Take time this Christmas to stop and give thanks

Merry ChristmasA Christmas message from Dean Phelan, Chief Executive Officer, Churches of Christ in Queensland

This year is almost over but not before we gather to celebrate Christmas, each in our own special way. Christmas can be a difficult time for some of us bringing to the fore memories of lost loved ones or past family conflicts; For others it is looked-forward-to time of extended connecting with the people that we love.  It really is a privilege to have the freedom to celebrate this holiest of occasions.

This Christmas, I encourage all readers to take a few moments to stop and look around you – to be present in the now, and to look with fresh eyes, from your family to your workplace and truly see those who have made a difference to you and those around them. Bring some light into their world with two simple words, thank you.

Over the past 12 months we have seen many memorable events to give us cause to stop and be thankful for what we have and what we sometimes take for granted.

From the unfathomable loss of hundreds of lives aboard airliners, beheadings of innocents to the passing of celebrities and sporting greats, there have been immense outpourings of public grief for those that we know and those we have never met. For the time we share with loved ones, for those that searched for the missing and care for those left behind, we are thankful.

The widespread outbreak of Ebola and other illnesses claimed many lives during the year, but has spurred individuals and nations to act together to alleviate the suffering these afflictions have caused and stop their spread. This is a truly heroic task and one that we continue to be thankful for.

Natural disasters again shook our local communities, from hailstorms to fires; thankfully we were spared wide loss of life and serious injury, despite the widespread damage to property.

Abroad however, other countries weren’t safe from the ravages of nature’s power or that of civil war and terrorist acts. Think of those who are lost and affected and be truly thankful we have been spared.

We too must be thankful that in Australia we have the right to practise religious freedom, no matter what we believe, or not believe in. Other countries aren’t so lucky and this year we saw further acts of oppression and violence against those with differing beliefs and ideals.

The G20 came to Brisbane and thanks to good planning, a spirit of collaboration and the laidback Australian way of life, we were spared the troubles that have marred similar events previously. We hope and pray the G20 talks lead to positive change for the world.

The spirit of giving, both locally and abroad, were shown through the raising of funds and awareness from everything from worldwide ice bucket challenges to our own Connect 2014 dinner, generating generous donations for our community chaplains.

During 2014 we watched as some heroes fell and new ones were created, all the while not realising that we are surrounded by heroes and can be heroes ourselves.  Thankfully heroic acts can be seen in sometimes unheralded work such as protecting children and caring for the elderly. You too can be a hero simply by volunteering or donating.

Personally I am thankful that this Christmas our staff, pastors, and volunteers will be working across Queensland and Victoria, as they have done 24/7 throughout the year, bringing the light of Christ into communities.

We, along with those from countless other Christian organisations, are thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ, who brought joy and light into the world with His arrival at Christmas. He truly is the reason for the season and in His name we give thanks.

I wish everyone a great Christmas, and may the Light of the Lord fill you with hope, joy, courage and love both now and always.  May the New Year bring you new moments and people to be thankful for.

Dean Phelan

Chief Executive Officer

Churches of Christ in Queensland

December edition of Networking now available.

CoverIn the December edition of Networking we look at our Celebrate 2014 weekend, including Centrifuge Conference, Annual General Meeting and gala Awards Dinner. You can read the round-up of this exciting weekend, which saw a record number of attendees at Centrifuge and the Awards Dinner. There is also the full list of people who received Excellence in Service Awards, Special Recognition Awards and those recognised for their Years of Service. It was a wonderful weekend and we look forward to Celebrate 2015, 20-21 November.

You will also read about finding hope this Christmas through stories from prison chaplaincy, aged care chaplaincy and Access Place Psychology and Counselling Service. There are also stories about how HumeRidge Church of Christ has looked to the sky for their power needs; missions to help the less fortunate overseas; a new $10.5 million development for seniors on Brisbane’s south side; and information about how you can help refugees in your community.

Networking also delves into how Housing Services has helped two desperate families from very different circumstances to turn their lives around.  The history series continues, with a look at the work of John Thompson in 1893 in Childers who helped indentured labourers from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands who worked on the cane fields.

Download the December edition of Networking here. Read archived copies of Networking, Our Stories and the Annual Report here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Networking.

Desley Millwood

Director of Communications

Annual Report now available

Churches of Christ in Queensland 2013-14 Annual ReportAt this link you will find the Churches of Christ in Queensland Annual Report 2013-14.

The Annual Report provides an overview of our key achievements and activities for the financial year to 30 June 2014 including the allocation of valuable funding assistance.

This year’s Annual Report also features a fresh new look that emphasises our mission of bringing the light of Christ into communities.

During the financial year we have advanced our work in delivering upon the goals set out in the Strategic Plan 2011-16, the progress of which is contained within pages 24 to 28.

The Annual Report provides you with detailed reports on all areas in which we operate to serve the community.  Also contained is the Consolidated Annual Financial Report for Churches of Christ in Queensland which demonstrates that all areas continue to work together as one body.

Showcasing the achievements of the organisation, the 2013-14 Annual Report also recognises individuals and teams whose hard work and commitment underpins the delivery of quality ministry, services and care.

If you require a hard copy of the Annual Report, please contact Jane Curtis on 07 3327 1620 or email communications@cofcqld.com.au.

Thank you for your continued support throughout the past year.

October edition of Networking is now available.

August Networking now available.
In this month’s Networking, Chief Executive Officer Dean Phelan talks about the opening of the new Mackay Men’s Shed, and looks at mental health and how Churches of Christ in Queensland are making a real difference to the mental health of many thousands of people every week. Dean also gives an overview of the Strategic Plan 2010-14 Report Card which will be presented at November’s Annual General Meeting and talks about the challenges Churches of Christ in Queensland faces in the next three to five years.

As always, Networking is full of stories from across our churches and mission and care services, including a review of our child protection week activities, a round up of the Connect 2014 Dinner, recognition for two outstanding retirement living managers, Nubeena Retirement Village’s awarding winning gardens, a brief history of Church of Christ in Toowoomba, and 1,000 customers find refuge at The Well.

Networking also delves into mental health, the facts and how you can help someone you know who is struggling.

Don’t forget, Celebrate 2014 is fast approaching and features the Centrifuge Conference, Annual General Meeting and Awards Dinner, and will be held at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 November. You can get your tickets here.

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

Download the October edition of Networking here. Read archived copies of Networking, Our Stories and the Annual Report here.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Networking.
Desley Millwood
Director of Communications

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

August Networking now available.

In this month’s Networking, Chief Executive Officer Dean Phelan talks about the new Churches of Christ Campus at Kenmore, and the changes we, and the world, have seen since the last sod turning on the site 50 years ago.

As always, Networking is full of stories from across our churches and mission and care services, including the marking of significant milestones for Sunnybank Church of Christ who celebrated 100 years, Hervey Bay Church of Christ reaching 40 years, and Buderim Early Childhood Centre serving the local community for 20 years.

Networking also delves into the new Churches of Christ Campus at Kenmore, what it will look like, what it means for the organisation and what happened at the ground breaking event on 6 August.

Don’t forget, Celebrate 2014 is fast approaching and features the Centrifuge Conference, Annual General Meeting and Awards Dinner, and will be held at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 November. Please note that nominations are now open for the Excellence in Service Awards which will be presented during the Awards Dinner, so take this opportunity to nominate staff or volunteers who are bringing the light of Christ into communities. We will soon have promotional posters and brochures available for you to help promote this wonderful weekend.

Download the August 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

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.