Surrey Hills
Uniting Church

 
 

Faith Education

Our church encourages faith education for people of all ages. Currently, we offer the following opportunities:

Bible Study

On Thursdays at 8pm a group meets at the church to discuss the Bible passages for the coming Sunday. This group also gives priority to faith issues raised by participants, and explores other options for study. Leadership is provided by the minister. New members are welcome.

Learning Groups

Learning Groups (Sunday School) for primary aged children are held every Sunday except when we have All Age worship. The groups are facilitated by church members using lectionary based mainstream resources. On most Sundays, the young people join in the worship service and leave for their Learning Groups after about 20 minutes. On the first Sunday of each month, the young people commence in the Learning Groups and later join worship to share in Holy Communion.

Children aged 10-14 participate in a group facilitated by our Childrens Worker, in which they share in discussion and activities that focus on the Bible and the church's teachings about Jesus. New members are welcome.

Contact (primary aged children)

Annabel McCooke
9898 5236
annabel@mccooke.id.au

Baptism

Baptism (like Holy Communion) is a sacrament of the church through which God sustains his people in faith, hope and love as disciples of Jesus Christ. The baptismal liturgy contains the following words:

Obeying the words of the Lord Jesus, and confident of his promises, the church baptises those whom he has called. Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ Jesus. By water and the Holy Spirit we’re brought into union with Christ in his death and resurrection. In baptism, we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit, made members of the body of Christ, and called to his ministry in the world.

On 27 April 2014, we baptised one of the children in our congregation, and three of our members shared why they believe in Jesus:

I was born into a Christian family, and a friendly church – that was a plus. But I was educated to believe nothing without a rational foundation – that was a minus. I loved the liturgies about a God who cared for humanity, but saw on every side the random cruelty of the world. The more I tried to study and pray, the less certainty there seemed about what happened 2000 years ago, but the more I was entranced by the wisdom and kindness of believers. So I stayed in the church, trying to reconcile my doubts. Now I recognise different dimensions of truth – literal, metaphoric and spiritual. We can never have empirical proof of any spiritual belief, but we don’t need answers to all our questions to grasp that the most powerful expression of God’s nature came in the life of Jesus, and in his death and survival beyond death. And Jesus offered – not an easy path – but a tough new order ruled by compassion and love. So I want to be one of the people who keep trying to follow that path. (Gwenda)

I feel like I can relate to Thomas (see John 20:26-29). Sometimes the busyness of life can leave my faith in God drowned out like a small voice in a noisy crowd. If I slow down a bit and stop to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world, I begin to see things differently. At these times it is hard to believe that we could be here without a wonderfully creative God. Secular society has plenty to teach us about how to get ahead and be successful, and what is wrong with people in this group or that. I am not convinced that these messages form a positive foundation for our lives. The message of the gospel of humility and love offers hope for me, and seems to be a really positive message to believe and build our lives on. Like the fellow in the Bible, who once said to Jesus, I believe, help my unbelief, I need a faith community to help me focus on and refine my beliefs. (Dave)

The reason I believe in God, Jesus and the Bible is because I was brought up to. My parents and grandparents are Christians and live their lives believing in the stories. They have taken me to church to learn more about them. Because of doing this I am beginning to understand and believe these stories. A way I like to think that helps me believe in God is that I can relate God to my life. Like, the way God loves me is like the way my grandparents love me, and the way that God knows everything is like mum does (well most of the time). (Millie)

Confirmation

Confirmation offers people an opportunity to reflect intentionally on the faith of the church and choose if they wish to make this faith their own through ongoing participation in the life and witness of the church. Confirmation is a journey of study, conversation and reflection that prepares people to become disciples of Jesus Christ. The formal process concludes with a service of confirmation that begins the life long journey of discipleship. Tessa Faulks shared the following words when she and four other young people were confirmed on 2 June 2013:

'I sit in class and many arguments between me and my fellow class mates are about what actually happened in last week’s episode of Doctor Who or whether this person would look nice in that dress. But occasionally an argument arises where I am put in the position of defending my beliefs of Christianity, in conjunction with scientific theories. In today’s society you will rarely find a teenager and their family who goes to a church service on Easter or Christmas morning, let alone on frequent Sundays. I don’t know one girl in my year level of 65 who goes to church and therefore I sometimes find myself in a sticky situation when trying to explain my beliefs. I am purely science based, and my subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics are always challenging my knowledge and belief in God and Christ. When the path of confirmation was opened to me, I took the option in hope that I would be able to counteract the arguments that I frequently find myself facing. I was also hoping that by being confirmed I would also have a greater understanding of the Christian values and therefore allowing me to live my life in the most fulfilling way possible. But being confirmed has been more than that. It has been a journey, and as Rob always tells us, it is only the beginning. Instead of trying to convince my friends that there is a God who sent his Son to die for our sins, I have realised that they will find their own paths and that God will lead them in the right direction. To have faith in Christianity is harder than learning about gravity or how water molecules are joined, because you believing in something that is intangible and can’t be seen. But within a welcoming and nurturing community like the one we are lucky to be a part of, the support and ability to believe and learn is easier than counting to three. This journey of Confirmation hasn’t ended but only just begun, with so much to learn I am excited to what the ups and downs will reveal.'

October/November at SHUC

Sunday October 1st 10:00 am
Worship & Holy Communion
(Rev. Rob Gotch)

Sunday October 8th 10:00 am
Worship
(Rev. Rob Gotch)

Sunday October 15th 10:00 am
Worship & Learning Group
(Rev. Rob Gotch)

Sunday October 22nd 10:00 am
All Age Worship
(Rev. Rob Gotch)

Sunday October 29th 10:00 am
Worship & Learning Group
(Rev. Rob Gotch)

 

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