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Marsden Road Uniting Church Worship Pentecost 20 - 08 October 2021

October 7, 2021 - 9:43pm


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford



Sunday 10th October 2021

Pentecost 20 Sunday year of Mark 9.30 am

 Gathering God’s People

 Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Theme Focus

Families make demands on us, and Jesus talks about giving up earthly families’ demands and focusing on being part of his family with all its blessings. Job in all his suffering, stays close to God and God’s word, which is sharper than a two-edge sword. God, as our creator understands, as we pour out our pain. A wealthy man walks away from the cost of discipleship and Jesus calls us to keep faith and follow him, as part of his new family, trusting in God’s love and provision. 

Call to Worship

        Come and be blessed in God’s love. Put your trust in Jesus and his promises. We are the Jesus’ family, beloved sons and daughters of God. Let us worship God. 

In times of trouble, in times of joy ...

we call upon the name of God.

With steadfast faith, with wavering doubt ...

we call upon the name of God.

Basking in God’s presence, aching in God’s absence ...

we call upon the name of God. 

Hymn TIS 613: Lord of all hopefulness

                       (tune – Slane) 

     Opening Prayer

     Loving God, Parent of all creation, you welcome our prayer and praise as your beloved children. We come as individuals and as a community of faith, to worship you. We come with all our dreams and needs, trusting in your kindness and forgiveness. Our great desire is to draw near to your presence, to know your love more deeply and to be nurtured in our Christian life and witness. 

Prayer of Confession

Mysterious One, we cry out in our times of need—

for hope in times of despair, for faith in times of doubt, for comfort in times of grief, for grace in times of sin, and for love in times of loneliness. Answer our cry.

Be our refuge and our help. Restore our lives.

Revive our hope. Return us to the path of discipleship, where we may walk with you anew in confidence and joy.

In the name of Christ, our rock and our redeemer, we pray. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Draw near to Christ, who is our mercy and our grace, for in Christ, we are restored and made whole. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled to God.

Thanks be to God! 

The Peace

Creating us all as equals, and calling us to be generous in our faith, the Lord invites us to offer gestures of welcome as we share the peace of Christ.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.) 

Offering Prayer

How do we respond to your love and gracious to us O God?

With hearts filled with gratitude, we return these gifts from the abundance we have been given and pray that they may help build the church up, provide for the needs of all who seek justice and compassion. Amen 

Hymn TIS 589: Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult

                 (tune – St Catherine (Jones))                  

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            Hebrews 4:12-16

The Gospel Reading:                                        Mark 10:17-31

After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Readings: NRSV Translation 

Hebrews 4:12-16

12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. 14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

Mark 10:17-31

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 18 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.” ’ 20 He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 27 Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’ 28 Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ 29 Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’ 

Preaching of the Word - Possessions - Mark 10:17-31

In today’s Gospel, a man with many possessions encountered Jesus. His wealth of possessions is central to the message.

Possessions – are they good or bad? Blessings or hindrances? Deficits or potential assets?

Like many aspects of life, it all depends. But, perhaps, the more important questions are: What is this Gospel story all about? How does Jesus use the possessions to teach his disciples about God? How can possessions or anything else make all the difference in our seeking ultimate answers about the meaning of our lives?

The man with many possessions started off with a question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was looking for an inheritance – not a gift or a payment or an allowance or a reward – but an inheritance.

The Greek word quoted by Mark seems to convey exactly what it does to us. Did the man with many possessions see himself as a child of God who was due a birthright like one might expect from a parent?

Yet, the dialogue that followed his question seems more like an exercise in earning something rather than inheriting it.

Whatever the case, he wanted Jesus to tell him how to secure the benefits of God’s most fundamental values – and to find the key to a meaningful, contented, and fulfilling life.

Jesus’ initial response to “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” is also quite interesting. Referring to the Ten Commandments, he offered a list of what the man had to do to qualify.

But when the man with many possessions testified to his lifelong practice of following the commandments, Jesus sought to provoke in him, as he provokes in us, a whole new level of understanding about eternal life in God. With love for him, the Lord said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Eternal life does not mean life until the end of time. It is not about quantity, but quality. Eternal life means a deep connection with the ageless and invincible values of the Kingdom of God. Eternal life describes the quality of relationship between human beings and Christ, bringing us into a present knowledge and experience with the loving and living spirit of God.

As we consider our Lord’s encounter with the man with many possessions, we can imagine Jesus’ insight into his heart and soul. He had followed the specific, outward regulations that were spelled out in the scriptures of those of the Abrahamic tradition – but Jesus perceived that something still blocked him from total obedience to God – his many possessions. Material belongings stood in the way of his following Christ, because, having heard Jesus’ opinion that he needed to give them up, he went away shocked and grieving, stunned and defeated – perhaps with a broken heart. He could not meet the ultimate measure of obedience to God. His love of possessions blocked him from totally loving God and following Christ.

Many scholars are quick to say that this is not necessarily a teaching by Jesus against a Christian’s having material possessions, in whatever quantity. They remind us that the crisis for the man with many possessions was not how much he owned, but that the property owned him, blocking his way to unity with God.

Thinking about such views is a necessary beginning for each of us to examine in our own lives the relevance of today’s Gospel story.

Would Jesus have said to another person, “One thing you lack,” and then listed something quite different from selling possessions and giving the income to the poor? What does Jesus say to you and to me – about the one thing more that we lack? What do we need to give up, to rid ourselves of, to put behind us, that would allow us completely to follow Christ? What can blind us and deafen us from connecting with God?

What is the radical reorientation of our lives that will lead us to follow Christ? What is it that stands in the way of our becoming what God intends us to be?

It is almost certainly selfishness of one sort or another because putting ourselves first puts God second

or third. Because we do this, we become separated from the Holy Spirit’s resources.

What is it that we need to give up in order to gain what is much more valuable? Is it greed or prejudice – ignorance or pride – anger or the need to control others, the inability to acknowledge our sins of hurting others or the “things we have left undone” or something else?

Or is it, after all, a love of possessions that stand in our way of connecting with the eternal life that we can find only in God? It the fate of the man with many possessions at least in part potentially our fate? Is what stood in his way also at least in part what stands in our way, preventing us from totally connecting with God and following Christ?

We live in a culture of materialism in which we measure too much in monetary terms. We are inundated day after day, hour after hour, by advertising that insists that if we buy one thing or another that we will be happier and better off. The push for more and more material possessions insinuates itself into our lives constantly.

For the majority of us who are not impoverished – for those who do not live with severely limited resources, this is a question we must examine.

An Anglican bishop from Africa once declared to an American audience that it was much easier for the Christians of his diocese to truly know God than for those living in the United States. This is so, he stated, because most in his diocese are very poor and that condition leads them to know the need for God in every way. This is so, because their prospects of becoming rich are so remote that they focus on deeper,

more spiritual values.

Americans in contrast, he suggested, have a chance to gain nearly every material possession they want. So, we often become convinced, at least subconsciously, that we can buy happiness and meaning. This delusion can leave us void of the lasting, deep-down joy that possessions cannot bring.

Finally, it seems ironic that the man with many possessions asked about “inheriting” eternal life. The truth is, he had already inherited it – as a child of God. The God-within-him existed as a part of the created order – because he, like each of us, was created in the image and likeness of God. He had inherited God’s spirit already – he just didn’t know it. Jesus tried to open him to understanding that reality – to instruct him how to break through what blocked him from recognising and utilising the very spirit of God that he only

had to put before all else in his life.

What must we do, what must we give up, in order to recognise and put to use the eternal life that each of us has inherited?

 Hymn TIS 387: Christ is alive! Let Christians sing

                       (tune – Truro) 

Intercessory Prayers  

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with:     hear our prayer. 

Pentecost 20 Sunday – Year B

God of every family, we pray for your worldwide family

and the great creation in which you have placed them all.

We pray for places where climate change is raising sea levels,

threatening village life and food production.

May we be mindful of our contributions to climate change and be willing,

as Jesus’ disciples to be the stewards that this earth needs.

We pray for those affected by natural disasters, including the Coronavirus pandemic.

Enable the generosity needed in us and others

that will encourage the vaccines and health practices

to contain the spread and destruction caused by COVID-19.

In this moment hear too our silent prayers for the world.

A moment of silence

Jesus our brother, we pray for your Church here in our community, on this land of the Eora Nation, who first cared for this place.

Help us to be mindful of the needs of our First Peoples.

We pray for the Congress Church within the Uniting Church.

Help us find a destiny together as your people.

We pray for the Uniting Church in Australia.

We lift before you our President, our Moderator and for our Presbytery.

We pray for all the churches in our local community that our work together may reflect our commitment to serving the ways of Jesus. Bless our congregation and our mission work together.

Prayers for specific mission projects or groups

Holy Spirit, we pray for all who are sick, living with disease or infirmity; those who are lonely and in isolation, those who are in grief.

We bring to mind those we know in these situations

Give them courage to face their time of trial, comfort to deal with their pain, strength to face tomorrow and confidence to share their burdens with others.

Finally, we pray for ourselves and for those we love.

Help us with our need and share our burdens, that we will not lose hope. We pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 665: Jesus Christ is waiting

                        (tune - Noel Nouvelet) 


        Go out as brothers and sisters in faith, ready to share generously the love you have received this day, with all you meet. Go now, in hope. Go now in love. And may the peace that passes all understanding guide you along the way. Amen 

Hymn 779: May the feet of God walk with you                              (tune – Aubrey)

Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter October 2021

September 30, 2021 - 10:46pm


Marsden Road Uniting Church

 203 Marsden Road Carlingford


October 2021

       Our mission: Reflecting Christ Alive in the Community

Welcome! We gather to worship togetherat 9.30am everySunday on the homelandsof the Wallumedgal people. We acknowledge their Elders,past and present.

We hope that you will experience the presence of God in this place and among the peopleof God here. 


Psalms:26; 22: 1-15; 91: 9-16; 126;146.

Gen 2: 18-24; Amos 5: 6-7, 10-15; Isaiah 53: 4-12; Jer 31: 7-9; Deuteronomy 6: 1-9.

Mark 10: 2-16; 10: 17-31; 10: 35-45; 10: 46-52;12: 28-34.


Almighty God, yourSon has openedfor us a new and livingway into your presence. Give us pure hearts and constant wills to worshipyou in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, now and forever.Amen 


3rd October 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service 

10th October 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service 

17th October 9.30am: Lyn Graham will lead our service

24th October 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service. Guest: Davyn from Parramatta Mission

31st October9.30am DermotArmstrong will lead our service

** Zoom links for Rev John

and other leaders are different. ** 


Join us on Friday 8th October at 12.30pm. Munch your lunchwhile recalling some early childhood memories, say up to the end of Primary School.


Thank you to everyonewho participated in our private giving project in August. Foodbank has gratefully acknowledged our donations totaling $900. The church added $1000 to total $1900.

This means that 3,800 meals have been distributed to needy familiesin the community. We now have a certificate to prove it. 

Welldone everyone. 

Christian CommunityAid Service is our September and October Covid Caring project. CCAS plays a vital part in our local community and has been supported by our church financially and through food donations for many years. If youstill need to contribute, you can by:

Direct Deposit into their Bank Account

BSB: 633 000, Account150 254 514,

then enter MRUC as the reference.

Phone on 9858 3222 and mention the donation is from

someone in Marsden Road Uniting Church Congregation. Online at with MRUC as the message.

This enablesthem to acknowledge the total donations from MRUC.


Christmas boxes to fill are availablefrom Elaine duringNovember or donate on line through Samaritan’s Purse on: 


“It is with sadness that Wendy and I announce a definite date for my Retirement as your Minister of the Word at Marsden Road Uniting and our move back to our home in Adelaide. Our last Sunday with the Congregation will be the 21st of November 2021, the Feast of Christ the King before I go on my last leave. It seemed appropriate to say farewell on the last Sunday of the Churches’ Calendar year and allow a new chapter in the Congregation’s life to begin on Advent Sunday.

We have valued our time with you, and it has been a privilege to serve the people of God in this place. Sadly, though, the events of the last couple of years in regard to Covid-19 and our own health has hastened our decision for me to retire and for Wendy to move to part-time casual work in Adelaide.” 

We all say, “Go with God, dear friends.” 


Delta Era Zoom Style.Let’s collect five candles for lighting in our own homes during Advent Sunday Services from 28th November.



  REV JOHN: Meeting ID: 939 5582 8254. Passcode: 972207 

OTHER LEADERS, Church & Social Meetings:  



BPHUC is introducing “Connexions”, which comprises 2 projects:

1)     The Senior’s Infoline - a one-stop phone service to assist over 65+s gain access to any professional help they need.

2)     The Workshop - connecting people who are seeking paid work, (newly retired, refugees, unemployed), to local individuals or businesses, who need work done.

We are currently looking for volunteers with a view to launching CONNEXIONS in early November this year. Contact Marion at BPHUC on 9875 3436 if you are interested.

2021 Dates for your Diary

Friday 8th October: Zoom LockdownLunch 12.30pm

October:  Frontier Services barbecue and So They Can meeting to be advised.

Watchfor other Popupevents. 

Sunday 9th February 2025: Triumphant 200

We celebrate the 200th Anniversary of our Congregation 


Minister of the Word

   Rev John Candy 0411 267 639

       ChurchCouncil Chairperson: Warwick Roden 9874 7584

       Property bookings/enquiries: 

        WarwickRoden 9874 7584

Bank details:A/C name:Marsden Road UnitingChurch

 BSB: 634 634; A/C Number:100049856



Please send all noticesto Margaret Johnstonby Tuesday      night. email:

Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting - Marsden Missive - September October November 2021

August 27, 2021 - 12:08am


             September, October and November 2021

Marsden Missive

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford



Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with sadness that Wendy and I announce a definite date for my Retirement as your Minister of the Word at Marsden Road Uniting and our move back to our home in Adelaide, South Australia. I have written to your Church Council, the Presbytery and the Synod and informed them that our last Sunday with the Congregation will be the 21stof November 2021, the Feast of Christ the King. It seemed appropriate to say farewell on the last Sunday of the Churches Calendar year and allow a new chapter in the Congregations life to begin on Advent Sunday.

We have valued our time with you, and it has been a privilege to serve the people of God in this place. Sadly, though, the events of the last couple of years in regard to Covid-19 and our own health has hastened our decision for me to retire and for Wendy to move to part-time casual work in Adelaide.

Rev John and Wendy

Future Thinking for Congregations, from the Presbytery and the Synod of NSW and the ACT.

 Dear Friends and Family of Marsden Road,

At their meeting on 10 April 2021, the Synod of NSW and ACT approved a document called “Future Directions for the People of God on the Way.” The document captures the heart of the Future Directions proposal and summarises the key elements of the Synod strategy. While there remains further work to be done, this is the key document that will guide the review and redevelopment of Synod priorities and existing workplans.

The Synod Secretary has commended the document as a valuable guide in the discernment of missional priorities within all of our presbyteries, noting that the Future Directions: Synod Resourcing Framework will have been considered by the Synod of 2021 in the June and August sessions.

As some of you may be aware, the Sydney Central Coast Presbytery (SCCP) has had discussions on working through the next stage of this for those at the local level of the congregation. One of the initiatives by SCCP has been instituting a Church Planting Course that seeks to grow the Church. The first course was run last year and there are plans for running the course again this year from around the 11th of October through until the end of November. A common theme for all teams able to participate is the desire to build a church that would be enmeshed in the community and that would be missed if it wasn’t there.

I am also reminded that our SCCP Mission Statement is: “A Catalyst For Growing Generous, Inclusive and Courageous Churches.” 

So, this raises questions for our congregation especially as we consider our relationship to our local community, our mission field. This community, mission field is the place in which our centre of worship is situated. It is the place where we practice our faith. These questions are drawn from reflections about how we are working in our mission field. It is whether we as disciples of Jesus in the Marsden Road part of the wider Uniting Church are viable as a congregation. It is whether we can make and support disciples in this part of God’s kingdom. Firstly, though we need to ask whether we are a pilgrim people on the way to God’s promised end and how we might provide for the needs of our community as Jesus calls us to? 

From the Synod Report:

In our rapidly changing, diverse and unequal world, our communities need the Uniting Church to:

• Be those ‘fellowships of reconciliation’ imagined by the Basis of Union, so that Jesus Christ may work and

bear witness among us.

• Follow Jesus into the public square and be a prophetic voice for the sake of the Gospel, for our witness is

distinctive and requires faithful courage.

• Provide community services that are an active expression of our faith, and which address social need.

• Embrace the diversity of the communities in which we worship and serve.

• Welcome renewal, be contemporary communities, and – God willing – grow our witness to the Gospel. 

However, when we look at our situation at Marsden Road, we can see some problems in being part of this programme. The number of members able to carry out our call to make and support disciples is declining and has been declining for the last twenty years or so. Sadly, on current trends this decline is expected to continue. Although we do have a very faithful and committed membership, those we have are much older than they used to be which may hasten a further decline in numbers. The community within which we now find ourselves living has changed drastically in the last twenty years. This means that the demographics have changed. Alongside this, we at Marsden Road, are sited in the middle of four other Uniting Church Congregations which are between five- and ten-minutes’ drive away. All four of these congregations have a mission field that overlaps ours. They also draw on the same community that we do from which to make new disciples. 

Looking at these factors, the Congregation at Marsden Road needs to be doing some soul searching, especially about our role in the community we are called by God to serve. We need to deal in the realities present right here and now and not ignore the hard truths of our situation. 

I am reminded that a viable church is one that has sufficient resources (financial and human) to maintain its current level of programming, staffing, and building maintenance without depleting financial resources or the spiritual energy of the leadership. This is a good definition to have in front of us as we look carefully and prayerfully where we fit in the future mission of the Uniting Church in this place. Hopefully, our recent Life and Witness consultation might have given us not only time for our own discussions and explorations but also helped us look at our own future mission honestly and openly. 

The tenor and progress of our conversations after our Life and Witness consultation will guide the options that we choose to follow to further the mission work of the congregation. 

So, what things do we need to be looking at?

·       We need firstly to see if there are any models to enable us to meet our goal of mission.

·       Secondly, we need to be honest about whether we have the personnel with the time and energy to carry out any mission model decided upon.

·       Thirdly, will the mission be able to be carried out using our current facilities and financial resources.

·       Fourthly, if we find that we do not have the personnel, resources or facilities to continue the mission to our community, are we prepared to make the necessary changes that may be painful. It may mean letting go of some of our cherished ways and our cherished place. 

Please consider some of the following questions and feed back to your Church Council Members or the Congregational Council Chairperson your thoughts.  

·       Do you have other ideas that would be suitable for our situation, considering the need for good stewardship of our limited resources?

·       Do you have any suggestions for a different model or models that can be assessed for use in our situation?

·       Do you want to take part in change that would help us live out our faith in the gospel of love that we have been called to live out in this place?

·       Do we want to remain as a worshipping community that will eventually fade away without renewal? 

I also believe we need to accept that it is time for us to let go of preconceived assumptions about our destination and to invite God into our conversation. This is important as we require the collective effort of all of God’s people. There is no going back to the past we once knew. Yes, this congregation has a wonderful faithful history, and it has well passed the average life of a congregation of 70-80 years, but we must look forward and look forward with prayer seeking Gods guidance. 

As a congregation we have much to give thanks for. The almost 200 years of faithful service and church life of our forebears that has stood us in good stead and been the base from which we have been enabled to go out and live a faithful life that our God has called us to. We also need to recognise that our church was built for a particular time, place, and set of circumstances that no longer exist. The decline we are seeing now in the life of institutional churches in many parts of the western world is part of the greater story of how God keeps nudging us out of our comfort zones and on to that new and different country. It is our task to keep moving forward with trust, even when we are not sure where we are or where we are going. 

We need to frame the conversations we been, having as true discernment of the best way God wishes us to move forward in the ministry and mission that our God has called us to. If the questions being discussed and aired are canvassed by all in the whole congregation it will help us find our direction to carry out our individual calls. Any discussions will help those who are willing to stay together, to focus on pursuing a common mission, and not just the institution’s survival. 

Remember that the resurrection story describes a sacred community in crisis closing its church and then making Christ’s love present to the wider community by moving its spiritual home to a new site, new context or new format for a new use.

Memories of Previous Years.

(Written by Ron Burwood).

 Not so very long ago I was sitting in our Church and looking around the inside of our building and the people sitting in the pews. For some reason my mind went back to when I was a child and realised there was a huge difference between back then and now. I will explore some of these things in depth later in the article. I am sure that many of you will have similar memories of the past era. John just to let you know these following thoughts came to me well after the service and not during it!!! 

As I mentioned in my earlier article about my Methodist Roots in the Marsden Missive a couple of years ago, I grew up in Wentworthville and attended the Methodist Church there. This was a primitive weatherboard building which had been the Auburn Methodist Church. It was dismantled and re-erected at “Wenty” in 1920, and late last year its congregation celebrated its 100 years anniversary. 

That building held so many memories for many people who attended there from back then and you can see from the following photo of it taken in December 1921 just a year after its re-erection it was a very basic building but loved by all those attending there. This photo was taken from the block of land where the parsonage was erected in 1936.

754 My parents were married there on 21st March 1936, and I came along about 12 months later and was baptised in this Church on 18th April 1937 aged at 7 weeks. This commenced my long connection there until Pamela and I moved to Carlingford in 1963. 

The Church services were held in the front room of the Church and at the back there was another small room which had a very small kitchen. This room was also used for Sunday School Kindergarten, Christian Endeavour and Order of Knights meetings. It had two doorways into the Church one of which was usually used by the minister prior to the service as well as the choir, the members of which would sit on the stage in the front of the worshippers. 

Our family life on Sundays revolved around the Church as did the lives of many others. Most of Sunday was spent in the Church’s precincts at the various services and gathering as can be seen from the following activities held there on each Sunday. 

10.00 a.m. Christian Endeavour

11.00 a.m. Morning Church Service

  2.30 p.m. Sunday School

  6.45 p.m. Hymn sing song

  7.15 p.m. Evening Church Service 

Naturally families would return home for a quick lunch and then do the same for dinner except on the occasions when an evening tea would be held at the Church. This was a normal routine for many families as back then more folk attended Church. 

Back to my ideas that started me off on this story, most of which occurred to me well after the service in which I first thought about the differences. On that Sunday looking around our Church, those in attendance everyone was dressed in casual attire without the formality of the past. In the forties all of the ladies would wear their “Sunday best” dresses – no slacks or such. They would all have their lovely hats on and wore gloves and carried their best hand bag and often had a spray of flowers on their dresses. 

The men would always wear their three-piece suits and all with ties. Most would also have on their best hat which would be removed from their head as soon as they walked through the door of the Church and placed either on or under the pew where they sat. As soon as they left the Church their hats would go back onto their heads. 

The children also dressed in very much the same manner. I have a photo from 1953 of my siblings and myself and we were all dressed very much as above. My sister was 14 at the time and she had the hat and gloves and even my youngest brother at 6 years had on his suit, probably handed down. 

In addition to our Sunday activities many weeknights were taken up with other activities. One night, I think Thursdays, was for choir practice where the members would spend a couple of hours practising items for the coming Sunday. On a Tuesday night once a month the meetings for the Order of Knights and the Girls Comrades were held and they would often mingle together after the meetings finished. During the week days there were other ladies’ groups having their meetings. 

All in all, it was a very close-knit group. Many families had another Church family with whom they were very close and so this was really a combined family. 

Another difference came to mind in that whilst we take for granted our microphone and loudspeaker, our electronic computerised organ, hymns on the screen and our air conditioning system or back a few years the pew seat heat warmers none of these were evident back then and we survived with great services. Our hymn singing was enjoyed by all who all sang with gusto. This was much like our Marsden Road Congregation, but the old Wenty Methodist Church did not have the acoustics that we have here. However, many visitors who came to our services would comment on the great singing of our congregation much like the comments we sometimes get here. I can only say that this must be attributed to our Methodist background as that faith was much about the singing of hymns. 

Compared to Marsden Road Church the inside of the old Church was very stark as can be seen from the following photo. This is the only photo I have of the inside of the Church was when it was decorated for my parents’ wedding in 1936 but it never changed during the period to which I am covering.


Of course, the decorations and horseshoes on the pews as well as the wedding arch were only evident for weddings. However, on Sundays the ladies always had plenty of flowers around the front of the Church the same as Marsden Road. The minister’s pulpit was on the left-hand side next to the window and in front of this was the piano. On the right-hand side was the organ which was a pedal organ and was hard work for the organist. I know that when my mother played, she was rather tired after the service. Behind the railing in place for the wedding, was the stage and at the back of the stage one can see an arch which had the words "Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness" in gold lettering painted on it. 

I must direct your attention to the pews which if you look carefully, you will note that they are basically a piece of timber mounted on a frame, no cushions, and the backs of them are another piece of timber, a rail of about 15 x 4 cms on metal rods so that they could be moved back and forth, more on the pews later. So, a huge difference!! 

On Sunday afternoons our Kindergarten Sunday School had its classes in the back room with little tables and chairs. The Senior Sunday School would use the Church itself and use the pews for seating but no tables. When it came time for lessons the youngsters would sit on the pews after swinging across the backs of every second one of them so that the class could sit on these facing each other. Most of the children would bring their own Bible to Sunday School. 

For two Sundays each year the Sunday School Anniversary would be held in the Church. On the Friday night and Saturday before this the menfolk would come to the Church erect tiers of seating for the youngsters to sit on for the services. This seating consisted of a heavy wooden frame and seats unlike the easier to erect metal ones we had at Marsden Road, so it was hard work. Then of course afterwards it had to be pulled apart and stored away until next year. 

Another memory comes back about the Remembrance Day Service held each year by the combined Churches on the closest Sunday to the 11th of November. The Service Personnel would have a march along the streets of Wenty ending up at the local theatre “The Regent” where the service was held. Congregations of the various Churches would attend as did the ministers who all took part in the service. The theatre was always packed! All very impressive for us when we were young. 

Of course, we also had our Sunday School picnics each year in much the same way as our Marsden Road Church did many years ago. There were a number of places where these were held but the kids could not wait to get there to get a cream bun as soon as we arrived. Then we held the usual races and other activities. The menfolk usually wore their suits! 

Back then the senior people of the congregation usually addressed each other as Mr. or Mrs. and rarely were Christian names used. After we were married Pamela and I joined the Couples Club and there the rule was that all members were addressed by their Christian names. I found this very difficult, and it took some time to get used to using Christian names for those I had always called Mr. or Mrs. 

For Church Socials or maybe parties the Church would be used, and this involved moving all the very heavy pews to around the walls of the Church and then replaced after the function was over. Never any dancing as back then it was banned by the Methodists so often some of the young people would go across the road to the Presbyterian Church where dances were held. 

One other memory of those old days was from when I was 10 years old and in 5thclass at school. The minister of our Church at that time was the Rev R. S. Walker and he was very much liked and respected. Each week he would take the scripture class at Wentworthville Public School and the kids enjoyed having him. He had a good rapport with them and during 1947 he asked the kids from the school group to learn Psalm 121 which as you will know starts with “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help”. Then if a student felt that he or she was ready Rev. Walker would ask them to recite the psalm. If any of the students did this successfully, he would present them with a pocket size New Testament and on the front page he inscribed their name “with best wishes from your friend R. S. Walker” and the date. On the inside front cover, he wrote “Psalm 121” and inside the back cover “G. I. L.” – God is Love. If Rev. Walker met one of the youngsters anywhere, he would say “121” and to which the child would reply “G. I. L.”. I still have mine after 74 years and Psalm 121 is probably my favourite psalm. I do not think that anything like this would take place today. 

After the new Wentworthville Methodist Church was built in 1956 the old Church building was used as its hall until a new one was built some years later. Now it has been used by a variety of groups and currently is used by a group called “Playtime Friends” on three days a week catering for children under school age, this started as a group for 8 children of Church families in 1988 and has been running since under the guidance of many Church folk. These days there are children attending from outside of the church and some of their mothers are helpers as well. 

It is amazing what memories one little thought can bring back and this shows that there was so much difference in the eras. I am sure that many of you will have similar thoughts as mine.


SERVICES for September 2021, October 2021,

November 2021, 



Hebrew Scripture



Sep 06

Pent 14

Ex 12:1-14

Rom 13:8-14

Mt 18:15-20

Sep 13

Pent 15

Ex 14:19-31

Rom 14:1-12

Mt 18:21-35

Sep 20

Pent 16

Ex 16:2-15

Phil 1:21-30

Mt 20:1-16

Sep 27

Pent 17

Ex 17:1-7

Phil 2:1-13

Mt 21:23-32






Oct 04

Pent 18

Ex 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

Phil 3:4b-14

Mt 21:33-46

Oct 11

Pent 19

Ex 32:1-14

Phil 4:1-9

Mt 22:1-14

Oct 18

Saint Luke

Si 38:1-4,6-10,12-14

2 Tim 4:5-13

Lk 4:14-22

Oct 25

Pent 21

Dt 34:1-12

1 Thess 2:1-8

Mt 22:34-46






Nov 01

All Saints

Rev 7:9-17

1 Jn 3:1-3

Mt 5:1-12

Nov 08

Pent 23

Jos 24:1-3a, 14-25

1 Thess 4:13-18

Mt 25:1-13

Nov 15

Pent 24

Judges 4:1-7

1 Thess 5:1-11

Mt 25:14-30

Nov 21

Xt the King

Eze 34:11-16, 20-24

Eph 1:15-23

Mt 25:31-46

Nov 29

Advent Year B

Is 64.1-9

1 Cor 1:1-9

Mk 13:24-37






 Worship will be by Zoom On-line, Website, Facebook, until the UCA Synod of NSW and ACT under Government and Health guidance decide that it is safe for us to use and worship in the Church again.




September 2021

2     10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

5     9.30am Pentecost 15 Service Holy

       Communion - Zoom

7     ACOMP Executive Meeting

       7.30pm MRUC Elders Meeting

9     12.30pm PRC Meeting

12   9.30am Pentecost 16 Sunday Service - Zoom

15   10am PYPP Team Meeting

16   10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

17   9.30am Moderator's Day Of Refreshment: Pittwater

19   9.30am Pentecost 17 Sunday Service - Zoom

20   MRUC Equinox Outing tbc.

21   SCCP Clergy Retreat starts with venue 


       10am ACOMP Full Meeting

23   SCCP Clergy Retreat finishes

       SCCP Business Committee Meeting

23   7.30am Local Ministers Breakfast Meeting - Zoom

26   9.30am Pentecost 18 Sunday Service - Zoom 

October 2021

3     9.30am Pentecost 19 Service Holy Communion – Zoom

5     ACOMP Executive Meeting

       SCCP Standing Committee Meeting

7     10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

10   9.30am Pentecost 20 Sunday Service – Zoom tbc

11   New Growth intensive - Church Planting Course SCCP:


14   12.30pm PRC Meeting 

17   9.30am Pentecost 21 Sunday Service – Guest Preacher

18   Saint Luke’s Day

       New Growth intensive- Church Planting Course SCCP:


19   10am ACOMP Full Meeting

20   10am PYPP Team Meeting

21   10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

       SCCP Business Committee Meeting

22   7.30am Local Ministers Meeting (Zoom)

24   9.30am Pentecost 22 Sunday Service – Guest Preacher          

       from Parramatta Mission

       Frontier Services BBQ after Service

25   Church Planting Course SCCP: Going

28   7.30am Local Ministers Breakfast Meeting

31   9.30am Pentecost 23 Sunday Service      

November 2021

1     All Saints Day

       PRC Agenda Meeting

Church Planting Course SCCP: Resourcing

2     ACOMP Executive Meeting

       4.15pm SCCP Standing Committee Meeting

4     10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

7     9.30am All Saints Sunday Service Holy  


11   12.30pm PRC Meeting 

14   9.30am Pentecost 25 Sunday Service

15   Church Planting Course SCCP: Leading

16   10am ACOMP Full Meeting

17   10am PYPP Team Meeting

       SCC Presbytery meeting

18   10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

       SCCP Business Committee Meeting

21   9.30am Christ the King Sunday Service

       Last Sunday of rev John with Marsden Road Congregation

22   Church Planting Course SCCP: Establishing

28   9.30am Advent Sunday Service

29   PRC Agenda Meeting 

   Church Planting Course SCCP: Presenting


Church Council 

Face-to-Face Worship

With the current Lock Down situation throughout Greater Sydney it was agreed that face-to-face worship does not look a possibility until at least the end of October and maybe even Christmas. We will continue with Zoom meeting and Worship for the foreseeable future. 

Parramatta Mission

It is planned that we will have Davyn from Parramatta join us for worship on the Sunday of October 24th, 2021 and share further on the work of the mission. This will enable us to hear more of the work of the Mission and ways in which we can support them, especially with the added problem of Covid Lock Down and Christmas coming up. 

Life and Witness Consultation

The Life and Witness Consultation continues, and a report will be done soon by the Consultants and sent to us and the Presbytery people that deal with such things. Life and Witness is something that every congregation goes through every five years. 

Mission Statement

A revision of this by Elders has not yet occurred owing to time constraints.  It is anticipated this will occur at the next meeting. 

National Church Life Survey

This is to occur during October/November this year.  After discussion it was agreed, as copies of the survey need to be ordered, that forty (40) should be available online and twenty (20) on paper. 

Future Covid Support

The Treasurer reported that a Presbytery Zoom meeting was scheduled for 20th August, for treasurers to discuss qualifying for Federal Governments Covid grants. Also, an email has been received via Presbytery from Synod concerning these NSW Government financial assistance offerings. At present the Treasurer believes we do not qualify but we will know more after the Zoom meeting. 

Finance Position 

During Covid-19 last year Marsden Road Congregation survived financially with Government grants of $31,900 but these supports ceased in Jan 2021. We have had deficits for the last five months. This trend is of some concern as it will begin to affect what we are able to do missionally over the coming months.  Please consider prayerfully whether you are able to help Marsden Road bridge that gap in our giving versus ministry and mission costs which goes to deciding our viability.


A kindergarten teacher was walking around observing her classroom of children while they were drawing pictures. As she got to one girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."Without looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."


Christian Community Aid (CCA) provides a diverse range of support services to people living, working and studying in the Ryde, Parramatta and Hornsby Local Government Areas. 

Their vision is to engage with the community to enable better

lives. For 50 years they have been working to provide personalised, timely and innovative support that addresses the existing and emerging needs of people. CCA aims to develop resources and capacity that will contribute to strong, inclusive and resilient communities. 

Thank you to all who support this very worthy cause including bringing to Marsden Road Church non-perishable food items. Please remember that even the smallest contribution helps.



 Our mission: to reflect Christ alive in the Community

You are Welcome to join us at Marsden Road Uniting!  We gather to worship together at 9.30am every Sunday morning. We hope that you will experience the presence of God in this place and among the people of God here. All are welcome.


Email Address:



Answer To Children’s Puzzle.

Parramatta Mission Update amid COVID-19

As a church that provides hospitality, community and

clinical services, Parramatta Mission are at the forefront of supporting individuals, families and communities who are disadvantaged, vulnerable & doing it tough.

During this difficult time of COVID-19 Parramatta Mission continues to assist those in need. 

On the frontline, Meals Plus is operating as an essential service. In fact, our work here has never been more vital as more people in the community face increased hardship.

Our prayers for our services and the staff who are on the frontline facing the impact of Covid-19 would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to contribute to their work at this time, please visit   


 A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" 

Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping" 

Advent Reflection

Advent Starts 28 November 2021 

"The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come." 

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

"God of hope, I look to you with an open heart and yearning spirit. During this Advent season, I will keep alert and awake, listening for your word and keeping to your precepts. My hope is in you." ~ Matthew Kelly 

What Is Advent? History & Meaning 

For many Christians unfamiliar with the liturgical year, there may be some confusion surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. Some people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there’s more to Advent. 

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and his first miracle at Cana. 

During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas. 

By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.

Advent Wreath and Candles

The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays. 

Eventually, the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life He makes possible. Advent candles are often nestled in the evergreen wreath. Additional decorations, like holly and berries, are sometimes added. Their red colour points ahead to Jesus’ sacrifice and death. Pinecones can symbolize the new life that Jesus brings through His resurrection. 

Families begin lighting a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and they light another candle each subsequent Sunday. 

The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. The four candles traditionally represent hope, faith, joy, and peace. Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose coloured. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Advent and Christian Life

While Advent is certainly a time of celebration and anticipation of Christ’s birth, it is more than that. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated, and it is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes any sense. It is between the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming and the yet-to-be-fulfilled promise of his second coming that Karl Barth penned these words: “Unfulfilled and fulfilled promise are related to each other, as are dawn and sunrise. 

Both promise and in fact the same promise. If anywhere at all, then it is precisely in the light of the coming of Christ that faith has become Advent faith, the expectation of future revelation. But faith knows for whom and for what it is waiting. It is fulfilled faith because it lays hold on the fulfilled promise.” The promise for Israel and the promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent.

Categories: Syndicated Blogs