A BIG WEEK- an official address and phone number and a long conversation
The Office Opening
Our office at 7a Myall Road, Garden Suburb, 2289 and our new phone number, 49 42 2010 are possible because of the welcome given to us by The Hunter Presbytery of the Uniting Church. We have been invited to use all the facilities at this address and UnitingCare have provided us with a grant to equip the office. For this we are truly grateful.
It may seem like a small insignificant step but the opening of our office "home" was a time of great celebration- the culmination of the contributions of many, who in the preceding weeks made it the beautiful space that it is, and on the day were willing to take part in the opening as well as provide a delicious afternoon tea.
Jonathan and Elizabeth welcomed the 50 people who came as they squashed into the meeting room, and through a power point presentation we remembered our journey so far, highlighted the celebration of life that has been ours on this journey and the dreams we have as we continue our life together.
Geoff, Rev'd Felicity, Wendy, Lorraine and Michael all highlighted their interpretations of the history that we hold, with Fred introducing himself when his name was mentioned by Lorraine. We all crowded around as Rev'd Mel blessed the office- with Vivienne and Margaret doing the readings. We then proceded outside where Geoff and Rev'd Felicity provided a great photo opportunity as they signed a Memorandum Of Understanding, formalising our relationship
. The Catholic Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bishop Michael Malone, and the Minister for the Hunter, Jodi McKay cut our celebration cake. We were then free to eat and drink and enjoy the company of our guests and our friends from L'Arche Sydney, who had made the trip to be with us.
A Conversation with Christine Douglas
On Saturday 20th November, 17 people again met in much more comfort, space-wise, in the meeting room.
Christine talked with us about the "Pave the Way" programme and about identifying the gifts of people with disabilty, which is at the heart of L'Arche. She encouraged us to realise that the future starts now.
By thinking not about the disability but about the passions of each person we were able to look at what can make a good life. She urged each family to identify a person or persons who could meet with them to help them identify the goals they would like to have in their life and to build up a support circle to think "outside the square" about the way in which this could be achieved.
It was a challenging day but we hope the beginning of a new way of thinking for us as a community.
We thank Christine for being with us and for the challenges she presented to us in such a gentle way.