Southern Region Gathering @ Galore

written by G. Thomas

On Sunday, 29 September, the Congregations within the Southern Region of the Uniting Church in Australia were invited to meet to celebrate the Season of Creation.

In highlighting God’s Creation, we met in the natural environment upon Galore Hill – a substantial geological feature on the plains near Lockhart.

The event was attended by our Rev Yvonne Ghavalas, and 38 members of various Worshiping Communities from Lockhart, Pilgrim (Wagga Wagga), and Henty-Culcairn.   Other denominations were also represented. Our ages ranged from very young to very senior !

The service saw our camping chairs circled around the improvised altar for prayer and praise with our music delivered by the modern creation of mobile phone and mini speakers.

Yvonne had posted illustrations of animals of God’s Creation in various places around the venue, each with a prayer composed by a child. We were sent to view these, singly or in two’s or three’s to view, reflect, and to make our own prayer offering for these creatures.

Yvonne then led us in reflecting on our place in the Creation story and concluded the service with Communion. 

We all shared lunch and conversation with sandwiches and BBQ sausages and the ambience of the natural environment.

As a person who can find connection with God much more meaningful in remote areas than in a people-constructed building, I found the occasion very uplifting.

This occasion for gathering together members of Southern Region Congregations was one of three that Presbytery plans to hold annually and was a great opportunity to spend time breaking bread and getting to know a little of each other and fostering the relationships that make each Congregation more effective. By encouraging others and by sharing ideas and alternative approaches to the achievement of Christ’s mission we grow individually and collectively.

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