RIVERINA PRESBYTERY UNITING CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA
PASTORAL LETTER from the Presbytery Minister 25 July 2018
(This letter is for all Uniting Church Members. Please copy it and pass it on.)
Dear Presbytery Members, Church Council Secretaries and Congregations,
Scripture provides a wonderful experience for the remaining season of Pentecost – right through to the end of November. While not neglecting the treasures of the Old Testament, the gospels and epistles are full of passages to deepen our faith and support us in daily living. The focus of the New Testament readings is Christ – in Mark the fast-paced narrative of Jesus, in John the miracles and good works of Jesus and in Paul’s letters the meaning and significance of Christ, not just for believers but indeed, as we truly pray, for the entire world.
Just this week I have been reading from Ephesians in preparation for preaching. Bible scholar William Neil writes that “many people will feel that Ephesians is the greatest of all St Paul’s letters”. Why does he say that? Simply, there is no hint of controversy but rather a “deep devotional spirit filled with praise and thanksgiving”. My spiritual formation bible advises reading Ephesians on our knees! – “ready to pray and eager to rise up” in obedience to Paul’s plea: “I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called” [4:1] In pointing to the inclusive message of Our Lord and Saviour, it is little wonder that the great Reformed leader, John Calvin, would write: ‘Since so great a storehouse of every good thing is found in Christ, let us drink from this fountain and no other’.
Presbytery Meeting: The next full Presbytery Meeting is Saturday 18 August at Leeton Uniting Church. The Moderator Simon Hansford will be present. Sheila Ayliffe from Tumbarumba will be commissioned as the Presbytery Chairperson.
Elections for Presbytery Positions and Committees will take place.
Moderator’s Visit to Riverina Presbytery:
Following the Presbytery Meeting, the Moderator will be spending a week in the Riverina. This will be an opportunity for you to meet up with him at a centre near to you. A detailed itinerary will be made available in August. At this stage, the Moderator’s program looks like this:
- Saturday August 18th Leeton to Griffith (Central and Northern Regions)
- Sunday August 19th Griffith to Hay (Northern and Western Regions)
- Monday August 20th Hay to Deniliquin (Western Region)
- Tuesday August 21st Deniliquin to Wagga Wagga (Central and Southern Regions)
- Wednesday August 22nd Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba (Southern and Eastern Regions)
- Thursday August 23rd Tumbarumba to Wagga Wagga (Eastern and Central Regions)
- Friday August 24th Wagga Wagga to Sydney.
We want to acknowledge and thank Rev. Fie Marino and Rev. Dr Ian Robinson for their facilitation of ‘Pathways’ and the introduction to ‘Makes You Wonder’ for four workshops across the Regions.
Come and join in the Regional Events. Those who have participated have really appreciated the days.
Each Region has some dates for gatherings in August to November.
Planning for next year’s Regional Events will be in October.
Date Seminar Region Place
Saturday 18 August Presbytery All Leeton
Friday 7 September Pathways Feedback Central and Northern Leeton
(afternoon) Stage 2 and 3
Saturday 8 September Proclaiming Jesus All Leeton
Sunday 9 September Proclaiming Jesus All Leeton
Friday 21 September Pathways Feedback Eastern Cootamundra
(early afternoon) Stage 2 and 3
Saturday 22 Sept Proclaiming Jesus All Leeton
Sunday 23 September Proclaiming Jesus All Leeton
Friday 13 October Pathways Stage 2 & 3 Southern
Makes You Wonder
Saturday 14 October Pathways Stage 2&3 Western Berrigan
Makes You Wonder
Friday 19 October Safe Church Central Leeton
Saturday 20 October Family Worship Central Leeton
Sunday 21 October Family Worship Eastern Cootamundra
Monday 21 October Safe Church Eastern Cootamundra
Saturday 10 November Retreat for Lay All TBA
Saturday 17 November Curating Worship All Narrandera
Lay Preacher Training Proclaiming Jesus: 8, 9, 22 and 23 September (Leeton)
Curating Worship: 17 November (Narrandera)
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; including Regional Events. The website information is updated regularly. Send website information to Paul Ballard or Andrew Thornley. If you have photos make sure you have permission to have them on the website. Our Website Administrator is John Milnes, email@example.com
With Love to the World A Resource for Daily Devotion, Bible Study, and Worship
To subscribe, visit website at http://withlovetotheworld.org.au, or phone (02) 9747 1369
Presbytery Library is housed at the Ministry Centre in Wagga Wagga, behind Wesley Church. You may borrow books. Ring Betty Loiterton, 6931 1219, and she will locate the book, pass it on the us to bring out to you or near you. The book list is on the website. 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.
NSW ACT Synod publish a weekly ‘Insights’.
Write to www.nswact.uca.org.au or firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy.
Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital and Calvary Hospital
If a member of your congregation is in hospital in Wagga Wagga we wish to let you know that there is a Pastoral Care Team at Wagga Wagga Uniting Church. Phone the Ministry Centre on 6921 4275. In emergencies ring 0447 262 802.
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 email@example.com; an alternative email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 prayer by David Adams from Tides and Seasons, Modern prayers in the Celtic tradition.
Awaken me, Lord,
to your light,
Open my eyes
to your presence.
Awaken me, Lord,
to your love.
Open my heart
to your indwelling.
Awaken me, Lord,
to your life.
Open my mind
to your abiding.
Awaken me, Lord,
to your purpose.
Open my will to your
Grace and peace,
Rev. Carolyn and Pastor Andrew Thornley