Emerald Uniting Church is passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus by serving the community in all its diversity. Rohan Salmond spoke with Rev Suzy Sitton.
What is happening in your congregation?
There’s regular vibrant worship, youth activities, Bible study and lots of care and support for each other and for those in the community. Our local mission focus is to provide volunteer and spiritual support for the local Blue Care aged-care facility, UnitingCare, the Lifeline thrift shop and Remote Area Family Services. Our global mission focus is the Tien Shan International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where two of our members now teach.
Our annual Walk through Bethlehem event is on Friday 13 and Friday 20 December. The people of Emerald will be able to see, touch and hear the Christmas story through our depiction of first century Bethlehem. There will be a woodworker, a candle maker, a leather goods worker, a baker, a weaver and Mary and Joseph on hay bales.
What does discipleship mean to your community?
Making disciples for us is about serving the community: being a loving, active church; taking part in car parking duties at the Emerald Show; helping on the cleaning roster at the Multicultural Fair and participating in Relay for Life and the Easter Sunflower Parade. It’s about showing God’s love in such a way that others want to be part of the community we have and share in Christ’s love. We are passionate about the good news of Jesus Christ and in our prayer life we listen and discern God’s leading for our community.
What does Christian unity mean to you?
We work together with the local churches in Emerald, providing spiritual care to the whole community through hospital chaplaincy and emergency relief. There’s also ecumenical worship at the Australia Day ceremony and the Good Friday service in the Botanical Gardens. Our worship is multicultural. There are Bible readings and singing in Tongan, Filipino, Tok Pisin and Fijian. We’re also developing interfaith relations with the small Muslim community in the area by providing the church hall for Friday afternoon prayers. Multi-faith dialogue is something Jesus engaged in, as did Paul.