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Responding to the call

Volunteer, Gaylynn Bailey, with Sasha, Lillian, and Kitty Kendall at playgroup. Photo by Osker Lau
ON MONDAY 17 October Playgroup Queensland staff visited the Indooroopilly Uniting Church Playgroup to help celebrate their win of the 2011 Playgroup Excellence Award (Community Playgroup) for their two groups.

A fun filled morning was had by all and volunteers, Gaylynn Bailey, Erica Henley, Jill and Terry Mudie, Jann and Rex Niven
and the parents were thrilled to receive a certificate and playgroup equipment to the value of $250.

One of the playgroup coordinators, Erica Henley, said the groups offered both a social and a spiritual element in a safe and caring Christian environment.

“The award recognises the volunteers’ achievements in fulfilling a call to minister to the community,” she said.

“It could not have been achieved without the openness, love and passion of the volunteers to minister to the needs of others by building relationships with families from within the church and the wider community.”

In just eight short months the playgroups have been so successful they have now reached maximum capacity.

The playgroup currently has 20 families registered for each of the sessions with another 12 families on the waiting list.

Ms Henley said that the increasing numbers are due to both the commitment from the volunteers and a vast range of
activities which includes arts and craft, dramatic play, story time segments, cooking, music and movement.

“Our playgroup is a ministry that goes beyond simply supplying a social or physical activity,” she said.

“It is one of the only areas in our community where parents, small babies and children experience the fellowship and friendship of a Christian community.

“As volunteers, we feel called to offer this ministry to those both within our church community and wider.

“For some children and their parents the spiritual element at playgroup may be their only experience of Christian

Being close to The University of Queensland, many parents from overseas in post graduate student courses attend and have welcomed support, sharing of information and experiences and ideas from other families.

“At Indooroopilly Uniting Church we are able to offer English conversation classes to these families as most speak a
language at home other than English” said Ms Henley.

One of the positive outcomes has been the numerous baptisms celebrated this year and three or four playgroup families who are now part of the worshipping community at Indooroopilly.

“This ministry is totally reliant on our valuable volunteers.

So my prayer is that members of our congregation will feel the call to become involved in this wonderful ministry.

“Indooroopilly Uniting Church Playgroups have become an important stepping stone into the life of the church.”

Photo : Volunteer, Gaylynn Bailey, with Sasha, Lillian, and Kitty Kendall at playgroup. Photo by Osker Lau