The Land Before the Avocado – Reminiscing.
Michele Weckman led off a lively discussion to start the year.
After reading the book “The Land Before The Avocado” by Richard Glover, Michele was led to explore the topic “Fifty Years On, Is Life Better for Everyone?” and the article written by Jessica Irvine. In this article she discusses the New Year’s Eve ritual of making a resolution to make the coming year better than the last. But it’s also an interesting time to reflect on the question of whether life is, in fact, getting better.
We all read the article and enthusiastically talked about things that were better and worse. We could have covered many more issues re the pros and cons of this question but as always we left with much to reflect upon.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Our last Friday Morning Discussion Group of the year was held as a coffee and chat at the Ginger Fox Cafe in the Beaumaris Concourse on Friday 7th December.
We had a loose discussion on the “History of the Twelve Days of Christmas”, followed by the reading of the ode “My Twelve Days of Christmas” to strains of hilarity and well understood nods of agreement, as each day was described. I don’t know where this article came from but we present it here for you to enjoy – or keep till next December.
Our Annual Special Christmas Music Service
The service of Carols and Readings held on Sunday 16th December 2018 was several months in the planning. First came the task of choosing carols and readings and then over the month leading up to the service there were intensive weekly practices.
Our service was based on the the Christmas Eve “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” introduced at King’s College, Cambridge in 1918. Whilst not all the readings from King’s have been used, ours were selected from them and from those used in the Advent Carol Services at King’s, John’s and Trinity Colleges. In choosing we have sought to create a dialogue between the carols in the service. Our thanks go to all the readers and singers, particularly the friends and family from outside the congregation who have augmented The St Martins Singers.
Our choir of 20 sang in full voice and the performance was followed keenly by the congregation and enjoyed immensely.
A special thank you to Geoff Hinde for his patient and inspiring leadership of our music and to Rosa Hwang our accompanist.
On Friday 7th December approximately 40 members of the Church Congregation met at the Church Hall for a wonderful gathering of fellowship, friendship and fine food. It was extra pleasing to see some old faces join us for the evening.
All families contributed salads and desserts to enjoy along with the barbecued chickens, chips and quiches on offer.
A wonderful array of desserts tempted the palates and wastelines of those enjoying the evening.
Singing of Christmas carols with Geoff Hinde conducting and our wonderful pianist Janette Barklamb enthusiastically leading the group.
Many thanks to Wendy Hinde for her hard work organising this much loved annual event on the church calendar and we look forward to a repeat next year.
“Empty” Christmas Tree at our local Community Branch of Bendigo Bank
Our church’s latest Mission involves working with the Beaumaris Community Branch of the Bendigo Bank to place an “EMPTY” Christmas Tree at the bank for gifts and non-perishable food items to be placed under by members of our local community. This proved to be an extremely successful mission. These goods were delivered to Family Life in Cheltenham for distribution to members of our community who are facing tough times in the lead up to the Festive Season. Thanks to Wendy Hinde for donating the tree, decorations and tub for goods, Alison Davies for the art work and communication with the bank and Graeme McLean for transporting the three loads of items to the delighted staff at Family Life. This was a wonderful community collaboration – we supplied the flyers, posters and tree and the bank spread the word, firstly by emailing all of the Concourse Traders. The traders were extremely generous and Bruce Edmunds and Associates put it out on social media, which in turn encouraged local people to donate. The response was overwhelming and the bank will continue to have a tub for non-perishable food items in the bank on a permanent basis. The bank staff were enthusiastic and loved encouraging their customers to participate and explaining what it was all about.
We will certainly be doing this again next year with our Community Bank and will start in mid-November.
Just a thought!
With a congregation of approximately 90, Christmas Day at St Martins was indeed a joyful celebration of the birth of Christ. It was good to greet old friends again on such a significant day in the Christian year. The culmination of the lighting of the Advent candles with wreath meditations along with the singing of joyous Christmas Carols, set everyone in good steed for the day of family celebration ahead.
Over the Christmas period of Advent, we celebrated HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE and finally on Christmas Day the anniversary of the birth of CHRIST.
The “empty” Christmas Tree
On Sunday 9th December we had an “empty” Christmas Tree as part of our children centric family service. The congregation brought unwrapped gifts to place around the tree during the service. These were passed on to Family Life for distribution to families experiencing difficulty at this time. We are grateful for the generosity of our congregation and Family Life were delighted with our donations, which were distributed to some of the 100 needy families they look after in the area.
The traditional family children’s christmas service was packed full of creative activites. There was children’s Christmas story time and plenty of carols which were enthusiastically played along to with percussion instruments of all types, in addition we had a “Time of Creativity” at a choice of 6 Activity Stations.
One group dressed up accordingly then practised a re-enactment of the Nativity (Telling the Story), which was later performed as part of the service once we had re-gathered – to the delight of the congregation. A special highlight was our minister Scott, as a donkey – complete with phone braying noises! Meanwhile others sang Favourite Carols, or made Advent Chains and some made clever Advent Wreaths from their hand cutouts. One group spent their time “Mapping The Journey” while in the Reflective Space others were kept busy colouring in Christmas Scenes. The congregation moved between activities and the smiles on their faces reflected their enjoyment of this special service.
Annual Twilight Fete & Community Event – Friday 9 November
Beaumaris Uniting Church (St Martins) held its annual twilight fete and community event on Friday 9tn November.
The huge effort put into the fête by a large team of members of our congregation was rewarded by a good result given the circumstances with rain at a critical time. It is expected that the net result will be in the vicinity of $3,500 once our expenses and sales are finalised.
Many stalls were set up including the sellout Cakes plus Marmalade and Jams, Craft, Christmas Gifts; Pre-Loved Books, Clothing, Plants, White Elephant Stall, and a sausage sizzle.
There were many fun activities for the children – Face Painting, Toys, Sweets and a Dora the Explorer Jumping Castle plus a range of activities on the lawn and in the kindergarten.
Many people enjoyed a devonshire tea or coffee, and later on something from the barbecue tent for dinner along with their family and friends.
We are grateful for the provision of two advertising boards by Century 21 Real Estate in Beaumaris, a General Waste Skip from Veolia and the collection of all unsold items by Lentara – Uniting Care. Many local shops provided goods at wholesale prices for which we are thankful.
>> View some of the photographs of the event
There are only a limited number as we were all too busy making the Fete a success!!