Executive Bill McDonald said Juniper was proud to partner with the Department of Local Government and Communities and the Council on the Ageing (COTA) to recognise high achievement among seniors.Continue Reading

Trekking Lake Torrens

When it comes to setting a personal challenge, Andamooka’s Bronwen West is not the type of person to take things lightly. On 2 August, Bronwen will commence a 20-day hike along the length of Lake Torrens in the heart of South Australia’s outback.

Accompanied by her good friend Susie Barr and brother-in-law Oliver Koehn, the trio will trek the semi-desert country on the western side of Australia’s second largest saltwater lake. They will cover about 400km, navigating a track on privately owned stations about half a kilometre from the lake’s edge. They will scramble over loose rock, clamber up sandy hills, tramp through mud and wade through water.Continue Reading

Vulnerable children a forefront concern

UnitingCare Australia looks forward to tomorrow’s release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning, hoping it will pave a way forward for an increase in the proportion of disadvantaged and vulnerable children receiving early childhood education.

“We know that going to a quality preschool or early learning centre makes a huge difference in the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet these children are also the most likely to miss out on that early learning during crucial years in their life,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

“We hope that reforms which ultimately come from the final report will prioritise the needs of vulnerable children,” said Lin.Continue Reading

Film screening: The Soloist

The Soloist Movie flyer print_Page_1 UnitingCare West is hosting a private movie screening to raise funds for their annual Winter Appeal. Join them at Hoyts Garden City in Booragoon to watch The Soloist, and enjoy an exclusive Question and Answer session with the movie’s Co-Producer Rikki Bestall. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online at http://www.trybooking.com/94137 or by calling the Marketing team on 1300 663 298.

To download the flyer click here.