Actively expressing love for others by being a positive presence in the community has become a priority for Jandowae Uniting Church. Rohan Salmond spoke with congregation minister Rev Jenny Sims.
What’s happening in your congregation?
There is new enthusiasm within the congregation to connect with the community. Three members of the congregation are involved in religious instruction in the school. Members are involved in various clubs and activities in the town. The Craft Club meets in the church hall.
There is an active Ladies Fellowship group which raises funds through catering and provides oversight for the property. The women regularly visit Uniting Church residents at Taralga Retirement Village, taking them cappuccinos from the local coffee lounge. On occasions they take them to the coffee lounge for an outing.
I arrived in September last year, providing ministry to Dalby and Jandowae, where I lead worship on two or three Sundays each month. Right now I’m focussing on equipping the congregation to lead worship and to grow in their confidence to use their gifts in ministry so there is less dependence on others when there is no minister. A course for lay presidency of the sacraments is planned for later in the year.
What does creating disciples mean for your church community?
Creating disciples for us is about growing our faith through regular worship attendance and the recently established Bible study group. There’s an emphasis on living our faith actively in our community and the ways we share our faith, supporting and caring for others.
The congregation is working on developing a vision statement with the help of Rev Marius Kruger, Downs Presbytery resource minister. The congregation is committed to connecting with people in the community and making the church an influential presence.
How does your church community show love in active ways?
Jandowae Uniting Church is a loving and caring community committed to one another and to showing compassion in the community. Prayer support has been significant for one another especially when specific health concerns and other struggles emerge. We have two people undergoing cancer treatment at the moment in a small congregation of about 25 people.
What is your church community passionate about?
Our church is passionate about connecting to the broader community and sharing the good news with others through genuine love and compassion. We are passionate about growing our church at every level. We want to grow our church, encouraging personal growth in faith, caring through pastoral circles and growth through engagement and connections with the community.