“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.

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas from the Beaumaris Uniting Church

Merry Christmas from the Beaumaris Uniting Church

Christmas Day

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.

Family Christmas Service

Children's Christmas ServiceThe “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.

>> View the photographs of the Children’s Christmas Service 2018
>> Download Flyer for Children’s Christmas Service 2018
>> Family Life Christmas Appeal 2018

>> Beaumaris Community Carols by Candlelight 2018


Fete 2018

Beaumaris Uniting Church Community Twilight Fete

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!!


Congregational Meeting October 21st

SUNDAY 21st OCTOBER at 10:30am

A Congregational Meeting was held on Sunday 21st October following the 9:30am Church service.

The meeting addressed a recommendation of the Church Council with respect to same gender marriage.

Two options are open to Uniting Church congregations and separately to ministers. Rev Scott Finlay gave an excellent presentation with regards to understanding the biblical context of same gender relationships.

The Church Council made the recommendation that we allow same gender marriages to be conducted at our church, with God’s blessing. There was overall concensus of the proposal. Our Minister Rev. Scott Finlay had previously said that he would be happy to conduct same gender marriages whether it be in the church or elsewhere.Congregational Meeting

Err on the Side of Generosity.

Letter to the Editor in The Age Newspaper on 7th August 2018

Of all the sayings and epithets that I used to hear as a kid growing up in Australia, the one I most admired was ‘to err on the side of generosity’. Richie Norton’s great advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears when we hear of so many people not qualifying for the NDIS. We keep hearing about people with crippling disabilities who seem to miss out on the assistance they so desperately need that would make such a difference to them and their carers.

As a nation, we seem to have become hardhearted in our government’s treatment of asylum seekers, refugees, homeless folks, unemployed young people and even those women who are victims of domestic violence. Too often these people are collectively made to feel like they are ‘rorting the system’, or ‘it’s their own fault’. We can always find excuses for turning a blind eye to those in need or for not helping those who are down on their luck. Misfortune can happen to anyone.

Richie Norton’s advice holds a deeper truth. Generosity is regarded as one of the key ingredients to enhanced mental health.

Adam Lindsay Gordon’s epithet comes to mind:

“Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble. Courage in your own.”

We can all try a little more kindness. We just might benefit from it too.

Nick Toovey.
Congregational Chairperson

Uniting AgeWell Residential, Community & Home Care Forum

What goes up, but never comes down?      

Your age!!

The answer to that riddle is at the heart of a special forum “Uniting AgeWell Residential, Community and Home Care” being held at Beaumaris Uniting Church – St Martins, cnr Dalgetty Road and Gibbs Street, Beaumaris on Sunday, 9th September from 2.30-4.00pm.

Kiri Johnston from Uniting AgeWell has been invited to talk to us about all those issues to do with Aged Care in the community including the role played by government.

You are invited to come along just to listen, ask questions or chat to Kiri afterwards about your particular situation, or that of your elderly parents.

Join us and be that much more informed about this important social issue in our society.

This event is not exclusive to our church congregation and will be advertised around the suburb so please feel free to bring along anyone you feel would be interested or may benefit from this forum. If you are unable to attend on September 9th but would really love to hear what Kiri has to say, please don’t stay silent but let Nick Toovey know and we may be able to get Kiri to come again.

We’d love to have some idea of numbers so please contact Nick Toovey of the Mission Committee if you’re able to attend.

Nick’s phone no is 0447 244 909 and his email is: Nick.Toovey@flinders.vic.edu.au

>>>Download the flyer for the Uniting AgeWell Residential, Community and Home Care Forum
Uniting AgeWell Community Information Session

Uniting AgeWell Residential, Community & Home Care Information Session

Friday Morning Discussion Group August 2018

Old Enough To Die

Barbara Letheren led a very interesting discussion based on an article in the Weekend Australian Magazine published recently and written by 76 year old author Barbara Ehrenreich. She describes how stepping off the preventative care treadmill gave her a newfound freedom which she is now revelling in.

She said that she refused to accept a medicalised life.

Barbara Letheren said she chose this topic as it reflected her own experiences, she discussed her solution and wanted to hear the experiences other individuals in the group had to share along the same lines.

>>  Download the article  “Old Enough To Die”

Induction of Our New Minister

Welcome Reverend Scott Finlay

Rev. Scott Finlay being inducted by Rev. Andrew Boyle

Rev. Scott Finlay being inducted by Rev. Andrew Boyle

The Service of Induction of our new minister was run by the Presbytery of Port Phillip East on behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Approximately 80 people attended Scott’s induction service  at the church on the afternoon of Sunday 5th August 2018. The service, led by the Rev. Andrew Boyle was recognition of Scott’s appointment and embodied mutual commitments by our congregation, Scott and the Presbytery to further the work of God in our area.  The Rev. Greg Fry, who chaired our Joint Nominating Committee, was the preacher and gave a very pertinent reflection on “Change”.

Members of the congregation were involved through out the service, led off by the Congregational Chairperson: Nick Toovey. A group of people representative of the congregation and reflecting the diversity of the people for whom Scott will have pastoral responsibility did the bible readings and others presented him with a Bible and water, bread and wine and the congregational roll. Many members of Presbytery were present along with representatives from local churches.

The service was followed by a sumptuous and welcoming afternoon tea. It was a very special occasion in the life of our church and a wonderful opportunity to meet Scott and his wife Susan, along with their two sons: Dheran and Kailan.

 >> View photographs of Rev. Scott Finlay’s Service of Induction