80 people from congregations across Port Phillip East Presbytery met together on Saturday August 21 to worship God, learn about the Ministry of Pastor, recognise Alanee Hearnshaw and Di Paterson in their roles at Glen Waverley, hear the life story of St Mark’s Chadstone as we formally closed the congregation, thank Helen Beeby for her work as Newsbeat Editor, present Five Leaf Eco-Awards to three congregations, and learn about ways we can join in environmental action across the Uniting Church. Special guests were Jessica Morthorpe (Five Leaf Eco-Awards) and Tim Molineux (Social Justice Officer with eLM Synod of Victoria/Tasmania). The meeting was held on Zoom and included time for breakout rooms where we could talk about our own experiences of environmental action, in congregations, the wider church, and in our local communities.

Worship began with a video, A Pacific Prayer for the Moana Ocean, written and read by The Most Reverend Archbishop Winston Halapua of the Diocese of Polynesia, Anglican Church of Aotearoa / New Zealand and produced by Rev. James Bhagwan, Secretary for Communication and Overseas Mission of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Chaplain/Trustee of the Traditional Voyaging Canoe the Uto Ni Yalo. Duncan Turuva, a candidate for ministry, read from Mark 7:24-37 in Fijian. Andrea Mayes, an ordinand serving with Sandringham and Heatherton/Dingley congregations, reflected on the interaction between Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman. Anneke Oppewal, Presbytery Minister: Pastoral Care, led us in a prayer during which we placed our commitments and concerns in a bowl we’d each brought to the meeting.

Jay Robinson, convenor of the Presbytery’s Ministry of Pastor team, gives us an overview of the Ministry of Pastor policy in Port Phillip East Presbytery.

Jessica Morthorpe talks about some of the theology behind our commitment to environmental action.