It was a sad farewell to the Rev. Bob Thomas on 24 July, as after 40 months, being our interim Minister, Bob is taking up an appointment with Torquay, Bellbrae and Airey’s Inlet Uniting Churches. Bob will be greatly missed for his friendly personality and thought provoking sermons.
Bob contemplates the “sparkling” birthday cake – the day coinciding with Rev Bob’s birthday.
Church secretary, Dianne Sapwell, thanks Rev Bob for his time with us, wishes him Happy Birthday and presents the flowers as a gift for his wife, Anita, as he cuts his cake.
With Rev. Bob Thomas’s “farewell”, and his love of trees, we celebrate National Tree Week one week earlier.
Rev. Bob Thomas thanks Sandra Nowland-Foreman, coordinator for “Gardens for Wildlife”, for her presentation on indigenous vegetation in this region, particularly Point Addis and Edwards Point.
Dianne Sapwell, Ocean Grove Uniting Church Secretary, presents an arrangement to thank Sandra for her participation in the church service, having given her presentation on behalf of “Gardens for Wildlife”.
We were pleased to welcome our guest speakers Cecily and Laurie Mason from Aireys Inlet RAR. They are the network writers for Asylum Seekers and Refugees. After the service a letter writing session was held. We implore government to fast track permanent visas. Cecily reminded us that letters hold more weight than emails.
Recently the Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee has decided that, after over three years in ‘supply’ ministry, Rev. Bob Thomas must finish his ministry at Ocean Grove/Barwon Heads.
Although Rev. Bob has been happy to serve as long as was necessary to acquire a new minister, the time between ministers has become excessive. Supply ministry typically is measured in months, not years, and so it has been decided that, after 40 months (a biblically symbol number), Bob’s last service was on the 24th of July.
Although the Covid lockdown is in the past, and worship services are being conducted as usual, Sunday worship at the Ocean Grove service continues to be streamed via Zoom each week, and can be joined at 10:30 am(AEDT)through the link:
Ministry is a blessing to me in general, but occasionally, albeit relatively rarely, I have felt especially blessed. Last Sunday was one such occasion. I received an email from the van der Poll family, members of the Leopold congregation who occasionally join our worship on Zoom, which was amazingly relevant to the worship service I was about to lead. With their permission I share it with you:
This Sunday, June 20th, was Refugee Sunday and also the observance of the 44th anniversary of the birth of the Uniting Church. To celebrate the occasion the Barwon Heads congregation met with the Ocean Grove congregation at 10:30am to hear Jim Molineux from the Synod’s Justice and International Mission cluster.
2020 had more than the usual degree of chaos for many people, but even in a relatively uneventful year, there is some degree of chaos in most people’s lives. Though one might yearn for a life free of chaos, even a cursory study of this topic suggests that chaos is important, perhaps necessary, for life.(Read more)