“We also had the thrill of the Deep River Choir at our last concert.”
It is just a year since our minister retired. We had plenty of warning of her retirement and started looking for her replacement immediately. So far we have had no success. During her time here we benefited greatly from her calm and orderly manner. She left us in a good place to manage on our own if we had to.
At the beginning of this year funding was cut to UnitingCare Pivot Point Outreach Centre by the Federal Government. Pivot Point had been operating in Batemans Bay for almost three decades and was a lifeline for those in the shire in desperate need. Pleas to our local member and the Minister were heard, but no action resulted.
One could imagine that these blows would leave us feeling disheartened and helpless, but that has not been the case.
Australian Church Women Inc. National Conference
Seventy-two Christian women from around the country met in Collaroy NSW for the biennial conference in September 2015. See also the Conference report here.
The five days of conference included Bible Studies led by Dr Sylvia Collinson, business relating to Australian Church Women, an ecumenical service, interesting insights into projects for women in NSW, a delightful outing to the northern beaches, a concert, formal dinner and an inspirationally designed prayer room.
Annual Report from Bri Griffiths, UnitingCare Community Development Coordinator – ACT
Safe Shelter 2015 Report available here.
I am often reminded by my peers in other locations that the Canberra Region Presbytery is “so different” to many other Presbyteries – well resourced, capable and committed. This year we might well add courageous and innovative to that list of attributes, as congregations and the Presbytery alike have stepped bravely into new initiatives.
Innovative Community Grants
The Innovative Community Grants Fund, administered by UnitingCare’s Regional Councils, provides funding for innovative new community projects or to expand existing community programs designed to build stronger communities. This year $93,020 was awarded to congregations in the Canberra Region Presbytery – doubling both the value of grants and the number of congregations participating in the last two years. Congratulations to all those involved. Please see the website posting here for more detail.
Read on to find out about: Affordable Housing Initiative; How can congregations contribute directly? and Uniting in Canberra in 2016
The Innovative Community Grants Fund, administered by UnitingCare’s Regional Councils, provides funding for innovative new community projects or to expand existing community programs designed to build stronger communities. This year $93,020 was awarded to congregations in the Canberra Region Presbytery – doubling both the value of grants and the number of congregations participating in the last two years. Congratulations to all those involved.
As the grants are intended, the applications from our region this year really highlighted creative and courageous congregational thinking. Queanbeyan UC received support for their Safe Shelter initiative; Gungahlin UC received support for expansion of the Mustard Seed Uniting Food Pantry; Mt Dromedary Parish received a contribution towards development of their Narooma manse as a Community Drop-In Centre; and the Grace Community will expand the support they provide to Goulburn children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The Erindale Neighbourhood Garden truly is a “growing community”. Initiated by Karen MacPherson of the Tuggeranong UC, the garden is a wonderful example of Church in partnership with other community organisations, seeking to strengthen a local community.
A picnic and ‘expo’ followed the morning’s meeting of the Canberra Region Presbytery on Saturday 7 November 2015, hosted by Greenhills Camp and Conference Centre, ACT.
As 2015 draws to a close the Canberra Region Presbytery celebrates the life of Congregations. Together we have much to give thanks to God for congregations as they worship, witness and serve.