Loosely Woven is an adhoc troupe of musicians based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches who put together and perform three to four free acoustic shows each year, just for the fun of it! Their April road tour this year culminates in an afternoon concert at Tuggeranong Uniting Church, 1-3 pm. The concert will be a cabaret style of singing and instruments. Entry is free but donations will be gladly received to further the work of Frontier Services and the Leprosy Mission. The program of music presents an eclectic selection that will bring enjoyment to folk of all ages. Further information and a brochure at www.tuc.org.au.
Tuggeranong Uniting Church calls it a Date Night. Couples gather to share a spectacular meal, watch a video and to listen and talk with each other. This is The Marriage Course, a series of eight sessions designed to help any married couple strengthen their relationship.
The Marriage Course is a program that has been growing strongly internationally and is now being run at more than 860 locations throughout the world. One venue is Tuggeranong Congregation which has conducted two courses in 2005 and is planning to run further courses in 2006 and beyond.
The Tuggeranong courses were the vision of Troy Kaizik and Maria Parakilas both of whom came to a deep and energetic commitment to God through an Alpha course, also conducted within Tuggeranong Congregation. Witnessing to the way the course added strength in their own marriage, Troy and Maria convinced the church council that the Marriage Course was an important outreach in the missional work of the church. The two courses conducted in April/May and August/September have graduated 14 couples, about half of whom have been part of the Tuggeranong congregation.
Couples who have participated in the courses have spoken of how they have been given new ways to strengthen their relationship, build effective ways to improve communication and improve intimacy. A common theme has been the statement “We wish we could have done this years ago”.
While the course is based on Christian principles, it has a very practical focus that is suitable for all couples, regardless of their faith. In fact it is for any married couple who wants to work together at and invest in their relationship. The main aim is to help people build develop healthy relationships that will “go the distanceÂ‚”.
One of the highlights of the course is the marriage party, a special dinner at the end of the course to celebrate the achievements of the preceding eight weeks, to introduce other couples to the possibility of the course and to have a wonderful meal together. For both the courses in 2005, the marriage party was catered by award-winning chef Stewart Walsh who gave everyone a five star meal.
The course was started in 1996 by Nicky and Sila Lee of Holy Trinity Brompton, the London church that started the Alpha course. The next course will run early in 2006.
“I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help” (Psalm 121) is the very appropriate theme of a quilted banner (pictured) made by women from Tuggeranong Uniting Church. The work, nearly three metres wide and comprising 1992, 5cm squares, was begun during their Â‚Wonderful WomenÂ‚’s WeekendÂ‚ at Warrambui Conference Centre, Murrumbateman, last year and completed in March this year.
Over the weekend, participants were involved in cutting, ironing and placing and pinning fabric onto the fusible web designed by Mission Development Worker the Rev. Wendy Snook, who was guest speaker at the retreat. The design had its origins from photos by Roy Snook and Leonie Ferber.
Teamwork continued over group gatherings later in the year, including fabric painting and placement by Margaret Maxted and Wendy Snook, machine and hand sewing by Ruth Fong, Marion Kolmar and Janine Sharwood, and the addition of borders and quilting by Wendy. The Canberra Quilters loaned their Â‚Can-Quilt machine to assist.