A recent article based on result from an Ipsos Poll reported that two out of three Australians think that religion does more harm than good. Rev Prof Andrew Dutney explores the results of this poll and the role of the church in Australia.
Making moves at Meadows
Posted in Culture
Meadows Uniting Church is a small country faith community with a big vision – to see the church become a community centre where people from the local community can be encouraged and ministered to, and have their needs met.
In order to meet this challenge, the church has begun making changes and undertaking new initiatives in recent months. One of these has been the growth of The Closet, the church’s op shop and community centre.
For many years, the Meadows Uniting Church op shop ran out of a small room and was open only one day a week. Now, under the guidance of Bonita Swart (pictured) and a small team of volunteers, The Closet utilises the whole church hall and is open three days per week.
The space does more than offer an area for people to purchase clothing and items at a very low cost – it has also provided a meeting place for members of the local community and beyond. A steady stream of people enters The Closet throughout the three days it is open. Small children are given the opportunity to play in the kids’ area or get involved in a craft activity while their parents have a break over a free cup of tea or coffee, or browse the items for sale. Others come in looking for a bargain – most clothing in The Closet costs just $1 per item – or to donate goods.
A skilled personal stylist, Bonita is also on hand to offer people with assistance as they shop, and volunteers are always happy to engage in a chat or offer prayer if asked.
Members of Meadows have found that this is a wonderful way to support and serve the wider community.
Meadows provides a number of other service to the community, including a pre-schoolers music group, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, a men’s shed, Sunday worship services, youth activities, a space for special events from Meadows Primary School, sponsorship of local chaplains and Christian pastoral support workers, freed bread for people in need, a craft group for young mums, fundraising events, community Christmas carols in the local park, pastoral care and counselling, and prayer ministry.
The church community is eager to continue its service in these areas, and to see their level of service grow. But they are facing a challenge.
Unfortunately, the church hall currently has significant foundational issues necessitating a complete renovation of the hall, toilets and kitchen. With a small congregation of only 30 people, this is a real challenge. But members of Meadows are confident that God has a way through this situation and will provide.
Meadows Uniting Church has been supported and encouraged by Cherry Gardens Uniting Church in the initial planning stages, but the congregation is requesting further assistance. They are seeking prayer, financial support, and volunteers to assist them in fulfilling God’s vision for their church.
For more information about supporting this project, please contact Pastor Greg Harding on 0424474651 or Leanne Keough via email at email@example.com
Please note: Congregational building projects exceeding $10,000 require approval from the Property Trust. For more information, please contact Property Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
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