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Minister’s Report 2011
Church Council Meeting
South Sydney Uniting Church

September 1, 2011

“Glory is not an unknowable secret, but it defies closed explanations …
“To think with the weight of the earth, to welcome the glory that persists here and yet beyond ourselves, entails a humility that far from reducing human or humus to nothingness feels its connections to gravity, to the planet, to the ground …
“Glory is the trace of a divine relationship woven through creaturely life and its relationships.”

“Glory: The first passion of theology?” Mayra Rivera, inPolydoxy: Theology of multiplicity and relation, Catherine Keller and Laurel C. Schneider (eds), Routledge, UK, 2011, pp. 167-181.

 1. General

1.1 As I sit at the laptop with material for this month’s SSH, I’m missing our friend Trevor. I’m thinking of all the questions I’d usually ask him and then there’s the matter of the High Court’s ruling against the Gillard government yesterday What would Trevor say about that? I do need to get that plaque inscribed for the narthex/foyer: “Jesus loves you.” and then “Trevor Davies, Chairperson, Elder & Editor, 25/5/195614/6/2011.”

1.2 Having said that, the new-look SSH team and process are working well. Big thanks to Lyn for commitments to newsroom, for patience and grace. The general impression is that writers have put it extra effort several lengthy articles means that we have five or six articles edited and ready for the October issue!

1.3 Thank you again to Dorothy and Elders for wisdom and various initiatives lately. Early morning prayers, pastoral get-togethers, letter-writing and gifts to parish ministers! much appreciated. Welcome toDavid, Julie and Miriam whose presence is a real encouragement and blessing.

1.4 Thanks toHeather for cool-headed and warm-hearted chairpersonship. Heather and I have been meeting each Friday morning to pay bills, etc Insurancebill is owed and will be paid tomorrow ($5,862.64 covers all buildings, church and manse contents, pipe organ). Balanced accounts from Leighare due this month, and then we will hand over to new accountant, Ron Brown.

1.5 Over the last couple of months there is a sense in which we have been gathered closely together. Too many kind gestures to mention. New members received. A feeling that we truly share each other’s joys and burdens. I give thanks to God for that and for the gift of resilience.

1.6 I look forward to Julie’s personal profiles for Parish News editions and, as always, Naomi’s birthday celebrations!

 2. Pastoral/Educational

2.1 Lyn and I will meet (we promise!) to update Parish Roll.

2.2 to 2.4 Confidential matters …

2.5 Elders’ get-togethers (3 Sundays of month) Basis of Union a discussion?

2.6 Christology Workshop with Clive Pearson on Oct. 16 (Sunday 1-4pm).

2.7 Jewish-Palestinian conflict next steps?

2.8 Theology/Bible Studies on First and Second Peoples in Australia will conclude this month with discussion on Chris Budden’s text, Following Jesus in Invaded Space. One clear notion I have understood anew is well expressed by Sarah Maddison (UNSW):
“Recognising each other as distinct and self-governing peoples. This is what justice will look like” (Beyond White Guilt, Sarah Maddison). I have received comments in favour of taking
The Book of Job as text for next series of studies/conversations.

2.9 Jacinta, a counsellor with Anglicare in Newtown, has referred a transgender person, Stephanie, to us …

 3. Worship

3.1 Sustaining and uplifting liturgy for all the senses! God at work with us.

3.2 Baptism of Ben Rylan Philps on August 21 (story of Moses in the bulrushes). The Philps family has written twice since the service to express gratitude to all for hospitality and care.

3.3 I am currently writing entries into theBaptism Register. I apologise for delay with that.

3.4 Weddings: Jessica and Robert (Nov. 19) rehearsal on Nov. 18 in the Hunter Valley; (Esther and Owen (Jan. 7 at Pitt St UC, in the afternoon); Belinda and Sam (Feb. 25).

3.5 Involvement of children percussion, “completing the homily” (with fuzzy felt).

3.6 Preaching on Sundays of Production Week (last Sundays of the month).

3.7  Thanksgiving for Creation (Oct. 2) Collection for Monika’s Doggie Rescue Resource: Holy Dogs and Asses: Animals in the Christian Tradition byLaura Hobgood-Oster. Miriam, Naomi, Blair and I to meet this month for planning.

3.8  Ride to Worship (Oct. 9) Miriam.

3.9  Forget-me-knot Service (Nov. 13) Heather.

3.10  Celebrating Community (Nov. 20). Need to send invitations to choirs and music groups, artists, Cana andSSH volunteers, community partners, friends…

 4. Building Matters/Projects

4.1 Storage (resolved).

4.2 Signage (artwork approved).

4.3 Church office (reorganised; computer setup, need Microsoft Office for PC).

4.4 Bathrooms (best quote for renovation and solar hot-water installation) Kevin Kelly (Fusion Plumbing) will require four weeks to complete work. Leaving floor drain where it is saves us apx. $1,000, and floor can be graded to water flow. Kevin can source tiles for us at cost of apx. $1,000.

4.5 Painting hall (to be scheduled once plumbing is complete).

4.6 PA and mikes, with speakers (ordered, awaiting installation).

4.7 Funds and partners Julie McC., Cana (Iain Brown, Anne Jordan), ACON ($1,000), Maroubra Bay UC, others?

4.8 Plaster and paint (Dec.?).

4.9 Manse: Balcony repairs.

 5. SSH

5.1 New issue is due for printing on Monday, distribution from Tuesday.

5.2 Distribution: Pat Clarke has been doing a wonderful job, sorting through lists of volunteers, compiling maps of various paper routes (more than 50 routes). The Census collection maps are proving a helpful resource in order to “fill in the gaps” and discern areas for expansion. Pat has been working in the Church Office twice a week. A big job!

5.3 Support/partnership: UnitingCare Ageing has offered to partner the SSH in terms of funding, distribution and content. I am in conversation with Sharon Wozniak, Manager of the Harris Community Centre in Ultimo, as well as Garry O’Toole of Sydney Region UnitingCare Ageing re. Innovative Community Grants and the possibility of a Harris Centre sponsored column in the paper. Next meeting is on Sep. 8.

5.4 Advertising Manager: Diana (0413 293 413). Keen to be involved (on commission) from mid-Sep.

5.5 Website (Esther Turnbull& Brad).

5.6 Five-Year Plan (David and Melissa) a meeting to be arranged for next month or so.

5.7 Need to liaise with Tutors at UTS (Jenna Price) and USyd (Media Communications) re. opportunities for writers Jonathan Bogais would be a good person to take along to meetings.

5.8 End-of-year Party at Tripod Café. We have been granted $1,000 from the RWA/SMDA to host a dinner for volunteers. Date would need to be on completion of December issue perhaps Friday, Dec. 2? Entertainment? Invitations?

 6. Community Projects

6.1 “Young People & the Law” (Nov. 1 at The Factory). Invites: Heaps Decent, Fr Chris Riley …

6.2 Forget-me-knot DayService (Nov. 13) &Blue Ribbon event in Redfern Park (with involvement of Rabbitohs/Souths Cares) (Nov. 12). Thanks to Heather for leadership.

 7. The Orchard Gallery

7.1 Donation of large art cupboard by Hayley and family greatly appreciated.

7.2 Memories & Observations great turn-out, five sales!

7.3 RAGtime subsidies for Gaylene and Bill ($350 TOTAL towards entry fees which amounts to just less than half their costs). This will enable Gaylene and Bill to exhibit their paintings in Paddington (Global Gallery) from Oct. 5. Jo Tracy is curator, and is supporting them in preparations for show.

7.4 Everyday Spirit Opening: Sep. 17, 5.30pm (Tug Dumbly to perform; The Refrains to perform; Rod Pattenden (The Blake Society) to speak/open; Hayley and Miriam have curated show). Exciting!
7.5 Life Drawing classes popular and productive activity. Next class is Sep. 17, 1-3pm. Hayley to lead. Cost: $5 (towards cost of model).

7.6 PortraitPainting Workshops in November (Miriam Cabello). Dates: Nov. 5 & 19.

“In this course, students will learn to construct portraits from the drawing stage through the under-painting process to the finished painting. They will develop a thorough understanding of the structure and proportions of the head as well as the principles of light and shade, thus acquiring the ability to capture likeness. Working from the live model, the instructor will demonstrate drawing and painting techniques and lecture on the history of portraiture.

Portrait anatomy and structure are studied from various points of view, with particular attention paid to the anatomical construction of its parts, ear, eye, nose and mouth. Groups of three work around one model from a variety of viewpoints: profile, full front, three-quarter, reconstructing both the anatomy and the psychology of the sitter. Here the study of expression is undertaken to convey mood and personality. Students may choose to work in charcoal or acrylic.”

7.7 Artist-in-Residence (work with David underway).

7.8 Wordplay at the Woolpack (partnership with Woolpack art: Janelle Scheuber).

7.9 Arts Committee members (2011-2012): Hayley Megan French, Eve Gibson, Miriam Cabello, Gabriel Azzi, Margaret Vazey, Adrian Spry, Jo Tracy, Andrew Collis.

 8. The Ravens

Sydney Marathon: Sep. 18 (preaching?).

 9. Wider Church

Out&About Magazine
Uniting Church Studies
UnitingCare Aged Care in Bankstown (keen to visit again)
Ian Pearson review (Presbytery)
Synod Prayer
Liturgies/homilies book project.

 10. Leave

2011: Dec. 26 Jan. 22 (inclusive)
2012: London Marathon on April 22 (have applied to fundraise for Oxfam).

Grace and peace!