Weekly Updates

This week's newsletter here.

what's on this week

Sunday morning - weekly worship engaging with the ancient faith and its radical heart of grace at 10 am followed by morning tea.

Wednesday- newsletter deadline, send to nucnewseditor@gmail.com

Wednesday and Friday - Op Shop sorting.  Come from 9-12 and help sort the treasure from the trash.  First picks and free morning tea, too.

Friday - Op Shop open from 4 30 to 6.

Saturday morning - Op Shop open from 9am til 12pm, Frilly's from 9:30 til 11:30am and the Mulch Pit Community Garden open indefinitely.


Find a What's New article

A sane approach to caring for the community rooted in the ancient vision of Christianity. A vision that calls for a world based not on the standard orders of greed or competition or revenge or power, but on sharing, encouraging, forgiveness and grace. That is the vision of Christ.

And of the ancient faith long before; the old order is thrown down; Hannah sings it in her song, then Mary, then Jesus.  An alternative way: where the first become last, and the last become first, where the only law is love, and love is the law. An Alternative Resource Community? A Community built on Grace.




The NUC Labyrinth

One weekend in June 2017, led by a small group of NUC members and project leader Mark Healy, a beautiful walking labyrinth was created on the lawns of Nightcliff Uniting Church.  After two years in the making, community members from all over were inspired to join in and experience the beauty of artistic co-creation.  This labyrinth is dedicated to Jo Brandt and Wendy Eccleston, who gave their heart and soul to the work of the church and beyond.  Watch how the project unfolded here.

We hope you enjoy walking the labyrinth and engage in this relaxing, mindful meditation practice.  The labyrinth is always open and accessible to the public on the grounds of NUC, 21 Cummins Street, Rapid Creek.


Recruiting a Support Worker

The Mulch Pit Community Garden, an on-site outreach activity of Nightcliff Uniting Church, is currently recruiting a Support Worker.  The position is three hours per week, to support the activities and maintenance of the permaculture food garden.
Please download a copy of the Role Description via Google Drive here.
Applications should be accompanied by a brief letter addressing the Selection Criteria Skills.  Applications can be forwarded to Lucy Van Sambeek at wmlrvansambeek(at)bigpond(dot)com(dot)au to be received no later than Wednesday December 20.  Enquiries to Lucy on 0417 927 657 or Basil on 0421 378 907.
Interviews will take place on December 21 and 22.  Skype/zoom interviews can be arranged.



NUC Church Camp 2017

On the weekend of 20-21st May, members of the church drove to Riyala, a beautiful camping spot in the bush just south of Darwin, for the annual NUC Church Camp.
Young and old alike enjoyed leaf screenprinting, group games, campfire treats and just relaxing in the multitude of shady or sunny spots.  On Sunday, we gathered to prepare for our worship featuring hand printed prayer flags and finger labyrinths to hear a special message brought to us by Abel (4) who said "If you beat me, you beat Jesus".
Check out some of our bush pics here.


Community Labyrinth Building Workshops

Friday June 2

& Saturday June 3

at Nightcliff Uniting Church, 21 Cummins Street.

Join us for a community-building workshop, creating a memorial labyrinth,
under the direction of Mark Healy, creator of over 100 labyrinths in Australia.

Friday’s workshop from 9am will include instruction on how to create and mark
out a labyrinth, cutting turf and digging out our edges.

Saturday’s Workshop from 7:30m will include finishing off the edging,
cutting and laying weedmat, cutting, laying and pegging aluminium flexi-link edging,
barrowing and shovelling sand and gravel, carrying stone.

There are also roles for volunteers to prepare food and hydrate the workers. 
Come for a couple of hours or the whole day! 
Bring garden work gloves, wheel barrow, sharpened shovel, water bottle, hat, sunscreen.

Participant numbers each day are limited so please RSVP to Lois Ramsay at ramsaypeter(at)bigpond(dot)com or phone 0431091273.   Let us know which workshop you will attend and your preferred time.

We look forward to a great few days together. 
Labyrinth Organising Group – Lois, Fiona, Lucy, Ian and Penny.




Labyrinth Project Fundraiser

Nightclliff Uniting Church is currently raising money to build a labyrinth in memory of some very special members of our congregation - Wendy Eccleston and Jo Brandt.

We have the location and the design finalised and much background research work has been completed by a small and very dedicated team who have met over the last year.                        

A labyrinth is a walking meditation, path of prayer. It is designed to follow a single path in a circular route to its centre. It is not a maze to get lost in but a meditative walk where spiritual healing can be found and prayerfulness and wholeness are part of the journey.

We know that Wendy, Jo and many others appreciated using temporary labyrinths when they were set up at NUC.  Many members of our community have thought about installing one on the premises.  Our intention now is to build a labyrinth in their memory.  We are seeking funds to cover the cost which has been budgeted at $10,000.  We envisage building the labyrinth using local rock and stone to line the path, with grass to walk on.  The labyrinth would be used to remember lost loved ones and in church services for reflection and meditation.  It would also be available to the wider community.

If you would like to support this project, please see instructions below for ways you can donate.   If you would like to support us in the physical hands on building of the Labyrinth we are hoping to start work late May and in June with several community working bees.  All members of the community will be invited to participate including friends of Wendy and Jo.  Details of dates and times will follow.

We are most grateful for your support in this project. 

Electronic Banking Details

Uniting Church in Australia

Northern Synod Congregations

BSB: 634634

Account: 100039619

REF:   NUC9   Labyrinth Project


 Temporary Indoor Labyrinth at NUC 2014


Nightcliff Uniting Church Christmas Services 2016

CHRISTMAS EVE: Saturday 24th December - Nativity and Reflection 7pm

CHRISTMAS DAY: Sunday 25th December - Reflection and Readings 9am



A combined churches event in peaceful protest of off-shore detention centre policy. 

Sunday, 11th December6-7pm. Nightcliff Foreshore (behind the Nightcliff swimming pool).

Organised in partnership with Love Makes A Way (www.lovemakesaway.info)


Alternatives to Violence Project Darwin

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a program of experiential workshops led by trained volunteer facilitators. They help people discover in themselves new and creative ways of responding to conflict. 

This international program, based on over 35 years of experience, is offered in communities, schools and prisons by independent, non-religious, not-for-profit groups around the world.

AVP can benefit anyone who wants to build and maintain peaceful relationships and manage difficult relationships more peacefully.

Several people who participate in NUC community have attended these workshops, including the Training for Facilitator level.

For more information visit these websites: http://avp.international/ http://avpwa.org.au http://www.avp.org.au 

For details about when the next introductory workshop is offered, email avpdarwin@gmail.com or call/leave a message for the Coordinator, AVP (Darwin) at 8948 4520.


Labyrinth Dreamings at NUC


The labyrinth is an ancient Christian contemplative tradition.  Over the
last six months, a small group at NUC has been carefully considering the
installation of a labyrinth on site as a place of contemplation, meditation
and healing.  The inspiration for this project has been inspired by two very
dear women to us, Jo Brandt and Wendy Eccleston, who both dreamed of
building a labyrinth on the NUC site for all to experience.
In December 2015, to mark the Summer Solstice, we met and offered an
opportunity to the wider community to participate in walking a temporary
labyrinth.  Unfortunately due to the wet weather this had to be held indoors
but was still a wonderful opportunity to experience what it is like to
undertake the meditative walk as well as 'ask the earth' which direction our
permanent labyrinth should face.
The Summer Solstice labyrinth walk offered us a time pause and reflect, to
let go of what is no longer needed, to set new intentions and to celebrate
and feel grateful.
Fiona has recently been visiting Warrandyte Uniting Church peace mural,
labyrinth and gardens and offers these images as inspiration for the
possibilities at NUC.
If you would like to be involved in the Labyrinth Interest Group at NUC,
please email Lucy at wmlrvansambeek@bigpond.com

More photos can be found here:








Recipes For Living

‘Recipes For Living’ Project: A first in Darwin

In November and December 2014, Nightcliff Uniting Church played host to a therapeutic cooking program after being awarded an ‘Our Neighbourhood’ grants by Australia Post.

‘Recipes For Living’ brought together a small group of refugees and one asylum seeker living in Darwin to cook together, share stories and eat yummy food.  The core group of women hailed from four different groups – Burmese, Karen, Chinese and Nepalese - however language turned out to be no barrier to participation and contributed to many laugh-out- loud moments!  The group has put together a Recipe Book featuring their favourite Food Recipes cooked and eaten in the on-site outdoor kitchen, as well as Recipes of Life featuring their strengths and skills, and Special Recipe Tips for surviving difficult times.  Collectively, they also wrote a Recipe for Starting Life in a New Country.  Their hope is that this recipe will benefit other refugees who are just arriving in Australia.

The group used many local tropical ingredients that are grown in Darwin, many of these harvested from the Mulch Pit Community Garden on the church grounds.  The women enjoyed picking from the garden and sharing the different ways they use local produce.

Facilitator of the group, Lucy Van Sambeek who is passionate about narrative therapeutic practice has been wanting to trial the Recipes of Life methodology in Darwin, after a chance meeting in Adelaide a few years ago with Natalie Rudland Wood, who developed the methodology.  Lucy has been involved in The Mulch Pit Community Garden since it was established and is always looking for ways to connect people with community and the earth.  ‘Recipes for Living’ also acknowledges the difficult paths that some people have experienced in life and celebrates their strengths in a supportive environment with like-minded people.

Outcomes included building new relationships amongst participants, connecting refugees to new resources at Nightcliff including the op shop and community garden, improved English skills and confidence in the community, and increased knowledge about growing and cooking local food.  A lovely surprise was the spontaneous participation of partners, children and other family members, who would pop up in at different times during the program, either to lead cooking or feast at the table.

Christabelle Baranay, a community cultural development consultant and volunteer with DASSAN, provided expert help in documentation and photography to create the Recipe Book, to remind participants of their cherished food memories and the ingredients that keep them strong in hard times.  The program was well supported by volunteers from the Mulch Pit Community Garden who offered child care on site and kitchen hand help.  Many from the church and wider community donated staple items to the pantry and organisations like Greenies provided fresh ingredients that were not growing on site.

You can download a copy of the Recipe Book here.  We would love to hear from other workers around Australia how our Recipes and stories have been of benefit to other refugees and asylum seekers.  To send a message to the Darwin group or find out more about the program, please contact lucy@metaphoricallyspeaking.com.au