Feb 6

Wednesday 3rd February saw the ‘return’ of the Wednesday Community Luncheon for the last time. After nearly two decades of amazing service to the local community, the past Wednesday saw a meal of thanksgiving where volunteers and participants were able to thank God for all the blessings of the last 19 years.

The community luncheon began on the 15th May in either 1996 or 1993, or possibly even sooner. It was first a casual place to stop for a sandwich to share, but began to grow into the luncheon we recognise today through the efforts and skills of its volunteer workers.

As the luncheon closed its doors for the final time, the total life experience of volunteers was around 1000 years. These and many others over the years served approximately 44,250 meals, and about 110,625 courses. A rough guess puts the volunteer hours at about 34,000. In all this service has been an immense achievement.

We recognise that for all things there is a ‘season under heaven’. While we give thanks for all the luncheon has been, it is not without a sense of loss that this ministry draws to a close. In particular it has provided an important gathering place of community for an average of 80 people weekly. Some of those who attend have stated it was the most important event in their week.

It may yet be possible that new avenues to sharing a meal will open up. At the same time it is a blessing that the volunteer workforce get a well deserved break. In the near future Fusion will be recommencing their community luncheon in their new home at the Oakleigh Baptist Church on Warrigal Road.

Again, thanks be to God for a wonderful and faithful ministry that has been such a vibrant and important blessing to local and wider community.

Dec 17

On Friday 4th December, Warrawee Park in Oakleigh was tranformed into a lively and festive gathering place for over 3000 people from our local community. Featuring school choirs, Christmas carols, cultural items, crowd games, Santa and more, 2009 proved to be the most popular carols to date.

Oakleigh Carols 2009Many thanks go to those who made the carols possible. In particular we thank Rev. Mano Manopavan who will be leaving in the new year for Queensland but has been instrumental in bringing the churches of Oakleigh together to stage four events so far. Major sponsor this year was the Rotary Club of Oakleigh who supported us generously when many businesses were struggling through the GFC. The Monash City Council Community Arts grant has also helped tremendously, alongside sponsors such as Coates hire, Huntingdale and Hughesdale Pharmacies, Lions Club of Oakleigh, Cartridge World Oakleigh, and Woodards Real Estate.

Carols in the Park will return again next year on Friday December 3rd.

Feb 15

In the wake of the devastating bushfires this past week in Victoria, we reflect on the countless acts of compassion and bravery and consider the gospel call to raise our lamps high that the light shines to effect.

Reflection February 15th, 2009 (pdf)

Dec 19

On Saturday December 13th, the hall at St. David’s Oakleigh was transformed into a live Christmas Nativity, with an animal farm creating a live Nativity, as we remember the Christmas story where Jesus is born in a manger amongst the animals.

Each year we have a lucky door prize where the winner gets to take the family to the Rain, Hayne and Shine animal farm at Balnarring. We are pleased to announce that this year’s winner is:

Callum A.. of Huntingdale

Callum and his family were delighted with the news and we are too.

The next major St. David’s event for children and their families will be our Christmas Eve service on December 24th at 4pm. All are welcome.

Sep 29

About 200 people are expected to attend a Uniting Church forum at Darwin University this week to voice their concerns about the Federal Government’s intervention in remote communities.

The forum is being held on Tuesday, the same day the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin is expected to be given the results of a review into the intervention.

A spokesman for the church’s Northern Synod, which covers the Northern Territory, the Kimberley region and northern South Australia, says many churchgoers with links to Aboriginal communities believe the emergency response is creating fear and confusion rather than hope for a better future.

Read more>>

Jul 29

The majority of asylum seekers will no longer be detained under major immigration reforms described by Immigration Minister Chris Evans as a more compassionate approach.

The Government will not completely scrap mandatory detention but Senator Evans says the Department of Immigration will have to justify why a person should be detained.

“A person who poses no danger to the community will be able to remain in the community while their visa status is resolved,” Senator Evans said.

Senator Evans says indefinite detention is not acceptable.

read more>>

Jul 15

Story of stuffIf you are wondering what drives seemingly endless western consumerism, check out this interesting expose by Annie Leonard on the Story of Stuff.

The description below is from the website: 

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Jul 8

A covenant is an agreement. The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress walks in covenant with many non-indigenous Australians of the Uniting Church. For the latest news and information including NAIDOC week (this week), check out the latest edition of covenanting news.

Covenanting News – July (pdf)

Jul 7

Our labyrinthThe next Oakleigh labyrinth will be held at St. David’s Uniting Church, 154 Drummond St, Oakleigh on:

Wednesday, July 9th at 8pm.

Come and allow the space to still the noisy spaces, and allow your walking bodies to re-connect heart, mind and soul.

More information about the Labyrinth at the St. David’s UCA in Oakleigh, including photos and schedule of labyrinth events.

The latest newsletter on labyrinths from Veriditas is available as a free pdf download. The current edition focusses on creativity and the labyrinth and has many gems including information about Sting’s latest CD ‘Songs from the Labyrinth’.

Jul 4

Bishops marchingOn Thursday, July 24, more than 600 Anglican bishops, their spouses and other faith leaders from around the United Kingdom will march through central London on a Walk of Witness — a symbolic moment of solidarity and coming together for the fulfilment of the
Millennium Development Goals to reflect to the world
God’s desire for justice and concern for the poor.

There are many ways to be involved in promoting the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), and the ‘Episcopaleans for Global Reconciliation’ website offers many resources and ideas to get you started.

Another useful resource is the ‘Make Poverty History’ website.