One hundred and forty years ago Nerang was a town still growing from infancy with a small array of shops, a telegraph office, a local school and little economic interest in “tourism”. But over the near century and a half the church has stood the test of time welcoming the faithful and being a home for God’s word in the community. The Nerang Uniting Church 140th Celebration Committee reports on the celebrations in mid-May to mark 140 years of the church in Nerang.
On 15 and 16 May, the Nerang Uniting Church opened our doors to the congregation past and present, friends and the Fijian and Tongan congregations who worship in our church. It certainly was a great celebration.
Saturday the 15th was a family “fun” afternoon with family and friends in attendance including members of our Mainly Music and Messy Church groups. We had a jumping castle, games and a treasure hunt prior to afternoon tea.
For afternoon tea we were joined by former ministers and church members to come together to acknowledge the faithful witness of our forefathers and their journey in Nerang. We had babies in prams, toddlers, pre-teens, young parents, the middle aged and our 95-year-old Joy who still worships with us every Sunday.
We moved to the church for a celebration service and after the service we shared a BBQ.
Sunday saw our church full—just on 100 people joined to celebrate this occasion and friends from Coomera, Southport and New Life also attended. We also had members of the Fijian and Tongan congregations, both bringing the blessing of song to the service. Our Presbytery Minister Rev David Busch delivered a powerful message.
Later, the celebration cake was cut by three generations of the Panitz family who are three of five generations of this family to have worshipped at Nerang. We then had morning tea in the hall.
Over the two days all enjoyed looking over the memorabilia gathered over many years. We shared a powerful slide presentation of photos featuring our past members, events and the current members.
We have been truly blessed by many inspirational members at Nerang and thank God for the opportunity to share his word in our community.
The 140th Celebration Committee members were Lynn Reeves, Anne Panitz and Carol Randall.