UnitingWorld's Cath Taylor shares stories from the Pacific, including the visit Alexandra Bingham (pictured right) took to Lelehudi in Papua New Guinea in 2017 to document a UnitingWorld partnership.
Filling a need in ageing Broadview
Posted in Culture
When Rev Ruthmary Bond began her placement at Broadview Uniting Church in 2017, she was asked to look into the needs of the church and local community.
“The greatest need I saw was in those in the over 65 age bracket – and to me, ministry is all about meeting the need of where you’re put,” says Ruthmary.
There are several retirement villages and residential aged care homes in the area, in addition to older people living in their own homes. Four churches in the area closed in recent years, leaving many of the locals who once attended them feeling lost and disconnected.
“Seeing the need for community amongst older people in Broadview was the easy bit – finding the best way to meet that need was a bit harder,” Ruthmary says.
After talking with others in the church and community, Ruthmary came across an existing initiative that she felt could be developed to create a welcoming place for local seniors. Community Morning is held weekly on Wednesdays, with approximately 20 people gathering at the church to play games over tea and coffee.
“It’s been operating for years and although it has dwindled recently, there was a real sense of hope within the group, and they expressed a vision of seeing it become something more.”
Broadview Uniting Church developed a proposal for an Ageing and Wellness Grant to help grow the Community Morning. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Uniting Church in 2017, the Board of Resthaven Incorporated generously donated $250,000 to the SA Synod. These funds are being offered to Uniting Church congregations, faith communities and mission networks as grants to support positive ageing in SA. Broadview’s grant application was accepted.
“We’re hoping to offer a variety of activities that seniors in the community can participate in according to their individual abilities and interests. We’re aiming to create a space of belonging to help enhance each individual’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing in a holistic way,” says Ruthmary.
“This is a really exciting time for our community at Broadview Uniting Church as we seek to connect with ageing people in the local area.”
Applications for the 40th Anniversary Ageing and Wellness Grants close on Friday 30 March. Uniting Church SA congregations, faith communities and mission networks wishing to apply for a grant are encouraged to think creatively about the need of older members of the community. To find out more, or to apply, please visit sa.uca.org.au/ageing-grant
A longer version of this article will be published in the February/March 2018 print edition of New Times.
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