A small group of loyal Fellowship Members met on Thursday 3rd March, sharing our news together over lunch. Kath March was Facilitator. We missed Marj Nichol who that week was offered and accepted accommodation at Resthaven, Westbourne Park. She is now settling in and says she will soon rejoin us at Scots.
We were delighted that our Minister Peter, also Madeleine and Deb from the Office, joined us for lunch, and it gave us the opportunity to congratulate Deb on the art award which will enable her to study in Rome for three months. Our fondest thoughts and good wishes go with her.
The next meeting is on Thursday 7th April and a warm invitation is extended to members of the congregation to join us – BYO lunch at 12.00noon. A time of sharing “Amongst Ourselves” will follow. It has been suggested that we each bring a family photograph, either contemporary or historic, to talk about around the table. Mary Thomas is Facilitator and Ruth Goldsworthy offered to attend to the kitchen duties.
Fellowship members were reminded that affiliation is due. $20 includes your personal copy of “Together” magazine. Rev Norah Norris has tickets ($12) for the film morning at the Capri Theatre on Wednesday 27th April – we retain $6 from each ticket sold. Norah also has tickets for a delightful Concert to be presented by Adelaide West Men's Choir, on Sunday afternoon 3rd April, supporting Frontier Services.
For many years we have been delighted and privileged to have Rev Norah Norris present a special program at our meeting held closest to Easter Day.
This year the date falls between our March and April meetings. Jan Cockington played the piano for us to sing some well-known and well-loved Easter hymns. Norah's program was entitled “Easter in Asia”.
She reflected that the European spring/Easter symbols of new life – flowers, eggs, rabbits, lambs etc – were inappropriate in other parts of the world. The kindling of new fire that gives light, a symbol of the light of Christ, is not limited to one part of the world and features in some Easter observances.
Norah spoke about the Christian churches and communities in three countries, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of India. Three very different settings in which Christians celebrate Easter in their own way. However, east and west met when we were offered little chocolate Easter Eggs contained in a crochet hen from Vietnam, in an egg made from recycled magazine paper from Thailand and in decorated wooden eggs from India. These seemingly inappropriate novelties, designed to be sold for Easter in countries like Australia, but probably made by people who themselves would not be celebrating Easter, came from Oxfam-supported workshops that provide work for underprivileged people in many Asian countries.
We sang an Asian hymn, original words and air from Thailand, with verses added by an Indian, “The great love of God ...” (Together in Song 164) and concluded with prayer.
State Mission Fellowship meets at Scots at 10.30am on the fourth Tuesday of each month, and this is arranged by National & World Mission Support, a sub-committee of the UCA Fellowship SA Committee (UCAF). A light lunch for only $5 follows the meeting. National & World Mission is a support group committed to supporting people and projects within Australia and overseas, and at these meetings news is shared so that those present can take the latest news of missions back to their own fellowship group. An invitation is extended to everyone to come to these meetings – interesting programmes have been planned for the year ahead, so make a note in your diary for the 4th Tuesday and join us – there is always an interesting speaker, Frontier Services have their gifts and souvenirs on sale, and N&WMS has a wide range of greeting cards.
The committee has oversight of Packing Days, The Red Dove Cafe, Elsie Wilson Scholarship, Stamps, and sell Christmas, Birthday and Greeting Cards and Notelets. Over the years bequests have been made for mission and these are invested with UC Invest, and so donations (annually they total many thousands of dollars) are regularly made to various groups within Australia and overseas.
The first meeting for this year was at Scots on Tuesday 23rd February – a Dedication Service for the members of UCAF and its sub-committees (National & World Mission Support, Frontier Services Team, "Together" magazine, and delegates of affiliated groups). This was conducted by the Moderator, Dr Deidre Palmer, who was guest speaker. Mrs Heather Maynard, the recently inducted SA President of UCAF led the devotions.
The Moderator said how pleased she was to be with the Mission Meeting that day and to share in the common passion we have in sharing the many projects of God's mission. She used a power point presentation to show Uniting World projects in Vanuatu and Fiji. Rev Nita West, a N&WMS Committee member, led the Communion Service.
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