Over two huge days on 2 & 3 June, members of the Hawker community and beyond will gather for The Great Pumpkin Party. Bindy Taylor spoke to organiser Stef Teague from Hawker Uniting Church to find out more about this exciting, pumpkin-filled event.
A revitalisation for Noarlunga
By Bindy Taylor
Posted in Culture
“To live as Ambassadors of Christ” is the bold mission statement of Noarlunga Uniting Church as they move forward into a new era.
At present, Noarlunga is a combined community of three former Uniting Church congregations – Hackham West, Morphett Vale and Christies Beach – with properties at Morphett Vale and Christies Beach. While both buildings were being used for worship for a time, Sunday services are now held at the William Road building at Christies Beach. The church’s many community activities are now also held in this location.
The Noarlunga congregation has felt called to renew and refresh themselves by focussing on a new location and mission to better connect with the wider community.
After a period of discussion and discernment, the decision was made to sell the Hillier Road Worship Centre at Morphett Vale* and later, the William Road building. Selling the existing buildings will make way for a new and refreshed church, offering a significant and vibrant presence in the southern suburbs.
Earlier in 2017, the Noarlunga Parish Mission Council was formed to help guide and assist in the future planning for the new church. Exciting conversations are happening around a future property – whether the church will encompass a new build or will acquire a new building in a prominent location. This decision has yet to be made. Whatever the new building looks like, it will serve the mission of the congregation and be a resource for the community.
“This is a key project in the life of the Church,” says Rev Nigel Rogers, the CEO/General Secretary of the Uniting Church SA. “A revitalised church in a central location of Adelaide’s southern suburbs will bring transformation to the lives of many in the community and work to grow the Kingdom of God.”
The Noarlunga church community has built on their mission statement, using it to develop four key mission areas – intentional discipleship, developing community links, identifying needs in the community, and maintaining a vibrant Uniting Church presence in the southern suburbs. The Noarlunga congregation will be the main Uniting Church for one of Adelaide’s largest geographic areas, the Onkaparinga Council, which has a population of approximately 57,000.
“I believe this is an area that is ripe for mission and has great opportunities for us to serve God in completely practical ways” says Rev Douglas Monaghan, the minister of Noarlunga Uniting Church. “It’s a huge area with many people desperately needing to see the difference God can make in their lives so please join us in praying to the Lord of the Harvest.”
The congregation hopes to strengthen their bonds with other Uniting Church congregations in the surrounding area – Hallett Cove Uniting Church to the north, Seeds to the north east, the Vines to the east, ConneXions to the south, and Old Noarlunga in the south east. The existing church community is already connecting with these congregations, and they hope to build upon these relationships as the project progresses.
The Parish Mission Council is also working very closely with the Uniting Church SA Presbytery & Synod. Members of the Synod office have been key in helping to guide the Council through this process, and Douglas is serving in the church in a priority placement.
“It is a massive privilege to serve here in Noarlunga. I am excited by the vision of the congregation and encouraged by the support shown by Presbytery to reimagining how we can express God’s love to those in the southern suburbs,” says Douglas.
“I look forward to working with the congregation, the local community and the wider church to realise God’s mission here.”
The Noarlunga Parish Mission Council is currently having conversations with people and congregations who have progressed new building projects or purchased new properties, those who have amalgamated, and those who have started new types and styles of church. The Council is eager to hear from those who can bring wisdom and knowledge to establishing a new church. To get in touch with the Council, please contact Beth Seaman at email@example.com
Pictured: Rev Nigel Rogers, Rev Beth Seaman and Rev Douglas Monaghan.
*Noarlunga Uniting Church will hold a decommissioning service for their Hillier Road property in Morphett Vale on Sunday 17 December at 2pm. All are invited to join the congregation as they give thanks for the many years of faithful ministry and witness that has taken place at this location. Afternoon tea will be served following the service.
More from Culture
Earlier this year, Walkerville Uniting Church successfully applied for a grant to fund a comprehensive series of events and programs to be run throughout 2018 with the motto “Don’t just survive: thrive with age”.
“I Can Only Imagine” is one of several Christian films currently showing in Australian cinemas. Bindy Taylor went to see the film and offers her insights and opinions in the following review.