Fellowship

FellowshipIt was quite a small gathering for our May Meeting only five Members present, but nevertheless it was a most rewarding and very interesting time of fellowship together. We welcomed our Minister, Peter and Office Administrator, Madeline, who joined us for lunch. Margaret Morey was facilitator and Audrey Scrimgeour on Kitchen duties made us a cuppa. What a great time we had! 

A reminder was given of the film morning at The Regal Theatre on 27th June “Florence Foster Jenkins” – it is showing in cinemas now, and receiving good reviews, but we hope that people will wait and buy ticket from Rev Norah Norris from which the Fellowship will benefit. Our Fellowship supplies a raffle prize, and contributes to morning tea served prior to the film.

Mission Packing Day is in June – our goods go to Marion UC who will receive donations on Sunday 5th June, to sort ready to pack. There is a carton in McGregor Hall each Sunday until then to receive the donation of any suitable items. Goods are sent to communities and op shops in Northern and Central Australia, so SUMMER clothes for men, women and children are appropriate. A list of acceptable items is on the carton, or speak with a fellowship member for any further information. Packing Day also supports Old Timers’ Fete in Alice Springs and NEW items suitable for a work stall are most welcome – these should be kept separate and marked   “Old Timers”. 

As this meeting was just before Mother’s Day we all shared a story about mothers. Audrey read a most interesting resume of her mother’s life - Mrs Noble had written it on the occasion of her 80th birthday, and she gave the most fascinating details of growing up – she was born in Warnambool in Victoria. Later the family moved to Moonee Ponds Her first job was just before the First World War, she received 5 shillings a week!

Alleyne said “I take my hat off to my mother” as she coped with her family, bring them up and educating them. Norah told us about a much loved member of her extended family.  Aunty May was born in England, the eldest of six children, and cared for the younger ones when their father brought them and their new young step-mother to Australia in the 1880s.  May became the nurserymaid for a family at Glenelg, where she lived in and looked after seven children (including Norah's mother).    When she married a young farmer who was her employer's brother she became aunt to the children she had cared for, who were all very fond of her.  Years later it was discovered that her birth mother who they had though dead was still alive.  May and her husband travelled to England to find her and brought her to Australia where she was well cared for by her loving daughter. 

Margaret learned to knit when she was only four years old – taught by her mother. In 1968 she represent Victoria in National Knit Off Competition, an all-day even, and she won, showing us photos as she become the National Champion for 1968. Margaret still knits – each year she knits many toys for the Old Timers’ Fete in Alice Springs. When Mary lived in Whyalla the Sunday School Mothers at St Andrew’s (then Presbyterian) Church were considering raising money and so a Mother’s Day Flower Stall was suggested – this was in 1964. It was held on the day before Mother’s Day in Whyalla’s main street, and chrysanthemums both white and coloured were bunched at the church on Friday night, also any other flowers we could get, and kept in buckets of water until the next day. We sold them for two shillings and six pence a bunch! This event has continued each year, raising many thousands of dollars over the years. 

We meet again on Thursday 2nd June when we look forward to Evelina Bruhn telling us of her recent trip to Sri Lanka. A warm invitation is extended to all members of the congregation to join us – BYO lunch at 12 noon. You will be most welcome. Rev Norah Norris is Facilitator and Margaret Morey is on kitchen duties.

Mary Thomas

State Mission Fellowship
Jill Polkinghorne was in the chair for the State Mission Fellowship Meeting held in McGregor Hall on 26th April 2016. This monthly meeting is organized by National & World Mission Support (a sub-committee of UCAF- Uniting Church Adult Fellowship). Those present sit at tables arranged so that everyone can see and hear the speaker, and it is a really friendly meeting. We have a cup of tea or coffee on arrival, and can stay for lunch afterwards. Candyce Champion was to be the speaker, and her subject "Reconciliation", (Reconciliation Week is Friday 27 May- Friday 3rd June) but she was unfortunately unable to come - she sent her sincere apologies, and asked Ian Dempster to speak instead - which he did, filling in for her at the very last moment. Ian is the Congress Resource Officer, and he said individuals and communities from the Uniting Church, and the Uniting Aboriginal & Islander Christian Congress, would come together that week for a series of pilgrimages - this was a feature in the latest April/May "New Times".

In her Opening Devotions, Jill Polkinghorne read "What is Our National Identity?" A short meditation designed to increase cultural understanding taken from a 2005 Mission Prayer Handbook . (I well remember receiving this useful and informative little booklet every year, until just a few years ago).

Joan Knowling, a member of the S A Team of Frontier Services, brought us up-to- date with the work of the ministry in Parkin/Sturt Patrol, by Pastor Paul Glazbrook and his wife, Robyn and Adrian Nippress spoke about the new relationship between the S A Synod and the United Church in PNG. Also he told us that on Sunday 1 May a campaign was being launched by Australian Aid regarding the possibility of aid being cut back, and there is a need to remind the community that aid really works!

Ian Dempster told us something of the work of Uniting Aboriginal Islander Christian Congress, with the assistance of a power point demonstration. He reminded us that places familiar to us all e.g. Victoria Square, Wilpena Pound etc. have Aboriginal names. Many Aboriginal people are reclaiming the land and re-learning the language. There are several ministry areas including Port Augusta (where Rev Denise Champion is the minister), Hawker, Salisbury, and Oodnadatta. A  possibility is Tailem Bend where a church building has become vacant. This would be a good central place for Murray Bridge and the surrounding area. However the church building requires some repairs to make it a suitable and safe place. Congress and the Uniting Church continue to work together for Reconciliation.

We enjoyed a time of fellowship over lunch - a special menu this time - a slice of very tasty quiche and salad, (instead of the usual assorted sandwiches) and a generous slice of Bev's famous fruit cake, all for $5! Why don't you join us - meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month, and everyone is most welcome.   Mary  Thomas

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