Dec 17

animal farmLast Saturday the animals returned to the St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh in search of an angel. The portable animal farm is a central feature of our annual ‘live nativity’ scene to celebrate the Christmas story with our local community. Thanks to all who made the day possible, and especially thanks to all the young ones who give us joy through their delight in God’s creation.

Congratulations to Tawanda Wh. of Chadstone, winner of our entry prize. Tawanda receives a complimentary family pass to the ‘Rain, Hayne and Shine’ animal farm at Balnarring.

Dec 19

Val Cormack is retiring as Pastoral Assistant to the Parish of Balkara. We have been richly blessed by her sharing of ministry in the parish for the last 15 years. The attached document is our formal minute of appreciation.

Minute of Appreciation – Val Cormack (pdf)

Dec 19

For the latest happenings from the Balkara Parish and the St. David’s Oakleigh congregation, check out our online copy of the Parish newsletter.

Parish News – December 2008 (pdf)

Dec 18

Parish Planner (pdf)

Nov 19

For the latest happenings from the Balkara Parish and the St. David’s Oakleigh congregation, check out our online copy of the Parish newsletter.

Parish News – Novemember 2008 (pdf)

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 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.

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Sep 18

For the latest happenings from the Balkara Parish and the St. David’s Oakleigh congregation, check out our online copy of the July newsletter.

Parish News – September 2008 (pdf 252kB)

Aug 19

For the latest about what is happening in the Balkara parish, check out our parish newsletter below. Parish News – August 2008

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.

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