About FACE program mid-2017

Are you ready for a life-changing experience?

About FACE is a Faith And Cultural Exchange program of the Uniting Church in partnership with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

The next About FACE will be June 24 – July 8, 2017.  It will involve briefing and preparation, time living in UAICC communities and debriefing the experience. About FACE is open to people 18 years and over. The program aims to create an ‘about face’ in the attitudes and lifestyles of participants and to build relationships and bridges of understanding.

The program celebrates the Covenant relationship between the Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. The program encourages participants and those supporting them to be actively involved in Covenanting and working together for reconciliation in our Uniting Church and in their wider communities.

About FACE Q&A vimeo: https://vimeo.com/64023584

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Safe Shelter Annual Report 2016

safe-shelterDownload Annual Report 2016

Meeting the amazing guests who impressed me so much with their sense of humour and respect for each other – a response to the survey question: What was good about volunteering for Safe Shelter 2016?

At its February meeting, St Columba’s Uniting Church Council approved the use of Lewis Hall for three nights per week throughout the winter of 2016, with the Church foregoing potential rent for the hall and paying the cost of heating and lighting, as in previous years.

Throughout the Autumn, members of the Safe Shelter Coordinating Committee met with media and church leaders requesting assistance with the program and enquiring about the availability of alternative locations but by March it became evident that no other venues would be available in time for Winter. As in 2014 and 2015, despite setbacks, the Committee undertook to continue its quest for additional venues. With strong media assistance, recruitment and training of volunteers occupied the committee thereafter.

Two Safe Shelters
From the start of Winter 2016, there were therefore two “Safe Shelters” in operation in the region, the original one at St Columba’s, Braddon, and a new one at Queanbeyan Uniting Church. There will be a separate annual report on Queanbeyan, which operates differently from the Canberra model because of local conditions, but the key point is that, although opening only on Tuesday each week, it accommodated 35 guests, additional to St Columba’s 139.

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Uniting home care packages

The information below is relevant to all areas of our Presbytery with our coastal congregations coming under Uniting Home Care Kuranya/Far South.
See here for Uniting’s full list.


Uniting ACT Southern Tablelands Home and Community Care is an experienced provider of Home Care Packages for people over 65 years (ATSI over 50 years).  Over 150 people receive this kind of care with Uniting throughout the ACT and in Queanbeyan, Braidwood, Crookwell, Taralga, Gunning and Yass.

Uniting tailors its Home Care Packages to offer individual support according to each person’s assessed needs.  Care services may include, gardening, meal preparation, wound management, carer respite, domestic assistance, specialised equipment, personal care and social support.  Uniting has a professional diverse and qualified team that work together to ensure your care strengthens your capacities and keeps you connected in your own community.

Should you be interested in discussing a Home Care Package or require assistance in contacting My Aged Care to register for an Aged Care Assessment please contact Uniting Community Care Direct on 1800 486 484.  Uniting Support Advisors Sam Sleiman, Cindy Chan and Janine Kemp are available to assist you.

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How to knit a church

From Rev Jean Shannon, Hospital Chaplaincy Co-ordinator  (webpage here)….


A few months ago, I put out a call in the Pew Sheets for trauma teddies.

These are the bears we use:

  • To begin conversations with children in crisis centers who have no words to explain what they’ve experienced
  • To comfort grandchildren, especially when Nan or Pop are too frail to hug their adored grand, great grand and the child is frightened from seeing such vulnerability in previously super human adults
  • As companions to travel with intellectually disabled, treated as adults by the transport and hospital system but crying out as children in bewilderment, fright and loneliness.
  • For patients alone or who believe they are alone because of dementia – who long for touch, who remember the joy of holding someone or something near, who miss their pets long dead

And more. So much more.

What happened was a complete surprise. We had a bear explosion. Bags of bears began turning up on my doorstep and at the hospital. Big ones, little ones – ones with names, some with overalls, scarves or ties, different faces, personalities, a rainbow of colours all made with such care and given freely.

They just kept coming. I began to wonder if each of these bears was a prayer.  Chaplaincy is a lonely business. What we do is never seen by anyone other than the one person we are attending. It is easy to feel disconnected from the very church we represent.

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Drug Law Reform Update from Uniting

JonOBrienUniting is the services and advocacy arm of the Uniting Church NSW & ACT. The following information has been received from Jon O’Brien, their Social Justice Advocacy Co-ordinator. 

At its meeting in April this year the Uniting Church NSW.ACT Synod supported two resolutions on drug law reform concerning the personal use of illicit drugs.  Uniting is leading a working group with input from the wider church, including the Social Justice Forum, to give effect to Synod’s decision.  The Synod was conscious of the need to keep congregations and other Uniting Church councils and bodies aware of this initiative and to respond to any questions about it.

The Social Justice Forum has prepared the following material on the initiative:

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