Womens Spirituality Forum at St James

This year in the midst of an already busy program, the Centre for Progressive Religious Thought has been given the opportunity to initiate a series of activities, through a grant from the ACT Office of Women. A Women’s Spirituality Forum has been established, and a Project Team is coordinating special events and interest groups for women as well as preparing women to take part creatively in regular CPRT presentations. A warm invitation is being extended to women through Canberra, including those of other faiths and cultures, and it is anticipated that this thinking together program will contribute much to the dialogue that is needed to develop a more just and caring world.

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Fair and Fete

The Uniting Church of St James will hold an Early Spring Fair on Saturday, 2 September, from 9am to 2pm at the church centre, Gillies St, Curtin. There will be stalls selling craft, trash and treasure, second-hand books, home-made cakes and preserves, and new and second-hand childrens toys and dolls. Devonshire teas, barbecue food and soup will also be for sale.

North Belconnen Uniting Church will hold its annual fete on 21 October from 9am to 2pm. Special activities are available for children while parents browse the stalls, which will include white elephant, books, crafts and toys. Visiting choirs, bands and dance groups provide entertainment and a variety of food, including devonshire teas, barbecue and curries will be available.

Fresh Start for St James UC

Audible gasps and spontaneous acclamation greeted the unveiling of a new sanctuary quilt when the St James Church Centre in Curtin was opened and rededicated in October. Special guests at the opening service included UCA president-elect, Rev. Gregor Henderson, and the ACT Chief Minister, Mr Jon Stanhope. More than 100 people gathering in the car park to accept the invitation by past Presbytery chairperson, Rev. Peter Walker, to celebrate the event, and to sense the face of God in this place and in all creation.
St James commenced its refurbishment program three years ago.

Thanks to the sensitive architectural design by Clive Jackman, the centre now has a distinct entrance pavilion and ramp, a new block housing a disabled toilet, storeroom and minister’s office, an enlarged children‚’s play area, as well as a paved courtyard sheltered by a large sail.

Inside the worship space is new sanctuary furniture designed and made through the Bungendore Woodwork Gallery, and a magnificent two metre-square sanctuary quilt. Designed and gifted by St James member and internationally renowned quilter, Margaret Rolfe, the quilt reflects the theological journeying of French theologian and palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Titled Heart of Matter, the quilt design emphasises the importance of evolution, of God throughout everything, in a vast universe.

The Cross at the centre represents Jesus, the source of the Christian faith, who revealed that God is Love. It also symbolises the fact love can come at a cost, Margaret said. The quilt has 6561 small pieces making up the background. ‚”I tried to use many different small pieces of fabric within each band of colour, representing the diversity of life, including, of course, the diversity of people. We are all different, but we all have a place,‚” she said.

Funding for the $190,000 project came from Uniting Church Investment Fund, an ACT Government Community Grant, and special donations from members and friends of St James.

St James minister, Rev. Rex Hunt said both he and the Church Council gratefully acknowledged the many hours of dedicated volunteer and creative work given by members, former members, and friends of the St James Congregation during the time of the project.

St James gets fair start on Spring

The Uniting Church of St James in Curtin will hold an early Spring Fair, on Saturday, 3 September 2005, from 9am to 2pm. There will be stalls selling craft, trash and treasure, second-hand books and jewellery, home-made cakes, jams and preserves, and a garden stall. Devonshire teas, soup, barbecue food, and drinks will be for sale. Enquiries, phone 62823363 or 6281 6469.