UNITING CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA 15th ASSEMBLY
The Triennial Assembly of Uniting Church of Australia was held in July 2018
at Box Hill Town Hall, attended by approximately 265 members.
A precis of the decisions made by the Assembly can be read here
UCA 15th Assembly – precis.
Full text is available at
Phil Bock was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The citation reads as follows: –
For service to geology, marine biology, and to the community. Service includes:
– Honorary Researcher, Museums Victoria, since 1982
– Member, International Bryozoology Association
– Editor and Contributor, World Register of Marine Species
– Member, International Society for Reef Studies.
It is not the first time Phil’s work has been recognized:
– Inaugural Recipient, Ellis Medal, International Bryozoology Association, 2016
– Recipient, Golden Trilobite Award, Palaeontological Association, United Kingdom, for “high quality amateur and institutional websites that promote the charitable aims of the association”, 2010
– Discoverer, previously undiscovered barnacle of Genus: Tetraclitella, in a sandstone block at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Courts, 2006.
He has also co-authored several books, and since retiring from RMIT has tutored in Geology for University of the Third Age.
After the cyclone in February that devastated our Rev Sylvia’s home country of Tonga, donations were collected and a concert held featuring talented violinists from Presbyterian Ladies College. The amount raised has reached almost $10,000.
COMPANIONS ON THE ROAD 2018Early in March, 41 “Companions on the Road” enjoyed the beautiful sights of the Kiewa Valley. Based in Bright, their bus journey included stops at Mansfield, Wandiligong, Harrietville, Tawonga, as well as visiting the historic Kiewa Hydro-Electricity Scheme and the Dartmouth dam.
They returned with a feeling of thanksgiving for the wonders of God’s creation, the overflowing bounty of His love and grace, and the fellowship shared.
ECOS (English Conversations for Overseas Students) provides informal English practice for international students, working holiday travellers, new migrants and refugees – at Burwood Heights Uniting Church, 7pm Sundays.
In October 2017, when ECOS celebrated five years of chatting, the participants and volunteers present sang ‘Happy Birthday’ together in their own languages.
20 participants have been given a certificate or “joined the 25 Club” by attending at least 25 sessions, while eight have received a personalised coffee mug for visiting 50 times. Long-time participant Judy has been awarded a trophy for joining the exclusive 100 Club. She was given the honour of blowing out the candles on the birthday cake.
Teaching English to young people and migrants has been very rewarding for the volunteers as they can learn about different cultures and form friendships across generations.
The ECOS team is currently looking for new volunteers to join their Sunday roster from February next year. People who are interested can contact Barry Horn at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 9803 5999 for more information.
Read a full report on the Crosslight website – http://crosslight.org.au/2017/11/09/birthday-bash-burwood-heights/
1st October – Anniversary of the opening of our church building in 1961_________________________
22nd June 2017 – We celebrated the 40th birthday of The Uniting Church of Australia
On Easter Sunday 2017 our Floral Cross was placed on the corner of the Highway and Blackburn Road, for passers by to see the symbol of a joyful day.
The Bible Society Turns 200!
On March 7th 2017, the Bible Society in Australia turned 200. It is Australia’s longest living organisation.
In 1817, Governor Macquarie founded a branch of the British and foreign Bible society in Sydney. It began one month before the first bank (the bank of New South Wales, now Westpac) and all of the original directors of the bank were directors of the Bible Society. The Bible is still the world’s most read book with over five billion copies having been printed.
POSSIBLE DREAMS INTERNATIONAL
A concert in October 2016 raised $1,572 for Possible Dreams International. The Pleasant Sunday Afternoon was provided by the a capella group VoiceBox, who gave a most professional performance, choosing songs that had wide appeal.
This was an opportunity to further support Maithri Goonetilleke’s significant work in Swaziland, where Possible Dreams partners with rural and remote communities to empower families and individuals living with extreme poverty, malnutrition and endemic disease.
Frontier Services Patrol Ministers are constantly on the road across 85% of Australia, working with Indigenous communities, on isolated properties and mining sites and with remote communities.Travelling tens of thousands of kilometres each year, visiting thousands of families and individuals, the Patrol Ministers aim to be thought of as friends who can be called on in times of need.
The work is entirely funded through public donations, corporate partnerships and grants from philanthropic organisations. Burwood Heights supports Frontier Services and in June we were visited by Rev Dan McAloon, who shared recent news of the Service.
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2015 …
TWO EVENTS IN SUPPORT OF VANUATU
On Sunday 31st May 2015, a large crowd attended a concert held to raise funds for relief work in Vanuatu. Featuring several soloists and the Canterbury Tongan Men’s Choir, the event raised $2,000.
The second concert raising money for the people of Vanuatu was held on Sunday 28th June. The Oakleigh City Brass Band performed a program of music chosen to relate to the commemoration of Anzac. Talented soloists added to the high quality of the event and over $1,900 was raised to support the work of Reason 2 Live.
A NEW BEGINNING
What a wonderful weekend when we welcomed our new minister, Rev Sylvia Akauola-TongoTongo. Her Induction on Friday 13th February 2015 was memorable, not only for the torrential rain, thunder and the lightning which cut the power for the first half hour, but for the inspirational service as Sylvia accepted the symbols of ministry.
A highlight was the wonderful sound of the Tongan choir which resonated around the building, as they sang the Lord’s Prayer and a Blessing, in their native tongue.
On Sunday 15th February, Sylvia led us in worship for the first time and we now journey together as she takes up her ministry among us.