By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator
St. Luke’s Uniting Church in Hamilton galvanised the local community, rallying support raising over $3,000 in contributions for Breast Cancer Network Australia.
The event, named ‘Go Pink in Our Gardens,’ was inspired by their church Chairperson, Lynelle Muntz, a breast cancer survivor. October, recognised as Breast Cancer Awareness month, highlights the lasting impact of breast cancer on women like Lynelle.
Lynelle said the church orchestrated a series of ‘pink morning’ events, which spearheaded their fundraising efforts.
“We’ve established a partnership with the nearby state school, local businesses, and neighbours,” Lynelle said. “Our ‘pink morning’ events have replaced the traditional tin can donations with the sale of cakes, pastries, a BBQ, plants, and produce. We even introduced a Pink Puppy Parade.”
The neighbourhood’s collective spirit that drove the success of this campaign was made possible through the network created by the church’s Connecting Communities Mission project.
Launched in 2018 with backing from the Moreton Rivers Presbytery, and under the guidance of Sr. Margaret Endicott rsm, Lynelle said this outreach initiative was designed to promote unity with the secular community.
“We didn’t have a clear roadmap; we simply said, ‘the ship is sailing, so all aboard,'” Lynelle said. “This initiative served as the foundation for the Hamilton Neighbourhood Hub, starting as an email distribution list to foster connections and awareness.”
Every October since 2019, the church has adorned the Peace Garden on its grounds with the iconic pink symbols of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Lynelle said the garden, which was created through a partnership with Lendlease during the Kingsford-Smith Drive upgrade and since maintained by neighbourhood working bees, symbolises the church’s outreach efforts.
“Brisbane City Council has granted approval for multiple street tree plantings, and a roundabout has been enhanced with beautiful gardens,” she said. “Additionally, a plot of land has been designated as a reserve, ensuring a green future for the area. The congregation’s efforts have significantly contributed to Hamilton’s greening, so much so that a neighbour affectionately coined the term ‘Hamilton Forest.'”
The church actively promotes community cohesion through various events, including the family social afternoon held on Neighbour Day in March, bi-monthly HNH gatherings, and the annual Community Christmas Celebration. Additionally, the church’s worship space has been transformed into a versatile area that accommodates a singing group, an exercise group led by local residents, and Long Table Sunday Lunches.