Digest of Presbytery Meeting Held February 21st 2015 Benalla

Digest of Presbytery Meeting Held February 21st 2015 Uniting Church Benalla
Led by Rev Deacon Kel Hodge and Helen Collins, Chairperson of Presbytery. The service included the
commissioning and recommissioning of Presbytery Office Bearers and Committee members for 2015.
Kel's reflection was based on John 6:1-14. The service concluded with those present sharing in Communion.
Telling the Story
St Stephen's Wodonga - Interfaith Visitors from Indonesia - Two people : a Christian Minister and a
Muslim worker with the Interfaith organisation, Percik, will be hosted for three months commencing in early
March. Problems with obtaining visas have delayed their arrival. They will speak at the next meeting of
Presbytery. This will be the second time the congregation has hosted visitors from Indonesia. The aim of the
programme is to enable the visitors to improve their English language skills whilst being immersed in our
culture, to discover ways in which we worship and carry out our mission in the community. Opportunities
will be organised for them to acquire further skills in their areas of interest and need. Members of the
congregation, through conversation and sharing will gain a greater understanding of different faiths, and an
awareness of the inter-faith work carried out in Indonesia.
Visit by Julian Hamilton – a Chaplain from Trinity College Dublin will be spending 6 days in Shepparton
1st - 5th May. A very exciting programme will be offered - flyers were distributed at the meeting and more
details can be found on the website. Julian has previously been a presenter at NCYC. Lots of activities will
be offered for youth and youthful folk. Flyers available from Lorraine Threlfall.
Special discussion - Social Media - The Church, you and the worldwide web – Rev Charles Vesely
outlined some of the advantages and disadvantages of Social Media. He pointed out that it affects all of us
even if we only use Eftpos and have RACV Insurance. Charles showed a short video prepared for Defence
force personnel - but just as relevant for the Church, pointing out some of the dangers of using the internet
and suggesting caution in the type of material we share on social media and how this can be misused by
others - often without our knowledge. Charles challenged Presbytery with - How may our congregation or
agency use social media to project ministry? What are some of the guidelines we should put in place?
Charles recommended that UCA look at the guidelines already developed by other organisations.
Deaconess Beth Walpole was presented with a certificate in recognition of her sixty years of ministry. Beth
spent many years serving as a missionary in India where amongst other things she managed Girls' and Boys'
Boarding homes, was director of RE in High Schools, was involved in the translating and printing of an
English RE series of 4 books on the background to the Bible. Beth was also involved in aid work - being
involved in famine relief and a programme of deepening drinking water wells in villages. We give thanks for
such a lifetime of dedicated service.
Special discussion – Report of the Communications - Colin Thomson, Judy Redman, Brian Spencer and
Adin Brauer - reported on the Communications Survey completed by 33 congregations. The team now has a
better knowledge of the type of technology used and accessed by congregations. An opportunity was taken to
demonstrate the use of Adobe Connect with Brian speaking to the meeting from his home in Waranga. The
group will continue to explore ways in which this technology may be used to conduct small group meetings.
Special services - Sunday May 8th final service Whitfield 10:15am
Thursday March 12th, Rev Loni Vaitohi will be inducted at Shepparton UCA 7:00pm
- Sunday March 22nd 10:00am Service of release prior to retirement of Rev Rachel Franklin
at St Stephen's Uniting Church Wodonga.
- Sunday March 22nd final service Milawa UCA 9:30am
- Sunday May 17th - Final service - Invergordon/Katamatite
 Rev Rachel Franklin was thanked for her contribution to the work of the Presbytery as a member of
the Pastoral Relations Committee
 Richard Franklin spoke of the lack of funding from the Federal Government for Financial
Counselling in Agencies and the fact that several agencies, including Wangaratta ER, Anglicare
Wangaratta and Myrtleford have lost funding for Emergency Relief . Richard urged people to take
this issue up with their local politicians.
 Dookie invited all to join them for their Palm Sunday service to be held on the hill - gates open at
4:30 and the service will be at 7:00
 Mary Sullivan reminded people that there will be two rounds of Wandiligong Grants this year.
Submissions for the first round are due by March 31st. Contact Mary for application forms.
 Presbytery sends its best wishes to Jen and Cam Shields who were married January 10th
Digest prepared by Helen Collins
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