Tuesday, 25 December 2012


" Mild, He lay His glory by,
 born that man no more may die."

"Hark , the herald angels sing.
Glory to the new born King."


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Santa Mail Boxes

What do you do when you live on a farm and the house is too far from the road for anyone to see Christmas lights?
Why you do a "Santa Mailbox", of course!

Here are some of the ones I've spotted.

As you look at them and enjoy the rural sense of humour I would like to take the opportunity on behalf of Sue and I to wish everyone a wonderful and holy Christmas. I trust that in all the haste and bustle you will have time to reflect on God's marvellous provision for us and to spend time with family and friends. We will be back in the New Year with more stories of the wonderful things that are happening in this part of the world.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Book Buddies in Weilmoringle * Apologies to Banjo Paterson

There was movement in Weilmoringle for the word had got around that the Rural Chaplain and the books were on their way,
They had been delayed in Cobar for Sue does so love her tea and they'd found a lovely tea house and were tempted stay,
After a 7pm start and the expectation of a 6 hour journey Sue needed a cuppa.
All had gathered for the book launch at the little school house building, all had come up from the village, all anticipating with delight, the books which were about to come their way.
But the call it came while waiting, they were yet an hour away and all decided they'd high tail it out of sight.

One of the lovely school buildings in Weilmoringle.
But eventually they made it down that long and dusty road and the four wheel drive divested of its load,
books in all shapes and sizes and for all types of child, unloaded on the table like a prize.
And the people, they regathered full of welcome and of smiles and the journey so long taken now seemed to strip away the miles.
Just one of 6 tables of books.
Over 100 books were supplied for 27 children to choose from.

Meredith, she sat there, and shyly at first, began to tell the children of her tale, of how she so loved her reading that she'd love them to have books and how Mosman Prep, her school, was prepared to foot the bill.
Slowly the children gathered, edging forward was their ploy, they wanted to hear her story, they could not contain their joy.
And when she read them "Fearless" of the bull dog not so brave, it wasn't long til they were 'round her. She didn't have to tell them to behave.

Meredith took time out of her holidays to visit Weilmoringle.
She had a wonderful time and so did we!
Then the time it came eventually, the time it did arrive, the time for which they'd waited and for the books they dived.
There were books there about Wally, about spiders and of space. There wasn't one about Weilmoringle but one of every other place,

Josie(left) runs the local playgroup and is seen here reading with the children.

And the children,they did love them, in the books they were enthralled and we went around among them and found what they were called.

Involved, active reading, boy style!



So the day it ended happily and after all had gone away, Meredith, Josie, Sue, Marg and Julie could not put their grins away.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Further happenings in Jenny's Garden

Before we take you North to let you know about events in Enngonia and Weilmoringle, some lovely things have been happening in Jenny's garden. As you know from a blog a few weeks ago Jenny opened her garden for a day to allow visitors to enjoy it and relax and be refreshed there.

 It all went well but since then the interest has continued in unexpected ways.

Even on the day there were a few lovely surprises. A young child of three led his mother around in wonder and excitement at finding the golden baubles hanging in the garden.His excitement was palpable. Backpackers from Taiwan,known to Jenny and Joe, came to the garden on the day. It was a further link for their friendship and a memory of an Australian experience for the girls to take home. It gave them the opportunity to meet more people in town.

Jenny decided to keep her garden open in case anyone else should want to visit. The local school was having a girl's day.The aim was to get all the girls together, give them some special experiences to enjoy as young women and also give them an opportunity to get to know each other and themselves better.They approached Jenny and asked her if the girls could visit.

A picture tells a thousand words as these girls enjoy the garden. They graced the garden with young and enthusiastic femininity,were refreshed by it and went home to tell of a day thoroughly enjoyed, full of new and lovely experiences.
This a a great example of school,church and community co-operation for the benefit of young people.
PS   Jenny came home one day to find a little pottery hedgehog in a Christmas hat perched cheekily on her outdoor table. She's still not sure where or who he came from.    
             Doing nice things is infectious!


Friday, 7 December 2012

Alternate Worship Workshop -An Introduction to Sacred Space

We've had some comments on the Garden Sacred Space so I thought I'd put in a blog about where the original idea came from.
 One early, Saturday, August morning saw Jenny, Julie and Sue, together with Gregor Newton*, load up the boot and head over to Griffith.

First light over the paddock at Hillston
We attended the Riverina Presbytery NW sector meeting to pick up some ideas on Alternate forms of worship and find out about the Camden Theological Library (CTLA) It was a freezing day but the welcome was warm as we met up with others who travelled in from Merriwagga, Coleambally and Griffith. The day started with devotions and then a phone link with the very helpful and friendly Librarian, during which we discovered about books available and how to join and borrow. This library is available for all members of the Uniting Church to borrow from.

The friendly library staff at CTLA-Adele, 2nd from right, assisted us that day by phone link.

Gregor then led us in the Alternate Worship workshop, starting with a worship time in the Church on the theme of nature and creation.

Table setting -Interactive display

He explained what we were about to experience and then we entered the church to find 4 small tables set up around the altar, each covered with a black cloth.

From the altar a long piece of calico, covered in writings about faith, fell down over the steps to the floor.On top of the altar a dark cloth was set with a table setting for three.

Each table carried a different display. On the first a bunch of wild flowers, on the second a bowl of dirt, then a grouping of fresh produce and finally a bowl of water.

Bible verses for meditation

We were encouraged to read the bible verses and instructions as we wandered individually around the tables. 

We could write our names on the plates set out for us on the altar as a sign of participating in God’s family.

 Each table gave an insight into the theme and food for thought. We could sit and pray or keep looking and moving around.

AlternateWorship forms can create some interesting and meaningful experiences

We were left with plenty to think about and as a group wondered how we might use this form of worship in our churches and communities. If you want to know more, leave a comment on the blog and we can contact you and pass on information and ideas.

*Gregor now lives in Hillston but has worked as a Youth Worker in Sydney and was involved there leading Alternate Worship and writing a resource folder called “Sacred Space”available in PDF form.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Darcy meets the Back Packers

Hi,  Darcy again,

 You can see me here thinking instructions to Julie as she converses with the Backpackers at the special BBQ held for them by the Combined Churches of Hillston. I was dying to get over there but some people are just not sure of dogs (Sigh!) 
Father Murray had the idea of a get together before the back packers left to wish them well from the Hillston churches and community. Then,as he said ,"Jenny made it happen!"* Several people from the local churches,including Julie and I joined in.(Yeah, I know,I'm a dog.)

You can see Julie below in the shirt matching my bag (I'm careful about these things!) After her stint buttering the bread, she welcomed the opportunity to spend time with these visitors from overseas who come to Hillston each year to pick the produce,mostly cherries. It had been a hard season for them as they came to the job as newbies and it takes a while for them to learn the skills to pick enough to make a good wage.
Some were sunburnt and tired;others, relishing the idea of continuing work,especially as their skills improved.

Back packers from UK and Germany with Julie
Many commented they felt very special to be served this Aussie BBQ.Such an event shows what we can do to make people welcome where we live.( However,we forgot the vegetarians and had to race home to get food from the fridge so they weren't stuck having bread and sauce for dinner!)
In the ice cream queue it was amusing to see twenty-somethings leaning forward to count to make sure they would not miss out on an ice cream cone and sprinkles.

 In all we counted over a 100 people from 11 different countries,which was a nice change for me as I am usually the only multi-cultural dog, being of French origin with previous Chinese owners.(I speak Cantonese you know and now English too!)

Just being there we had the feeling we were all friends and we deepened friendships with back packers we had met in town or at church.They now felt like locals.We had no idea who the 3 guys were in the photo below but they were instant friends and all part of the fun!

Everyone loves a photo.We had no idea who the 3 guys in the front were!

We also had the pleasure of some of the back packers coming to church on Sunday.Some have been coming for weeks and two new guys turned up last week. I met them at morning tea when Julie let me in from next door. (I like them cos they love dogs!)

* You met Jenny previously in the Open Garden blog.


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