U-Team at Emerging Youth Games

On Saturday 28 April, a team of around 20 young people and leaders from various Uniting Churches in Perth attended the annual Emerging Youth Games, held at Warwick Stadium.

The event was a great opportunity for young people between the ages of 11 to 15 to get together with other churches, play sport, build relationships, and learn more about Jesus. There were games for everyone; ranging from the more docile Connect 4 and Uno, to the high-energy basketball and dodgeball. The U-team’s success came in Nerf Wars (involving the infamous Nerf guns)  and badminton, where we came first and second respectively. Continue Reading

Beth Shalom celebrates Fakame

In Tonga, the first Sunday in May is dedicated to the children of Tonga. This is a special Sunday where Tongans in the Kingdom of Tonga and anywhere in the world celebrate their children. It is referred to as ‘Fakame’, ‘White Sunday’ or ‘The Children’s Sunday’.

This year, Beth Shalom Tongan Uniting Church, in South Lakes here in WA, was no exception to what was happening in Tonga on this special Sunday. The children from our church dressed in their absolute finest and performed for their families and friends. It was a special day for Beth Shalom and our Tongan Community in Perth to acknowledge and celebrate our children by hosting a  special program for them. The whole service was conducted by the children with the main purpose of thanking the Lord for their lives and blessings. Continue Reading

Being messy, being church

With the full support of Rockingham Uniting Church, my home congregation, I flew to Melbourne to attend the Australasian Messy Church Gathering, in February. Having only a small idea as to what Messy Church was about, along with fellow youth leader, Kelly Crothers, I was keen to find out more with the hope of bringing this concept back to our church.

The gathering was held in the Centre for Theology and Ministry in Parkville, a magnificent heritage building that was itself inspiring. In attendance were people from all over Australia, New Zealand, UK and Malaysia. We were very blessed to have Canon Lucy Moore, the founder of Messy Church from The Church of England, as the special guest and keynote speaker. Lucy’s enthusiasm was infectious.

The other keynote speakers were Rev Greg Ross, a Uniting Church WA Minister who has a long established Messy Church in Bunbury; the talented Rev Brenton Prigge a former Uniting Church WA Minister who played guitar and sang hymns that he had written; and Rev Debbie Smith from New Zealand who spoke to us about maximising the potential of your Messy Team. At this point, I realised how important having help and working as a team will be.

We learnt the values of Messy Church and that it is not just for children. It is a Christ centred church in its own right for all ages, gathering together to enjoy creativity, celebration and hospitality. Sharing a meal isan important part, as Lucy said, “You can’t share the abundance of Godwith a biscuit.”Continue Reading

Mentoring Program enriching lives

Trinity North Uniting Church are running a Mentoring Program for its high school age members who attend the vibrant church in Greenwood.

Instead of attending the regular Sunday worship service at 9.00am, mentees between the ages of 11 to 17, are whisked away by their mentors to a nearby park or café for a chat. The first session in February 2018, saw seven mentors and mentees attending. The organiser of the Mentoring Program is former Kids Church Co-ordinator at Trinity North Uniting Church, Kylie Steed.Though the church has a regular Youth Group, Kylie and other church members felt something more needed to be done for the younger members to feel more connected to their local church.

“The idea came out of our Children and Youth Ministry team that we try a Mentoring Program. One of the aspects we wanted was a small group discussion on a Sunday morning during worship time,” said Kylie.

“The benefit of this program is our teenagers have someone else at the church who knows what they are up to. Someone other than their parents are having a conversation with them and are interested in them, and that makes such a big difference for a teenager,” said Kylie. Continue Reading

A night in the wilderness

Kids’ Camp Out (KCO) was once again a great success. The overnight camp was held from Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 March at Advent Park in Maida Vale. Junior leaders began their camp on Friday 10 March, as they helped to prepare for the arrival of campers.

Children, junior leaders, camp leaders and volunteers came together from all over the Uniting Church WA to explore this year’s theme, ‘Wilderness,’ through craft, games, activities, food, worship and play. With a night of rough winds, campers had to move from their tents into on-site cabins, however that didn’t detract from all the fun.

KCO is an annual event of the Uniting Generations team at the Uniting Church WA. Thanks go to all the Uniting Church WA volunteers who help make KCO possible. Continue Reading

Girls’ Brigade celebrates 125 years

This is an exciting year for Girls’ Brigade Western Australia (GBWA): in 2018, the vibrant community organisation celebrates 125 years of mission.

To kick-off 125 years with a bang, GBWA hosted its national Girls’ Brigade camp Fonomarae (Fono) at Woodman Point in Perth, with over 100 people from across the nation attending. The week was filled with challenging activities and fun ones too, such as a photo scavenger hunt in Perth city.

The Fono camp is the start of birthday celebrations. GBWA State Commissioner, Nikola Lewis is enthusiastic about preparations to celebrate in a big, but meaningful way. Continue Reading

The new Deep End

On 9 December last year, five young adults and three leaders gathered at the Uniting Church Campsite in Busselton for the very first Deep End Camp. The overnight camp was for young adults between the ages of 16–25 years old, and provided the opportunity for people to explore and get closer to their faith, and to dive deeper into their religion and relationship with God.

Together, we enjoyed some great food, great company, and great unique ways to look at our faith and how our lives connect with kingdom and covenant.

Across the weekend we had three Bible study sessions, some time at the beach, Sunday morning worship with Busselton Uniting Church and a lot of frisbee and card games.

The camp was co-ordinated by Janine McDonald, Uniting Generations Officer, who, like all of us, was very excited for this camp to kick-off the brand new Uniting Generations ministry. Continue Reading