Welcome to Waranga Uniting Churches

Waranga Churches are Online and Returning to Face-to-Face

Back in  March, following the closure of all church buildings in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Waranga Uniting Churches moved all our Sunday gatherings online.

With the easing of restrictions, we are carefully and incrementally returning to meeting face-to-face as well. We are still restricted in how many people can gather (currently 20) and we are observing social distancing and non-contact practices.

Our Colbinabbin and our Rushworth congregations are meeting each week. It’s pretty much a full house at Colbinabbin which under the social distancing rules has a maximum capacity of 16 people. Rushworth has a much larger space and can cope with the full 20 people permitted at present. Our congregations at Murchison and Tatura will continue to meet on Zoom for a little while longer.

Not a return to normal

This isn’t a return to “normal”, as many people were quarantining and self-isolating before government restrictions came into effect. That won’t change for some people just because the  government says it’s safe to emerge from our homes. We can’t just flip the lights back on and resume church like before.

Online Services to Continue

We have been delighted with the response to our online services and believe that this is a way we wish to continue to reach out to our community, to shut-ins and to people further afield with a message of hope, faith and grace.

Please do not feel pressured to take risks that you are not comfortable with and want to remain quarantined for a little longer.  We will continue to minister to those who feel safer at home and will still stream our service online through Zoom and Facebook.

But wherever you are from, and whatever your tradition, you are welcome to join us.

 

THIS SUNDAY 12th JULY- LIVE AND REAL: FACE-TO-FACE, ON ZOOM AND ON FACEBOOK

Divided we fall – Sower, Seed, Soil – and Us!

In the last few days the divisive climate of our world has become even more divisive.  The echoes of No More Black Deaths in Custody remind us of the deep divisions in this land between First and Second Peoples – and more recent comers.  We’ve confidently blamed China for coronavirus – but scientific voices now suggest it may have been lurking, dormant, in many lands, until the right conditions prevailed.

We have been saddened by the sudden lockdown in towers and hotspots, then the wider restrictions, reaching Seymour, and closing of the borders not far from us.  Our concern is for the wellbeing of all affected so harshly by lack of food and medication, by threats to livelihoods, by separation from loved ones. It’s little wonder that that other divisiveness, domestic violence, has escalated during Coronavirus.

What have our readings to say to us this week?

Two readings actually focus on division.  We think of twins as having a special bond, but Esau and Jacob, the twins born to Rebekah and Isaac, have strong personal and physical differences, leading to conflict – which begins in the womb. The family is divided, seriously.  This story from Genesis (Gen 25:19-34) is  paired with the well-known agricultural story Jesus tells of the man sowing seed (Matt 13) and focuses not only on the differences but also evokes widely varying responses.  And the Letter (Romans 8) pictures two very different ways of living.

Yet out of these divisions, the problems caused by people, come words of hope and encouragement.  These words speak as clearly to us as to those church communities in the first century.

Join us this Sunday at 9.30 am as we explore them together, as we consider the Sower, Seed, Soil – and Us!

There are three exciting ways to join us in worship each Sunday.

Through Zoom

Where we all can talk to each other, see each other, worship together, pray for each other, and have Church as we normally do but do it all via interactive video conferencing. In the weeks to come we may work out a way to have communion together!

The live services will start at 9.30am with the “room” open for you to log-in to from 9.00am. Log-in, chat to others, be the church!

Click on the button below to join the Waranga Cluster Zoom Church Service

Join Zoom Church Service

Sunday at 9:00 am for 9:30 start

Through Live streaming

It the congregation gets too large (Zoom can cope with 100 people) then you can watch the service live on Facebook LiveStream. Facebook doesn’t have the interactivity of Zoom, but you can interact. The Facebook LiveStream will be available from 15 minutes before the start of the service.

Watch on Facebook

Watch the recorded service later

Facebook records the service and it will be available to watch later or share with others in your family and friendship circle. The recording of the service can be found on this website

Watch recorded services
The live services will start at 9.30am with the “room” open for you to log in to from 9.00am. Log in, chat to others, be the church!

Our church needs your support.

Please consider donating your offering online via the button below. 


Rather stay anonymous?

We understand that you may prefer to remain anonymous.  It may have been a while since you went to church, maybe you’ve never been to church and are just curious. We understand that you don’t want to be hassled just because you were curious.

If you want to remain anonymous there are four ways you can do it.

  • Choose the “Join without video” option. You will be able to see, hear (and talk if you want to)
  • Your name also appears in the bottom left of their picture in Zoom. This name will be the one you entered at sign-up. At any time in the meeting you can right-mouse click on your name and change or delete it.
  • You can choose to attend via the Livestream option.
  • You can watch the recorded service later on the website

About us

The Waranga Uniting Churches comprise congregations from the towns of Colbinabbin, Murchison, Rushworth, and Tatura.
You are welcome to join us at any of our worship services or activities.

Many faces… Many places… Many forms
Our congregations throughout the district are caring communities to which all people can belong.
Some of our congregations may be a tiny community of a dozen people, but they are warm vibrant and alive.
They have many faces. There are older people and young, families and single people, people of one culture or many.

While our congregations can be different, each aims to embrace all people… to unite them with each other and with God. This is expressed in part by our having an open table for Holy Communion, to which all baptised people are invited, welcoming children for baptism and being willing to marry those who are divorced.

We are by no means perfect, but we know that God loves us as we are and as we grow. Our congregations are communities in which people seek to follow Jesus, learn about God, share their faith, care for each other, serve the local community, and seek to live faithfully and with real joy. This is the kind of engaging church to which we belong.

Quixote Thinking Blog

Quixote Thinking “sees things different” I live my life by it 

Raking over the coals

As winter has set in, keeping the home fires burning has been a constant task. Even more-so because our lounge room fire is beyond its use-by date. The glass broke last winter so at the start of this winter I removed the door and took it to the wood-heater shop in...

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The ephemeral, the faint, the new and the everlasting.

I got up early the other morning to watch the meteor showers. A 5.00am start isn’t that much earlier than my usual wake up hour. I normally start stirring about 5.30am and listen to the ABC for half and hour, before getting on with my day. But getting up at 5.00am...

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We need a miracle

We are in unprecedented times and unchartered territory, as we are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We need a miracle. There is no getting around the Easter miracles if you follow Jesus, but the truth is that the first followers of Jesus were not expecting the...

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Skin in the Game

Back in the 1980’s, I was both a keen photographer and the proud owner of a basic , but well-made Pentax K1000 SLR camera. I was also a very keen footballer, and was in fact coaching an Aboriginal Football team, Coomealla, in the Millewa League near Mildura. It was...

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Hospitality, strangers and angels.

Hospitality, strangers and angels.

I’d seen the abandoned car earlier in the morning as I was hurrying in to Colbinabbin to the General Store. It was an old, white Holden station wagon. The car was on a lean as the driver had pulled well off the road in order to stay clear of trucks and other traffic....

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Two types of reality

The everyday world in which we all live consists of two types of reality. There is the world of things – the material world. These things can be touched, constructed, bought and sold. Our house, our car, our TV, money, clothes, food, etc. We spend a lot of our time...

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Quixote Thinking

Don Quixote is a character in a novel by Miguel de Cervantes, first published in 1605. In the “real world” of La Mancha, Spain, Quixote is known as Alonso Quijano, a thin country gentleman, familiar to all as kind and friendly. He lives with his daughter and two servants. As a gentleman, he spends time studying medieval romance stories, full of knights, chivalry, castles, and jousts. This all goes to his head to the point where he goes crazy and actually starts outfitting himself as a knight. He believes that he has been called by voices to change the world and right all wrongs.

At this point in the story, art imitates life and life imitates art as the innkeeper doubles as a duke of a castle who dubs Don Quixote officially as “knight,” and a peasant girl at the inn becomes the princess and lady love for our knight errant. Don Quixote then goes out to fight perceived foes, both real and imagined in the name of his ladylove who stands for purity and perfection. Don Quixote has selective vision of the real world. Windmills are giant brutes, sheep are attacking armies, and slaves are oppressed gentlemen. Quixote is an idealist seeing things through rose-colored glasses at times. He fights impossible symbolic battles while the rest of the world says it can’t be done and mocks him for trying. It is ironic that a crazy man is showing humanity the “right way” to live. This character has survived the centuries demonstrating his universal appeal to all. Don Quixote is something of a Jesus figure, who saw meaning and purpose beyond the surface but endured mockery and humiliation from the crowd. This “fight for the right without question”, having moments of clarity in a sea of confusion and a belief in the transformative power of a crazy vision is what the essence of Quixote Thinking.