The closure of a congregation usually brings to me a tinge of sadness at the concept that memories won’t be created there anymore. I never considered Manning Uniting Church to be a quiet peaceful church. It was full of life with a variety of activities for us kids. I have fond memories of plays, preparing the sets and rehearsing. Come Christmas time we would relocate to the hall for church instead of our chapel. Here we would make murals using one and two cent coins with the money going to the Christmas Bowl.
Church camps were a time for all of us to really be a community eating, worshiping, and learning together. I had many sets of parents and grandparents looking out for me as well as friends close to my age and older. This is where I developed the skills to move and work within a diverse age setting.
Numbers kept dwindling but it was still a close and supportive community. They always helped me fundraise for NCYC, supported me when I was on Youth Council and attending Easter camps. They even sang Happy Birthday on my 21st while my parents were away.
In 2010 the congregation merged with Como, to become Como Manning Uniting Church. These people are family; they watched me grow up and helped me to become who I am. As I reflect on the closure I realise that the memories are still with me. Even though I have moved away and worship closer to home, I still run into members at various church functions and it always fills me with a feeling of warmth, security and of family.
So to Como Manning Uniting Church I say ‘thank you’. Thank you for helping me be the person I am today in all the steps of my journey. Buildings come and go but memories are forever.
Como Manning Uniting Church invites all those who have been part of these two congregations to attend the final service on Sunday 1 February 2015 at 9.30am. The congregation welcomes the opportunity to catch up with old friends, ministers and local preachers.