Churches of Christ in Queensland’s June edition of Networking is now available.

June Networking now available.In this month’s Networking, Chief Executive Officer Dean Phelan talks about how the ageing of our population is the biggest social issue facing our nation and that the recent Federal Budget highlights some of the significant difficulties facing Australia.

As always, Networking is full of stories from across our churches and mission and care services, including welcoming Carramar Aged Care Service in Stanthorpe to the Churches of Christ family and celebrating the dedicated work of our volunteers during National Volunteers Week.

Networking features a new Men’s Shed in Mackay, an award winning Men’s Shed in Nambour and highlights from Centrifuge. Plus you can find out how church members in Toowoomba are making their presence felt in the local community.

Copies of Networking will be sent to all churches and services in the next few days.

Download the June edition of Networking here.

Read archived copies of Networking, Our Stories, the Strategic Plan and the Annual Report here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Networking.

 

Desley Millwood
Director of Communications

The June edition of ConXion is now available

ConXion June 2014The June edition of conXion is now available.

In this month’s edition, Editor Donna Savill reflects on the theme of ‘bringing the light of Christ into communities’ and shares a powerful story about a lady called Helen from Caloundra Church of Christ.

As always, conXion is full of uplifting stories from around the state, including Janette Phelan’s Lighting up our world: my son wears a tattoo on his ankle, Rena Gunther speaks on grace and love; Nerida Cuddy’s shares insight into how a little virtue goes a long way and Rebecca Francis continues her 40 days with Jesus.

There are also prayerful reflections from Jennifer Woodley; a ministry spotlight on how to bring the light into communities on the other side of the world; the latest instalment of Priscilla Gaston’s Walking with farmers; and features all the camouflaged colour of the recent Churches of Christ in Queensland Women’s Camp on the Darling Downs.

Remember, copies of The Church from the Paddock – A History of Churches of Christ in Queensland 1883-2013, which traces the inspiring 130-year history of Churches of Christ in Queensland, are still available here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of conXion.

Download the June edition here. Read archived copies here.

Kind regards

Desley Millwood
Director of Communications

Churches of Christ in Queensland’s May edition of Networking is now available.

May Networking now available.In this month’s Networking, Chief Executive Officer Dean Phelan discusses his recent meeting with Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH) and a vision to establish a Queensland chapter. The Churches of Christ ministry was founded in Victoria in 1993 and now has chapters in disadvantaged neighbourhoods across Melbourne, Sydney, Bangkok and Auckland.

As always, Networking is full of stories from across our churches and mission and care services, including the latest from “The Well”, a new shop-front ministry in Nambour; the Young People’s Fellowship Reunion at Margaret Street Church of Christ in Toowoomba and the success of the second annual Lockyer Valley Seniors Games.

Networking also features some of the action from both Harmony Day and Foster and Kinship Carer’s Week celebrations, and with National Volunteer Week upon us (12-18 May), Volunteer Services Manager Jodie Mears encourages us to acknowledge and recognise the valuable contributions of our dedicated volunteers who contribute greatly to the success of our churches and care services.

Copies of Networking will be sent to all churches and services in the next few days.

Download the May edition of Networking here.

Read archived copies of Networking, Our Stories, the Strategic Plan and the Annual Report here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Networking.

The power of volunteering

Intranet - National Volunteers Week (large)From 12-18 May Churches of Christ in Queensland will join thousands of organisations around the nation to mark the 25th anniversary of National Volunteer Week in Australia.

This year’s theme, Celebrate the power of volunteering, is all about appreciating and understanding the important role volunteers play.

For Churches of Christ in Queensland, this means recognising volunteers not only for their contribution of skills and time, but also to acknowledge their milestone years of service.

Services throughout Queensland and Victoria will host local events to give thanks to the volunteers who are making a genuine difference to the quality of life enjoyed by clients and communities.

“National Volunteer Week celebrates volunteers for the time they so selflessly give to us and our clients,” Volunteer Services Manager, Jodie Mears, said.

“It’s a timely reminder of the need to honour our exceptionally skilled and valued volunteers who are not only an asset to the way we provide services, but strengthen our communities as well.”

Volunteers at Churches of Christ in Queensland help bring the light of Christ into communities by connecting people with culture, community and spirit.

They facilitate a range of activities including companionship and pastoral care, as well as much needed practical support in the areas of gardening and maintenance, social and recreational activities, and administration.

“We celebrate and recognise our volunteers every day, but during National Volunteer Week, we ask all staff to take the extra time to acknowledge, give thanks, share stories with, and simply recognise the volunteers who have dedicated their precious time and skills to make a difference to us, our clients and our communities,” Ms Mears said.

“This is their week. Last year we celebrated National Volunteer Week with just over 600 volunteers; next month we will deliver more than 900 certificates and gifts to our volunteers.

“Over the coming year we will be working hard to recruit and retain more volunteers as we strive to further enhance the lives or our clients and communities. We will introduce a range of new programs into service areas including Community Care, Child Protection and Early Childhood.

“As we give thanks for our volunteers we would also like to acknowledge the staff that lead, guide and include volunteers. Together, they make awesome teams.”

If you are interested in volunteering at Churches of Christ in Queensland, please click here.

Alternatively, contact Volunteer Services via email at volunteers@cofcqld.com.au  or by phone on 07 3363 1834.

Churches of Christ in Queensland’s March/April 2014 edition of Networking is now available.

Networking March/April now available.

As always, Networking is full of stories from across our churches and mission and care services including a 100 years of Army Chaplaincy, centurion celebrations at Lady Small Haven Aged Care Service, a volunteer project bringing churches and care services together at Bribie Island, and Arana Hills Church of Christ’s return mission to Thailand.

This month’s cover story highlights the efforts of two of our community chaplains who have been competing in a series of events to raise awareness of community chaplaincy and some much needed funds.

If you would like more information about our Community Chaplaincy services or how to make a donation or pledge, please contact our Fundraising Team on 1800 600 900 or visit http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/commchap.

Copies of Networking will be sent to all churches and services in the next few days.

Download the March/April edition of Networking here.

Read archived copies of Networking, Our Stories, the Strategic Plan and the Annual Report here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Networking.

Cheer on our Community Chaplains

Networking_2014_02_Feb_webA Community Chaplain’s role is to promote, equip, resource, support and bring to affect the Mission of Churches of Christ in Queensland. Their essential motive is to invest in peoples lives, to demonstrate unconditional love, to be available when people are in desperate need of assistance.

To raise awareness of Community Chaplaincy and generate some much needed funds, two of Churches of Christ in Queensland’s Community Chaplains have been competing in a gruelling triathlon series over summer.

Luke Finlay and Ben Zambra contested all seven events on the prestigious 2013-14 Gatorade Queensland Triathlon Series and plan to continue their amazing awareness drive at a host of other events this year, including a teams’ triathlon on 30 March, 100 kilometre “Brissie to the Bay” cycling event in May, and half ironman event in August.

“Race days are great. There’s an amazing feeling of anticipation and camaraderie between competitors, and when you are in an environment where there are a few thousand people all there for the same reason, and people are trying to focus on the race ahead and strategise, and the crowd is cheering the racers on, it’s a great feeling,” Ben said.

“It’s a whole lot like life. When I think of many of the conversations I’ve had with people in our community housing complexes it becomes really apparent that everyone’s trying to figure out how this life thing is supposed to work. They’re strategising and trying to focus on the things that seem the most important to them. But just like in the middle of a race, we get tired, exhausted, and we begin to lose focus. Sometimes we start to wonder if we’ll even be able to make it to the end.

“That’s when it helps to have someone come alongside us and tell us to hang in there. Sometimes we just need someone cheering us on, and sometimes we realise that we really need a community of people around us who are all trying to figure out this life thing, so we can do it together.”

Churches of Christ in Queensland recognises that our mission is not limited to helping individual people, but is indeed about helping whole communities. This understanding moves past the immediate delivery of services to those in need and propels us into the long and demanding work of community development.

To support Churches of Christ in Queensland’s vital Community Chaplaincy service, please donate online at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/commchap.

Your support is always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

February edition of Networking is now available

Networking_2014_02_Feb_webIn this edition of Networking, Chief Executive Officer Dean Phelan provides insight into three big issues affecting church leaders around the globe – declining church attendances and membership; caring, supporting and relating to an ageing population; and the separation of care, education and congregational membership – and highlights how we, as Churches of Christ in Queensland, are demonstrating leadership that is being increasingly recognised by government and other church and care service leaders.

As always, the publication is full of stories from across our churches and mission and care services including news about new counselling and psychology services being offered, the latest from Springwood Church of Christ’s missionary work in the Philippines, and a feature on the work of our Pastoral Care team.

Copies of Networking will be sent to all churches and services in the next few days.

Download the February edition of Networking here.

Read archived copies of Networking, Our Stories, the Strategic Plan and the Annual Report here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Networking.

Our Stories of 2013 is now available

 

Announcement - Our Stories of 2013

Our Stories of 2013 provides a snapshot of uplifting stories collated throughout 2013 from

our churches, staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to bring the light of Christ into communities throughout Queensland and Victoria.

 

In this issue, read about how Churches of Christ in Queensland celebrated its 130th anniversary, the remarkable events that have been held in Christ’s name, the selfless missionary trips that have been undertaken, the impressive new services the organisation has built and acquired, and the many ways in which we have a positive impact on the communities in which we operate.

 

We hope you enjoy Our Stories of 2013 and feel inspired by the stories of some of the amazing people featured in the publication, who go about their day touching the lives of many with their exemplary service, dedication, compassion and commitment.

 

Download Our Stories of 2013 here.

 

Read archived copies here.

Christmas is a time to remember and celebrate

As another year draws to a close and we head into this holy season, we are reminded of the paradox of life—that on one hand it is all we have, and sometimes it is all too short and tragically taken away from us; yet on the other hand, new life is birthed every day and in every way there are new possibilities.

We remember individual stories from the year that brought great sorrow. People killed, taken by war, aggression or other acts of mankind, come to mind, particularly young innocents whose lives have been cut short.

We recall the many thousands affected by natural disasters domestically and abroad, from the New South Wales bushfires to the devastating typhoon in the Philippines. Closer to home we saw the damage and human suffering caused by flooding across Queensland.

For some, this time of year is a reminder of the loss of someone we deeply loved.

Yet, paradoxically and painfully, it is often out of such terrible adversities that new life emerges. At an individual level, we are sometimes forced to take on things that we would never have dreamed of; we are forced to go deeper, to be wiser, and to trust God more. Sometimes unforeseen grace, love and possibilities emerge out of the ashes.

At a community level we heard stories that restored faith and belief in the spirit of humanity.  We witnessed tales of elderly survivors of the flooding in Bundaberg, and of scores of people opening their homes, wallets and hearts to strangers who are doing it tough. Individuals and groups of people gathered goods for those in need, provided a shoulder to cry on and simply leant a friendly ear when needed.

In all of the 100-plus communities we serve, we saw similar stories of goodwill on a daily basis, from volunteers giving freely of their time, to staff that don’t just work, but who truly care and make a difference.

At a global level, the passing of Nelson Mandela reminded us of the character attributes we all long for—courage, integrity, forgiveness, grace, humility and much more. His death focused us on what it means to be truly great and hopefully encouraged leaders throughout the world to step up a notch in terms of what real leadership can achieve.

We celebrate this time of year, Christmas, because we remember the birth of Jesus Christ. This new life came in the midst of great personal and political difficulties. Mary was a pregnant, unwed woman forced by circumstances to give birth in a stable for animals.

The king sought to murder all new born boys to eliminate a perceived threat to him. Yet, this new life changed the world.

This Christmas our staff, pastors, volunteers and teams will be working across Queensland and Victoria to achieve our mission of bringing the light of Christ to communities at a time when those on the fringe of society can often feel most disaffected and alone.

I encourage every reader to spare a thought for those that aren’t so lucky, for those that might have slipped between the cracks of life because of loss or circumstances. Seek out your neighbours at home and in your communities; do something that will encourage, uplift and perhaps create new possibilities for someone who might be doing it tough—bring some light into their world.

I wish every reader a joyful Christmas, and may the New Year bring new possibilities of life for you, no matter what your circumstances, just as it did two millennium ago.

Dean Phelan, Chief Executive Officer, Churches of Christ in Queensland

December edition of conXion is now available.

ConXion DecemberThe December edition of conXion is now available.

In this month’s edition, Andi Owen puts down the pen as Editor and brings to a close her term as Churches of Christ in Queensland’s Mission Action Partner for Women’s Ministry. Andi introduces Bundaberg Church of Christ’s Donna Savill as her replacement, thanking all readers and writers for their contribution and commitment to conXion and Women’s Ministry.

As always, conXion is full of uplifting stories from around the state, including Janette Phelan’s A journey with God: Expect the unexpected, Pam Hine’s It’s never too late; Bel Thomson’s Flying Free: Why faith trumps fear and A reason to celebrate; Stephanie Draper’s Slowly but surely; and Donna Savill’s A pleasure to work with.

There are also Prayerful reflections from Jennifer Woodley; news from Sandy Feldman and Withcott Church of Christ’s Mission Possible to Vanuatu; the latest instalment of Priscilla Gaston’s Walking with farmers; and all the excitement of the Girls’ Getaway weekend.

Remember, copies of The Church from the Paddock – A History of Churches of Christ in Queensland 1883-2013, which traces the inspiring 130-year history of Churches of Christ in Queensland, are still available here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of conXion and wish you a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year.

Download the December edition here. Read archived copies here.

Kind regards

Desley Millwood
Director of Communications