Rainbow Lunches: an adventure changing lives

UnitingCare West’s Rainbow Lunch celebrated its 20th anniversary this month. Around 100 past and present volunteers and friends gathered at Maylands Mt Lawley Uniting Church to mark the occasion.

Rainbow Lunches are a social group, set in churches, inviting people who are experiencing mental illness or loneliness to join them for lunch and a chance to connect with other people in the community.

Larissa Muir, Senior Project Officer NDIS Transition at UnitingCare West, said that Rainbow has quietly evolved over the past 20 years, beginning with a focus on befriending people living with mental illness and now expanding to other areas to include people in all sorts of situations, such as those who are vulnerable to homelessness, those who have exited prison, as well as people that have battled physical illness or are awaiting a transplant.Continue Reading

40 years of friendship and CARE

Yesterday, Tuesday 11 June, Bicton Uniting Church celebrated the 40th anniversary of their CARE Centre. As past and present friends and volunteers of the program gathered and shared memories, it was clear that this program means so much to many people.

The CARE Centre (Christian Action Requires Empathy) is a friendship group for elderly people in the community. For one morning a fortnight, volunteers pick up people in the local area, by a bus gifted from Fremantle Wesley Uniting Church, and bring them back to the centre for entertainment, craft, memory days, laughter and love. Continue Reading

Trek for Timor raising much needed funds

Around 30 passionate people took to the Perth hills on Sunday 19 May to take part in the Trek for Timor. Walking from Kalamunda Uniting Church to Foothills St Martin’s Uniting Church in Forrestfield, the group were raising money for Lafaek Diak’s mobile health clinic.

Lafaek Diak translates in English to the Good Crocodile Foundation. It works towards providing access to quality education, healthcare and sustainable food security for people in Timor-Leste, and is one of the Uniting Church WA’s international partner organisations.Continue Reading

Seeing, naming and participating: the work of school leaders

One of the great challenges of the work of Uniting Church school chaplains and school principals is to be receptive to God’s Spirit moving in their communities. Our schools are full of the joy of children and the energy of youth. When you meet at a school you can feel the vitality of youth throbbing through the culture of these important places.

However, schools are not only celebrations of youth and places for learning. Clearly, learning is central to the work of schools; however they are also places where the Spirit of God moves among the community. We know God moves ahead of us and that faith and the values of the Gospel are gifts and graces from God (Eph 2: 1 John 4). Continue Reading

Young adult leaders sharing passion for God and faith

On Thursday 17 January, 120 young adults from all across Australia, including a group of 21 from Western Australia, came together at Nunyara in Adelaide, South Australia, for the National Young Adult Leaders Conference (NYALC). The group of young, passionate, driven faith leaders from each synod, were at Nunyara for four days, coming together to grow as leaders in the Uniting Church.

I first heard about NYALC from Janine McDonald, Uniting Generations Co-ordinator for the Uniting Church WA. She is so passionate about the young people of the church in WA and motivating us to do more on a local, state and national level where possible. Continue Reading

Diversity, inclusivity and humour in the Bible

We know that Jesus was a storyteller, but was Jesus funny? Is there humour in the Bible?

Rev John Bell, international theologian, musician and social justice advocate, thinks so, and will be in the country soon to tell us why. He’ll be setting off on an Australian and New Zealand tour in May. Despite the challenging time difference from WA, John shared some of his passions for the church, from his home base of Glasgow, Scotland.

John has been a member of the Iona Community for 50 years. On top of that he’s worked for the community as a resource worker in the areas of worship, spirituality and social justice. He’s also a published author, a regular radio broadcaster and a songwriter of many hymns – some of which we regularly use in worship here in the Uniting Church WA. Continue Reading