Opinion

Uniting Church today seeking unity for all

By Riverine Herald

AS THIS is my first article for Crossroads, I would like to thank the editor of the Riverine Herald for my opportunity to connect with the wider Echuca-Moama community – and even further afield.

Having now lived in Echuca for just on seven months, this community has become home for me and my husband.

My ministry has moved from the rolling hills and cooler temperatures of Castlemaine district to a landscape that is flat, but has the beauty of river country.

The Echuca-Moama Uniting Church building stands out on the corner of Hare and Packenham streets and is a hive of activity, often for seven days a week.

We host lunch on Tuesdays and breakfasts on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Our craft shop and office are open each weekday and on Saturdays there is a book stall on the days of the Farmers’ Market.

On Sundays we have morning worship and occasionally a music performance in the afternoon.

All are welcome to attend any of these events.

STEPS, a part of Hands on Help; operates Wednesdays to Fridays in the lower hall; Uniting AgeWell has its office upstairs and community groups hire our hall and other rooms.

We love being in the centre of town but maintaining our heritage building and the fight against water and pigeon damage is an expensive business and we are in the process of seeking funding to deal with it.

The main reason we exist as a congregation is to help spread the good news of Jesus Christ in Echuca-Moama.

As members of the church community we have found our lives so enriched by living in a personal relationship with Jesus and sharing in fellowship with other Christians that we want others to experience this fullness of life.

We know the Uniting Church is not alone in seeking this, and so I desire to get to know other church leaders in this district in the hope that we can more effectively work together and I am finding the local Ministers’ Association helpful for this aim.

As a Uniting Church in Victoria/Tasmania we share a vision of ‘Following Christ, walking together as First and Second Peoples, seeking community, compassion and justice for all creation.’

On a national level we also desire reconciliation with the indigenous people of this land and we have established a covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. This covenant expresses our desire to fulfil God’s love and justice for all.

It is an apology for the wrong done to the Aboriginal and Islander people by the church, while the First Peoples were willing to share their life with us.

As a Minister in the Uniting Church, besides caring for and leading my own congregation, I desire to forge bonds with members of other churches and the indigenous community.

May we all work together to be an even more unified and inclusive community in Echuca-Moama.

Michele Lees

Echuca-Moama Uniting Church