Refugee Sewing Group Celebrates 15 years of operation

Fifteen years ago this month as the result of an enquiry to Diversitat by the Mission Outreach Ministry Team as to how St Luke’s could support newly arrived refugees in Geelong the request came back as to ‘would it be possible to teach some of the newcomers’ mainly from South Sudan and Liberia at that time ‘to use Sewing machines’.

Some of the ladies of the Church agreed that they would be willing to teach the newcomers, and with the support of Geelong Lions and Highton Rotary as well as some generous donations of material a group commenced in October 2005.

The first group commenced in the Fellowship Room with some donated Sewing machines which were stored on the Hall Stage until we were able to purchase a set of eight machines.  Subsequently with the refurbishment of the Chapel the Sewing Group moved there. Overlockers, sewing machines and material are continuously donated for the ladies.

Since that time one hundred and ten ladies have participated in the group, thirty five ladies led by Val England have tutored and six people have driven the bus to transport the ladies to sewing.

Whilst the Sewing has assisted many of the ladies to develop skills and make garments for their family members the greatest aspect has been the interaction between the tutors and the participants and between the participants with some enduring friendships developing.

The underlying message is that the opportunity for Ministry often occurs in unexpected places, all we need to do is listen carefully and find ways to respond.

Mental Health Seminar Sunday 13th October

Mental Health Seminar at St. Luke’s Uniting Church

Sunday October 13th, 2019
1.00 pm to 4.00 pm

Afternoon tea provided

An introduction to the signs, symptoms and strategies to help a person developing or experiencing mental illness.

Better understanding facilitates in reducing stigma and fosters social inclusion in communities which is important for self-growth and relapse prevention.

Input will include:

  • Mental illness, facts and figures
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Ageing and Mental Health

The seminar will be led by Karen Spinks.

Karen Spinks has worked in Mental Health for 35 years across a broad range of areas including the acute, homeless, families and youth as well as the education sectors. More recently she has focused on Mental Health First Aid Training both the Standard and Aged course in an aim to help communities better understand the prevalence and interventions that can assist in helping people with mental health issues.

This seminar is for anyone who wants to learn more about mental illness and how to offer support to others.

Attendees will be asked to consider making a $10 or $5 donation at the door towards the cost of the seminar.

For more information contact: St Luke’s Uniting Church Office,

Phone: (03) 5244 2997


Weekly Update 22nd September 2019

Weekly update

Here’s the update for this week.  October is looking very busy for St. Luke’s, so be sure to check these dates and pop them into your calendar!

Weekly Update 22nd September 2019

Prayers for Climate Action


UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has urged all people of the Uniting Church to show support for the global climate strike on 20 September as Pacific nation leaders declared a climate crisis this week.

Leaders at the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders’ Summit meeting in Fiji expressed their deep concern for the lack of “comprehension, ambition or commitment” shown by developed nations to the grave consequences of climate change facing the people of the Pacific.

In a statement called the Nadi Bay Declaration, Pacific leaders called for immediate action on a ‘climate crisis’, joining the global movement declaring a global climate emergency.

Read more here

Those of you with Facebook access may recognise our St Luke’s Congregation Chairperson in some of these photographs of the Geelong Climate Strike on Friday the 20th of September:

Patrick Callow Photos

Mental Health Month in October

See what the  UCA community is up to in Kew, making a place of belonging for people with mental illness:

Stay tuned for information about our Mental Health first aid training in October at St Luke’s!



Uniting Winter Appeal

Warm food and warm clothes are everyone’s priority at this time of the year. Uniting Barwon has been busy distributing food and clothing to people feeling the cold and having to manage their winter bills whilst feeding their families.

You can help families by donating the following items:

  • Soup, pasta sauces, long life milk, noodles, cooking oil, tinned vegetables, tuna and rice for the preparation of nutritious meals.
  • Warm clothing such as children’s track pants (sizes 8 to 12), girls leggings and men’s track pants (M,L & XL).
  • Material aid such as cutlery and saucepans are in demand for clients moving into what is often their first home.                    


You can also add your financial support by donating to Uniting’s Winter Appeal here.

Recycling to help others

Did You Know??

The bread tags you are putting into the Recycling Bay in our foyer are being made into seedling trays. The proceeds are used to provide wheelchairs for the needy in South Africa.  “ Bread Tags for Wheelchairs”  has been running in South  Africa since 2006. At present about  500kg of bread tags are collected per month in South Africa, funding 2-3 wheelchairs.

The plastic bottle tops from milk and fruit juice can be recycled also. We will drop them off at Encompass Community Services. They are then taken to Envision Hands who create bespoke aids out of the bottle caps with 3D printers, which are then donated to children in need.


View this post on Instagram


🖐For young James Quinn, it’s a helping hand like no other. The four-year-old boy has been given a Batman-inspired prosthetic hand, thanks to an innovative and environmentally-friendly organisation based in the west. James, who was born with an underdeveloped hand, was last week presented with a plastic “Phoenix Hand” which will assist him in learning how to manipulate his hand muscles and provide mobility support. The Phoenix Hand was created at the Werribee-based Envision Hands, a joint venture between charity Envision and the Wyndham Rotary Club. Swipe▶️for more 📸 @aawalkerphoto 📸 Link in bio✅ Alesha Capone🖊📰 #prosthetichand #prosthetic #phoenixhand #mobility #mobilitysupport #newage #prosthetics #werribee #envisionhands #envision #wyndhamrotaryclub #melton #recylced #amazing #technolgy #innovation #engineering #science #tech #technews #batman #envisionhandsproject #westisbest #melbswest #cocacolafoundation

A post shared by Star Weekly (@star_weekly) on

From St Luke’s Environment Action Group

St Luke’s will not be a polling place for Federal Election

The AEC has informed us that they will not be using St. Luke’s Hall as a polling place for the Federal Election on the 18th of May.  If you know people who regularly vote here, you might want to give them a “heads up”!

Sadly this will leave a hole in our fundraising for 2019, so if anyone has some brilliant ideas for another fundraiser, our ministry teams would love to hear from you!

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

Orchestra Geelong 2019 Concert Series commencing Sunday March 31

Concert One:  Czech Please – Sunday March 31 2019 at 3.00pm – pre concert talk at 2:30pm.  Selected movements from the 8th and 9th symphonies of beloved Czech composer Antonin Dvorak.  

Conductor: Mark Shiell Guest

Soloists: Renowned duo Peter Sheridan and Lisa-Maree Amos will perform Domenico Cimarosa’s Concerto for Two Flutes.

More information: Orchestra Geelong

For the Joy of Singing the Classics 2-5pm Sunday 7th April

For the Joy of Singing the Classics is a concert series hosted by The Geelong Chorale, when choral singers get together to sing through a choir work on a Sunday afternoon with a guest conductor and accompanist.  The program is intended to give us an opportunity to sing through music that we might not otherwise get to perform. There are no auditions and there is no concert; we just have the joy of singing together for the afternoon.

Chorale provides the music and afternoon tea, and the venue is St Luke’s Uniting Church, Barrabool Road, Highton. It costs $15 per singer and $5 per listener.

On the 7th of April, Tom Healey will lead us through Orff’s Carmina Burana

We welcome singers and listeners, but anyone wanting to come MUST REGISTER with Anne Pilgrim on 0412 524 316 or so we have enough music and afternoon tea!