A holy place

The sun was shining, a gentle breeze waved through the trees and birds pranced around, busy making nests among the branches overhead. It was the perfect Spring day for the St Stephen’s School Carramar community to bless their new Bush Chapel – a space for all to reflect, set amongst the flora and fauna of the nature play space.

“You could really tell that God was amongst us on this beautiful day,” Donella Beare, St Stephen’s School Principal, said.Continue Reading

Empowered to LEAD: NYALC 2019

More than 100 young leaders across the Uniting Church in Australia will gather this January to explore their vision for the church and to be encouraged and empowered in their leadership.

The National Young Adult Leaders Conference (NYALC) – LEAD, hosted by Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, will take place from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 January at Nunyara Conference Centre in the foothills of Adelaide.

Past participant Naomi Haslam, from the Uniting Church WA, described NYALC as a key stepping stone in her faith and in finding her place in the church.

“I found NYALC amazing,” Naomi said. “No other word.”Continue Reading

Youthful members reflect

The Uniting Church WA recently supported five youthful members to attend the 15th Triennial Assembly Meeting of the Uniting Church in Australia. Youthful members, aged under 30, take part in a program where they are encouraged to share with and support each other over the week. Three youthful members from the Uniting Church WA share their experiences from the meeting with Revive. Continue Reading

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