Prayer Vigil for Thai Soccer Team

Prayer Vigil for Thai Soccer Team Friday 6th July 2018

In response to the dangerous, frightening and terribly uncertain situation currently being experienced by the 12 Thai soccer boys and their coach, we held an impromptu Prayer vigil at the Church on Friday afternoon, 6th July. Candles were lit for each boy and their coach as we gathered in the stillness, offering our own silent prayers for their safety and rescue.

Whether as parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or fellow teenagers, we can all relate to the plight of those trapped in the caves. We feel the anguish and fear of the parents, hanging on every word from the authorities, feeling so helpless. We feel the weight of expectation on the shoulders of the many rescuers.

There is power in the stillness of a prayer vigil. May God strengthen the resolve of the boys to survive this horrific ordeal and strengthen the efforts of the rescuers to bring the boys home safely.

Nick Toovey

Prayer Vigil for Thai Soccer Team

Congregational Meeting

Congregational Meeting


At the congregational meeting held on Sunday, the 24th June, the congregation decided that it wished to proceed with a call to Rev. Scott Finlay. A letter of call was approved and was sent.

We received a reply last Saturday in which Scott writes: “I gladly and graciously accept your call to minister with you at Beaumaris Uniting Church, into your local community. I look forward to gettting to meet you all, and in time coming to know you. I trust that together we can continue to honour God’s claim on us as individuals and community to be the people of God in this place and is so doing honour the lives of all we come into contact with.”

Scott can now be appointed and an induction service will be arranged by Presbytery. All proceeding as hoped it is probably Scott could commence leading our worship at the beginning of August.

Friday Morning Discussion Group June 2018

“Positive Psychology”

Rosemary Curtis led the discussion on Friday 1st June. She set out to give us all an idea of the broad approach to Positive Psychology that has been adopted at Adelaide High School, with the aim of increasing the mental well being of both teachers and students and how we could use this to enhance our own lives. It was an approach to Psychology most of us had never heard of but felt had great merit. We certainly had a lively discussion but felt we only brushed the surface of this fascinating topic.

Rose outlined that the starting point for this program at AHS was to do the VIA character strength survey:

Learn Your Character Strengths. Live Your Potential.

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is a simple self-assessment that takes less than 15 minutes and provides a wealth of information to help you understand your core characteristics. Most personality tests focus on negative and neutral traits, but the VIA Survey focuses on your best qualities.

Created under the direction of Dr. Martin Seligman, the “father of Positive Psychology” and author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish, and Dr. Christopher Peterson, distinguished scientist at the University of Michigan and author of A Primer in Positive Psychology, and validated by Robert McGrath, Ph.D., the VIA Survey is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology and has been used in hundreds of research studies and taken by over 5 million people in over 190 countries resulting in better workplaces… schools… teams…LIVES the world over.

Another website on Positive Psychology is below and enables you to do the “Wheel of Life Survey”

>> Download the handout The Wheel of Life Survey

Next participants had to do the “creating a strength based habit task”. The students were encouraged to choose from one of their top 3-5 strengths (signature strengths) and then commit to developing that strength further, for 10 minutes a day over the period of a month.

>> Download the handout  24 Character Strengths – Identify Your Top Five for a Better Life
>> Download the handout  Classification Of Character Strengths

The PERMA model designed by Martin Seligman, which has five core elements of psychological well being and happiness was the model AHS liked best and used:

PERMA Model of Positive PsychologyThe PERMA model was designed by Martin Seligman with five core element of psychological well-being and happiness. Seligman believes that these five elements can help people reach a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning. This model can also be applied to institutions to develop programs to help people develop new cognitive and emotional tools.

>> Download the handout The Perma Model

>> Download the handout  Two Models of Positive Psychology

Rose showed us the TED talk by Emily Esfarhan Smith “There’s More To Life than Being Happy – The Four Pillars of Meaning” 

Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there’s a more fulfilling path? Happiness comes and goes, says writer Emily Esfahani Smith, but having meaning in life — serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you — gives you something to hold onto. Learn more about the difference between being happy and having meaning as Smith offers four pillars of a meaningful life.

Extra resources:

  • Martin Seligman’s book Flourish is worth looking out for.
  • Barbara Fredrickson’s books Love 2.0 – how our supreme emotion affects everything we think, feel, do and become, and also ‘Positivity are good references.
  • Barbara Fredrickson has several Youtube talks on this subject:  Positive emotions open our mind;  Positive emotions transform us.
  • Carol Dweck is another author mentioned.  Her book ‘Positivity’ contains some research in this area, mainly the value of positivity and how one might decrease negativity.
  • Karen Reivich,  The Resilience Factor

Friday Morning Discussion Group May 18

“The Happiest Refugee”

The Happiest Refugee


Our monthly Friday Morning Discussion Group was held at Hindes this month.

Wendy Hinde led the discussion based on the book “The Happiest Refugee” by Anh Do.

This was discussed alongside an article that was published in the HeraldSun Magazine “Stellar”, on Sunday 11th March, 2018 and titled “It’s OK to fail”, an inteview by Adrienne Tam of refugee Anh Do. We were amazed at the breadth of Anh Do’s talents and work: law graduate, comedian, artist, prize winning author. We learned what a resilient and kind hearted soul he is and how he gives enormous credit to his mother for the way his family has turned out. He was 2 years old when his family hopped on a 9 metre boat and set out to escape Vietnam. The story is a wonderful testament to the determination of refugees to settle in and forge their way in the country that has given them a new chance at life, as well as the gratitude for this opportunity.

>>>> Read the article “It’s OK to fail”

We enjoyed watching the video “Pictures of You – featuring Anh Do” – featured below. This rounded out a very lively discussion.

AGM 2018


AGM Beaumaris Uniting Church May 6 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the Beaumaris Uniting Church was held following the 9:30am service on Sunday 6th May 2018.
35 members of the congregation attended, with 19 apologies given.
John Davies chaired the meeting.

  • Jenny Small was re-elected as an elder for a 2 year term.
  • Wendy Hinde was re-elected as an elder for a 3 year term.

The Annual Report was spoken to by Chairperson of the Church Council, Jenny Small and the Treasurer, Margaret Thorburn.

Friday Morning Discussion Group April 2018


For our 6th April meeting we tackled the topic from the recent debate held on the ABC for International Women’s Day:

“Is Bold the new Beautiful?”

Many of us watched the debate on ABC iView  – and there was plenty of fodder amongst the group to have a lively discussion.

The link is below and it can be watched on any computer if you don’t have an iPad.

The notes for the topic can be downloaded below:

==>  Is Bold The New Beautiful?


Sunday 8th April 2018

Low Sunday Shenanigans

Low Sunday Shenanigans

The Sunday after Easter Sunday is traditionally known as “Low Sunday”, probably so named because of its relative unimportance in contrast with Easter Sunday.

Last Sunday 8th April Reverend John Connan  asked all members of the Congregation to wear bright colours and “silly hats” and bring along funny religious jokes to share with the congregation. The Service Sheet began with the words “Because this is a day of the unexpected, the Order of Service may include the following but who knows exactly what their sequence may be?!” and that’s exactly how it was.  Rev. Connan’s reflection was based largely around the “Smiling Christ” and the joy that emanated from his preachings and that’s exactly how the service transpired. Not a single member of the congregation left without a feeling of joy in their hearts and a broad smile on their faces. Each hymn was sung with fervour – hymns such as Rejoice the Lord is King, Lord of the Dance, Give Me Joy in My Heart, Rejoice in the Lord Always and Again I Say Rejoice, Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart, and finally You Shall Go Out With Joy and Be Led Forth in Peace.

For a Low Sunday we all went out on an absolute high!!!!

Holy Humour Sunday

Holy Humour Sunday

Low Sunday Jokes

Low Sunday Jokes


Easter Day “The Empty Tomb – He Is Risen”

Easter Garden St Martins

Easter Garden St Martins

“An exceptional day!”

An air of festivity greeted the congregation as they entered the church on Easter Sunday – with the Easter Garden the first sign of the celebration of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

Rev. John and Ann dressed as angels, began the service with the skit “An Exceptional Day”.

The St Martins Singers and Elders led a procession into the church. Then the service celebrated the glorious promises of eternal life for all who believe in Jesus. The “Easter Carol” was sung with conviction by the St Martin’s Singers, while each hymn sung throughout the service recognised the joy that Jesus had risen from the dead. 

During Children’s Time Ann shared an Easter story then told the children of the significance of eggs at Easter  – as a symbol of life during a time associated with renewal and rebirth. The young ones then distributed chocolate eggs to everyone at the service.

A special thanks to all the members of the church who brought flowers and plants and assembled the beautiful garden.


Rev John Connan leading our Palm Sunday Service

Rev John Connan leading our Palm Sunday Service

Our annual Palm Sunday Service on Sunday 25th March was full of vibrant hymns  and an excellent Reflection from Rev. John Connan “Just How Costly Can Love Be?”

In his reflection John touched on the way of Jesus, the way of the Church and the way of the people is the way of LOVE.

Sacrifice = Love.

The way of love, justice and truth is never popular.

Palm Sunday


BIBLE STUDY – LENT EVENT 2018. Lenten_Studies 

Lenten Studies began on Wednesday 7th March at the Hindes, from 7:30 – 9:00 pm and will continue for the next three weeks.

You can download the free material by googling “Bible study lent event 2018”. 

The studies focus on “Faith in Action – what are the qualities we need?” These include: justice, hope, love, self-awareness, hospitality and care plus sacrifice.…/Lent-Event-2018-Bible-Studies_Faith-in-Action_JAN20…

The materials were prepared by UnitingWorld is an agency of the Uniting Church in Australia.

>> Download the Lent-Event-2018-Bible-Study_Faith-in-Action