from Rev. Doug Hosking – Sunday 11th January

Welcome to the New Year, 2014. During Advent part of our focus was Peace. One of the Christmas Bowl projects is “Bringing peace and justice to the people of Afghanistan” – particularly increasing the enrolment of girls in primary school and educating communities on the importance of girls’ education and the rights of children. Thank you for your contributions to the Christmas Bowl.
The Moderator is encouraging us all to pray for peace in South Sudan—that the respective leaders and their fighters will lay down their arms and restore peace to the world’s newest nation.

from Rev. Matthew Bond – Christmas 2013

xmaspres“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased!”

This Advent season we have been looking at the idea of peace. The angels promised peace among people with whom God is pleased. This raises the question of “how do we please God?” Our human answer would be that we please God by being good enough. The radical message Jesus brought into the world is that no one is good enough. We can only please God when we humble ourselves and accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus offers. From that point we begin to live life in a way that pleases God because we no longer live for ourselves, but we put God first in our thoughts and actions. May you be blessed with peace this Christmas and make choices that please God.

from Rev. Doug Hosking – Sunday 15th December

The Christmas Bowl was born in 1949 when the Rev. Frank Byatt invited his family, and his congregation, to have an empty bowl at their Christmas meal. They were invited to place the value of their own meal in the bowl, and the money raised was used to support eastern European refugees.

Again this year the Christmas Bowl gives each of us the opportunity to express our thanks to God for the gift of His Son, Jesus.  Projects this year include;

  • Supporting refugee camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border
  • Supporting programs helping overcome problems among the 70,000 Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, South India
  • Bringing peace and justice to the people of Afghanistan

I warmly comment the Christmas Bowl to you.

from Rev. Matthew Bond – Sunday 8th December

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This Christmas as we remember that Jesus came into the world as a little baby, I remind you to think back on your first experience of Jesus coming into your life. Recognise the peace and hope that Jesus personally brings to you each day. We look to Jesus coming again, but we do not know what day our Lord will come. Jesus will come again, it is promised in God’s word. That truth enables us to look at our world with hope. The struggles and grief of this world will be transformed into peace when Jesus comes to us. A simple prayer to invite Jesus into your life today will be answered with peace and hope.

from Rev. Ruthmary Bond – Sunday 1st December

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It’s important that as we look to share our faith we have the right attitude, as Jesus did, that we know the right people to share our faith story with, that we know our own story and we can find 20 seconds of courage to speak. The workshop today will help you do these things in four stages; firstly it’s about the group becoming comfortable with each other through interactive exercises that promote community. Secondly it’s about taking time to look at what God means to you and what He has done in your life. Thirdly it’s taking time to share this with a small group. Lastly it’s looking at ways you can communicate this understanding to people you share life with. There is no method to learn or specific scriptures. This is a reflective process that is not prescriptive and thus anyone can engage in it. This is not a lecture but an interactive time of listening, speaking, participating and reflecting.

from Rev. Doug Hosking – Sunday 24th November

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Thank you again for the very warm and accepting welcome you have given me, and the invitation for Jennie and me to participate in the various activities at BCUC.

This week marks the end of this Christian Year as we celebrate again the Feast of Christ the King.  (Next week marks Advent 1 and we return to Year A in the lectionary readings).

In this past week I have marvelled at, and rejoiced in, the stories of faith that have come from typhoon ravaged Tacloban and nearby islands in the Philippines. Thank you to those who have already donated – the recovery and relief effort of both Government and non-Government agencies will continue for many months and all donations via Uniting World will be very gratefully received and be used wisely.  Visit www.unitingworld.org.au or call 1800 998 122.

from Rev. Matthew Bond – Sunday 17th November

This week I have been challenged to think about what really matters in our lives as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed more than 10,000 people in the central Philippines. We dig into our pockets to donate and we offer up a prayer. Perhaps we are grateful it didn’t happen to anyone we know and we struggle to comprehend what more we could possibly do. Rather than push these concerns from our minds, I encourage you to continue to pray and donate as you are able. Do not let the passage of time or distance dilute your compassion for the many people who are grieving the loss of loved ones and are now without homes, jobs or the other basics of life. I am convinced that what really matters is seen in time of crisis, disaster or frustration. That is when our true character is most visible. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6. If you wish to donate visit www.unitingworld.org.au or call 1800 998 122.

from Rev. Matthew Bond – Sunday 10th November

The Annual General Meeting of our Presbytery/Synod took place last week for three days. Burnside City Uniting Church was represented by Doug, Rex and I. More information can be found on the UCSA website. The highlights for me were; the installation of the new moderator – Dr Deidre Palmer, recognising the excellent work of the retiring moderator – our very own Rev Rob Williams and the healthy discussion about the relationship between Uniting Church congregations and our ministry agencies – Uniting Care, Resthaven & schools. Several members put forward the view that the church is made up of congregations and the various agencies. They added that we should do everything possible to continue to maintain a healthy relationship that presents the Uniting Church to the wider community as a church that is actively engaged in ministry and education. I love to see the UCA logo with the cross and the red dove all around the community. I am sure you do too.

A Farewell Message from Rev. Douglas Monighan

A few weeks ago I preached on gratitude and so it is appropriate that we, as a family, thank you for the way you received us into your congregation, the way you made our time with you so enjoyable and the wonderful farewell we received last week. It was not an easy decision to leave this church as we felt truly at home here however I believe strongly that God has called me elsewhere. The difficulty I faced over this decision is due to the way I felt ministering to you here. Ministry is not always easy, and ministry in a hard place is nigh impossible. It was a joy to minister here and I had a truly blessed time amongst you. More than the building, more than the facilities, a church is the people that make it up. Burnside is a wonderful church for this reason. I pray you always remain faithful and hospitable, a welcome place for anyone seeking to serve and worship God.

from Rev. Douglas Monaghan – for Sunday 27th October

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By contrasting the two different prayers of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus shows how we need to stop relying on ourselves and start relying on God. The attitude of a child is used. If we think of a child, their utter dependency on an adult for day to day life we start to get the picture. I don’t think this stifles us in our efforts to pursue the big questions, after all, a child’s favourite question is “Why?” I think it refers to our attitude, not our knowledge. Do we see God as someone we need to cling to in order to survive life, or do we think we know enough about everything to get by ourselves?