The Northern Region of the Riverina Presbytery met for the first time on 3rd March 2018 at the Griffith Uniting Church.
We began the day with an Inauguration Service. Presbytery Chairperson, Pastor Andrew Thornley gave a reflection on Isaiah 2:1-4 and John 21:15-19 before leading us into a formal commitment as churches of the Northern Region, to journey together in faith, compassion and care; to encourage one another in faith as we worship, witness and serve our communities in the name of Christ.
Rev Carolyn led us through an exercise ‘What Assets?’ (the things we do really well). Between 17 participants there were over 60 ‘assets’ posted on coloured notes. Then the task was to group them!
The young people had a long list of things they loved doing: dancing, singing, and acting. The performing arts are a great way of connecting, loving and embracing community. Hillston-Gunbar and Tullibigeal would love this inter-town, cross-cultural experience! The other groups were; building relationships – hospitality and out-reach; self-care; belonging – things that bring us together (worship, youth group); learning new things (cross generations, passing on the baton); breaking down barriers and pastoral care (looking after each other).
We gathered in the group we felt most passionate about and brain-stormed how we might share the ministry across the Region. For example, the pastoral care group came up with these ideas: a Regional care support group to support the leaders by meeting informally every 6 weeks – for sharing and building stronger connections and relationships; a calendar of events for the Northern Region, and a prayer chain with contact persons.
Carolyn then asked at the end, ‘now, how do you feel about all this? Amongst the varied replies was ‘excited!’ After lunch Rev Abera Abera led a great seminar on “Sharing Together – Cultural Understanding’ and this was followed by a short seminar on “The Beauty of John’s Gospel” by Andrew.
I hope the other Regions will enjoy their Inauguration Service Day as much as we did.
Thank you Rev Carolyn and Pastor Andrew from the new Northern Region.