for the week of 1 December 2019

Playgroup Farm Barn @ BCUCDecember 10 from 9:30am. All children ages 0 to 5 are invited to this special Playgroup year end event.  Come and see/hold a variety of baby farm animals.    Cost $4. Children’s Nativity ServiceThe younger members of our Church, their family and friends are again excited to bring you the story of the Nativity. Sunday 8 November 2019 at 9.00am Please stay afterwards and share morning tea with us. Youth Bowling NightDecember 6. Meet at 7:00pm at BCUC. Dr Jon’s PantryNew season’s tomato relish is now available in the pantry!  Come and browse and maybe find a small Christmas gift. BCUC Cares – Christmas HamperUniting Communities at Clayton Wesley Church appreciates all hamper items donated for families in need.  Hamper donations may be placed in the usual marked boxes in the church foyer. Suggested Christmas Hamper items include: Christmas Cake/Pudding Coffee, Tea, Milo, Soft Drinks Longlife Custard Biscuits/Cracker, Chips/Lollies Canned Fruit/Vegetables Canned Tuna, Ham or Turkey Spreads, Soup, Cereal Other non-perishable foods Toys   New Church CouncillorsCongratulations to those elected to the church council at last Sunday’s AGM.  The new and re-elected councillors are Thomas Pruszinski, Valerie Aloa, Nirmal Robinson,  Tim Piper, Annette LeMay, and Christine You. Presbytery DecisionAt last Sunday’s AGM. the members of the congregation voted and chose that BCUC would join the Generate Presbytery. Monday Day Fellowship2nd December, 1:30pm featuring the  Adelaide Youth Orchestra String Quartet. Christmas Psalm BookletSubmit your psalm to bcucchats@ burnsidecityuc.org.au by 10 December. Seniors Second Sunday LunchDecember 8 at noon. Come and join us for friendship, fun and food. Chicken & Salad plus a fruit platter. Netball Christmas Celebration TODAY, 6pm @ BCUCDinner, drinks, and ice cream. Activities, carols, and a Christmas message. Free! Congregation invited. Summer Events for Children / YouthCE Camp (ages 14 – 20) Dec 29 – Jan 2 visit ce.asn.au Jnr CE Camp (ages 9 – 13) January 5 – 9 visit ce.asn.au/junior-camp Big Week Out (high school aged) January 13-17 visit bigweekout.org.au … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – December 1 2019

 It’s the first Sunday of Advent! Maybe you have kids like mine who woke up this morning and opened their cardboard windows to find a Christmas themed sliver of cheap European chocolate to eat. A sure sign that Christmas is coming, Jesus is near, the countdown begins. However, the church season of advent has not been just about counting down to Christmas Day. The lectionary readings are often focused on the theme of Jesus is coming… again. Scholars like to call it the apocalyptic texts. Things such as: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Today’s reading says: Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42-44 This line of Christian thought has historically attracted the attention of the religious fringe. With all sorts of speculation about exactly how and when the second coming, the great tribulation, the rapture or the apocalypse will occur. For example recent history tells of a group of people who sold everything they owned and built a makeshift grandstand to watch Jesus come walking in through the heads of Sydney Harbour, which must have been rather embarrassing for them when he didn’t show up. You may be like me and have observed this kind of behaviour and talk then wanted to distance yourself from it. Our loss is that we ignore and even dismiss a vital understanding of the Christian faith. Over the next few weeks we will address this gap. Keep in mind the condensed understanding of the second coming of Jesus that Dean Brooks recently explained to me. Jesus promised he will return. Human history is linear. There is an alpha and omega, a beginning and an end with Jesus in control of both. We don’t know when it will happen. Even Jesus on earth didn’t know. There will be signs like windows in an advent calendar, but we don’t know how many windows there are. Just trust and wait. Live your life now as if it is imminent. As the bumper sticker says: “Look busy, Jesus is coming”. Be reconciled to the people around you, sort it out, get a clean slate now with God and with others, don’t wait, just be ready and follow the Scout Motto “Be Prepared”. (In keeping with this theme the Christmas decorations this advent will be minimal compared to those you find in shopping malls. We will emphasise the coming of Christ like the darkness of the earth giving birth to a new day. Look out for decorations highlighting the trumpet call of God.) … Continue reading

for the week of 24 November 2019

AGMPlease join us for our AGM today at 2pm. The agenda, budget, Annual Report, and Elder nominee profiles have been emailed to members.  Paper copies are also available at the reception desk. Forum on Presbyteries VideoA video of Wednesday’s forum is available in the resources section of our website.   For those who do not have access to the internet, we will be showing the video in the worship space following the Classic service this morning.  BCUC’s vote on presbyteries will be held today at the AGM. Netball Christmas Celebration – Sunday 1 December, 6pm @ BCUCDinner, drinks, and ice cream. Activities, carols, and a Christmas message.  Free! RSVP for catering purposes to bcucnc@gmail.com. Big Week OutOnce again, BCUC will be hosting the East Base of the Big Week Out youth service event, January 13-17. Big Week Out is an initiative of local churches. It is about young people putting faith into action by serving their community.  Expect an exciting and jam-packed week with passionate, diverse young people from all over Adelaide. High school aged students can register now at http://www.bigweekout.org.au. Monday Day FellowshipA day to remember.  2nd December, 1:30pm.  The Monday Day Fellowship is going to be entertained by the Adelaide Youth Orchestra String Quartet.  Brilliant young people with so much talent.  It will be a marvellous way to complete a most enjoyable year with so much friendship and fellowship.  Christmas is a time of joy and celebration so members of the congregation are very welcome, if you are a regular or just joining us on this special occasion.  Afternoon tea and fellowship will complete the day.  Love to see you there. Christmas Psalm BookletPlease write your own Psalm to share in our Christmas Psalm Booklet.  Psalms teaches us how to relate to God as God’s beloved children, individually and together. Some poetic styles such as Sonnet, Haiku, Acrostic, Free Verse and others can be used to describe God’s nature, His relationship to the world, His Son, His Spirit, and His relationship with you. “Psalms is a form of storytelling. The key to writing is making the audience feel. Give them something to remember and hold onto. It expresses time with God” Send your Psalm to bcucchats@burnsidecityuc.org.au. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Rob Williams – November 24 2019

Who/What is the Centre of your universe? I’m not asking that question in any planetary sense but very personally. There are many people and/or things around which our lives revolve. Youth today plunge into deep anxiety when parents ban the use of electronic gadgets for misdemeanours.  The confiscation of their mobile phone is second only to death! Adults are not immune from placing things and people in the centre of our lives. Various forms of media, people and fashions compete for our devotion under the guise of being a friend, or an aide to life. They promise home, body, spiritual, retail and technological renovation. Who or what truly deserves our devotion? Who/What is the centre of our universe? This is St. Paul’s basic question in our reading from Colossians today. And his answer is – Christ alone He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.           Colossians 1:18 Today we celebrate the last Sunday in the Christian Year – the Festival of Christ the King through which we affirm that Jesus is the One who is at the very centre of our lives – our universe. The Lord God, through the prophet Jeremiah proclaims The days are coming, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Saviour.                Jeremiah 23:5-6 I was surprised to discover that there are some 43 or 44 countries in our world today that have monarchies. There are many images that came into my mind when thinking about this – vast palaces, pomp and ceremony, wealth beyond imagining. However, we need to know that Jesus is not a far-removed king on high but one who bends himself to our brokenness so that we might be saved. He displays his kingship in service to others and his death on the cross. In this servanthood and life-giving love, Christ reigns. His presence is to be found in the difficult, struggling and painful places of our world. This King deserves my love, my allegiance, my service in this world with him in the places he is and calls me to be. King Jesus is worthy to be the Centre of our universe. … Continue reading

for the week of 17 November 2019

Presbytery Information Forum – Wednesday Nov. 20th, 7pm @ BCUCIn preparation for the congregation to decide at the Nov 24th AGM whether we will join Generate Presbytery or remain in the default, regional presbytery (named “Presbytery B”), we will host an information forum with special guests: Rev. Steph Tai (Secretary of Generate) and Rev. Sue Page (Assoc. Gen. Secretary from the presbytery restructuring task group). They will be available for a Q and A. Netball Christmas Celebration – Sunday 1 December, 6pm @ BCUCDinner, drinks, and ice cream. Activities, carols, and a Christmas message.  Free! RSVP for catering purposes to bcucnc@gmail.com or call Cathie. Christmas Psalm BookletPlease write your own Psalm to share in our Christmas Psalm Booklet.  Psalms teaches us how to relate to God as God’s beloved children, individually and together. Some poetic styles such as Sonnet, Haiku, Acrostic, Free Verse and others can be used to describe God’s nature, His relationship to the world, His Son, His Spirit, and His relationship with you. “Psalms is a form of storytelling. The key to writing is making the audience feel. Give them something to remember and hold onto. It expresses time with God”.  Send your Psalm to bcucchats@burnsidecityuc.org.au Elder/Church Councillor NomineesProfiles of nominees standing for Elders to Church Council have been emailed to the congregation.  Printed copies of this booklet are available today at the reception desk.  Voting for Elders will be held at the AGM on November 24th.    Be guided by the Holy Spirit as you consider your vote. AGMPlease join us for our AGM on Sunday November 24 at 2pm. The agenda, budget, Annual Report, and Elder nominee profiles have been emailed to members.  Paper copies are also available at the reception desk. Mid Week CommunionA communion service will be held Monday November 18th at 2pm in the Chapel.  All are invited. Unwrapping Joy – Wednesday Study GroupAs a follow-on from our recent Alpha event, we are holding a five session study series Wednesday lunch times (12 noon). We are using Benji’s book, “Unwrapping Joy”, which focusses on the joy of Jesus’ arrival here on earth, and the joy that we can experience as believers. We meet at BCUC and bring our own lunch to eat with others in community. This Wednesday will be our second week but please feel free to join in and to invite anyone else to these sessions, as we look forward in joyful anticipation to Christmas time as a celebration of Jesus’ birth. … Continue reading

A Message from Rev Benji Callen – November 17 2019

Wow a lot happened last Sunday at church.  To hear the unique stories of the life-changing difference a relationship with Jesus makes reminds me of the joy of ministry. Thank you Graham, Jaime and Greg for your courage and honesty. Thanks to all those involved last Sunday from the details of the service including the Church Council with the launch of our vision and three year direction “Raising Children of God”, to those involved in the re-affirmation of baptism to the music, the membership and the behind the scenes office work required to get over 200 personal certificates printed (please pick yours up if you haven’t yet) and then finally the generous hospitality of the international lunch to follow. It was a wonderful preview of the great heavenly banquet Jesus talked about. Thanks Joy for the vision of the international lunch and all the many people who pitched in to help with providing food, serving, setting up, the kids who served others and those who cleaned up. It was a great team effort which created a family buzz of Christian fellowship for over 200 people. Thank you. This Sunday Colette and I will talk about the five-fold ministry mentioned in Ephesians. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-13 It’s a list that Paul gives in a general letter about church. There is debate as to whether this is an exhaustive list of the ministries in the church or not and since writing in the first century there are now broad ways of understanding how this can apply to our church today. The apostle is like the church planter or entrepreneur who begins lasting church movements, the prophet listens to the voice of the spirit and responds, this can be calling out injustice or being able to see God’s plan for others, the evangelist shares the message of the gospel to encourage faith, the shepherd is those who pastorally care for the flock and finally the teacher is the one who explains Jesus to others. Some argue that everyone is one of these five, others would argue it’s a specific list.  There are a number of online “five-fold ministry test” to see who you are.  Mike Breen from ‘Building a Discipling Culture” talks about having a “base” ministry, which is our natural default. The one we find easiest. We might go through phases of each of the others to help deepen our base.  The final focus is that each of the ministries need to work together as the body of Christ, not independently. Their purpose is not to lift  and build up the ego of the believer but rather to humbly equip others in ministry and build the wider church up. So may the Holy Spirit help us to equip the saints for ministry as we raise children of God. … Continue reading

for the week of 10 November 2019

Presbytery Information Forum – Wednesday Nov. 20th, 7pm @ BCUCIn preparation for the congregation to decide at the Nov 24th AGM whether we will join Generate Presbytery or remain in the default, regional presbytery, we will host an information forum with special guests: Rev. Steph Tai (Secretary of Generate) and Rev. Sue Page (Assoc. Gen. Secretary from the presbytery restructuring task group). They will be available for a Q and A. BCUC Sat Friendship ClubThe Christmas dinner & AGM for the Sat Friendship club will be held on Sat 16th November. Time 6:30pm. The theme is “Bells” & there will be special entertainment. The cost is $35 and pay Peter Foord. Closing date 10th Nov. All church members & friends are invited. Unwrapping Joy – Wednesday Study GroupAs a follow-on from our recent Alpha event, we are holding a five session study series over the next five Wednesday lunch times (12 noon), starting on November 13th. We will use Benji’s book, “Unwrapping Joy”, which focusses on the joy of Jesus’ arrival here on earth, and the joy that we can experience as believers. We will at BCUC and bring our own lunch to eat with others in community. Please feel free to invite anyone else to these sessions, as we look forward in joyful anticipation to Christmas time as a celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Elder/Church Councillor  NomineesThe nomination period for Elders of Church Council has closed. Names of the nominees (new and renominating) can be seen today on the scrolling notices before service and on the foyer TV screens. Introductory statements from  nominees will be emailed  to the congregation midweek.  Printed copies will be available at service next Sunday.  Voting for Elders will be held at the AGM on November 24th. AGMPlease join us for our AGM on Sunday November 24 at 2pm. Reports have been emailed to members and paper copies are now available at the reception desk. BCUC CaresYour continued donations of food and toiletries for people in need is greatly appreciated. Please consider donating more toiletries as they are regularly in short supply. … Continue reading

BCUC’s Vision for its Future

Jesus left Earth and his disciples with a vision: “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20). Then he gave them the action plan “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, (local) and in all Judea and Samaria, (regional) and to the ends of the earth (global).” Acts 1:8. This year we have been asking the question “why does BCUC exist? What is our purpose?”. Following discussions at our Church Council retreat, getting a ‘feel’ for the place, after much discussion, prayer and observation about the great strengths, aspirations, hopes and prayers for BCUC, plus based on survey results and the open prayer time, we kept coming around to the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”, it takes a church community to raise a child of God. We settled on our mission and vision statement, our primary purpose as a church being: “raising Children of God”.   Raising: this is the work of discipling, it is the main work of the church with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit. Children of God: a New Testament term for those who are loved, known and know Jesus. This is our primary, eternal identity which can never be taken away. We become brothers and sisters in Christ. By being called “children” there is humility and loving obedience to God. We are all still growing like children in our faith.  For the next three years at BCUC what does this look like? What is our action plan? “I Can’t Wait Worship” Develop worship times and services that best match what God is doing in and through BCUC to provide passionate/engaging/meaningful/God honouring worship for ALL the children of God at BCUC and those yet to come. Includes creativity, engaging all-ages and intercultural worship. Raising Disciples With significant impactful small group ministry, regular alpha groups, loving prayerful pastoral care, healing ministry, raising leaders (gift development), development of a teaching school (e.g. apologetics/ preaching) and beyond ourselves ministry (local, national, international) including focusing our mission funding on large Uniting Church national and international projects. Preparing the ground Developing BCUC values as a whole congregation. Having clear and simple pathways for membership and service with clear and simple decision-making structures and integrating modernised online systems (Elvanto, worship, finance).  Raising local’s With the challenging aim of having a congregation that matches the demographics of the community “the children of God= the people of Burnside”. Currently youth and young adults are our biggest gap. To help us we aim to employ youth/young adults pastor 0.4 from 2020 and then a families pastor 0.4 from 2021.   … Continue reading

for the week of 3 November 2019

Single Worship Service Membership Celebration & Vision Launch followed by an International Shared Lunch 10:00am  Sunday November 10 BCUC Youth GroupAfter a great trial run, we’re having another go. Come along this Friday night 8th November (we plan to run fortnightly). 6pm for worship jam (a combo of band and sports). 7pm bring your friends along for dinner, games, a message, small groups and hangout. Finish between 9-9:30.  All at BCUC. Talk to Tim or Benji. Monday Day FellowshipThe Bus Trip on November 4th is to a very interesting Gallery collection of Royalty Memorabilia from King William to Queen Elizabeth. There will be a talk on the 7 reigns of South Australia followed by afternoon tea. Meeting at the church at 12.50. The cost will be $22. If you are coming make sure you give your name to Ruth Daws and ensure your have it noted in your diary. BCUC Sat Friendship ClubThe Christmas dinner & AGM for the Sat Friendship club will be held on Sat 16th November. Time 6-30pm. The theme is “Bells” & there will be special entertainment. The cost is $35 and pay Peter Foord. Closing date 10th Nov. All church members & friends are invited. International Lunch – Help NeededWe are hoping to have a great variety of  representative international and Australian dishes for our shared lunch on Nov. 10. Please contact Joy or Gaynor if you have not done so already to let her know what you can contribute or if you are able to help with clean-up afterwards. Seeking Pastoral Care Worker (aka “School Chaplain”) Glenunga Intl. High School Closing date:  10am, Monday 11th November. For details go to:  www.smg.asn.au or see the flyer on  our notice board. Another Book Give-Away– TODAYIn the foyer, from today. Your chance to own a good Christian book for FREE. AGMPlease join us for our AGM on Sunday November 24 at 2pm. Reports will be available from Sunday November 10. Elder/Church Councillor  Nominees Closing Nov 3Nominations are open for Elders /Church Councillors. If you feel that God is calling you to serve BCUC in this role, please pick up an information sheet and nomination form at the reception desk. Nominations close TODAY.  Note that term limits for serving on Church Council have been removed and the term for newly elected members is now up to 5 years (in accordance with the UCA Constitution). … Continue reading