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.

Oct 4

St Francis of Assisi is famous for many things. One of the precious things he reminds us is that animals are truly a blessing of God’s creation. As we celebrate the feast of St. Francis and the blessing of the animals, what follows is a heart-warming story about a dog who saved the life of a little girl earlier this year in Melbourne.

Roary and EbonyROARY the Staffordshire bull terrier turned lifesaver when he saw a deadly brown snake rear to strike three-year-old Ebony Davis.

Roary jumped on the 1.5-metre snake, bit it and swung it clear of Ebony and her father in the backyard of their home.

But the family pet’s bravery almost cost its life.

As Roary held on, the snake bit him repeatedly on the flanks and one ear before breaking free and slithering under a shed.

Ebony’s father, Tim Davis, 38, said the dog “did a lap of honour around the yard, with his tail on high, and then he went in the house and collapsed”.

“As I wiped the venom off his body, his legs gave way and his head came down on the floor,” Mr Davis said. “There was no sign of life in him.”

Mr Davis put Roary on the front seat of his car and rushed the dog 10km to Kangaroo Flat Veterinary Centre, near his home at Lockwood in central Victoria.

“He was quite still and I kept stopping to breathe some air into his nose, but I was sure he was a goner,” Mr Davis said.

“When we got there, the vet told me how expensive the anti-venom was and how slim his chances were with so many bites.

“I said, ‘Money doesn’t matter; he’s saved my little girl’s life. Just get on with it’.

“A minute later, needles were hanging out of him everywhere.”

But 10-year-old Roary is a fighter and when the Sunday Herald Sun visited him at home two weeks after the attack, he was running in the yard like a puppy.

“I’ve had him since he was six weeks old,” said Tim’s partner and Ebony’s mother, Christine Martin, 29.

“I don’t know what I’d have done if we’d lost him.”

The only sign of Roary’s ordeal is some muscle wastage around his chest, but he is expected to recover.

Sep 21

The people of Israel find themselves desperately in need of food in the wilderness. Their plight seems so dire that they have forgotten the stories of God being with them all through this journey towards the promised land. The story of God with us is vital because it is the ultimate story of meaning and purpose. In the case of the people of Israel, God gives them another chapter of meaning as God’s story keeps weaving itself into their own story.

Sermon September 21st, 2008 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Sep 18

I’ve recently started a short course on the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is interesting because it is about training our minds to be alert to what is present and real.

There is a story that comes from India that speaks about how easy it is to trap a monkey. All that is needed is to put a banana inside a coconut with a hole big enough for the monkey to put its hand in. The monkey reaches inside the coconut for the banana, but cannot pull the banana out once it has grabbed it. Most monkeys, it seems, are so reluctant to let go of the banana that they are captured instead.

The human mind is like this, despite all of our intelligence. We try to hold onto things that are pleasant, and deny things that are not so agreeable.  What mindfulness teaches is to be present to all things – good, bad and things in between. Our increased awareness of what is real means that we are more capable of enjoying the moments that are truly pleasant, and more able to cope with things that are difficult.

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Jul 23

A yachting adventure will see Jordan Garkut deliver goods and offer practical help around the southeastern islands of Papua New Guinea for the next three months.Relief primary school teacher Jordan set out on Sunday, farewelled by his family and friends from Highway Christian Church, on an adventure he has been waiting years to fulfil.Laden with school teaching and learning resources, stationary, fishing gear, clothing, seeds, hats, guitars, supplies for basic first aid, Christian resources and Bibles, Jordan is heading for Kawano Waters on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

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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.

Jul 1

Food shortageChurch bodies have affirmed their commitment to feeding the world’s hungry after world government’s agreed at the Rome food crisis summit last month that overcoming the current shortages would require a united effort.

The plea “give us this day our daily bread” by the world’s poor is deeply understood by Christians and a message that world leaders at the food summit need to hear”, said Sushant Agrawal, director of the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) in India.

“The Lord’s Prayer highlights that having enough to eat is, and has always been, central to the Christian idea of a world shaped by justice and mercy,” Agrawal added, according to World Council of Churches (WCC). “If God’s will was done, no one would go hungry.”

There are 854 million people – or one in every eight – that are short of food, and another 100 million people are expected to join their ranks with the current food crisis this year.

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Jun 27

Community lunchThe St. David’s Uniting church had cause to celebrate yesterday as the Wednesday community luncheon turned 15.

The luncheon has been running every Wednesday between February and December for the past 15 years, aimed at being a place of gathering and community for local residents. Good and cheap food, entertainment, and a place of belonging are all features of the weekly gathering at 154 Drummond St., Oakleigh.

The community lunch costs a mere $3 and all are welcome to come and enjoy. Lunch begins at 12:30 pm every Wednesday, and there is also an invitation to come early for a brief service of worship in the church beginning at noon.

Jun 20

Peace by pieceIn the lead up to world youth day, an inter-faith peace ceremony will be held in Federation Sqaure on 10th July at 10am.

The ceremony is a very simple way for young people to share the beauty and treasures of their faith in its promotion of peace. Highlights of the Ceremony include:

  • Aboriginal Welcome to Land and Dance Troupe
  • Personal Witness from young people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and Christian faiths
  • Presentation of a Peace Pole to the City of Melbourne
  • Launch of the Peace by Piece Ribbon Campaign
  • Gifts of Olive trees to a representative of each Religious Tradition
  • Expression of the “Sounds of Faith”
  • Opportunity to meet and offer witness to the world
  • 2007 Australian Idol Winner Natalie Gauci to perform live

Peace by Piece seeks to bring together the youth of all faiths in a witness to the world that Religious Traditions are an avenue for Peace and not an obstacle to it. We believe that this will be the first Interfaith Peace Ceremony for Youth ever held in Federation Square and as there will be approx 20,000 Pilgrims in Melbourne in preparation for World Youth Day, we believe that this will present a very positive message to the people of Melbourne.

Should you require further information, please contact either
Fr Michael on 0410606405 or or
Ms Loretta Brinkman 97955077 or
Peace by piece advertisement (pdf)

May 22

Baptcare, the Brunswick Baptist Church and the Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project are opening a new housing facility called Sanctuary where twenty male asylum seekers who have no right to work, Medicare or any welfare payment can safely await their visa application outcome.

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