Presbytery Ministers’ Pastoral Letter April2018

PASTORAL LETTER from the Presbytery Ministers.    26 April 2018

Dear Presbytery Members, Church Council Secretaries and Congregations,

“I am the Vine, you are the branches” [John 15:5] 

What a beautiful chapter is John 15, surely a highlight of the week’s lectionary readings. Beginning with one of Jesus’ seven great I AM statements – I am the True Vine (v.1); proclaiming the “glorification” or honouring of God through true and faithful discipleship (v.8); acknowledging that Jesus has made “known” to his beloved disciples all that he has heard from the Father (v.15). Such a valuable gift that is to us, as Disciples of Christ in today’s world.

The annotated Revised Standard Version of the scriptures selects from this Chapter three dimensions of Christian living:

  1. Abiding in the True Vine – This is the essence of our relationship, in staying close to Christ.
  2. Good fruit will come forth – referring to the Christian Church, which is the New Israel.
  3. The Loving Obedience – of keeping Christ’s commandments, resulting in complete joy.

Presbytery Meeting: The next full Presbytery Meeting is Saturday 18 August at Leeton Uniting Church. The Moderator Simon Hansford will be present.

Regions

The Regional Events for the Year have begun. Those who have participated have enjoyed the day or part of the day.

Many of these first Regional Events have been organised by us as we needed to have these in the Calendar before the Regional Organisation Meetings. The planning for the 2019 three events will need to be talked about at Regional Organisational Meetings in October this year.

*The Eastern Regional Day (an Inauguration Service and three Seminars) is Saturday 28 April 10am to 3pm at Cootamundra.

*The Central Region Inauguration Service is on Sunday 6 May followed by lunch and a time of fellowship.

Each Region has some dates for gatherings at the end of May. These dates were planned by Uniting Mission and Education personnel and ourselves in the latter half of last year.

See the Events on the Presbytery web site for more details. (added by webmaster)

Date                           Seminar                          Region                            Place
Friday 18 May            Safe Church                     Southern Region            Culcairn
Saturday 19 May         Family Worship               Southern Region            Culcairn
Sunday 20 May           Family Worship               Western Region               Finley
Monday 21 May             Safe Church                   Western Region             Deniliquin
Saturday 26 May
Pathways and Makes you Wonder                Central and Northern                   Leeton
Sunday 27 May
Pathways and Makes you Wonder                 Eastern                        Cootamundra
Safe Church Training Registration:
http://ume.nsw.uca.org.au/upcoming-courses/scta-workshop-registrations/

Courses:

Lay Preacher Training                New Testament: 12 and 13 May(Griffith), 2 and 3 June(Narrandera)

Proclaiming Jesus: 8, 9, 22 and 23 September (Leeton)

SRE Training (refer to Presbytery website and UME website)

You are able to attend this training with another denomination who is hosting a day in your area. SRE training can also be done on line.

Riverina Presbytery Website: There are many reports of activities on the website; Kids Camp Out and Regional Events. The website information is updated regularly.  Send website information  to Paul Ballard or Andrew. If you have photos make sure you have permission to have them on the website. Our Website Administrator is John Milnes, jmilnes@live.com.au.

Resources:

Presbytery Library: This is now housed at the Ministry Centre in Wagga Wagga, behind Wesley Church. You may borrow books. Hours are 9am to 3pm Monday to Thursday. Phone 6921 4275.

MediaCom in South Australia, www.mediacom.org.au , provides resources for worship, study groups, messy church, etc. The outlet also holds all Uniting Church resources.

Church Music Wendy Frazier has sent these free You-tube links for Church Music in the public domain and in mp3 format.  Some can be downloaded free.

http://www.hymnswithoutwords.com/hymns/Category:Hymns_Without_Words 
http://www.scripturesongs.net/
http://www.smallchurchmusic3.com/index-new.php

A full communion service from Tis 756
http://www.smallchurchmusic3.com/Song_Display-New.php?SID=318
https://www.hymnal.net/en/home
https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/313
http://www.greatchristianhymns.com/guitar-chords.html

Fair Trade Conference:

Fair Trade Fair: 28 April 2018 at Queanbeyan Uniting Church.

NSW ACT Synod publish a weekly ‘Insights’.

Write to www.nswact.uca.org.au  or contactus@nswact.uca.org.au to receive a copy.

Contact Information:  Our contact details are landline 02 6932 0315, mobile 0448 110 407 (Carolyn) and 0455 537 036 (Andrew) and our email address is thornley@exemail.com.au; an alternative email address is revcarolynthornley@gmail.com.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if your contact details need to be updated and if you have any other queries. We are as close as a phone call or an email message.

Below is a reflection on Peace by Mother Teresa from Classic Prayers for Every Need.

“Although you may not be able to control what happens in the outer world, you can take steps to assure peace in your inner world. And it all begins with your seeking out God. It is through God you may gain access to that peace beyond all understanding, that peace that ripples out to those around you.

Peace begins with a smile.”

Grace and peace,

Rev. Carolyn and Pastor Andrew Thornley