A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Chaplain - Edition 7 - 2022

This year at Westminster, Senior School staff have developed a new initiative called “Westminster Wings” to re-focus on service as an important aspect of School life. Service has long been recognised at Westminster as a key emphasis in education and the formation of a well-developed character.

Recently the Year 8s have visited Uniting Communities, the Uniting Church community service arm; now a 20-storey glass tower in Franklin Street in the city, with six floors as high-rise retirement apartments, a further five delivering disability accommodation and five levels devoted to social services. It is the modern model of ‘service’, very different to the soup kitchen offer of charity to those ‘down-in-the-gutter’ of bygone days. Service in 2022 is more likely partnership-based and delivered in a user-friendly manner.

Westminster students are also participating in Uniting Church state-wide “Packing Days” to support northern Indigenous communities, which is outlined below.

In Chapel this week we have taken ‘service’ as our theme, particularly considering the reason ‘Why?’, to which there are many answers. Service has been proven to have mental health benefits for the server. Service fulfils the heart of religious faith; it is what “God requires of us”. More particularly, practical service is a key Uniting Church emphasis.

I have spoken as Chaplain of the responsibility of service; not as that which we ought or have to do, but ‘response + ability’. We have been blessed by God’s goodness to us in so many privileged ways at Westminster and the education we participate in here. What is our response?

Packing Day

Do you have any unwanted clothing to donate to our Packing Day?

Packing Day is an activity of the Uniting Church across South Australia in which donated clothing is sorted and packed for distribution to remote northern Aboriginal communities in Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Broome and in the island and coastal communities east of Darwin – Maningrida, Minjilang, Galiwin'ku and Yirrkala.

Many of these communities run their own Op Shops and are always glad to receive supplies. The Indigenous communities use their Op Shops as a way of contributing funds toward various community development activities. Rather than a general ‘charity’ donation, community leaders provide supporting Uniting Churches with lists of items specific to their local needs.

For the past three years, Westminster Boarding students have participated in ‘Packing Day’ at nearby Marion Uniting Church. This year, Westminster is extending our involvement by becoming one of the collection sites for donated goods. We believe our School community will be able to make a meaningful contribution as many Uniting Church congregations no longer have younger families to donate goods for the age groups listed below.

Communities have expressed a specific need for all range of girls’ and boys’ clothing, both child and teenage, including footwear (sandals, thongs, sports shoes), T-shirts, tracksuits and nightwear. But they will gladly receive any quality used clothing, as well as sheets, pillowcases, rugs, stationery, books and donations of toiletries. Babies’ clothing is also well appreciated. Most useful are lightweight items (jumpers, shorts, windcheaters) as communities are mostly in warmer climates.

You will find a detailed list of the items that will be accepted for Packing Day on the below flyer.

Westminster will be collecting gifts in the Jeffries Chapel foyer throughout Term 2 Week 5 (Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June) for sorting and packing the following weekend. Please place your items in the boxes provided.

Thank you in advance for considering this request to help others who will greatly benefit from your kindness and generosity.

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Rev Phil Hoffmann
Chaplain