Coffs Harbour Council of Churches – Report Chair – 2019
From the tiniest of yellow daisies on the forest floor to the tallest of the trees and all that flourishes in between, their faces are uplifted to the sun. Their very existence is dependent on the sun’s being and it’s consistency. It is within that forest that one can find personal unity, peace, purpose and rest. Like a forest, all the differing denominational groups, all the churches, are turned towards Jesus, the Son of God. The question however is, will one find the same unity, the same peace, purpose and rest in such a forest? The Coffs Harbour Council of Churches works toward making it so.
Like its parent bodies, the NSW Ecumenical Council and the National Council of Churches, the Coffs Harbour Council of Churches consists of both lay and ordained members of each affiliated church. Small in number as we are, our hands have turned many a wheel to work towards our goals.
During 2018 we met prayed and worked together on a monthly basis. There were matters of social justice to be addressed and to that end we held a pleasant Sunday Afternoon Concert to raise some monies to pay the obligatory school fees of some children in South Sudan. We also held a most successful Trivia Night at Marion Grove to help fund the enormous financial burden borne by the Al Ahil Arab Hospital in the Gaza Strip.
As part of our addressing the issue of our unity in the forest of our world and city, we held an Ecumenical Church Service on the 500th Anniversary of the death of Martin Luther. We thank the Lutheran Church and the Reverend Bruce Hohnberg for doing the heavy lifting for that service. Such a success means that we have to worship together much more regularly!! To look to issues of national importance, Fr Frank Brennan was our guest for a Lecture/QnA.
Advent is a time when the Christian message is visible in our community and each year we try to bring to the peoples of our city a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas. Thus we launch the Christmas Bowl in one of our member churches. Thank you to the Coffs Regional Brass Band and the Coffs City Choir, as well as many solo artists and groups who support us in these endeavours.
The professionalism enabling us to have a web-page is vital. Importantly, we thank Charles and Aveley Lucas for gifting us this opportunity for wider publicity. The future is exciting. With many more hands we will again undertake these projects in the wider community. Yet we still hold as our purpose the need to make ecumenism our primary aim and to that end we will continue to pray and search for the mind of God to challenge us, excite us and lead us into 2019/2020.
(The Reverend Jan McLeod. Chair)