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

Championing ministry for the generations

Uniting Generations is officially the new intergenerational ministry model adopted by the Presbytery of WA.
At the recent meeting of the Presbytery of WA, held on Saturday 5 November, members agreed to the new
model which will encourage and resource churches to engage in intergenerational activities.

Moving on from First Third Ministry, which was adopted in 2007, Rev Luke Williams, a member of the First Third Committee, believes Uniting Generations is the obvious next step.

“I think the first ten years of First Third Ministry gave us an opportunity to go from very little focus on ministry with and to young people, to an opportunity to try and do something,” Luke said.Continue Reading

Wesley unveils Science Centre for Tomorrow

Wesley College’s ‘Science Centre for Tomorrow’ was officially opened in August by WA Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken AC, in a fitting celebration of National Science Week. In addition to Professor Klinken, Wesley College welcomed local teachers, media, government and industry representatives along with its extended community to view the state-of-the-art facility for the first time.

The Science Centre is named in honour of one of Wesley’s longest serving and much cherished teachers, Mildred Manning, who taught biology from 1923–1970 and retired in 1976.

In planning for the Mildred Manning Science Centre, Wesley College’s team of leading educators researched: foremost secondary science facilities in Australia; University Science and Engineering learning spaces and research centres; medical and Science research facilities across Australia; and consulted internationally with experts in learning space design for inspiration before designs were finalised in 2015 and construction began in 2016.

Their vision culminated in a building that is designed as a living, breathing science experiment to excite students who can learn in a hands-on approach.Continue Reading