Pilgrimage of a lifetime

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In November and December this year, a group of twenty Christian young adults will travel to the Holy Land on an adventure and spiritual journey like no other – and you could be part of it. For  two weeks the group will be visiting historical and biblical sites, and will return home forever changed by the experience.

The Young Adult Pilgrimage to the Holy Land will be jointly led by Rev Dr Ian Robinson, chaplain at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and spiritual retreat leader; Rick Morrell, First  Third co-ordinator at the Uniting Church in WA; and Rev Dr Emanuel Audisho, multicultural ministry co-ordinator at the Uniting Church in WA; with the help of John Snobar from Christian Pilgrimage Inc.

Beginning in Jordan, the pilgrimage will travel through Israel and Palestine, touring ancient cities and visiting significant sites such as where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, where Jesus met  the woman at the well, and Capernaum, where Jesus based his public ministry. Along the way, the group will be meeting a range of people, from locals to fellow pilgrims, and encounter new  cultures and languages.

Ian Robinson has been on such a pilgrimage five times, and is excited to share the experience with a new group of young Christians. He believes the trip will be a life  changing experience for those who are up for it. Continue Reading

English classes for more opportunity

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Throughout March and April this year, 11 students from West Papua immersed themselves in Australian culture as part of the Australian Papuan Cultural Exchange Program. Through this  program, the students, aged between 18–25, are able to build-up their English language skills, giving them more opportunities back home.

The idea originally sparked within All Saints Floreat Uniting Church after a visit to The Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI di TP), a partner church of the Uniting Church in  Australia. In its third season since 2010, this year the program was run with the assistance of many Uniting Church congregations across WA, including Scarborough, Trinity North, North  Midlands and Foothills St Martins. From teachers and conversation partners to host families and bus drivers, this program is no easy feat to pull off – but its rewards are immeasurable.

Whilst in Australia, the students lived with host families in Perth, spending their days learning English in a classroom held at the Floreat church. It’s not all hard work though, as they also spent  time exploring some of the city’s attractions, as well as heading south to Busselton and north to Coorow for some fun and time-out. Continue Reading

Messy Church Mix-Up

On Sunday 3 May, 10.00am, in Busselton, something really mixed-up was happening at Bryant Memorial Uniting Church. This was not normal.

The usual crowd for a Sunday morning service  were all there, but this was not what they were used to; it was not Sunday church as they knew it. For a start, the music was different – instead of the usual piano and organ, there was a band –  and look, are those our ministers with the guitars? Yes, Rev Brenton Prigge and Rev Andrew Broadbent are both up there in the band, and those  are Andy’s boys, Tom and Ned playing with them.

But that’s not all – there was no sermon; there was a Godly Play story instead. And then there were all these other wonderful young families who usually only go to church once a month on a Saturday for Messy Church. Maybe this service had been planned just for them? Maybe this was a typical Messy Church?

But no, the Messy Church people were also finding everything a bit  mixedup. There was no craft, for a start, and the whole thing was happening in the sanctuary instead of using the hall as well. And there were just pews; no tables and chairs. Not only that, but there was much more singing than at Messy Church and so many more wonderful ‘Granny and Grandpa’ type people… and after  the Godly Play story that was all about the ‘Table of the Good Shepherd,’ they had this wonderful thing where everybody was actually invited to gather around the table, just like in the  story. That never happens at our Messy Church! Continue Reading