Canberra Refugee Scholarships 2017

This year as part of our Wider Work we have again allocated $2,000 to CRS’s Geoff McPherson Scholarships. In accordance with the decision taken at the Congregational Meeting on 14 May, the scholarships will be dedicated to the first six of our past Ministers – we plan to dedicate the others next year. The form of words provided to CRS for the dedication is as follows:

‘South Woden Uniting Church has donated to the Geoff McPherson CRS Scholarship program for the last seven years. In the past few years, scholarships funded by South Woden have been dedicated in memory of members who have passed on.

This year, the 50th Anniversary of South Woden, the scholarships are being dedicated to the ministers who have served that church so well. This year, six ministers are nominated:

  • Rev. Geoff Bridge was the first minister, serving from January 1967 to December 1973.
  • Rev. Granton Hay served from 1974 to 1979.
  • Rev. Geoff Hunter served from 1980 to 1985. Sadly, Geoff passed away in April this year.
  • Rev. Carol Morris served from 1986 to 1990 and
  • Rev. Gereldine Leonard served from 1996 to 2000.
  • Also included this year is Rev. David Webster, who although not in long term placement with South Woden, helped out more than once when South Woden was between ministers. ‘ 

Commissioning Service for Rev. Gary Holdsworth

The commissioning service for Rev Gary Holdsworth was held on 17 February at 7 PM at Weston Creek Uniting Church, followed by a shared supper. The Service was a warming and affirmative welcome to our new Minister.

Some of our Elders, representing key elements of our community, took on a significant role. In the first group to bring signs of the Ministry Joan Palmer and Kirsten Preece carried the bread and wine together with two members of WCUC who carried the Holy Bible and Water. In the second group, Helen Fairbrother and Stephanie Tolson carried our Pastoral Roll and Worship Candle, as part of the group that presented symbols of the duty of care entrusted to the Minister. Other Elders involved were Keith Fairbrother, who read the Old Testament reading, and Libby Coates, who shared the Prayers of the People with Charles Mailler from WCUC. The two Chairs of the two Church Councils, David Cran and Winston Newman, then presented the two Congregations to Gary, all promising to share in the Ministry.

A lovely supper was shared afterwards. Many thanks go to Weston Creek Uniting Church for hosting us.

50th Anniversary Worship Service

SWUC celebrated its 50th anniversary on the date of the first Service, 12 February, which fell on a Sunday in 2017. The anniversary celebration Service was followed by a morning tea (of course!) and some reminiscences from the three remaining members plus the first Minister, Rev. Geoff Bridge. The Service was led by David Cran, with the Reflection delivered by Rev. Geoff Bridge. Our new Minister, Rev. Gary Holdsworth, attended and joined Geoff in cutting the birthday cake. Our musicians, as usual, did a marvellous job in preparing and presenting a program of diverse musical offerings: our thanks go to all of them and a special thanks to the organisers/writers – Helen Swan, Brendan O’Loghlin, Brian Triglone and Roger Mauldon.

We also plan to hold a larger celebration later in the year to coincide with the launch of the book on the 50 year history of SWUC. At this stage our planning includes a Service, followed by a lunch with the usual SWUC activities and entertainment. At this stage this looks like being around mid- year – possibly in the May-June period. The exact timing depends on finalising the publishing details and getting the book to the printer.