Issue 35, No 9, 2013
The voice of Uniting Church SA
Love is growing up Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually AGENCIES & THE CHURCH DESERT DREAMING A particular focus of the
Syriaâ€™s youth focus on
upcoming P&S meeting
education as key to a
better future p. 23
Cover details Contents FEATURES Agencies and the Church
A place of welcome
Hidden carers in our community
Chaplains really do make the difference
It’s that time of year...
REGULAR PAGES Moderator’s Comment
Diary 24 Reviews 27 Editor: Catherine Hoffman Editor-in-Chief: Bindy Taylor Guest Editor: Julianne Rogers Advertising: Loan Leane Design: David Lombardi Print: Graphic Print Group For editorial inquiries: p. (08) 8236 4249 e. firstname.lastname@example.org m. The Editor, New Times GPO Box 2145 Adelaide SA 5001 For advertising bookings: p. (08) 7007 9020 e. email@example.com
newtimes.sa.uca.org.au facebook.com/NewTimesUCA ISSN 0726-2612 New Times is the voice of Uniting Church SA. Published monthly, February through December, New Times represents the breadth, diversity and vision of Uniting Church members in SA. News policies, guides and deadlines appear online at newtimes.sa.uca.org.au. Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor.
Print circulation: 10,000 Uniting Church SA Level 2, 212 Pirie St, Adelaide p. (08) 8236 4200 f. 8236 4201 country callers. 1300 766 956
Love is playful ‘God has a sense of humour – just look at the platypus.’ This familiar phrase is usually expressed in a joking tone, but there does seem to be some truth to it. Our relationships with family, friends and with God teach us that love, although often a serious thing, is also playful. DEADLINE FOR SEPTEMBER
Wednesday 9 October
On this month’s cover is family shot taken at a Resthaven aged care facility. Many families with loved ones residing at Resthaven have participated and volunteered in numerous ways in these aging communities. One such example is detailed on page 13 of this edition of New Times. “Resthaven through the ages” tells the story of Phyllis Wise and her family, detailing their involvement with the agency over many years. The involvement of congregations, families and individuals with other UnitingCare agencies around the state are detailed in other articles in the theme section this month.
Roundabout Craft Fair & Exhibition Art & Craft Exhibition • Market Bazaar Kids corner • Raffle prizes Friday 25 & Saturday 26 October 10am-4pm Refreshments and light lunch available Gold coin entry proceeds go to Act for Peace Christmas Bowl
Blackwood Uniting Church - 266 Main Road, Blackwood 8278 7699 | www.blackwood.unitingchurchsa.org.au
Roundabout Craft Fair & Exhibition Uniting College for Leadership & Theology
Art & Craft Exhibition • Market Bazaar Kids corner • Raffle prizes Friday 25 & Saturday 26 October 10am-4pm Refreshments and light lunch available Gold coin entry proceeds go to Act for Peace Christmas Bowl
Blackwood Uniting Church - 266 Main Road, Blackwood 8278 7699 | www.blackwood.unitingchurchsa.org.au
Big Year Out 2014
Roundabout Craft Why am I here? Fair Exhibition A fantastic year-long& journey for young adults to go deeper in your Living the big questions: Who am I? Where am I going?
faith in a loving community, exploring God, yourself and life. Study in Certificate 4 in Christian Life & Ministry. Suitable alongside Art & Craft Exhibition • Market Bazaar Uni, TAFE or part-time work.
corner Raffle We will be holding 2 Kids info nights: 3 Dec•2013 and 4prizes Feb 2014 7:30 pm at CitySoul, 13 Hutt Street, Adelaide. Friday 25 & Saturday 26 October 10am-4pm Contact Tim Hein for more information. twitter.com/Tim_Hein Refreshments and light lunch available
Uniting College for Leadership & Theology is the ministry training and Goldofcoin entry proceeds go toCollege is a theological education agency the Uniting Church SA. Uniting member college of the Adelaide College of Divinity (ACD), Bowl a registered Higher Act for Peace Christmas Education Provider and Registered Training Organisation.
Blackwood Uniting Church - 266 Main Road, Blackwood CONTACT: 8278 7699 | www.blackwood.unitingchurchsa.org.au 08 8416 8420 firstname.lastname@example.org unitingcollege.org.au acd.edu.au
Roundabout Craft Fair & Exhibition
Art & Craft Exhibition • Market Bazaar Kids corner • Raffle prizes
Grey hairs and rocky paths I just dyed my hair for the first time last month. I’ve never been a big spend-a-lot-of-time-in-front-of-the-mirror type of person but lately more and more of those dreaded grey hairs are appearing. It just seems surreal. As a kid, I always thought that ‘growing up’ was an arduous journey to a magical destination, a definite point in time. As the years have passed, I have learned that our entire lives are about growing up. Despite this, I can’t help thinking that some day I’ll feel as though I have arrived, that I’ll finally be ‘grown up.’ Now the grey hairs have come, but I’m still waiting for my moment of enlightenment – that magical moment when everything falls into place. I’m beginning to realise that growing up, and life in general, doesn’t really work that way. We are all on this growing-up journey like it or not. But everyone travels a different path - some much rockier than others. Oftentimes, this world would like to forget people who don’t fit the mould, people who play the game of life with disadvantages that others may never know. Sometimes these rough paths are walked in full view of the world; at other times they are hidden deeply in silence and shadow. Life can change in one moment: an accident, a diagnosis, a mistake... When I moved with my Adelaide-born husband to Australia in 2008, I never dreamed we’d be homeless. But our plan for housing fell through and we didn’t have a penny to our name. Our beautiful and big-hearted auntie took us in as soon as she heard. Without family that was able to help, where would we have turned? What would we have done? As the body of Christ, it is our privilege to express the love of Jesus and to be companions to people all along life’s journey. One of the
many ways that our efforts at empowering people find expression is in the programs of UnitingCare agencies, big and small. This month’s edition of New Times focuses on how UnitingCare agencies are partnering with people throughout the course of their lives, as they ‘grow up.’ UnitingCare serves over two million Australians nationwide through a vast network of agencies with over 1,300 social service sites – that’s twice as many sites as the McDonald’s chain has in the country! UnitingCare agencies employ as many staff as Australia Post (35,000) and retain another 24,000 volunteers. Present throughout remote, regional and metropolitan areas, UnitingCare seeks justice, hope and opportunity for all – a decent life for everyone in Australia. Here in South Australia, the UnitingCare network comprises 17 agencies born from Uniting Churches and missions, working for justice in the whole spectrum of community services. You will find just a few examples in the pages ahead. We hope that your heart will be warmed by this evidence of Christ’s love acting in the world, and that you might be inspired to help out in your own way – whatever that may be. May the Peace of Christ disturb you,
Julianne Rogers, UnitingCare Communications & Events Coordinator, New Times Guest Editor
As a child, Julianne played dress up and dreamed of being 'grown up.' These days she still doesn't feel all grown up.
Growing up in love In a conversation with a friend recently, I was told, “You know Rob, there’s nothing quite as extinct as an Ex-Moderator.” On Wednesday 30 October, we will install Deidre Palmer as the 18th Moderator of the Synod of South Australia – and I will become the Ex-Moderator for the next three years. My term as your Moderator and Chairperson of the Presbytery of South Australia has passed very quickly. At times I have felt that I have been carried as if on a rollercoaster. At other times, I have experienced a deep peace from knowing that I was being carried on the prayers of so many of you. I am not the same person who was installed into this position in October 2010. The past three years have provided me with a steady learning curve, which has caused me to grow in my understanding of myself, our church and our great God. I am wondering what God will do with these lessons into my future. In my past, God has used tough and joyful experiences to teach me certain things necessary for my next ministry placement. However, I will commence Long Service Leave following the October/November Presbytery and Synod meeting, and then retire on Tuesday 31 December. How will the lessons taught by my experiences over the last three years influence me in retirement? I am eager to find out. At the commencement of my term I adopted the theme of “An empowering community centred in Jesus.” As I’ve met many people, and attended many gatherings of our church as your Moderator, I’ve discovered that this theme didn’t always match what I was experiencing at the time. There is much love expressed within our church, and from our church to the communities we serve in the name of Christ. However, I’ve also experienced situations where the need to grow in love has been very evident. Ephesians 4 talks about gifts from Christ being used to build up the Body, the Church. The anticipated outcome is a mature Body of Christ, united in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God so completely that we, the Church, experience and reflect Christ-likeness consistently in who we are and in all we do. I still long to belong to a church which consistently lives, loves and grows like that – “An empowering community centred in Jesus.”
Rev Rob Williams
October/November Presbytery and Synod Meeting The annual general meeting of the Uniting Church SA Presbytery and Synod is fast approaching, and will be held at Adelaide West Uniting Church from Thursday 31 October to Saturday 2 November this year. New Times will provide coverage of the event on social media (see the end of this article for details) and in the December edition of the publication (the meeting is held too late for inclusion in the November edition). On the evening prior to the three day meeting, current Moderator-Elect, Dr Deidre Palmer, will be installed into the role of Moderator of the Synod of SA and Chairperson of the Presbytery of SA. This will occur at 7pm on Wednesday 30
October at Adelaide West. Deidre will then chair the meeting for its duration. Deidre has a special request for all of the October/November Presbytery and Synod meeting attendees: she is asking everyone to bring along two hard copy photographs that show signs of hope in a ministry context. The photos will be exchanged with Presbytery and Synod meeting participants to provide for discussion and prayer over the three days on which the meeting is being held. Meeting attendees are additionally asked to either email or post copies of these photos to the Uniting Church SA Communications team before Friday 25 October.
Soft copy versions should be emailed as high resolution jpeg/jpg attachments to: email@example.com Hard copy photos can be posted to: Communications, Uniting Church SA, GPO Box 2145, Adelaide SA, 5001 Social media details: Facebook: facebook.com/UnitingChurch. UnitingPeople Twitter: @Uniting_People or #PresSynodSA For more information, please contact Communications on 8236 4249.
Four ordained at Adelaide West Over 300 people attended a special service at Adelaide West Uniting Church at 2pm on Sunday 8 September to witness the ordination of four people into the Uniting Church â€“ Christine Manning and Robyn Caldicott were ordained as Ministers of the Word, and Lyn Leane and Albert Patrizi were ordained for Deacon. Rev Rob Williams led the service, his last as Moderator of the Uniting Church. Moderator-Elect, Dr Deidre Palmer, also addressed the large audience. All four ordinands currently have positions within ministry: Christine is undertaking a full-time placement among the Barossa Uniting Churches; Albert works part-time as a chaplain with correctional services; Lyn is the intentional interim minister at Woodville Gardens Uniting Church; Robyn is currently filling a supply ministry position at Rosefield Uniting Church before taking a position as minister of Ascot Community Church in February next year. We look forward to hearing more about their work and faith in future.
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Left to right: Robyn Caldicott, Christine Manning, Rob Williams, Lyn Leane and Albert Patrizi.
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It’s time to talk The “Suicide: it’s no secret” campaign, in its third year of operation, is continuing to build momentum. The campaign actively engages with media and the wider community through the central message of dispelling silence around the topic of suicide, particularly through the phrase “it’s time to talk.” The objective of the campaign is to open up communication around the issue of suicide and abolish the stigma that often surrounds the topic. Many Uniting Church congregations have been actively involved in the campaign this year, holding services and events around World Suicide Awareness Day on Tuesday 10 September. Churches were well-resourced with campaign promotional material, including t-shirts, stickers and signage. In the city, Scots Church Adelaide opened its doors between the hours of 10am and 7pm on Tuesday 10 September, allowing ample opportunity for people to talk about suicide and how it had touched their lives. All day there was a hum of activity both inside and outside of the church building. On the corner of North Terrace and Pulteney Street, trained counsellors were positioned outside of the building to talk to passersby. Umbrellas were also placed in this area, allowing space for people to write messages of hope or remembrance. Inside the church, five beautifully-constructed stations focussed on different themes, offering a quiet and reflective place for those touched by suicide. At 5.45pm a service of remembrance was conducted by Scots minister Rev Dr Peter Trudinger. Several South Australian dignitaries attended the service and offered their support for the campaign. “If all we do is offer some healing or peace to one person or get one person to seek help, then this is all worth it,” said Public Advocate, John Brayley, who was clearly affected by the emotions brought up during the service.
Scots Church minister, Rev Dr Peter Trudinger stands next to umbrellas on which people have written messages of love and remembrance.
Senator Penny Wright from the Greens also offered her support of the campaign into the future. A number of community groups attended the event, reiterating the importance the campaign plays in the lives of many affected by suicide. These included Living Beyond Suicide, Suicide Prevention Australia, the Salvation Army, Anglicare SA and many more. In addition, the campaign sparked media interest from local and national radio stations, as well as InDaily, an Adelaide online news-zine. Other congregations also created events for the campaign. A special youth service was held at CitySoul Uniting Church in Adelaide on Wednesday 11 September, and was well-attended. Numerous regional services were offered around the state in Port Augusta, Berri, Burra, Kingston, Mannum, Whyalla and Naracoorte. World Suicide Awareness Day will fall on Wednesday 10 September in 2014. For more information about “Suicide: it’s no secret” and the resources available, please visit nosecret.org.au
New Times brings home the gold! New Times won three awards for its 2012 publications at the recent Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) Awards for Excellence held in Melbourne, Victoria on Saturday 7 September. The awards were: Best Theological Article Gold – “Learning in Lament” by Liz Boase, October 2012 Best Review Gold – “A satire of western culture” by Louise Heinrich, May 2012
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Best Design Bronze – “Hearing and heeding a call” by Les Colston, November 2012 Congratulations go to each of those whose work won these awards, and especially to former New Times Editor, Caryn Rogers, who skilfully finessed these articles and vitally contributed to the success of New Times at the ARPA Awards.
New Times Editor-in-Chief, Bindy Taylor (right), is presented with an award by former ARPA President, Errol Pike.
Agencies and the Church A particular focus at the upcoming meeting of the Presbytery and Synod in SA Rev Rob Brown, Executive Officer, UnitingCare SA
It was an amazingly still English summer’s morning as I walked along the banks of the River Wear in Durham in July 2011. As I came around the bend that would bring me into the shadow of the Durham Castle, I was confronted by an almost perfect reflection. It was an ancient barn surrounded by tall trees on the banks of the river. Under the brilliant blue sky the image was striking. It was almost impossible to recognise which was the substance of the scene and which was the reflection. I was there as part of a leadership program run by the Church of England and my morning meditation was focused on the nature of the Church. Before me was the perfect metaphor for one view of the 21st century Church.
There was a time when the substance of the Church was expressed in the life of the congregations. Small mission agencies were formed in many of those congregations to undertake the outreach of the local people. Worship and mission lived hand in hand but the congregation was understood to be the substance, and the agency the reflection, of the life of the Church. Fast-forward to 2013 and many of our congregations are ageing and shrinking. They are still “the embodiment of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, worshipping, witnessing and serving as a fellowship of the Spirit in Christ” (Basis of Union, para 15(a)) but their nature has changed. Often agencies are no longer attached to them as they once were. There are still some small agencies that
function as part of congregations but most have outgrown the congregations of their origins, and the nature of Government accountability and compliance has necessitated the development of fully professional agencies. They still serve the community as part of the Church, fulfilling the missional outreach of the Church, but often they are now large, multi-million dollar organisations. The question that arises as we now look at the Church is the same as the one I ask when I look at my photographs of that still summer’s morning – where is the substance and where the reflection? Some would argue that the agencies are now also a primary expression of the Church. Others would further argue that many of our congregations have become the reflection.
news Whatever one’s view on substance and reflection, the reality is that many of the agencies that are now part of the Church are large and strong. They operate in a way that is more distant from the Church than once would have been the case. There is no judgement in this statement – it is simply the way it is. Good governance requires sound constitutions and competent boards populated by people with the appropriate gifts for their role. This reality forces ongoing changes to the way that the Church relates to its agencies and, indeed, its schools. Members of the governing boards are not automatically members of the Uniting Church and even when they are their accountability is to the agency or school as well as to the Uniting Church. Most of the various agencies and schools within the SA Presbytery and Synod are incorporated in their own right and so the influence of the Church is applied in more indirect ways than was perhaps once the case. As can be seen in various articles within this edition of New Times, our agencies achieve wonderful things on our behalf in the local community. The various services they offer are diverse and often make an impact on the lives of the people who are most in need within our community. Whilst they may not look or feel like Church, they are Church. They fulfil the mission of the Church through the various programs they run. Our society would lack a degree of compassion and care without them. Over the years, the way that the Church expresses its relationship with these agencies has varied. The relationship is expressed both informally and formally. At the formal level, the relationship is expressed through the constitution of the agency. This usually names the Church as the appointing body, charged with the responsibility to make appointments to boards and to approve constitutional changes. This ties the Church and the agency together in a legal fashion and ultimately means that both, Church and agency, may experience some financial and reputational risk due to the actions of each other.
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This aspect of the relationship between the Church and its agencies has always been with us. From time to time, however, it is important to review the implications so that both bodies can continue to work together in ways that are most helpful for each other. This review will be a focus at the October/ November meeting of the Presbytery and Synod in South Australia. Members will be able to reflect on the value of the agencies to the Church and what it means, more generally, for the Church to have agencies at mission on our behalf. As we approach the time for this meeting to be held, please pray for the members of the Presbytery and Synod as they make decisions that will shape the ongoing life of the Church. Pray for them particularly as they focus on the very important issue that is the relationship between the Church and the agencies.
Placements News Placements finalised since the September edition of New Times: Rev Matt Carratt to Echunga UC from 13 January, 2014 Rev John Lucas to Hawthorn UC (0.5) from 1 January, 2014 Upcoming Special Services: Rev Douglas Monaghan, Campbelltown Uniting Church on Sunday 10 November at 2pm Rev Andrew Robertson, Mount Gambier Uniting Church on Friday 6 December at 6pm Vacant Placements: Profiles available – Bordertown, Buckingham and Mundulla; Burnside City; Colonel Light Gardens; Coromandel Valley; Dulwich Rose Park United (from 1 March, 2014); Echunga; Goyder Ministry Area; Hawthorn (0.5); Kent Town (0.7); Mallala and Two Wells (0.6); Morialta; Port Elliot (0.5); Rosefield; Waikerie. Profiles not yet available – Aldinga-McLaren Vale Linked Congregations (from 1 January, 2014); Clearview (0.5); Klemzig (0.5); Para Hills (0.4); Port Augusta Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress; Windsor Gardens (0.5); Whyalla. National placements vacant – Defence Force Chaplaincy; National Coordinator, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress; National Director, Formation Education and Discipleship. For more information on any of these placements, please visit sa.uca.org.au/pastoralrelations/placements-vacant
Rev Rob Brown
Love is growing up. Throughout the course of our lives, every one of us continues to grow – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. With growth and change come growing pains and new experiences but, in the midst of these, we can find comfort in the never-changing presence of God.
Growing up Dr Deidre Palmer
Growing up surrounded by people who love and protect you is a good foundation for a flourishing life. This is a hope we hold for all children. Scenes of a child playing on a playground with a mother or father laughing alongside them, or a child cuddling into a grandparent who is reading them a story, bring smiles and warm memories to mind for many of us. Love, care and protection are what children rightfully expect of the significant adults in their lives. I have had the joy over many years of working with parents, grandparents, teachers, social workers, and family and children’s ministry workers who have given their lives to provide environments for children that enable them to grow up in ways that encourage them to develop fully as human beings. When children are not loved, when the significant adults in their lives fail to protect them or actively seek to harm them, personally and as a society we respond with anger, sadness, outrage, and compassion. We have responded by developing social supports, services and legal systems that seek to provide alternative caring networks and safe spaces for our children. I have worked for a Uniting Church agency (previously Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide, now Uniting Communities) for four and a half years, in a service to support people who are living with the impacts of childhood sexual abuse. The service, the Childhood Sexual Abuse Counselling Team, focuses on adult survivors, but the team also works with adolescents and children, as well as parents and partners of survivors. For people who are survivors of abuse, ‘growing up’ may not bring warm memories, but painful and haunting recollections that continue to impact their lives.
Uniting Communities’ counselling service provides a safe space for people to be heard. The counsellors listen carefully and compassionately, believing people’s disclosure of abuse, and supporting them in addressing the impacts of the abuse on their lives. The counsellors remind survivors that the perpetrator of the abuse is 100% responsible for it. Together, counsellor and client explore strategies that can be used to overcome the impacts of the abuse. Uniting Communities’ service is built upon a strengths-based approach to counselling. The people we see and hear have strengths in their lives, within themselves and in their wider social networks, that have enabled them to overcome the effects of the abuse. Some strengths are not immediately obvious to people, as they struggle with issues such as low self-esteem, a suspicion of other people, or feelings of anger and betrayal. As they share their story with a counsellor or other trusted friends, they become more aware of their strengths and what others value in them. My work as a counsellor has been a ministry that has deepened my awareness of the pain and suffering that people carry and struggle with. It has intensified the compassion I feel, including a passionate commitment to advocacy for people who have been abused. I have often come away from meeting with a client, astounded by the courage and strength of this person to continue living, loving, hoping and looking to the future. It has drawn me into prayer – bringing before God the deep sadness and outrage I feel that anyone could intentionally harm and abuse a child; asking God for courage and wisdom, healing and hope for people who are survivors of abuse, and all the people who love and support them.
In our work with clients, we often invite them to think about the ‘team’ that they have gathered, or could gather around them. We draw the team on a white board with circles and colours and lines to indicate the connections. This team may include professionals, community organisations, agencies, schools, family members and friends. I am grateful to God, and to the faithful service of many people, for the ways the Uniting Church is part of survivors’ teams of support. We offer professional services through our UnitingCare agencies. We offer support through school chaplains, deacons and Christian Pastoral Support Workers. Our congregations are often communities of love, healing and care for people who are struggling with the trauma of abuse. Many of us, inspired by the love of Christ, express our Christian vocation through our paid and voluntary work as social workers, counsellors, health care professionals, lawyers, teachers and foster carers, and through our friendships and family life. Our calling as a church is to embody the love of Christ, who healed and blessed children and saw in them the kingdom of God. We are called to create communities of love, refuge and safety, so that all children flourish. Uniting Communities’ Childhood Sexual Abuse Counselling team have recently published “Seeking Hope and Strength, a resource for addressing the effects of childhood sexual abuse.” A booklet can be obtained by phoning 8202 5190.
Photo courtesy of Pieta House and Joe Houghton (flickr.com/photos/joehoughton)
A childhood of caring One in 10 young Australians has some level of responsibility as a carer in their own home. Young carers are defined as children or young people up to 25 years of age who assist with care roles in families where someone has an illness, disability, mental health issue or other debilitating issue. Many young carers are proud of the role they play in their families, but it is also a role that can have a huge impact on their social lives, schoolwork and employment possibilities. Below, one young carer, supported by UnitingCare Wesley Bowden, shares a day in his family home – this is a typical representation of the young carers supported by the agency. I’m Andrew* and I am 15 years old. I care for my mother, my father and my three younger siblings. My dad has a heart condition, cancer and back pain. He uses a walking stick to move about the house and he needs to rest a lot. My mum has really bad depression and sometimes sleeps a lot. My brother is aged 11 and I have two sisters aged eight and six. This is a diary of my day. 6:30am I wake up and make lunch for myself and my siblings to take to school. I also help my younger brother and sisters have breakfast. 7am I take some water to my Dad so he can have his medicine; I get out all of the tablets for him. 7:30am I make sure my brother and sisters have their school uniforms and bags packed. 8:15am Mum drives us all to school. 3:15pm Mum picks us up from school. Simon from school asked me to go skateboarding, but I can’t go because I have to help Mum after school and talk to Dad. Return to Contents
4pm I watch TV with my Dad because he says he has been lonely today and that he needs to talk to someone. 4:30pm I start my homework. 4:45pm Mum calls me and asks me to hang out the washing. 5:30pm I keep doing my homework. 5:40pm My brother and sisters start fighting and I can see they are upsetting Mum – I have to go and talk to them. 6pm Dad calls out, saying he needs more medicine and something to eat with it. 6:30pm I help Mum cook dinner. 7pm I have to do the dishes because Mum is really tired and Dad has fallen asleep in the chair. I try and get my brother and sisters to help but they keep fighting and I end up doing it myself. 7:30pm Mum thinks I look really tired and says I should take a break. I go to my room and play some music, and it’s nice to have some quiet time without everyone calling out for me 8pm Mum calls out that my brother and sisters are in bed, but Dad needs to go to bed and she needs me to help to move him and make sure he is comfortable. Then I check to make sure everyone has their clothes out for the next day. Often on Thursdays nights, Mum asks me to look through food catalogues, sort our mail and arrange to pay bills. But tonight she says I can have a night off to finish my homework. 9pm I’m really tired so I am going to bed. For more information on UnitingCare Wesley Bowden’s relationship with young carers, please see Page 17 of this edition. *not his real name
Support in a time of need Seamus was fully independent and was supporting and caring for Mandy until a stroke made this impossible. Seamus had to go to the Repatriation Hospital; Mandy was evicted because she could not pay the rent. At this crucial moment, Helping Hand Glenelg intervened, assisting the couple through their Supported Residential Facilities (SRF) program. Residents at Helping Hand Glenelg SRF live in community across two houses, Glenelg House and Russell House. Each of these facilities houses up to 32 people, providing accommodation and support to individuals who require assistance due to complex needs or disability. Helping Hand works closely with the Southern Mental Health Team at Marion and Disability SA workers to accommodate individual care needs. Staff members at SRF also work alongside residents, their families, key workers, facility staff and other agencies to provide support. In her time of crisis, Mandy was referred to the SRF program and was quickly accommodated. While simply having somewhere to live was vitally important at this time, Helping Hand were able to provide support beyond housing. Staff members provided Mandy with a bag lunch to take along when visiting Seamus in the Repatriation Hospital each day, and were also able to set her dinner aside if she returned late in the evening.
Through Helping Hand, Mandy was empowered and given confidence to assist Seamus, learning how to care for him upon his return in terms of personal care, hygiene and the manual handling of a wheelchair. When the time arrived for Seamus to leave the hospital, Helping Hand were able to offer Mandy and Seamus a shared accommodation room in one of the SRF houses so that they could continue to receive support. Mandy and Seamus are now living together and Helping Hand are assisting them in preparing for a return to independent living. They have each been provided with information about different community programs that may enhance their lives within the SRF environment, including health services and a new general practitioner who is able to assess them both. Additionally, Mandy has been re-linked with Disability SA who are assisting her with financial management and the receipt of the disability benefits that she and Seamus are entitled to. The environment provided by Helping Hand has been hugely beneficial for both Mandy and Seamus. Through the safe environment, supportive staff and friendly community interactions, Mandy has been able to gain confidence. Whenever she has questions or requires support, Helping Hand are able to readily assist.
Memorial Lecture 25th October at 7.30pm Lecturer will be Theo Bruisma There will be an opportunity for Love Offering, and books will be on sale. You are asked to bring your friends to these meetings which are open to the public and information about the Order and the meaning of Membership will be available. Mitcham Village Uniting Church Princes Rd, Mitcham, SA 5062Â Contact Reg Casling 8271 4028
Mandy and Seamus in the room that Mandy has set up for them to share.
Through the information and support provided by Helping Hand, Mandy and Seamus are well placed to make a smooth transition back to independent living. To find out more about Helping Hand Glenelg Supported Residential Facilities or any of their other programs, please visit helpinghand.org.au or call 1300 653 600.
Resthaven through the ages Julianne Rogers
For almost 40 years, Phyllis Wise has been involved in community life at Resthaven Marion. Her relationship with the community began in 1974 when Resthaven was first established. In her role as a registered nurse, Phyllis was one of the original staff members of the agency. After eight years, she retired and began to volunteer in palliative care and in the Resthaven canteen. Now, at the age of 89, Phyllis has taken up residency in the very same care facility where she brought comfort to many for decades. “She loved to hold people’s hands and offer comfort,” Phyllis’ daughter, Mary Mangelsdorf reflects. “Mum wanted to provide companionship for those who were alone, sick or dying – she knew how important just having someone present was to many of these people.” Driven by a deep Christian commitment, Phyllis was both an elder and a pastoral care worker in her home congregation at Marion Uniting Church. Her life’s work has involved visiting people from her church community, as well as those residing at Resthaven Marion. The Wise family’s journey has been intertwined with Resthaven across several generations. Both of Phyllis’ parents spent time at Resthaven Marion, while her motherin-law resided at Resthaven Leabrook. Phyllis’ daughter, Mary, has carried on the connection in her work as a physiotherapist at several different Resthaven locations around Adelaide – something she has been doing for 29 years. “It is always a joy to work with people who are ageing and to give them all they should have,” Mary says of her work and the variety of care available through Resthaven. Spending time at Resthaven has been somewhat of a family affair for the Wises and the Mangelsdorfs – not just limited to Phyllis and Mary. When her daughters were younger, Mary would sometimes bring them to work and Phyllis would look after them. More recently, Mary’s eldest daughter spent time Return to Contents
Left to right: Les and Phyllis Wise with their daughter, Mary Mangelsdorf.
working at Resthaven Leabrook during her university holidays. Les Wise, Phyllis’ husband, has always been supportive of his family’s work in aged care and is now more actively involved. He currently takes part in an exercise program at Resthaven Marion, and is a frequent visitor there as he tries to spend as much time as possible with Phyllis. Adjusting to the changes that have been caused by Phyllis’ move to the Resthaven community has been difficult for many within the family. “At this point, I don’t expect her to come back home,” Les says. “When she first arrived here at Resthaven, she was constantly talking about wanting to come home. She doesn’t say that anymore – she’s settled here.” “I did go through a stage of wondering whether I should move in with Mum and Dad,” explains Mary. “Prayer was the main factor in my decision not to move to Marion. I didn’t feel the call to leave my work with Resthaven Northern Community Services, my pastoral care at Tea Tree Gully Uniting Church and my daughters who live in the
north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide.” Although they had been torn about moving Phyllis to Resthaven, Mary and Les’ concerns were quickly allayed. From the very first day that Phyllis moved into care, the entire family have felt at ease. The Resthaven Marion staff were friendly, warm and accommodating, quickly reassuring the family that they would take good care of Phyllis. A detail of that care that sticks out in Mary’s mind is the phone receiver that sits at the nurses’ station and can be used when the station is unattended. Whenever Mary has picked up the receiver, a nurse has answered straight away. “It’s lovely to see her warmly dressed with her hair done every day,” Mary smiles. “The staff at Resthaven have really helped Mum to settle into her new home – and have helped us to feel settled, too.” Sadly, Phyllis Wise passed away shortly after this article was written. We are pleased to honour Phyllis’ contributions to Resthaven, and are sure that her generous spirit will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
Growing up away from home Julianne Rogers
It can be easy to think of childhood as a carefree time of fun and adventure. Unfortunately, real life can be unpredictable and doesn’t always live up to this ideal – many families face difficulties, some of which can place children at risk of emotional and/or physical harm. In these cases it is not always possible for a child to remain in the care of their parents or relatives; it is then that an alternate place to live and a nurturing foster family are needed. Based in Port Pirie, UnitingCare Wesley Country SA (UCWCSA) has been involved in caring for children needing out-of-home care in the Mid-North, Yorke Peninsula, and the Far-North since the late eighties. Their services have grown and evolved since then to include emergency care, short term care, long term care, and respite care. Foster care staff are currently based in Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Clare and Kadina. “Children are our focus and our future. It’s important to ensure that children and young people are provided with every opportunity to reach their full potential,” says Kerry Court, Manager of Family-Based Foster Care, Alternative Care Service at UCWCSA. “Sometimes, for whatever reason, the birth family cannot provide the appropriate care. Even if it is only for a short span of time, foster care can provide these opportunities. “UCWCSA believes that providing alternative care services such as foster care fits with the values and purpose of our organisation, working towards justice for children in our society and helping young people to flourish.” UCWCSA is responsible for recruiting, assessing, training and assisting carers with registration through Families SA. When children are unable to stay with relative or kinship carers, Families SA refers them for placement with a foster care agency such as UCWCSA. After registration, the child or young person will be placed in a foster care
household chosen by the agency, ensuring that the needs of the individual can be met by the carer and their family. Once they are placed, UCWCSA and Families SA work in partnership for the best interests of the child or young person – as does the Minister for the Department of Education and Child Development, who is the appointed guardian of young people in care. Over the past year, UCWCSA has provided services to 164 different children through 70 registered foster care households. When they reported at the end of June, UCWCSA carers were responsible for 92 children and young people from infancy to just under 18 years of age; 74 of these 92 placements were in long term care. While some placements are brief, happening in cases of emergency or where other foster carers require respite, other placements may be for months or even years, until the child turns 18. In the first instance, the goal of Families SA is to work towards reunification of the child with their birth family. In cases where this is not possible, a long term placement is required. This UCWCSA program could not occur without the dedicated people who become foster carers. While the role of carer can be a difficult one, it can also be rewarding. Cath Sinfield of Port Pirie was involved with foster care for 35 years. “The foster children come from a difficult family environment, but it is totally worth the effort you put in to help them,” Cath says. “I find it great – I have even adopted three children. My family has been very supportive in including the children as part of our extended family.” There is always a need for new foster carers who can provide a safe, nurturing and secure family environment for children and young people. Manager Kerry Court wants to ensure that all foster carers know how much they are valued for committing themselves to such vital work.
“UnitingCare Wesley Country SA, in particular the Alternative Care Team, would like to thank the foster parents and carers in our communities for opening their hearts and their homes to children in need,” says Kerry. “We appreciate and acknowledge your hard work, patience, dedication, respect, nurturing, understanding and the love you have for the children. Carers truly do make a difference to the lives of these children and young people, and the community.” For more information on becoming a foster carer, please ring 1300 761 477 or visit UnitingCare Wesley Country SA at ucwcsa.org.au
UnitingCare Wesley Country SA foster care team.
AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY Hymns and anthems for evening worship Sing the well-loved hymns of former years when life was more peaceful! Featuring the augmented Wesley Choir and organist Graham Bell 7pm, Sunday 27 October
We celebrate 50 years of ministry for the following people at Kent Town Church on Sunday 10 Nov. at 3pm. Our Moderator Dr. Deidre Palmer will bring the message. Afternoon tea and a time of fellowship in the Hall. Geoff Bridge, Bernie Clarke AM., Bill Dow, Rob Drummond, Dean Eland, Ian Gaskill, Neale Michael, Neville Stewart OAM., & Colin Oldfield.
Wesley Uniting Church, Kent Town (cnr Fullarton Rd and Grenfell St)
We also remember these people - Tony Baker, Ivan Goss, David Muirhead & Peter Stephens.
Enquiries: 0422 073 436
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A place of welcome Rev Adam Tretheway
Marion* has been attending the outreach programs at UnitingCare Glenelg (UC Glenelg) for many years; she loves the warm and friendly environment and low cost meals at the Friendship Cafe. While she can be a bit loud, and even rather intimidating at times, deep down she has a heart of gold. Marion has a wonderful way of building community and making newcomers feel welcome. She is like a shepherd, spreading the word in the local community about UC Glenelg, encouraging people to come into our midst who might be in need of a listening ear and some tender loving care. Marion knew that her friend, Tony*, was at the end of his tether, and quickly running out of second chances in life. She told him to pay me a visit in Glenelg, and offered up some stern words of advice – “don’t mess it up this time.” When Tony came to the UC Glenelg Community Aid program a few weeks ago he was in an agitated state, very anxious and paranoid. He was particularly concerned about the way people on the street and on public transport were looking at him. All he has longed for in life is to be treated with respect and valued as a human being, rather than being stared at and made an object of ridicule. After a volunteer helped him as best they could, I took Tony aside and listened to his story – a story of heartbreak and fatherly love. Tony’s story also revealed a past of positive encounters with church, which he saw as a safe place where he could truly be himself. Tony presented to us again the following morning with a severe anxiety attack – it was clear that his emotions were overwhelming him. I sat, I listened and I silently prayed for Tony’s peace of heart, mind, body and soul. Over time, Tony’s anxiety levels reduced and he left, a renewed man with a weight lifted off his shoulders.
“Empowering and transforming lives through hospitality, compassion and care is the motto followed at UC Glenelg, which was formally established on 1 July 2007. The agency was created to oversee the outreach programs of St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church in Glenelg, including the Community Aid, Friendship Café and Mary's Soup Kitchen programs. These programs – which have been in operation for over 25 years, 11 years and 46 years, respectively – are all staffed by volunteers. Helping, supporting, reaching out, encouraging and uplifting is integral to all of UCG's outreach programs. Sharon*, a lady with a gentle spirit, a heart of compassion and a desire to help people, was a regular fixture at Mary’s Soup Kitchen. Sadly, Sharon passed away in September while chasing her dog on the South Eastern Freeway. Shortly before this tragic accident, Sharon reflected on her experience of coming to Mary’s Soup Kitchen, and the sense of belonging and love she experienced through volunteers. “Mary’s Kitchen is more than just a bowl of soup; it offers me a safe place to go where I feel welcomed – from the greeting at the
door when I arrive to the last good night when leaving,” Sharon said. “I feel a sense of belonging, a family, a home. The volunteers are not just volunteers – in a way they are my friends, and I hope it’s okay to say that. You give me hope – a reason to trust and believe for a better tomorrow. Thank you for nourishing my heart and reminding me the true value of friendship, love, support, caring and sharing – just as God wants us to do.” The programs offered by UC Glenelg reach out to a variety of people in the community including the homeless, single parents, people struggling with their mental health, couples, families, young men, people struggling to make ends meet, lonely people, and elderly people – people just like Sharon, Marion and Tony. UnitingCare Glenelg hopes to continue providing support and friendship for those walking life’s rockier paths. For more information about UnitingCare Glenelg programs please visit glenelg. unitingchurch.org.au/outreach.php or call 8295 1771. *not her/his real name
Hidden carers in our community Emma Gillett
Young carers are the hidden carers in our community – ‘little heroes’ who perform miracles each and every day. Many young carers struggle to balance their education with looking after a family member who has a long term illness, disability, mental illness or is frail aged. The Young Carers Respite and Information Services Program run by UnitingCare Wesley Bowden (UCWB) supports young people who need help staying in school. Every one of the 90 carers in this program has a similar story – they are young people who perform caring duties day in, day out who may miss out on ‘regular’ activities such as visiting friends, school sports or part-time work. What is remarkable about these carers is that they are performing a range of tasks, often over a long period of time, that would not normally be expected from a young person their age. These tasks can include: social or emotional support; supervision and companionship; assisting with dressing, bathing, toileting and/ or mobility; accompanying the person they care for to medical appointments; advocacy and negotiation with service providers; managing household finances and budgets; and supporting siblings or other family members. Through the Young Carers program, UCWB supports these ‘little heroes’ to maintain their caring roles. The program offers a variety of services to assist young carers including: • A worker to complete tasks around the home for a few weeks so that young carers can study or attend social activities • Intensive after school tutoring for one term with qualified teachers so that young people can catch up on any assignments or study missed because of their caring role • Organising school holiday events and camps to provide young carers with a break from the person they care for as well as providing social support and a sense of community and inclusion in a supportive environment As the stigma around illness and disability decreases and there is a greater awareness and recognition of young people as carers in the community, UCWB have experienced a heightened demand for services. There are many ‘little heroes’ across the state, and it is important that they receive support from their local community in order for them to stay happy and healthy in their caring role. For more information about the Young Carers Respite and Information Services Program, please call 1800 052 222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ucwb.org.au
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Sam and Justin are two young people who provide care for their parents: “I help Mum and Dad with shopping, paying bills and reminding them to take their medication. I remind Dad when his appointments with doctors are and add all appointments on the calendar. Recently Mum was unwell and was in hospital for three weeks, this also made my Dad more worried. “As my dad doesn’t drive, Mum said that she would leave hospital without the doctor’s permission just so she could drive us to school. The Young Carer Program arranged for a support worker to take me and my younger brother to and from school until mum was well enough to come home. It was with the same workers so my Dad felt comfortable and my school was happy. “The program also arranged for a worker to come in to clean the house. This meant that I could just go to school and not have to worry about whether my Dad was coping with the jobs at home.” Young carer Lily looks after her father and grandmother: “I remind my father about his medication and appointments and also encourage him to become involved in other activities in the community so he doesn’t feel so sad. Sometimes I have to remind him to shower and make sure his clothes are ready for him. Every week I have to call other workers for him. I also do lots of cooking and cleaning for my family – my grandmother is in her 80s so she can’t do as much around the house anymore. “I found it very difficult to study this year as I couldn’t attend school every day because of caring for my dad and grandmother. The Young Carers Program Coordinator wrote a letter of support to my school to help with my workload and also helped with some maths tutoring so I could keep up with my class. If I didn’t have this support from the program, I never would have been able to complete this year at school.”
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The message a smile can send “People are really serious here – they don’t smile at you on the street.” This comment was made by one of the young people taking part in the Western Area Multicultural Youth Service program run at Youth Central in the Woodville Town Hall. The program is supported by UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide and caters to the needs of ‘at risk’ young people aged 12-25 years, particularly youth from non-English speaking backgrounds and residing in the western suburbs of Adelaide. Approximately 100 teenagers from over 20 countries visit the centre on a regular basis, which is open from 2pm – 6pm, Monday to Friday. In 2012, the young people at Youth Central had a serious conversation about smiling, something that grew from a discussion about the difficulties they have faced since moving to Australia. Many spoke about the strange stares and rude comments received on Australian streets. “It’s like they’ve never seen an African before!” one person exclaimed. But how could this situation change? Youth were asked why they didn’t try smiling at strangers themselves and, out of the resulting discussion, Smile at a Stranger Day was born. For six weeks the young people met every Friday afternoon to plan the day, rehearsing a campaign song and writing their stories about life in Australia. On 22 June, 2012, during Refugee Week, young people from Youth Central made a conscious effort to share their smiles with the local community. They visited shopping malls, handing out stickers and postcards featuring touching personal stories of what made them smile about life in Australia. The campaign finished with a singing flashmob in Adelaide’s busy Central Market – an attempt to make as many strangers as possible smile. Many of the teenagers who visit Youth Central are vulnerable, attending the centre for meetings with youth workers to obtain assistance with issues including homelessness, family breakdown and mental health. The activity of preparing for Smile at a Stranger Day provided these young people with something positive to focus on and empowerment through leadership opportunities. The success of Smile at a Stranger Day inspired a similar event earlier this year – You.Me.Smile! Day. This event was run on Friday 22 March as part of Harmony Week’s 2013 celebrations. Following a similar format to Smile at a Stranger Day, young people visited shopping centres to hand out stickers and postcards. A singing and dancing flashmob also formed a part of the campaign, building on the success of the one held in the previous year. It is often said that a smile is infectious. Over the past two years, the young people at Youth Central have put this to the test. By sharing their stories, stickers and smiles, the group found they were able to spread joy to others and to make them smile in return.
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Young people gathered at You.Me.Smile! Day in March this year.
“When I first came to Australia I found out that people were very serious. When I saw the environment, as soon as I got to the airport, I felt like I was in heaven and I just couldn’t stop myself smiling. And then I thought ‘why are they not smiling? They’ve got everything,’” says says Finda, a young woman from Sierra Leone. “But then I realised it’s a busy country; we go about our daily stuff and we don’t think about what a smile can do for a stranger, you know? To me a smile means ‘I’m welcome, I’m here, I’m noticed, this is where I’m supposed to be.’” For more information about the programs and events run by Youth Central, please visit their Facebook page (facebook.com/ YouthCentralSA) or ucwpa.org.au or call 8440 2200.
ADELAIDE WEST UNITING CHURCH 312 Sir Donald Bradman Drive Brooklyn Park. SPRING COMMUNITY FAIR 19th October 2013 8.30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Demonstrations with Poh (Poh’s Kitchen) and Natalie von Bertouch between 10a.m. & 1p.m. Pancake & coffee breakfast. High Tea at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Hot food and full bbq. Gourmet cakes & coffee with café style continuous entertainment from 10 a.m. featuring Adelaide West Men’s Choir, Henley & Grange Concert Band, Fulham Park Primary School and local Artists. Children’s activities, second hand books, bric-a-brac, plants, cakes, & produce pre-loved clothing & excellent new crafts. All in air conditioned comfort Free entry all day. Enquiries 8234 1199
Chaplains really do make the difference Rev Dr Ian Price, Eldercare Board Chair
Everyone knows that aged care is one of the most important aspects of Australia’s future investment. As the baby boomers grow older, facilities like Eldercare will be at the forefront of ministry as they cater to this growing proportion of the community. Of course, most of us would rather not think about it. We all want to grow to a ripe old age but let it be a lifestyle exactly like the one we have now! As the federal government aims to support more and more people staying in their homes as long as possible, aged care facilities are changing. First of all, people are generally older upon entry. As my mother aged, she had a plan. She would move into a unit, then into more supported care, and then into total care. All in the same community. That was the way it worked out – and our family was grateful that almost all of her needs were met. That was a 15 year process. Today, most people coming into aged care facilities, often referred to as a nursing homes in the past, are much older, much more frail, and have many more health issues to face. To put it bluntly, many of the residents have issues with dementia or are facing the very end of their lives. The burden on individuals, families and staff is always increasing. At Eldercare, we looked at what it means to offer best practice pastoral care in a Christian environment for the whole of our community – 1,000 residents, 1,000 staff, goodness knows how many other people represented by the extended network of family and friends. How do you really offer great pastoral care in an environment where palliative and dementia issues can, at times, be overwhelming? For Eldercare, the answer is chaplaincy. Expert carers who are given the privilege to journey with those in need, whether it is a staff member grieving the loss of a resident they cherished, or a family facing the struggle associated with Alzheimer’s, or an individual suddenly unable to be self-sufficient. Ministers and pastors specifically trained in palliative care to listen and respond appropriately to the myriad needs of people facing the end. Like many other aged care providers, Eldercare is making a special focus of dementia care. Our chaplains are trained in every aspect of dementia care to support staff and residents as they learn to cope with the huge challenges of what one person described as ‘becoming an entirely different me!’ But how much care is enough? How do you know where to set the bar? We made two decisions that really shaped our pastoral care plan. The first was to recognise that the nature of the care demanded a fully trained, professional approach. We wanted to ensure that alongside of the outstanding contribution of volunteers, there were people highly skilled in psycho-social spiritual care that would undergird all that we did.
Rev Cheryl Wilson is a chaplain with Eldercare on the Yorke Peninsula.
There was a need for these carers – the Eldercare chaplains – to be available whenever a patient at any of the homes required their care. This led to a second crucial decision. Every home with more than 80 beds would have a full-time chaplain, and every home with less than 80 beds would have a half-time chaplain. The cost? Nearly a million dollars a year – but it is worth it. Chaplaincy really is making a difference. The decision to expand this area of care has had three distinct impacts. First, it has heightened our pastoral awareness across the organisation. In an age where government regulatory expectations focus on activities that have a direct outcome, how do you measure pastoral care? Well, you can’t, except that, for Eldercare, there is a sense that we are doing better at what our name stands for – elder care. There is more time to respond to the anxieties, fears and disappointments that often accompany moving into care. Second, it has taken a large burden off of the shoulders of the other staff, who often feel overwhelmed by the constraints of time limitations in caring for a resident. To be able to turn to a chaplain has taken some of the pressure off staff and made for a happier environment for all. Third, we know that this is an area that really matters to the family and friends of our residents. Everyone wants the best for their loved ones at the end of life. The trauma of moving out of one’s own home; the loss of full independence and freedom to be in total control of our choices; and the sense that one’s life is now ordered by a set routine is equally difficult for families to cope with. The knowledge that there are people who can provide the best pastoral care at the right moment is worth any amount of money to them. Yes, our chaplains are really making a difference.
A need for care Bindy Taylor
Homelink for Children is a specialised foster care program for young people (ages 5-17) living with a disability and under the Guardianship of the Minister. Many of the children placed in the Homelink program have faced adversity in their childhood – some may have past experiences of abuse or neglect, others may have a parent who is unable to provide for them due to serious illness, even death. The team at Homelink for Children are dedicated to finding foster carers who can cater to the particular needs of children with disabilities. Potential carers are interviewed, assessed and trained to house children in their own home, providing an alternative service from stays in congregate care residencies such as group homes and supported accommodation. “The foster carers, who are prepared to undertake the thorough training and assessment process required, are special people indeed,” says Jenny Widdop, Service Manager for Homelink SA and Homelink for Children. Homelink for Children stems from Uniting Communities’ Homelink SA program, which was established 16 years ago. Homelink SA is a statewide program that employs contracted carers to provide full time, shared or respite care in addition to home-based accommodation for adults, young people and children living with disability.
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Families SA approached Uniting Communities about branching out from this program and creating one specifically for foster carers and children with disabilities; on 1 July 2011, Homelink for Children was born. The program is funded by the Department for Education and Child Development – Families SA. Families SA also provides case management support for children and young people in Homelink for Children placements. However, the need for carers is often too great to be met by this program. “Unfortunately, we will always have children and young people awaiting placement because the demand for placements will always be greater than the foster carers we can attract,” explains Jenny. For those that may like to get involved, Uniting Communities can provide a no obligation carer pack. People who would like to speak to someone are encouraged to contact Homelink for Children on 8202 5291. For additional information, please visit unitingcommunities.org/homelink-children
Celebrating children Melissa Neumann
Children's Week is an annual Australian festival highlighting the need to understand, appreciate and care about children. Christians are called to do this all year long, as we engage with children who are growing up in our own communities and advocate for voiceless, underprivileged and hurting children throughout the world. This year Children’s Week is Saturday 19 – Sunday 27 October, including Universal Children's Day on Wednesday 23. Thousands of children and their families around Australia are involved in activities and events across the week; involvement that is facilitated by schools, playgroups, childcare, cultural groups, libraries and community groups. Let’s add our churches to that list. Children’s Sunday (27 October) is an offshoot of Children’s Week, and is an opportunity for churches and agencies to have a special focus on children – in the congregation, in their extended families and in the community. Below are some suggested ways that churches can engage with Children’s Week, and enjoy what Children’s Week Patron and Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, described as the “enriching delights” of involvement with children.
• Find out what children in your congregation and neighbourhood are doing in their schools, Scout groups and other organisations during Children’s Week. Find a way to support and encourage these activities, such as offering the use of a church hall or catering an event. • Host a Children’s Week event such as an art display or performance, scavenger hunt, family picnic or grandparents’ morning tea – anything that celebrates children! Consider adapting a planned event to make it more child-friendly. • Integrate reports of Children’s Week events into your worship, learning and/or fellowship activities. • Remind your congregation of the impact that any overseas or local service activities you are engaged in have on children. • Hold a special worship service that involves both children and adults, celebrating children and acknowledging the child in each of us. For sample services and ideas, visit sa.uca.org. au/cfm/ministry-leaders/all-age-worship • Encourage grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other adults to talk with young relatives and neighbours about any activities or projects they are involved with during Children’s Week.
• Hold a special after-worship morning tea with lots of creative food that children will enjoy. Encourage members of the congregation to talk with (not to) the children – games that pair or group people across generations can be a good way to facilitate this. • Send letters of appreciation from your congregation to organisers of Children’s Week events and activities in your community. • And, of course, pray for children. Consider praying about some of the negative factors that influence children and families such as poor nutrition, abuse and neglect, ill health, lack of education and lack of safety due to violence or war. As a community, we should be thankful to God for the joy that children bring – Children’s Week provides an opportunity to interact with these important members of our congregations and neighbourhoods. For more ideas and sample prayers please visit sa.uca.org.au/cfm/ministry-leaders/ childrens-week For more information about Children’s Week please visit sachildrensweek.org.au
Calling youth and young people! With SAYCO done and dusted for the year, many young people might be wondering if there’s anything else exciting on the horizon – rest assured, there is! Operation Santa, an annual Christmas appeal partnership between Target and UnitingCare, will be held on Friday 15 November this year. Teens from youth ministry programs all over Adelaide will be raising funds and joining together to shop for other teens who are doing it tough.
Visit sa.uca.org.au/opsanta for more information or to register. The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) is to be held in North Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales from Tuesday 7 January to Friday 10 January in 2014. Held every two years, the week-long camp gathers together adult volunteers and delegates aged 16-25 from around Australia. The upcoming event is themed around the word ‘Yurora’, which means ‘passionate’ in
the language of the Burrumattagal people, the First People from the land of North Parramatta. Next year’s camp has been re-imagined as a festival of music, art, teaching, worship and action. For more information, please visit ncyc.com.au or facebook.com/ncyc14 If you are interested in joining a group from South Australia, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hana, 16, fled her home town of Daara in southern Syria after her house was bombed and some of her relatives were tortured. Here she is standing outside a tent in Za'atari refugee camp.
Desert dreaming – Syria’s youth look towards the future Karen McGrath
Freezing cold at night; unbearably hot and dusty during the day. A desert. A tent city. These make up life and home for over 120,000 Syrian refugees – approximately 80% of these are women and children. Mafraq in Northern Jordan is home to the Za’atari refugee camp, the second largest and one of the fastest growing in the world. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, over four million Syrians have been displaced due to conflict. Za’atari is now the fourth largest city in Jordan and has a population rivalling Cairns in Queensland. Za’atari’s environment is far from forgiving. Natural threats, including a lack of water and extreme weather conditions, add to a unique mix of cultural and logistical challenges – hardly a place for children. In March 2013, Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches Australia, visited Za’atari camp on the Jordanian border where aid is distributed to Syrian refugees. Here they met Hana*. Hana is 16 years old and lives in Za’atari camp with those of her relatives who escaped Syria after bombs hit their home and family members were tortured. On the surface she seems like a normal teenage girl but behind her electric smile are the scars of the Syrian conflict. “When our house was bombed we left, but the bombing was still happening…while we were walking on the road another bomb came,” she recalls. Act for Peace International Programs Coordinator, Karen Rasmussen is an expert in child protection. She explains that, Return to Contents
beyond the obvious physical impacts of the Syrian conflict, the ongoing clashes are taking an insidious toll on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of children and young adolescents. “Refugee camps can be very dangerous places for children and young adults but, beyond risks of sexual abuse and physical violence, individuals show signs of extreme psychological trauma,” says Karen. As the situation continues to worsen after chemical weapons attacks in Damascus, Syria’s future is in question. Over one million children have been displaced by the conflict, and Act for Peace has expressed concern at continuing restrictions for humanitarian agencies in accessing vulnerable populations inside Syria. Amidst the harsh realities of the conflict there has been a clear and strong desire from Syrian youth for a peaceful and prosperous future. In Za’atari camp, Act for Peace and its partners help Hana and other Syrian youths just like her to attend school. They continue to look forward in the wake of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. “We all go to school even with the difficulties that we suffer here,” Hana says. “We all have the resolve to study. What makes me stronger to study is [the thought that] I can return to my country and build it for my future. Knowledge is what makes us better.” Act for Peace is working together with local partners in Jordan to provide much needed support for refugees and internationally displaced persons. For more information and to provide much needed support to Syrian families visit actforpeace.org.au/cmsyria *not her real name
diary ARTIST IN RESIDENCE. In “Playing with Light”, artist Cath Lappin has designed a wonderful program using photography and different techniques to explore this year's theme. The residency will take place at the Effective Living Centre. No experience necessary, just a willingness to have a play. Tuesday 8 – Sunday 13 October, various times. Children welcome to some sessions. Bookings essential. For more details, please visit effectiveliving.org or phone 8271 0329. ART EXHIBITION & QUILTING SHOW. The Corner Uniting Church. The Suneden Special School Art students’ exhibition ends on Thursday 17 October followed by a Quilting Show with a difference. These 10 quilts, made by our own members, will be offered for sale with all proceeds donated to specific charities. Also on display will be beautifully worked cross-stitch pieces by N.F.S. Both displays will be a delight to view, and can be seen from Friday 18 October to Friday 15 November, Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am to 3pm. For further information, contact Pam Gunn on 8295 5636 or Pauline on 8376 2666. SPRING COMMUNITY FAIR. Adelaide West Uniting Church, 312 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Brooklyn Park. Saturday 19 October. Commencing with pre-fair pancakes from 8.30am. Stalls selling bric-a-brac, cakes, books, garden and craft open from 8.30am-3pm. BBQ, hot food, sandwiches, drinks. Activities for children. Non-stop entertainment by local school groups, Henley & Grange Concert Band, Adelaide West Uniting Church Men’s Choir and local artists. Demonstrations with Poh (Poh’s Kitchen) and Natalie Vonbertouch between 10am – 1pm. ANNUAL FETE & AUCTION. Dernancourt Uniting Church, corner of Balmoral Road and Vingara Drive, Dernancourt. Saturday 19 October, 9am1pm. Doors open 9am; auction starts at 9.30am. Stalls include clothing, craft, white elephant, take home food, cakes, plants, flowers, books, toys, BBQ, milkshakes, hot potatoes, pancakes, fruit, morning tea, cool drinks. Activities for children this year include a jumping castle. Everyone welcome to join the fun. Donations of goods are welcomed. Please phone Church Office on 8369 0802 or email email@example.com CLOSING SERVICE. Tailem Bend Uniting Church is closing and will hold a closing service on Sunday 10 November at 1.30pm. All are welcome, with a special invitation extended to past attendees. For catering and seating purposes, please RSVP by calling 8572 3858 or 8572 3678 by the Sunday 27 October. ART & CRAFT EXPO. Hope Valley Uniting Church invites artists and people who make hand-crafted items to display/sell their work at the Art & Craft Expo on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November. To register your paintings or book a craft table please call in at our church office, 1263 Grand Junction Road, Hope Valley or phone 8396 0788. All entry forms must be in by Monday 14 October. For more information phone Judy on 8264 7505. CELTIC PILGRIMAGE. Rev Dr Dean and Virginia Brookes are hosting a tour to the U.K. next August 2014. It will include a stay at the Iona Community and also attendance at the Edinburgh Tattoo. For more information please contact Virginia on 8395 2441 or 0427 244 146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org To have your upcoming event or message published here, email email@example.com with ‘Diary’ in the subject line.
classifieds RESTORE your phonographic records or tapes to near original quality & preserve them on CD Restore your faded 35mm slides to bright colour and preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS or MiniDV video tape & 8mm film to DVD conversion, SA MEDIAWORKS, Kent Town SA Ph: 8362 2251 firstname.lastname@example.org PEWS FOR SALE. Pews come in three different sizes, in very good condition. These pews are being sold by the Mile End Church of Christ, on Henley Beach Road. For prices and further information, please contact Daryl Jarrett on mobile number 0409 445 117. HOLIDAY APARTMENT. “By The Sea” on the Esplanade at Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor. 3br a/cond nicely appointed. $170 pn –(min 2 nights) or $574 pw prior to Christmas. (not available schoolies week) January booked out- get in early before 2014 increased rates apply. Beautiful views over Granite and Wright Islands – relax and watch the waves roll in. See photos on Dodd and Page – Managing Agent web site – ph Kerry 8554 2029 or email – email@example.com
Make a difference on a global scale There are 1.5 billion people in the world that live in extreme poverty. Impoverished conditions, desperate situations and seedy underworlds can all lead to the human rights abuse that is human trafficking. An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour (including sexual exploitation) at any given time in the world as a result of trafficking. But you can make a difference in preventing and eradicating human trafficking. Stop the Traffik is bringing Active Communities Against Trafficking (ACT) training to South Australia. The free training session, expertly led by Australian Stop the Traffik Coordinators, Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto, will educate attendees with information on how individuals can participate in global campaigns against human trafficking whilst encouraging local action. No special skills or experience are required; all participants require is a passion and desire to do something about human trafficking and a willingness to work with others. The upcoming training session is at Westbourne Park Uniting Church, 27 Sussex Terrace, Hawthorn on Tuesday 15 October from 7.30 - 9pm. To register, please visit adelaideact.eventbrite.com.au
Send your letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001. Be topical, be brief, be timely. Letters over 150 words will be edited; responses to previous letters /articles will be considered within two months of the original item’s publication only. All letters are published at the editorial team’s discretion.
Open garden for a good cause Marisa Elks & Chris Giles
Sunset Rock Uniting Church attendee, Emily Giles last opened her garden over a weekend in November 2011 to raise money for Bukit Karmel orphanage and Hohidiai Medical Centre in Indonesia. Over 1,000 people enjoyed wandering through Emily’s spectacular garden that weekend. This November, Emily will again open her garden to support these two very worthy Indonesian causes. This Adelaide Hills garden is a must-see for any gardener interested in landscape design and unusual plants, but particularly for rose lovers. It boasts the largest rose garden in the Adelaide Hills with around 3000 standard, bush and climbing roses terraced on either side of a sweeping stairway that lures you from the front of the house to a lawned rotunda area. Emily is a rose collector so the variety is stunning. The long gravel driveway winds its way to the house and is lined with camellias and rhododendrons. There is an impressive solar powered waterfall, feeding a small stream that winds its way to the dam where the native ducks enjoy a splash. Other features include a cottage-style garden, a native garden walk and a tree collection that includes two rare heritage trees. In June of this year, Emily and her husband organised a trip to Hohidai Medical Centre located on the remote island of Halmahera in Indonesia; 11 volunteers from Sunset Rock made the journey there to assist and learn. The centre sees up to 8,000 patients a year, offering free medical care to those who need it and providing accommodation for patients who require long-term care. The volunteers assisted in many ways, including repairing furniture, using their medical skills to assist at clinics and even repairing a dental drill. The Centre, which also has an orphanage and a school, treats diseases such as leprosy and tuberculosis – diseases that are rarely seen in Western countries but are all too common in the poor villages surrounding Hohidai. Since returning, with financial support from Sunset Rock, the group has sourced and purchased second-hand medical equipment including an ECG machine and a defibrillator, which the Centre desperately needed. In May, another group from Sunset Rock visited Bukit Karmel, an orphanage in the West Java province of Indonesia. This was the third year in a row that a team visited the orphanage. On this occasion, they helped build the partitions for a computer room, painted, did activities with the children and, of course, cuddled the babies. Emily will be opening her six-hectare garden this November to raise funds for future trips to Indonesia – all are invited to come along and help support this worthy cause. The event will feature continuous live musical entertainment in the rotunda, as well as purchasable food, drink and barista-made coffee. Plants, home-baked goodies, preserves and other items will also be on sale. The garden is located at 89 Milan Terrace, Stirling and will be open on Saturday 9 November, 10am-5pm and Sunday 10 November, 12pm-5pm. Admission is $7 for adults or $5 concession. Children under 16 are free. Return to Contents
Children gathered at Hohidiai Medical Centre.
A view of Emily Giles' house and garden.
Special guests at Adelaide West Feed your appetite with a fresh and healthy breakfast dish created by celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow at the Adelaide West Uniting Church Annual Spring Fair on Saturday October 19. This year’s event is being held as a part of the Uniting Church SA CommUnity Day campaign, which joins together Adelaide West Uniting Church with the SA Health, Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle (OPAL) initiative. This program is operated in collaboration with the West Torrens Council and promotes healthy eating and lifestyles. Free entry will include a plethora of entertainment such as live music, second hand goods, face painting, food stalls, preloved clothing and much, much more. There will be 400 show bags full of goodies to give away, including recipe cards from Poh herself. Natalie von Bertouch, ex-captain of the Australian Netball team, will also attend the event. Along with Poh, Nat will provide healthy cooking demonstrations between 10am and 1pm. Come along to 312 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Brooklyn Park between 8.30am and 3pm to enjoy the fun at Adelaide West’s Annual Spring Fair!
Art and inspiration In the latter half of 2012, Henley-Fulham Uniting Church was seeking a mission project that would involve connecting with the local community. It was suggested that the church undertake the creation of a mural in cooperation with kids from the Learning Centre at nearby Kidman Park Primary School. After consultation with Liam Battjes, the newly appointed Family Pastoral Worker (who is himself a talented artist) and teachers at Kidman Park, the decision was made to commence the project. Wine and cheese nights were subsequently held as fundraisers, and members of the church and local community were shown the planned outcome of the mission project. Church volunteers and teachers worked with children from the Learning Centre, a school unit for students with severe disabilities. Together they created an art mural depicting their local area along the River Torrens. The project was completed in April this year, culminating in an official opening ceremony. Approximately 100 people attended the event, including a number of Federal and Local Members of Parliament. The Henley-Fulham congregation presented the school with a special plaque to commemorate the occasion, while children
Volunteers work together on the mural project.
presented certificates of thanks to all of the volunteers involved in the project. The unique experience of children with disabilities being involved in this expression of creativity was an inspiration to all involved in the project.
A caring ministry of comfort In 1995, Win Harrip was a lay hospital visitor at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. While in this role, she was encouraged by Rev John Blanksby to complete a chaplaincy course – she quickly agreed, qualifying as a chaplain in 1996. It wasn’t long before Win was back visiting people at Lyell McEwin, bringing comfort and support to hundreds of people. Recently, due to declining health, Win had to give up her hospital visits. Her contributions to Lyell McEwin were recognised at a farewell morning tea held in the hospital on Tuesday 30 July this year. Where
Pastoral Care Coordinator, Jeff May declared that “Win visited around 1000 patients a year.” “What a great comfort Win was to so many folk over those amazing 17 years of Service,” Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty added. Back in 2006, in recognition of her outstanding service, Win was awarded Life Membership to the Lyell Mc Ewin’s Regional Volunteer Association.
New appointments Rev Rob Tann recently took up a full-time position as minister of the Uniting Church’s Kangaroo Island Parish. Along with his wife, Judith, and son, Damien, Rob has come to the island to fill an initial three year term. Prior to this, Rob was a minister at Whyalla for three years and Port Lincoln for seven. “It is a great privilege for Judith and me to come to Kangaroo Island and become a part of this unique community,” Rob says. “We look forward to becoming active both inside and outside the church.” Rob was officially inducted into his new role on Sunday 11 August, and will minister to all four of the mainstream churches on the island (two full-time and two part-time). Rob’s appointment promises to be a time of great cooperation amongst churches contributing to life on Kangaroo Island.
Paul Marsh was recently appointed by Unity and Friends, in partnership with the Church of Trinity Uniting Church in Clarence Park, to the part-time position of Pastoral Care Worker for Christians in the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) community, their families and friends. Paul is an experienced registered psychologist, having worked in the SA Department of Health in the past. Paul will be contracted in this new role until June 2014. This position will provide personal follow-up and pastoral care, build links with other community support groups, raise community awareness of the availability of pastoral support, and be an advocate when required.
These three scholars Belief, love and the common good. Below, Rev Dr Dean Eland discusses how three different authors interpret these topics in their recent writing. Walter Brueggemann, Old Testament scholar; Jim Wallis, evangelical justice advocate from Sojourners in the US; and Hugh Mackay, Australian social researcher, are all advocates for the common good. Each of these scholars has been led to confront the false gods of this age and to invite those living in a system of anxiety and fear to embrace and work for the common good. In his 2010 book, Journey to the Common Good, Walter Brueggemann suggests that on the exodus journey (the journey from scarcity to abundance) God’s people discovered a dream of neighbourhood – YHWH’s intention for the common good. Brueggemann, an Old Testament scholar and theologian, sees many people today living in a system of anxiety and fear that is a consequence of their own greed. In this book, Brueggemann suggests that this kind of emotional environment leaves no time or energy for working toward the good of others, and that an immense act of generosity is required to break the self-serving grip of death. The author calls us all to journey together to the common good through acts such as being a good neighbour, covenanting
and reconstruction. Brueggemann addresses this concept by exploring a number of challenging questions that currently face the church. In his 2013 book, On God’s side: what religion forgets and politics hasn’t learned about the common good, theologian and Christian activist Jim Wallis reflects on both the church’s mission and the changing values of western society. The book begins with a prophetic announcement: “the prerequisite for solving the deepest problems this country and the world now face is a commitment to the very ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the common good.” This groundbreaking book, comprised of fourteen chapters, addresses many of the practical challenges facing the US nation. However, it also speaks to the Australian community – a community that too often forgets its legacy and the underlying ethos of a ‘fair share.’ Hugh Mackay’s most recent book, The Good Life: What Makes life worth living? is grounded in the same assumptions. A good life is not self-serving but learning “to treat other people in the way we ourselves would wish to be treated - the so-called Golden Rule.” The Australian author and theologian’s insights and many illustrations invite people to counter the “current capitalist model of materialism that has captured our
hearts and minds” and to find the alternate way. In Mackay’s survey of our underlying malaise and our overwhelming acceptance of self-entitlement, there is implicit invitation to discover another way – not living for self but to find others, and partner in working for the wellbeing of all.
Hope for refugees and asylum seekers The Uniting Church Synod of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory recently joined with their community service division, UnitingCare NSW.ACT, to create “Give Hope.” This campaign aims to advocate for change in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. The release of “Were You There”, a song sung by minister-in-training Charissa Sully, marked the launch of the campaign on Friday 13 September. The song reprises the worship chorus sung in so many churches, altering the words to fit them to the theme of the “Give Hope” campaign. The issue tackled by this initiative is particularly relevant with the current alterations to policy surrounding those seeking asylum and
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refuge in our country. Australia is the fifth largest and 12th richest country in the world, housing less than 0.3% of the planet’s refugees. However, rather than continuing to more fairly address that allocation, politicians have attempted to outsource Australian human rights obligations to under-resourced Papua New Guinea – a nation with a 40% poverty rate. “Give Hope” aims to battle this, promoting the Australian ethos of a ‘fair go for all’ across the “boundless plains to share” mentioned in our national anthem. The campaign will give an opportunity for people to share stories and experiences, as well as resources. To keep in touch with news about the campaign and events associated with it, please visit givehope.org.au
It’s that time of year... With Christmas and the New Year looming ever closer, it’s time to start planning ahead. The Uniting Church SA Communications team has been working hard on ideas for this year’s Christmas postcard campaign and the 2014 calendar – now it’s time for congregations to step in. If your church would like to order any calendars or postcards, they must order them quickly! Please take note of the order close dates in each of the two sections below. 2014 calendar information The Uniting Church SA calendar serves the local church as both the annual report from the Synod office and as a helpful resource, containing event dates, school holiday term dates and lectionary readings. In 2014, each month of the calendar will focus on a Psalm verse and highlight the different functions of the Uniting Church SA and its affiliated agencies. Calendar details Each congregation can receive up to 50 copies of the calendar for free; congregations requiring more than 50 copies can order them in batches of 25 at $12.50 per batch. Orders need to be placed by Monday 21 October, 2013. Calendars will be available for pickup from Adelaide West Uniting Church during the Presbytery and Synod meeting, 31 October – 2 November, 2013 and from 212 Pirie Street after this date. For more information, contact the Communications team by emailing email@example.com or calling 8236 4249.
Postcard Front - Option 1
Christmas postcard campaign Bethlehem was the place where God came to us in the most human way, face to face, demonstrating that we are never forgotten, abandoned or left alone. Through God’s love and grace, we have been given the gift of hope and life and, at Christmas time, we are particularly reminded of this. Christmas heralds a fresh beginning – a beginning where we can pray for the world and the way it ought to be with the knowledge that God’s grace will prevail. This year’s Uniting Church SA Christmas postcard campaign will reach beyond just residential letterboxes, livening up Adelaide buses with advertisements and reaching into communities through A3-sized posters. In this way, we aim to spread the love, hope and joy that this time of year brings. In 2013, for the first time, congregations have two options for the front of the postcard, both pictured here. As usual, the back of the postcard can be customised to suit each congregation’s unique needs and services times. Postcard details Cost: $69 per 1000 (minimum of 1000) Orders close Wednesday 23 October, 2013 The postcards will be available for pickup from Adelaide West Uniting Church during the Presbytery and Synod meeting, 31 October – 2 November, 2013 and from 212 Pirie Street after this date. For more information, or to order, please visit sa.uca.org.au/postcards
Postcard Front - Option 2
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