Fiesta is coming!

James DouglasEvents, Family focussedLeave a Comment

Fiesta 2019 – Saturday 23rd March, 11am-4pm


The Autumn Fiesta is back for 2019. Bargains galore, delicious food and something for everyone awaits. Come along and join the fun!

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Home-made goodies


Jams, preserves, cakes and biscuits, all home made and delicious. Gluten free and low GI options available.


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Fun for the kids


Fun activities for children including ‘lob a choc’, a jumping castle and animal farm.


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Food and coffee


A range of options including Chinese food, sausage sizzle, Devonshire teas and ‘Sir Hamlet’ espresso van.


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Bargains galore


Traditional ‘White Elephant’, books, mags, music and DVDs, craft, clothing, jewellery and more!


...and so much more!

Celebrating flora and fauna Sunday

James DouglasWorshipLeave a Comment

This Sunday, the 30th of June, St Luke’s will be celebrating Flora and Fauna Sunday as part of the Season of Creation. As the seasons change, so we take a Sunday to reflect on our connection to the creation around us, seeking to connect our worship of God with our appreciation of creation, and our discipleship with our treatment of the non-human life with which we share our planet.

You’re warmly invited to join us in this time of celebration, reflection and gratitude.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Mount Waverley. Photo Copyright Megan Haysom
Twin bonnets rising from the leaf-litter. Photo Copyright Megan Haysom

The Creeds – are they relevant?

James DouglasEventsLeave a Comment

Nicene creed in Latin. Found at Mere Inkling Blog

On Saturday 25th May, at High Street Road Uniting Church, Dr Geoff Thompson will lead a workshop to consider the relevance of the Creeds within our Uniting Church context in the 21st century. Dr Thompson is Coordinator of Studies – Systematic Theology at Pilgrim Theological College. This engaging and informative event and will include:
• The Basis of Union and the creeds.
• Apostles’ & Nicene Creeds: history, theology, significance.
• More recent confessions of faith – how the UCA might use them.
BRING YOU HARD QUESTIONS, YOUR DOUBTS AND AN OPEN MIND!
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
Please bring your own lunch.

Holy Week Labyrinth

James DouglasMusicLeave a Comment

Labyrinth Meditations for Holy Week
Mon 15th – Wed 17th April, 10am-noon.
Tue 16th & Wed 17th April, 7-9pm

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, a labyrinth will be available in the Church to facilitate personal reflection, prayer and meditation. Anyone who is interested is invited to come and walk the labyrinth.

Labyrinths have been used by Christians for centuries as a kind of pilgrimage – a physical and spiritual journey which changes you as you walk it. Formed by pews where people would typically sit, this labyrinth will have an inward and outward journey, with stations along the way to allow participants to engage with the readings of the day through image, touch, writing, drawing and sculpting.

While the labyrinth will be open for 2 hours at a time, participants are invited to walk it at their own pace, engaging as much or as little as they are comfortable with. Guidance to use the labyrinth will be available for those who would find it helpful, and the minister will be available to pray and talk with anyone who needs to debrief or further explore any discoveries on the labyrinth journey.

Flinders Quartet Concert

James DouglasEvents, Music, NewsLeave a Comment

Flinders Quartet performed a marvellous concert today, featuring a brand new work from Melbourne composer, Matthew Laing. The work, called ‘Out of Hibernation’ explored the experience of existence and change from animal and human perspectives and it was a delight to hear Matthew speak about the work, as it deepened the experience for the audience. Bookending ‘Out of Hibernation’ were Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 64, No. 3  and Robert Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41, No. 3. Flinders Quartet’s deep connectedness to the music and to one another’s playing was on display, along with virtuosity and flexibility of technique. It was a wonderful concert and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who came. Head over to Facebook and like our page to make sure you never miss a St Luke’s event, and below is a brief video of Flinders Quartet enjoying Schumann.

West Papua Dinner and Entertainment – Saturday 4th November 5.45-9pm

James DouglasMusicLeave a Comment

Come celebrate West Papuan culture and raise funds to help raise West Papua’s voice to the United Nations. Cost $30 waged, $15 unwaged. Guest Speaker: Rev Peter Woods, Missionary, artist, activist ” Where is God in the West Papuan struggle?” Tickets can be booked online for waged, or unwaged, or by contacting the office of the Federal Republic of West Papua on 0420 250 389.

Blessing of the animals and Preschool service – Sunday 22nd October 9.30am

James DouglasMusicLeave a Comment

They say ‘never work with children or animals’, but at St Luke’s we’re breaking all the rules and celebrating our Preschool and Blessing our Animals on the same day! On Sunday the 22nd of October  at 9.30 am, there’s bound to be fun for all ages as we connect with children’s spirituality and bless the animals who bless our lives. Preschool families are particularly invited to join us this day, as all the groups are learning songs to share with the congregation, and it is an opportunity for the children to see inside the Church building and find out some of what happens there. This year we’re glad to welcome Michele Phillips from the South Oakleigh Wildlife Service to speak to the children about caring for local wildlife. Members of the community who would like to share in this celebration are welcome, and everyone is encouraged to bring an animal (or a photo if bringing your animal isn’t practical).

Happy Birthday UCA!

James DouglasMusicLeave a Comment

40 years ago today, Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches came together to bring a new and uniquely Australian denomination to birth – The Uniting Church in Australia. St Luke’s Uniting Church is proud to celebrate the ongoing contribution of Uniting Church Congregations, Agencies and Schools to the life of our nation.

The Lord’s my shepherd I

Katrina DowlingMusic2 Comments

Peter and lamb

Once a month at St Luke’s we have ‘Music Sunday School’,[1] in which the class is taken by a music educator and music-making is the way we engage with the text of the day. It ranges from experimental sound-making to instrumental music to karaoke! At the moment we are tapping into our musical heritage by exploring “The Lord’s my Shepherd” from the Scottish Psalter and singing it to CRIMOND.

Because it’s Ascension time, we note that the Shepherd-King is an important part of the Jewish and Christian faiths. In Sunday School, the kids were faced with a puzzle –do we know of anyone who is both a shepherd and a monarch? They were able to call to mind both Jesus and David. David was a shepherd-king and wrote the song we know as Psalm 23 using imagery that shows how sheep trust their protector. Jesus identified himself with the shepherd role, and at Ascension his kingship is affirmed.

Brian Tabb sums up the implications of Ascension for our living:

  1. Remember that Jesus is presently reigning as king and remains active and engaged in our world and our lives.
  2. Therefore live boldly, confidently, and strategically as servants of the exalted king of heaven. Know that your labors in the Lord Jesus are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
  3. Sufferers, take heart that Jesus is not indifferent to your struggle. He has endured great suffering and is thus the most merciful and sympathetic counselor and mediator. Take your cares to your ascended Lord who hears your prayers and can respond with all heaven’s authority.
  4. Finally hope in a glorious future. The ascended Lord will return as judge and king. He will abolish injustice, end suffering, and destroy death and set up his kingdom of truth, righteousness and love. Best of all, we will be with our king forever.[2]

If you look at Tabb’s points above in the context of Psalm 23, you can see a very strong sympathy between God’s nature revealed as shepherd and God’s nature revealed as king.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

As we sang through the psalm and opened out the imagery verse by verse, the children discovered these insights as well. They learned of the rod and staff used for protecting and guiding, and were stirred by the thought of the shepherd “bonking lions on the head.” But at the same time they realised that if the psalmist is comforted by the presence of the rod and staff, it reveals that this shepherd is not the kind to use his staff for smacking the sheep! And when we came to the final verse, considering how the line “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” speaks to us, one response was “what it means to me is that even if I’d been naughty, the shepherd would never say, ‘That’s it – now you’re out with the lions and bears.’”

The images in this post are kindly shared by photographer Carlene Hardt.[3] In a later post I’ll also have the privilege of sharing a poem by Peter, the shepherd in the photos! But I’ll make you wait until July, when our next ‘Music Sunday School’ session will see a return to Psalm 23 and the children will be invited to compose their own shepherd songs in response to the poetry they’ve encountered so far.

Peter and lamb

[1] Music Sunday School is on the fourth Sunday of the month during school term times.

[2] Brian Tabb, “More Than an Afterthought: Six Reasons Jesus’s Ascension Matters,” desiringGod.org, April 13, 2013, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/more-than-an-afterthought-six-reasons-jesus-s-ascension-matters.

[3] Thanks to Carlene, to Peter and to Elaine Hardt of encouragingu.blogspot.com.au for their generous correspondence.