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Living Faith Church

We are a community of diverse people doing our best to live a life grounded in the love of Jesus and his teachings. We seek to be a positive presence in our workplaces and neighbourhoods, and bring the hope of Christ into our real life. We are formed by the cooperation of the Uniting Church and Church of Christ in Greensborough, with the belief that we can do more for Jesus together than we could apart.

Worship helps us to engage with God’s story of love, challenging us to grow as people. Our relationships with one another help us to go deeper and see the love of Jesus as it has formed and transformed others. Serving helps us to see God’s Spirit at work in the world, and join in with the opportunities to love all people as God has loved us.

Here are some heartfelt words from our church community in early 2024 expressing what they enjoy about being part of Living Faith Church . . .

  • “The strong feeling of welcome and acceptance of all”
  • “Knowing that we reach out to our local community”
  • “Gathering in Life Groups - it is a joy and a support”
  • “Knowing we are from different denominational backgrounds yet united in our common love for Our Lord is very powerful”
  • “Seeing the compassionate heart for people in need”
  • “Being part of a big group and developing friendships”
  • “There's a real sense of care” 
  • “Knowing that people will pray for you if you need it”
  • “Worshipping together – Friends, Inclusivity, Social justice, Relaxed atmosphere”
  • “Scripture-based services”
  • “The reflective and uplifting message that is part of our weekly worship service”
  • “Knowing that as a member of this congregation, I am loved, accepted, and upheld in prayer”
  • “The interactions and connections between generations”


A short history of the Greensborough Regional Church of Christ

In the early 1960s, the Ivanhoe church (now part of Northern Community Church) felt the need for another church between the Ivanhoe and Hurstbridge churches. For its first few years, the Briar Hill church, as it was then, was an offshoot of the Ivanhoe church, with its finances part of the Ivanhoe budget and a shared ministry and membership.

In 1964, the Ivanhoe church borrowed $7,000 for the land on Lorraine Drive.

On 5th of December 1965, the Briar Hill church's first service and the building's opening occurred.  A.B. Withers preached the sermon at the opening service. He was the minister at Northcote, and later provided some pastoral support when the church was between ministerial appointments.

In 1969, another $1,400 and $20,00 were borrowed to build the road and church, respectively. 

There were 45 people listed as having membership in the church. Three of them are members today.

One of the members read one of the readings at the first service and at the 21st Anniversary service. Some other current members joined the church very early. As the church grew, it gradually distanced itself from its close ties with Ivanhoe. 

In 1969, full independence was achieved, with a membership of about 80 and a full-time minister.

In addition to Ivanhoe, there was support from another 8 churches: Fairfield, Fitzroy North, Hurstbridge, Northcote, Preston, Preston East, Preston West, Thornbury and Reservoir. The furnishing of the original church was financed from funds from the then-defunct Northcote East church.

The initial ministry was from Ed Roffey, the minister at Ivanhoe, with assistance from Barry Jenkins, a student with the College of the Bible.

In 1982, Warren Hamilton was the part-time minister, but soon after, the church moved back to a full-time minister with the assistance of the Conference.  Louis van Laar was appointed, and George Warren, separated by a couple of interim ministries, followed him.

In 1982, the building extensions were opened.

In 1998, Pastor Adrian Clark was appointed as a full-time minister.

The Church board was concerned about the church’s future and decided to explore the prospect of establishing co-operation with another church.

In 2003, Adrian spoke with Rev. Lynden Broadstock, the Greensborough Uniting Church minister, and raised the issue of establishing a cooperating church.


A short history of the Greensborough Uniting Church 

The Greensborough congregation was a Methodist Church established in 1850.

A group of people met at Mr. James Mayger’s property in Greensborough to establish a Methodist congregation in the area. 

In 1859, the barn was the worship centre where the Church first met and worshipped. A weatherboard building was built on Hailes Street, but it was demolished when the railway line was built. 

In 1872, a brick Church was built on Main Street where it remained in use until 1966, when the church relocated to its present site at 37 Grimshaw Street, Greensborough.

The buildings were officially opened on 5th February 1966.

In 1972, the church became a UNITED Church when the local Presbyterian Church, St. David’s, joined. 

In 1977, the church became part of The Uniting Church in Australia at Union.

In 1989, the Church, led by Rev. Peter Robson, was instrumental in founding The Greensborough Inter Church Council. 

In 2003, Rev. Lynden Broadstock presented the idea of co-operation with the Greensborough Regional Church of Christ.

In 2004, the Church was renovated and upgraded to facilitate the use of the building by people with disabilities.

Conversations were started with the Church of Christ about the possibility of forming co-operation. The congregation at all age levels were involved in discussions about how they felt about the idea.

Anyone who was interested was invited to a series of workshops with the Church of Christ congregation to work out an agreement that could be put to both Congregations. Every aspect of Church life was discussed.

We worshipped together on a few planned occasions at both the Uniting Church in Australia site and the Church of Christ site, so that people would get to know one another.

After three years of discussions and negotiations, the decision was made to join together as a co-operating church,

In June 2006, both churches met together at Grimshaw Street as one congregation.

The Church of Christ property in Briar Hill was sold.

The slogan, “We can do more together for the mission of Jesus than we can do apart”, was adopted.

A one-day seminar was held, inviting anyone who wanted to attend, to work out our CORE VALUES.


Living Faith Church was formed

In 2012, everyone was involved in all deliberations to arrive at a consensus on all issues.

The congregation, Church of Christ Conference and the Uniting Church in Australia Presbytery of Yarra Yarra ratified our Co-operating agreement. 

Deliberations took place about a name for our Church.

“Living Faith Church. The Uniting Church and Church of Christ in Greensborough” was the name chosen by popular vote.

We operate as ONE Congregation with ONE Church Council of Elders, ONE Uniting Church in Australia minister and ONE Church of Christ minister.  We operate ONE bank account but support both denominations through Presbytery Mission & Service Fund and Church of Christ Affiliation Fund.

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Latest Service...

Friends of Dismas

Friends of Dismas

9 June, 2024Paul Moore

Guest Speaker: Paul Moore

The following information is from https://churchesofchrist.org.au/friendsofdismas/

Dismas is the traditional name of the repentant thief on the cross next to Jesus mentioned in Luke 23: 40-43.

The mission of Friends of Dismas is to assist motivated adults on parole, ex-prisoners, and their family and friends, to grow in Christian faith, to transition successfully into society, and to live a crime free life.

Our informal church services are a safe place where people can fully participate but know they are not judged. Through mutual support and accountability, we work towards there being ‘No More Victims’.

Our weekly format includes sharing a simple meal together, getting to know each other, communion, bible study, and prayer.

Friends of Dismas was co-founded in 2012 by staff and volunteers from [Prison Fellowship Victoria](http://prisonfellowship.org.au/), [Churches of Christ In Victoria and Tasmania](https://www.churchesofchrist.org.au/), and [Baptist Union of Victoria](https://www.buv.com.au/). Significant consultation with Corrections Victoria and Victoria Police means Friends of Dismas can offer a gathering where ex-offenders can meet, share a meal and fellowship together without breaking laws. We thank these organisations for their role in getting this program up and running, and for directing people who are in need or isolated to us for support. We also thank [Friends of Dismas Canada](http://www.friendsofdismas.com/) for permission to use the name, logo and Dismas Prayer.

Please note that participants must be over 18 years of age.

Our Core Values

- We welcome and celebrate one another, regardless of religious or criminal convictions, knowing that we are all “offenders”.

- We encourage everyone to give of themselves in some way – cooking meals, setting and cleaning up, sharing our truth or reaching out to others.

- We are committed to paying our way by sharing the costs of food and hall hire and contributing financially to the ministry of Friends of Dismas.

- In the circle everyone is given the opportunity to speak or to pass.

- We will treat each other’s story with confidentiality and love. Each story is sacred.

- We are committed to being a safe and responsible fellowship with accountability to the community where our meetings are held.

- We are committed to ministering to each other as if they were Christ.

- We continue to offer a safe and welcoming environment to ex-prisoners, their families and volunteers.

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Get to Know Us...

About Us

Ellen Grabner - Minister

“You have set my feet in a wide-open place” says Psalm 31:8, in a single verse that burst with a sense of astonishment and joy out of a longer prayer for liberation and safety. What a glorious moment when we realize that we are, in fact, already safely planted by God in a space that invites us into trust, freedom, and opportunity to explore.

This verse captures my general sense of being part of Living Faith Church. From the very first day here, I have noticed consistently a strong culture of trust and care, confidence and compassion, willingness to engage and a deeply rooted assurance that God is good and that it will be well.

Looking at our faith community, I wonder whether you share this sense that under God’s good guidance, we are held safely, confident to live our faith and ready to look around in this open space around us – and see where God takes us? It is my prayer that we will all know for sure that God’s got our back and that we can nod our Yes to God’s invitation to move closer.

May we all be aware of how much trust, kindness and love our good God has for us. The One who has planted us in this inviting space will surely delight in every step that we take in faith.

The kingdom, the power and the glory are God’s, now and always.

Ellen Grabner - Minister

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About Us

Get to Know Us

With our vision of seeing 'Everyone Closer to God,' we are intentional about creating an environment where 'we'll become more like Jesus together'. Our dedicated members are committed to contributing to this vision. Motivated by Christ, we join God in actively showing love, living out God’s call to Justice and using our gifts for God’s purpose.

Kate Clough - Family, Youth and Young Adult Ministry

My family and I have been worshipping at Living Faith Church (LFC) since 2013. However, my pathway to the Family, Youth and Young Adults Coordinator at LFC began in 2015 when at a silent retreat God clearly advised me to make a career change. I was to turn away from full time public service and move towards a more “Family Friendly” career path. This advice has served me well through many changes and decisions during the following years, and although I have at times prayed for more or new advice, Gods words have remained the same.

In March 2021, initiated by the struggles of COVID and home schooling, and guided by the foundations of my family friendly focus, I resigned from my role overseeing mental health and alcohol and drug support services in Northeast Melbourne. Soon after, a member of my bible study group casually suggested I consider applying to become the family minister my church was looking for. Although I laughed at the time, a few days later I reached out for a position description. I soon felt God help me understand a more expansive definition of “family” to include not just my family at home but my faith family.

After realising this expanded definition, the flood gates opened and I was motivated by many ideas and plans for Living Faith Church families, young people and the local community in general. I now see abundant opportunities to use my experiences in the Child Protection, Advocacy, Justice, and Mental Health sectors to encourage intergenerational cohorts in our community.

As an Accredited Church of Christ Pastor and soon to complete the Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministries at the University of Divinity, I work 2 days a week in team ministry with Pastor Ellen Grabner. I believe that to provide for my family at home and my faith family through this ministry is a blessing.

Alistair Clough - Elder & Chair of Church Council

The Church Council is an oversight body responsible for the overall vision and the smooth coordination of Living Faith Church’s Ministry Groups and teams. We maintain and balance Living Faith Church's commitments to:

- The congregation of Living Faith Church;

- The Uniting Church of Australia;

- The Churches of Christ Victoria and Tasmania; and

- Australia’s state and federal legislation

Church Council’s primary responsibility is listening to God and communicating their vision to the Living Faith Church community, what we call spiritual oversight. This is only achievable with the support and cooperation of the wider church body.

As Chair of Church Council, I have been encouraged by the faithful engagement of our members in the life and upkeep of Living Faith Church. I am especially focussed on the full participation of our community in the Kingdom of God. It is important to me that all of us are enabled to hear and respond to the call of God. I do not feel alone in this love.

I am reminded of the parable of the Sower and how even rocks and thorns provide space for necessary diversity while trodden paths provide access and safety. Over all of this is the Farmer who loves us and knows their craft. Every one of you is important and loved.

Loris McLean - Elder & Deputy Chair of Church Council

I joined the Eldership group around the time Living Faith Church was formed, and apart from one short break for a couple of years, I have been an Elder since then. My current role as Deputy Chair of Church Council involves supporting the Chairperson and acting as Chair when they are unable to fulfil their role. My background includes coming to faith in Jesus as a teenager and being part of a local Church of Christ all my life.

I am committed to helping the functioning of a healthy local church community through Eldership because of what I have received from my local church: encouragement, a sense of belonging, and support through times of personal need. I hope Living Faith Church can provide these same gifts to our current and future members.

Bruce Hill - Elder & Administration Ministry Group Co-ordinator

A committed Christian, I became a member of Living Faith Church in 2012 when my Bellevue Ave Rosanna congregation closed. I have been an Elder at Living Faith Church for the last 5 years, and am the Co-ordinator of the Administration Ministry Group. I am a recognised Uniting Church Lay Preacher and represent Living Faith Church when conducting worship and preaching at other Uniting Church of Australia congregations around Victoria. I am the Synod Vic-Tas Travelling Lay Preacher Co-ordinator and Chair of the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra Lay Preachers’ Committee. I enjoy attending the Wednesday Evening Bible Based Study (WEBBS) Life Group meetings to help myself and others to grow in the Christian faith.

James Paterson - Elder & Treasurer Finance Ministry Group

The purpose of the Finance Ministry Group is to provide ongoing financial advice and support to the Living Faith Church Ministerial team, Church Council, Ministry Groups and the Living Faith Church community.

My role as Treasurer is to ensure we pay our bills, maintain accountability across the Church Council, and liaise with the members and suppliers. We contribute our time, skills, and knowledge to ensure the competent management of Living Faith Church’s finances. We also support each other and have some fun when we meet each month.

Our goal is to help bring everyone closer to God. The Finance Ministry Group works towards achieving the vision of “Everyone Closer to God” through service.

Jeremy Knox - Elder

Since starting to attend Living Faith Church in 2011, the welcoming community atmosphere has made me feel at home. I have continued to grow in my faith here and have made many close friends.

I see that being an Elder is a faithful following of God's call in my life at the moment. It is a way to serve the church community and love others. There are many capable and passionate people at Living Faith Church and it is important to lead and set direction.

Wanting to see everyone "become more like Jesus together" is a vital reminder that no matter where we are on our faith journey, we all need to learn from Jesus.

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About Us

A Safe and Inclusive Church

A Safe Church

Living Faith Church is committed to providing our worshipping and pastoral communities with an environment free from abuse and a safe place for all people to express their faith in God. We value the safety of our children and those of our congregation at risk, including vulnerable adults.

The Living Faith Church 'Safe Church' policy has been adopted to ensure that we fulfil our commitment and obligation to create a safe organisation. Living Faith Church commit to the following actions to keep children and vulnerable adults safe. We will:

- Follow the Uniting Church Synod Vic Tas (UCA) current “Safe Church Policy” and the Churches of Christ Victoria (CCVT) “Child Safety Policy”; wherever CCVT and UCA requirements of implementation are the same, a single action of compliance will count for both (e.g., Working with Children Check (WWCC), Safe Church Training (SCT);

- Ensure that policies and procedures are implemented to embed a culture of safety;

- Encourage the training, supervision and support of employees and volunteers;

- Encourage access, equity, and diversity, including ensuring accessible policy and procedure requirements;

- Adopt and implement evidence-based standards to recruit and screen employees and to engage volunteers and others who work with children;

- Manage risk, promote safety, and respond to concerns, including the Living Faith Church formal complaints process;

- Actively explore opportunities for child, family, and community participation; and

- Commit to the Living Faith Church Inclusivity Vision.

Further information can be found on our 'Safe Church' policy, attached on this page, or on:

UCA Keeping Children Safe webpage https://safechurch.ucavictas.org.au/

CCVT Safe Places webpage https://churchesofchrist.org.au/for-churches/safe-places/

Living Faith Church pride ourselves on being a safe, inclusive place. If you feel unsafe at any time, we are here to help.

Please talk to our Pastors

Ellen Grabner: 0491 072 931

Kate Clough: 0411 523 153

or Safe Church Contact People

Janet: 0412 551 117

David: 0432 528 569

An Inclusive Church

The Church Council and Ministry Team, on behalf of Living Faith Church, acknowledge the harm done to the LGBTQIA+ community, including our own families. Excluding and undermining our siblings in Christ is neither trivial, necessary nor merely political. We are committed to doing better by providing an explicitly and intentionally safe space for worship and fellowship.

In 2023, Living Faith Church took a step towards this goal. The church council and leaders of various Living Faith Church Ministries and Life Groups met with Katecia Taylor and AJ Jensen from consulting organisation Queers Be With You. Queers Be With You offers educational workshops and individual consultations to Churches and Christian organisations who want to be more LGBTQIA+ inclusive.

https://www.queersbewithyou.com/

In 2024, Living Faith Church is looking to participate with Uniting Network Australia, which is the national network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, our families, friends and supporters within the Uniting Church in Australia.

Further information can be found on the Uniting Network documents 'A Welcoming Church' and 'An Open and Affirming Church', attached on this page.

Living Faith Church recognises that our diversity is a strength and that seeking the full participation of our members and community in everything we do is an element of our worship. (Psalm 34:8, we can recognise right conduct by its fruit).

The Living Faith Church ‘Call to Inclusivity’ policy has been adopted to shape how Living Faith Church creates and applies policies and procedures. It is informed by our vision, governing bodies, the Uniting Church in Australia and Churches of Christ Victoria Australia, state and federal legislation, and our history.

When applying policy and process, Living Faith Church is committed to:

- Keep our legal and regulatory obligations;

- Fully adhere to all LFC policies where possible, keeping the intent of our policies where processes cannot be kept in full;

- Inform our community about their rights and responsibilities, invite them to participate in decisions affecting them, and take their representations seriously;

- Ensure policy and procedures are understandable and accessible to all members of the community;

- Support our teams and members, and to equip them to support each other;

- Provide worshiping and pastoral communities that are free from abuse, and that provide safe environments for all people to explore and express their faith in God; and

- Call out policy and process that falls short of our vision and commitment to each other. (Colossians 3:12, an attitude of humility and repentance brings us closer to God).

Further information can be found on our 'Call to Inclusivity' policy, attached on this page.

Additionally, a collaborative research project conducted by La Trobe University, Macquarie University, AGMC (Australian GLBTIQ+ Multicultural Council), and Brave Network with support from the Steering Committee of the Improving Spiritual Health Care for LGBTQA+ Australians Research Project can be found in the document called ‘A Guide to Improving Safety in Pastoral Care with LGBTQA+ people, attached on this page.

Document cited: Jones, T.W., Despott, N., Jones, T.M., Anderson, J., Pallotta-Chiarolli, M., & Power, J. (2023) A Guide to Improving Safety in Pastoral Care with LGBTQA+ people. La Trobe University: Melbourne.

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Upcoming events...

Latest News...

4 May, 2024

Congratulations Rod and Mabel for their Jagajaga Community Volunteer Awards

Jagajaga Community Volunteers Awards 2024

On Saturday 20th April, 2024, Rod Ferris with Mabel Kealty, were two recipients of the Jagajaga Community Volunteers Awards 2024.

There were 2 dozen or more other recipients and it was interesting to hear of their various avenues of service.

Rod’s awards were for Rotary service, for over 35 years, and as Justice of Peace duties for 33 years.

(Photo credit: Kate Thwaites MP)

Mabel’s awards covered her work with the Cancer Council since 2008, organising the Biggest Morning Tea, in most years, at her home, since 2008, and as a volunteer with the Diamond Creek Park Run.

(Photo credit: Kate Thwaites MP)

Sincere congratulations to two of our Living Faith Church Congregation engaged in brilliant community projects.

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29 April, 2024

Thank you, Donna and Gwenda

In early 2024, Donna and Gwenda, dedicated members of the music team, looked in the corner room of the Sanctuary and decided the music, stands, and instruments needed to be organised. With a lot of fun and giggles, they sorted through the congregational music, discarding old and unused music. Ultimately, they indexed the songs and placed them in the top drawers of the filing cabinets to keep them well-preserved and easily accessible for years to come.

Thank you, Donna and Gwenda, for your time and commitment to having fun while organising!

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15 April, 2024

Congratulations Michael Mayne

We join Voices for Change in congratulating and recognising Michael Mayne for his dedication and leadership in disability and justice self-advocacy.

Michael was presented with his award at the Fitzroy Town Hall on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, when Voices of Change celebrated four years of disability and justice self-advocacy.

Voices for Change is a self-advocacy group for people with acquired brain injury and experience of the justice system. It exists to support people with acquired brain injury and justice system experience in developing confidence and skills to speak up and have their voices heard.

An acquired brain injury is any injury to the brain after birth and has many causes, including a stroke, an infection, accidents, family violence, brain tumours, drug overdose and long-term alcohol or drug use.

An acquired brain injury has many effects on people, from physical to cognitive and emotional. It affects people’s lives in many different ways.

Voices for Change states that 42% of men and 33% of women in Victoria’s prisons have an acquired brain injury, compared to 2% in the general Australian community.

Robert and Nola MacDonald are members of Living Faith Church and met Michael over 5 years ago through the work of Friends of Dismas, a multi-faith, nondenominational organisation that welcomes everyone regardless of criminal convictions. Their love for others is infectious, and they continue to see and support Michael weekly.

Michael and his supportive partner Sarda come regularly to Living Faith Church.

To learn more about Voices for Change please visit their website or Facebook page.

https://voices-for-change.org

https://www.facebook.com/voicesforchangeaustralia/?ref=embed_page

To learn more about Friends of Dismas please visit their website.

http://www.friendsofdismas.com

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37 Grimshaw St, Greensborough VIC 3088, Australia

Sunday, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM


Living Faith Church acknowledges and prays for the First Nations People of the land on which we meet - the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay respects to their Elders past and present and we recognise their faithfulness to Country.