Nearly 70 young people from the Uniting Church congregations of Glebe Road, Oxley, Centenary, Karana Downs, Forest Lake and Indooroopilly were camped at Easterfest this year and all were caught up in the chaos of the Saturday night flooding. Indooroopilly youth minister, Rev Josie Nottle, was responsible for 40 young people when the plans for the weekend changed due to a torrential downpour.
“The original plan was to camp out the entire weekend, have a relaxing time and, on Resurrection Sunday, share together in a fairly short and fairly contemporary communion service,” said Ms Nottle. “As the rain came down and we saw that at least one of our tents was not going to survive and that our campsite was in a fairly high flow zone for the water, a few of us made the decision to find a warm dry place to spend the night.”
Thanks to UConnect, the Synod online directory, Ms Nottle contacted Rev Andrew Gillies, minister of St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Toowoomba, (the closest Uniting Church to Queens Park) who was happy to accommodate them in the church hall.
Ms Nottle said the main feeling amongst the group was one of relief.
“There was a sense of disappointment, especially about missing Switchfoot, but once they knew their friends were safe, there was excitement as things had changed and, being in a small space with about 40 people, community is kind of thrust upon you,” she said.
A spokesperson from the St Stephen’s congregation said there were no negative comments from the predominantly older congregation about the 40 young people sleeping in their hall.
“They attended worship on Sunday morning and were very nice and polite and thanked us for our hospitality,” she said. “They were grateful for a warm and dry place to sleep and especially for real toilets. We were very pleased Andrew was able to help them; they would be welcome here anytime.”
Photo : Bremer Brisbane Presbytery youth camp out in the St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Toowoomba, hall after getting flooded out of the Easterfest campsite. Photo by Lissa Foley