I’m on my way back to Australia after a truly rich experience in China participating in a joint conference between the China Christian Council and the Uniting Church in Australia. It was amazing to discover such profound commonalities with Christians in such a totally different context. It made me think about the distinctively Australian dimensions of the church I’m part of.
And that brought to mind the wonderful time I spent in Darwin with the Frontier Services Patrol Ministers at their biennial conference just a few weeks ago.
Those men and women are extraordinary, exercising a ministry that is unque to the Australian church. I felt honoured to be with them, listening to their experiences and insights. In China we talked deeply about the journey towards Christian unity. In Darwin I heard stories of how the Patrol Ministers model Christian unity daily, in remote places where denominations are just irrelevant.
I hope that, as the relationship with the CCC develops, there will be opportunities for our Chinese sisters and brothers to meet some of our Patrol Ministers and see who they are and what they do. In the meantime I hope the members of the UCA appreciate what an amazing ministry they are exercising on our behalf in the most remote parts of this beautiful land.
One of the ways we can support the ministry offered by the Frontier Services Patrol Ministers is to get involved in the Great Outback BBQ. So bear with me while I give it a plug.
The Great Outback BBQ is the one major fundraiser for Frontier Services and is fun way for people to come together and raise money for a great cause.
The money raised from the Great Outback BBQ will help Frontier Services go the extra mile for people in remote Australia – whether that is through the practical and spiritual support offered by the Patrol Ministers or vital community services such as health clinics, children’s services and mobile carer respite or the invaluable volunteer assistance provided by Outback Links.
Since its launch in 2011, the event has raised more than $140,000 for Frontier Services, with BBQs being hosted all over Australia.
Every event – big or small – makes a difference.
The BBQ will run through September and into Spring and Summer. When and how you run an event is entirely up to you. Some congregations and fellowship groups are hosting a Billy Morning Tea. Already, there are 110 BBQs registered. Most of these are Uniting Church congregations which is a great show of support for this ministry. Can you help Frontier Services meet their target of 150 BBQs this year?
To register or find our more go to http://www.greatoutbackbbq.com or phone 1300 787 247.
And how good would it be to hold a Great Outback BBQ in China one day?!