Parish Mission statement
The following Mission Statement (Draft #3) awaits formal adoption:
“Open to God at work in the world, we seek to be a community of peace and justice, faithfulness and respect for difference. With Christ we dare to be real and honest about our lives, sharing gifts of friendship and hope with each other and with our neighbours.”
(This was formally adopted at the Congregational meeting)
The Church Council acknowledges, with grateful thanks, the devoted and competent ministry of the Rev. Andrew Collis with us for another year. Andrew has not only lifted our hearts in our services each Sunday, but has guided and initiated many creative programs, exhibitions and events in art and study for a wide variety of people. Andrew has also, of course, been a pastor to many of our members and adherents, alongside people like the South Sydney Herald volunteers and journalists, and has made important links into the wider church and community. We give thanks to God for all he offers to us and to others.
The Council is well aware that any Minister serving in our area will need to be encouraged to make careful and freeing choices in the way time is used, knowing that there is never an end to the work. The Council itself assumes some responsibility for guidance in relation to this. For this reason, we are grateful to have had a number of guest preachers over the year, including Rev. Ian Pearson, Rev. Peter Walker, and Rev. Daniel Paulraj and Rev. Peter Godwin.
Andrew’s extra activities
Andrew is now a member of the Presbytery Candidates Committee and he is still working on the Cross-
In the coming year, Andrew will be participating in the New York Marathon and making contact with a church there with which we hope to build a relationship. This is wwith a view to exchange programs of some kind (for artists, journalists, ministry agents) between our community and others of similar convictions. He has begun a conversation with Pastor James Campbell of the United Church of Christ in Broadway, New York City.
During his study leave Andrew worked on a record of songs (under the project name, The Refrains) and also with Dorothy on the preparation of the first of three liturgical books which are about Bringing Together the Word of Life – ideas for completing the homily based on the liturgical calendar in the manner that we worship each Sunday with symbols, questions and sharing. These will be published by the UCA’s pubshisher MediaCom.
Wider ministry relationships
Since the arrival of Rev. Peter Walker at our Paddington Church, we hope to build deeper relationships with both Peter and his congregation.
In the period since the last Congregational meeting, we have had two lots of Easter and Holy Week Services. In 2009, the Maundy Thursday service focused on readings from Dietrich Bonhoeffer which were selected and read by Blair and this year we had readings from Dorothy Day read by Heather. Both Good Friday services, planned and shred with the Cana community as usual, had a focus on art. In 2009, the artist Miriam Cabello lent us several of her paintings related to the Stations of the Cross and this year we explored both a painting by Gabriel Azzi and numbers of photos by Elaine Syron.
A number of people attended an Easter Eve Vigil and the Easter Day services were great celebrations.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 31, we focussed on “Re-
National Assembly delegates
On Sunday 19th July, 20 guests from the National Assembly attended our worship service. We enjoyed their visit and received good feedback on their experience with us. The new President Alistair Macrae prepared the Faith article for the SSH, “God in the Dreaming”. The Assembly had acknowledged the presence of God with the Aboriginal people before Europeans came to this land.
National Council of Churches Social Justice Sunday November 15
Following discussions with Dr Cathy Kezelman and Susan Leith-
St Francis and St Clare Day
On October 4 we held our annual service to celebrate all the creatures with which we share God’s earth: Thanksgiving for Creation. People brought their pets to the service, or photos of them, if that was more appropriate. A collection was taken towards Monika’s Doggie Rescue.
On the Sunday which is focused on the Reign of Christ, November 22, we invited those in the community with whom we work and the people who use our property to celebrate community with us.
Later this year
November 14 has been set for another ASCA service. Regular contact has been kept with Dr Cathy Kezelman and Susan Leith-
The idea of a Harvest Festival service, in co-
On Saturday November 7, Nicole Fleming was ordained in our church surrounded by our congregation and many friends and family in loving support.
Margaret Vazey’s grand-
Noah Patterson, son of Julie and Damien Patterson, was baptised on April 11.
Bethany Grace Hughes, daughter of Mark and Gorgina Hughes, will be baptized on May 2.
We celebrate today the re-
Jacob and Losana.
Virginia and James.
John Raymond Collis.
Over the last year, Heather Robinson has established an afternoon prayer service – Tuesdays, once a month. We have purchased cushions for this, as well as a quality coffee percolator! The prayers take place in front of the side altar in the church which is being developed as a small “side chapel” area.
Elders Workshops and Bible Studies
These were held at intervals through the year and focused on the Gospel for the year, plus the Book of Revelation.
Jesus: All about Life
The Council agreed with Andrew that this interchurch evangelical program was not consistent with the theology and polity of the Uniting Church and therefore we should not become a participating congregation.
Ciaron O’Reilly’s visit on May 15
Ciaron is a Catholic Worker representative from Brisbane – a follower of Dorothy Day’s work. He led a discussion after the viewing of a video entitled Fool for Christ: The story of Dorothy Day.
Law and Order Forum
The discussion focused on: Law and order campaigns, prison privatisation, the question of whether prisons are for reform or punishment and alternatives ways of dealing with crime.
The speakers were: Greg Smith, Lee Rhiannon, Penny Sharpe and Ass. Prof. Eileen Baldry.
Sydney Half Marathon, Melbourne Marathon
Andrew, Adrian Spry, Leigh Stern and Bron Lee ran the Half Marathon in the CBD on May 17 and were sponsored to raise money ($1,000) for the Breast Cancer Network Australia. Later in the year, Trevor took part in the Sydney Running Festival in September and Andrew completed the Melbourne Marathon in October, raising $5,000 for the Pemulwuy Housing Project on the Block.
On May 16 Adrian, Andrew, Arathi, Angelique and Don (of the Ravens running group) will take part in the Sydney Half Marathon for the Breast Cancer Network.
Scotty McDonald has now established a parish website which carries Andrew’s homilies, our Newsletter and other information about the life of the parish. It is: www.southsydneyuniting.org.au . We are most grateful for all Scotty’s time-
Community Arts Worker
Eve Gibson’s contributions to our work and life together have been many and are deeply valued – from researching and writing articles for the Review section of the South Sydney Herald, to helping with events, to establishing links with local galleries, music venues, artists and musicians, to maintaining a creative and harmonious work environment at the church office.
Don Crowley did a student community welfare placement for several months, two days a week with the parish, and assumed responsibility for a number of tasks, including work for one of those days alongside Eve – focussing on the Elderflowers project. Don has continued his involvement as a volunteer with the Garden Shelter and as a distributor of the SSH.
The Art Class meets on the 2nd and 4rd Saturdays of the month. Adrian Spry ably led these classes for a period during the year, then had a break and recently returned to continue his good work. Hayley French, a recent graduate of the Sydney College of the Arts and local artist Charlotte Dibben have also assisted with teaching. The students recently held a very successful exhibition of their art in the church. The show was opened by Miriam Cabello.
Andrew has also been considering an artist-
A number of successful art exhibitions were held during the year, including that of Gordon and Elaine Syron’s collections and the work of Hayley French and that of our own art class. The latter show was curated by Charlotte Dibben. This also meant that the church is now set up with lighting and hanging facilities for such exhibitions. Many of the lights were donated by Gordon Syron.
September 19 saw the premiere reading of Alana Valentine’s Elderflowers: Stories of Older People in Redfern. The play was met with enthusiastic applause, and we now have a good number of written responses and reviews.
The weeklong festival, 'Older and Wiser', was held on August 31st-
The South Sydney Herald
On some levels, the paper has gone from strength to strength. It is, if anything increasing its readership and many people have complimented the paper on its new look since the change of printer. Esther Turnbull is now assisting with pagination and editing.
The area of concern is funding. Apparently for business reasons, the Lord Mayoral Letter page was withdrawn at the beginning of the year, taking around $10,000 of advertising revenue. In the latter part of 2009 and during this year things have picked up significantly and we thank John Lanzky and Don Crowley for their contribution in helping with this. We need four pages of advertisements per issue to break even. Ali Blogg is also thanked for all the work she has done in retrieving money for advertising from last year and arranging for ads and invoicing this year.
The Deerubbun was booked again for Survival Day on January 26 and its Harbour Cruise was a successful fundraiser for the SSH.
The Church Council agreed that, on June 18, a fundraising dinner be held in Darlington at the Buon Gusto Restaurant with Fr Bob McGuire from Melbourne as the speaker. His subject will be “Poverty – What can be done?”
We are grateful to Mark Bridgett of his efforts in relation to care of property but, for a number of reasons, it would be good to have volunteers to form an ongoing Property Committee. Booking forms for the church and hall hire are now completed.
The arrangements for regular rubbish collection are working well.
We will explore a number of options in relation to a water tank – we need quotes but are hopeful of getting assistance from the Council.
The plasterer has been back to examine progress in the church repairs. The sacrificial plaster needs more time to absorb moisture in the wall and we have some concern about continuing moisture coming through from the point where the vestry roof meets the church wall. We have just been advised that this is to do with repairs needed to the flashing. Andrew has arranged for the City of Sydney Council to hold their heritage grant until that time. Plumbers will be called to inspect the roof and wall.
The Cana Community has agreed to contribute towards the installation of a shower.
The window in the women’s toilet is also in need of replacement.
The hall has been significantly tidied and cleaned over the year (three skip bins of rubbish were removed from the hall).
We are undoubtedly in need of a rebuilding of the kitchen cupboards and benches and a new stove – possibly just stove top. Numbers of groups and the congregation regularly use the kitchen and it is approaching being a health and safety issue.
The year has seen huge improvements in our church garden, due to the hard work of Keith, Reece, Dove and friends of the Luncheon Club. The vegetable beds have been raised and replanted and we now have a number of very happy hens in the chicken coop.
Belmont Street Hall
The Exodus Foundation School has now left the hall and unit to go to the Centre for Indigenous Excellence and we have new tenants in both places – the unit being restored to its residential use and the hall hired by a psychotherapist and yoga teacher.
We celebrate the fact that Frank Robinson has agreed to prepare and present a financial report and budget for us today.
Obviously this as been a busy and productive year for our parish. We celebrate our creative life together and believe that the future, which we place in the hands of our God, holds even more hopes and dreams as we plan and work together.