Mitcham Hills Churches

September 15, 2012

Running for relief because survival is a marathon

Filed under: MHICC — Mark @ 10:17 pm

Since February his year I’ve been training to run in the City to Bay fun run from Adelaide to Glenelg. I’ve never done it before and before I started training I’ve never run more than 5km before. The City to Bay is 12km and during training I’ve managed to run the distance a few times now.

I’m not just doing this for fun however. Tomorrow I run the City to Bay with Team World Vision to help raise money for the UN World Food Bank. I’ve set myself a target of $500. If I can raise this much through World Vision it qill unlock $5000 worth of food and resources through the multiplying gift appeal. $10 of aid for every $1 raised. Visit to find out more.

While I’ve been training, I’ve been reflecting over the journey and what motivates me to keep going. My personal target is to run 12km in under an hour. It’s been hard work and often a mental battle as much as physical one to keep going and finish what I’ve set out to achieve.

It’s an uphill battle

I train in the Adelaide Hills and where I live it’s impossible to go for a 12km run without encountering hills. You can’t even run 3 or 4 km laps without hills. Do you know what I’ve discovered? Running up hill is darn hard on a long run! It requires extra energy and eating into reserves and drains you that bit more for the rest of the journey. You can’t maintain pace with hills, it just throws you out. 

This is what it can be like for the +900 million people who will wake up hungry today. While I can easily enjoy 3 meals a day and maintain pace, they will wonder if they get to eat today. Survival can be a constant uphill battle against the many elements that stand against them. Just accessing one quality meal a day and clean drinking water will help desperate communities catch a break.


I’ve noticed during my runs in the hills that the air can get quite cold. The cold air restricts my capacity to breath normally and I find it harder to run at normal pace. Unlike when I started training on a treadmill where the environment was controlled, there were no hills and the atmosphere was comfortable, out on the road conditions vary from day to day and are not always predictable or controlled.

When I visited South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe in 2008 i got a glimpse of the reality of the impact of uncontrolable conditions. When we experience drought, floods, fire or cyclones in Australia it hits our farmers devastatingly hard. We are incredibly lucky to live in a country where our government has the ability to offer financial aid and help re-establish farmers. We also have incredibly generous citizens who band together and not only donate money but time and effort. The impact this has on me personally is my groceries may be more expensive at the supermarket for a period of time.

What I saw in Africa is when there is a drought or a flood, many communities have their crops destroyed and there is no back up plan. There is no shop to buy supplies and if there were, no money to buy supplies with. For a community totally dependant on self sustaining, to have to endure years of drought with not enough water or good soil to grow food, this is devastating. Then when the rain comes it floods and everything is destroyed. I’ve heard heartbreaking stories first hand and some communities year after year just can’t get a break. They constantly endure restrictions because of the environment they live in and rely on assistance from outside their own country to help get hem back on their feet.

These restrictions are heartbreaking. I find itvhard to breathe when conditions are difficult but i have a comfortable warm home with running water and food in the pantry to retreat to. Those communities i seek to help struggle to live.

Giving up is not an option

There have been so many times during my runs that I have just wanted to stop, give up, because it’s all to hard. I think I can’t make the distance. This is more a mental battle for me than a physical one. So I set myself mini goals to get me that bit further. I still can’t run 12km without slowing to a walk every now and then but one thng I’ve vowed not to do is stop. 

Every time I think about stopping I’m reminded that stopping or giving up is not an option for the millions who struggle to find ways to sustain life everyday. I run for relief because sustainable living is a marathon. So I keep going running, it’s the endurance of those who keep going against the odds that inspires me to keep going. If they can I can. What I can do is something with my resource and ability to raise enough men to give some communities a chance to build capacity to the point where they might not need relief anymore. Now that would be pretty awesome.

How you can help

I have a fundraising page at please donate there if you want to make a difference. Your donations are encouraging me to run the race and finish within my target time because I know I’m doing it for a purpose that will help change the world for the better.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and encourage and watch for further posts




April 4, 2010

Ecumenical Studies – Snapshots 2

Filed under: Church, MHICC — Mark @ 8:02 pm

Every two years the South Australia heads of churches commission a resource guide for Christians of all denominations to us as a conversation guide among one another. Traditionally the conversations are centred around the time of lent leading into Easter. This year the studies are set for the period between Easter and Pentecost Sunday.

Snapshots 2 is a DVD study resource that comes with a study guide to help guide discussions. This years theme is to discuss Christian life in community. There are 8 sessions designed to last 8 weeks. Each session contains 3 short interviews with Christians about faith, spirituality, life and the presence of teh risen Christ in their lives according the the set theme for the week. Have a look at the outline of each week here

Here in the Mitcham Hills inter-Church Council we value conversations among one another about our faith which unites us in Christ. We have set up some ecumenical small groups meeting from the first week in April until the last week in May and anyone is welcome to join in the conversation.

Please see the group meeting times below and select a time that suits you. If you would like to if you see a group meeting time in the list and you would like to join in, please email Mark here, and request the location and exact time the group is meeting. Each group is open and welcome and maintains respect and confidentiality.

For more information about Snapshots 2 visit

List of groups:

(each of these groups have been brought together temporarily for the purpose of Snapshots 2 for a maximum period of 8 weeks)

All groups meet in the Blackwood/Belair/Coromandel Valley region SA. Please email here for locations

Monday evening – first session commences April 12th

Meeting times: 7:30 – 9pm

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Tuesday afternoon – first session commences April 20th

Meeting time:  1-3pm

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Wednesday afternoon – group cancelled but facilitator available if enough interest

Wednesday evening – group cancelled but facilitator available if enough interest

Thursday afternoon – first session commences April 8th

Meeting time:  1-3pm meeting at the Blackwood Uniting Church

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Thursday evening – first session commences April 8th

Meeting times: 7:30 – 9pm

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Pastor Mark Riessen of the Blackwood Church of Christ is preaching on each of the Snapshots themes every Sunday beginning April 4th (Easter Sunday) to May 23rd (Pentecost Sunday) All are welcome to hear Mark preach then attend a small group to discuss the themes further.

March 16, 2010

Easter service times for Mitcham hills churches

Filed under: Church, MHICC — Mark @ 10:48 pm

Please find below service times and locations for churches during Easter 2011. Everyone is more than welcome to attend any of these services so please take the opportunity to come and visit this Easter

Palm Sunday, April 17th
Maundy Thursday, April 21st
Good Friday, April 22nd
Easter Sunday, April 24th

Anglican Services
All Hallows Anglican Church
37 Coromandel Parade, Blackwood

St. John’s Anglican Church
337 Main Road, Coromandel Valley

Palm Sunday

8am Holy Eucharist -St John’s

10am Holy Eucharist- All Hallows’

Monday-Wednesday 9am Morning Prayers (Cane Lounge-Parish Office)

Tuesday -10.15am Holy Eucharist-St John’s

Thursday- 10am Holy Eucharist- All Hallows’

Maundy Thursday

7.30pm Liturgy of the Last Supper- All Hallows’

Good Friday

9.30am Family Passion Service- St John’s

2pm-Reflective Service-All Hallows’

Easter Day

6am The Easter Vigil- All Hallows’

8am The Easter Eucharist-St John’s

10am The Easter Eucharist-All Hallows’

Contact Fr Stephen 8278 8626 & 8278 2548

Holy Innocent’s Anglican Church
29 Sheoak Road, Belair

Baptist Services
Blackwood Hills Baptist Church
72 Coromandel Parade, Blackwood
Good Friday 10am
Easter Sunday 10am & 7pm

Coromandel Baptist Church
936 Ackland Hill Road Coromandel East
Catholic Services
Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church
4 Laffers Road, Glenalta

St Paul of the Cross Catholic Church
4 Simla Parade, Blackwood
Holy Thursday

7.30pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper following Adoration,

reconciliation available until 10.30pm- Our Lady of the Way Church

Good Friday

10.30am 2nd Rite-St Paul of the Cross Church

11am Stations of the Cross with individual reconciliation following.

-available until 1pm.-St Paul of the Cross Church

3pm Passion Service-Our Lady of the Way Church

Easter Saturday

5pm-5.45pm Confessions-Our Lady of the Way Church

7.30pm Vigil Mass

Easter Sunday

8am Mass-St Paul of the Cross Church

10am Mass Our Lady of the Way Church
Churches of Christ Services
Blackwood Church of Christ
Cnr Shepherds Hill Road & Waite Street, Blackwood

April 20th 8pm Sacred space-prayer & reflection service

Maundy Thursday

7.30pm Ecumenical service with Blackwood & Belair Uniting

Good Friday

9am Reflection service

Easter Sunday

10am- Celebration service

Lutheran Services
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
71 Cumming St Blackwood

Maundy Thursday

Communion Service: Tenebrae Service including readings, candlelight and choir.

Good Friday

Meditations on the words from the Cross

followed by hot cross buns.

Easter Sunday

Communion Service

Please bring a flower to help decorate the cross.

Pentecostal Services
Clearvision Church

Coastlands Church Blackwood
346 Shepherds Hill Road Blackwood
Hills Christian Family Centre
Blackwood High School Performing Arts Centre
Shepherds Hill Road/Seymour Street Eden Hills
Uniting Church Services
Blackwood Uniting Church
266 Main Rd, Blackwood
Maundy Thursday

7.30pm Combined Service, together with Church of Christ and Belair Uniting at Church of Christ (corner of Waite St and Shepherds Hill Road Blackwood).

Good Friday

9am-Blackwood Uniting Church

Easter Sunday
10am -Blackwood Uniting Church

Belair Uniting Church
18 Sheoak Road, Belair
Maundy Thursday

7.30pm Combined Service, together with Church of Christ and Belair Uniting at Church of Christ (corner of Waite St and Shepherds Hill Road Blackwood).

Coromandel Valley Uniting Church
415 Main Road, Coromandel Valley
Good Friday

Easter Sunday,


Eden Hills Uniting Church
16 Willora Rd, Eden Hills

Good Friday

Easter Sunday


Question & Answer time

Filed under: MHICC — Mark @ 10:01 pm

The Belair Holy Innocents Anglican Church is holding a question and answer time this Sunday night March 21st from 7:30pm @ 29 Sheoak Road, Belair

Come along to a friendly atmosphere with well informed speakers to guide the discussion and get involved.

The topic? God & Science – a conversation about the perceived incompatability between God and science. All welcome

Check the flyer for more info and info about the speakers – God & Science poster

Treasure Market

Filed under: MHICC — Mark @ 9:45 pm

The Belair Holy Innocent’s Anglican Church is having a Treasure Market this Saturday March 20th @ 29 Sheoak Road, Belair

Open from 9am – 1:30pm there are lots of treasures to have a look at, you may find just what you need. There’s also a sausage sizzle and free tea and coffee.

Check the flyter for details  – Treasure Market Flyer

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