With over 100 years in existence the Haigslea Uniting Church was all set to close its doors in late March with a service of dissolution but the COVID-19 pandemic changed all those plans. Despite pandemic-related restrictions, the church still took steps to thank those in the church community with a farewell video. James O’Callaghan reports.
After 109 years, the Haigslea Uniting Church was due to celebrate a service of dissolution and closure on 29 March. But with the COVID-19 pandemic making public gatherings impossible, minister Rev Peter Taubner took alternative avenues to speak of the impact of the church upon the local community outside of Ipswich, west of Brisbane.
Peter recorded a video from both the outside and inside the church as a means to thank those who would have attended if possible.
“It was also an opportunity for the folk of Haigslea to offer you all a word of thanks and positive encouragement, even in the face of COVID-19,” said Peter. “This has been a time of bittersweet memories and recollections of past glory.”
Queensland Synod Moderator Rev David Baker was scheduled to attend and speak at the service, and said in a message to the congregation that he had been blessed by their worship and faithful service.
“Your lives have been sustained and nurtured by the means of grace you have received there,” said David.
“The Christian journey is one of dying and rising; of letting things go so that new life can emerge. You have done well and you have provided a place of worship and respite, and now it’s time to lay it down.”
Peter said that members of the congregation are connecting with other churches nearby.
“They are going to face the short term with courage and boldness, knowing that our God is in control and that his son, through the Holy Spirit, continues to lead us forward in faith, hope and truth.”
Haigslea Uniting Church has been a key part of the community for many years. The Ladies’ Fellowship has played an instrumental role in the congregation with their remarkable witness within the community over the last 30 years. The prayer group which met on a Sunday morning before church also played an important role with blessing and support of members and worship leaders.