for 17 September 2023

Fruit in all seasons

It’s spring and I love going out into the garden and seeing the blossoms on the trees – aside from the whole hay fever that comes with it. The blossoms on the trees in the backyard mean for me one thing! Fruit in the summer. Apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums straight from the tree ohhh yeah!! I can almost smell the sticky, sweet, nectarine juice running down my arm and making a mess. This week we continue to look at the Ezekiel 47 vision of the river of life and focus on the trees lining this river that are nourished by the water of life and bear fruit of all kinds. Now when Ezekiel had this fantastic dream he would not have known about the abundant variety of fruit that God had created, from loquat and rambutan to mangoes and quandong. The smells, flavours, colours and shapes are so abundant and joyful. This the vision goes on to say that the fruits don’t just have one season a year but are in season all year round! Peaches in winter!
Now what does all this mean for us? Fruit and fruitfulness is a theme used throughout the bible. At the very beginning God created trees that will be known by their fruits! He blessed humanity with the instructions to “Be fruitful and multiply”. Fruitfulness became a metaphor of healthy growth both in character and in numbers. Jesus emphasised that just as a tree is known by its fruit (think how many trees are named after the fruit it bears) so are we to be known by our fruit. This fruit can either be good and loving or bad. The apostle Paul when reflecting on living the born-again life of a Christian wrote a list of ‘bad fruit’ and also the well known fruit that a life lead by the spirit gives : “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” Galatian 5:22-23.
So let’s put this together. The water of life is the Holy Spirit working through the children of God that together make up a mighty transforming river of fresh water that gives life to the Dead Sea, is filled with fish of all kinds and banked by fruit trees that are always in season. That fruit is both a multiplying church and growing as disciples of Jesus who are increasing in good works and words everyday. They bless the world by flourishing in their love to others, their overflowing joy, their peace in a crisis, their patience in trials, their acts of kindness, their good deeds, their faithfulness, their gentle words and their amazing self-control. We are all part of that river. By the grace of God, we are all bearing that fruit even in the unexpected times. This is even more amazing than endless mangoes. 
Thanks be to God.
Come this Sunday or watch online to celebrate together.
Your brother in Christ,  Benji



Help Needed – Morning Tea at Marden Senior College

This Thursday, 21 September.  This annual event organized by Tim Wells, Pastoral Support Worker at the College is a “Thank you”  to all the teachers and staff for the great work they do for the students who attend Marden. BCUC along with the Austral-Asian Community Church supply the morning tea, set up, and then enjoy some time with the Staff. It is very much appreciated by the College. We need your donations of a plate of savoury or sweet food,  i.e. sandwiches, scones, quiches, savoury muffins etc. and slices, biscuits, cake or fruit. Food should left at the Church kitchen by 9.00am on the 21st.  Anyone wishing to help on the day would be very welcome.  Please contact:  Verna.

Hospitality Sunday

Registration ends this Sunday
Sunday 24 Sept. is Hospitality Sunday, a shared lunch in each other’s homes.  This is an opportunity to spend a relaxing time with each other.  Sign up sheets to either be a host or a guest will be available in the foyer this Sunday.  The host will provide the venue, crockery, cutlery, tea/coffee and guests will be asked to help the host by bringing something to share.

Women’s Ministry

On Wednesday September 27th a walk is planned in Wittunga Botanical Gardens, Blackwood.  We will meet at 9.30am in the BCUC car park to car pool.  Non walkers will meet at 10.30 in the BCUC car park to car pool and join in at Blackwood Bracegirdles at 11am for coffee (and cake!).  Please RSVP to Chris or Marlene.

Sign up for the Getaway here

watch this week’s video

held at BCUC, Oct 17 and 18.  More info…


Sunday 10am
Worship Livestream

The link above will take you to our YouTube playlist.  Select the first entry in the playlist to watch this week’s service (from Sunday 10am or anytime later in the week.)


Breakthru Music

If you have enjoyed the worship music that our congregation has created for our Breakthru Worship videos, you can listen or download them from our
Breakthru Music playlist.



Ministry Team Contacts


Rev Dr Benji Callen – benjic@burnsidecityuc.org.au; Day off : Monday 

Minister in Association

Rev Rob Williams – robw@burnsidecityuc.org.au; Day off : Friday

Connections Coordinator

Nancy Xu  – connections@burnsidecityuc.org.au; Wednesdays


Stuart MacAdam – 8331 3914; admin@burnsidecityuc.org.au

Office hours Mon-Fri. 10:00am-4:00pm; call 8331 3914.