Just had a truly inspiring weekend. Friday night saw the wider church come together at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School, where the local Christian Religious Instruction Network heard how RI has been expanded to a further 16 schools in the West Moreton district due to the network’s efforts. The dinner raised just over $40 000 for this work in the coming year.
Meanwhile, across town, members of the Uniting Church gathered under our red dove symbol for the Multicultural Development Association’s Luminous Lantern Festival at Southbank. This was the second time the church has been present, but the first time we “flew the dove” and celebrated being a multicultural church with this popular event.
On Sunday morning I gathered with about 400 folk at Real Life Christian Church—formerly Logan Uniting Church—to celebrate their 40th anniversary. This church was birthed in the vision of that redoubtable ministry team led by Rev Bryan Gilmore and Rev Dr Dennis Robinson. Real Life minister Rev Adam Low honoured the founders and called the congregation to new expressions of life and ministry.
In the afternoon the Multi Cross Cultural Reference Group hosted, with Broadwater Road Uniting Church, a Pentecost celebration. It was a wonderful worship service that included so many of the traditional and emerging cultural faith communities in the church; we welcomed the newest one, a Portuguese-speaking Brazilian group from Bulimba Uniting Church. National President Dr Deidre Palmer joined us for a welcome.
In the evening I attended the Second Gen Tongan National Conference’s youth rally; folk from Queensland, New South Wales and the Assembly office gathered to celebrate the goodness of God and our faith in Jesus Christ; the Niueans joined in, as did the Samoans! Rev Jason Kioa preached up a storm, and our own Rev Fa Matangi challenged us with her personal testimony.
A truly inspiring weekend of faith, hope and love. Our church is morphing and changing, becoming more like the Kingdom of God every day!
I’m off to North Queensland this week with Rev Peter Armstrong, visiting UnitingCare centres and the congregations that work alongside them. Peter and I will pop out to Cloncurry on the way home to see how bush chaplains David and Janette Ellis are going. Maybe we’ll even get to “the outer Barcoo where the churches are few, And men of religion are scanty, On a road never cross’d ‘cept by folk that are lost”. But we’ll see.