ChurchLINKS bringing Kalamunda churches together

Kalamunda’s ChurchLINKS is about to celebrate its 10th birthday!

You are invited to help us celebrate on Sunday 28 July, 2.00pm, at a special combined service at the Kalamunda Holy Family Catholic Church, Railway Road, Kalamunda.

ChurchLINKS is a movement initiated by Margaret Brodie, a member of the Kalamunda Uniting Church, in 2009.

As the name implies, the aim was for local churches within the Shire (now City) of Kalamunda to develop a greater knowledge of each other and, apart from getting to know more Christian friends, to also find out more about the community outreach programs each church was doing. Perhaps we could even be more effective if we linked up and worked together.

The first meeting of interested people in July 2009 brought together representatives from twelve churches. This was a great start.

We were immediately astonished at just how many existing projects we were already doing together, including Youthcare (or Chaplaincy, both administration and also fund-raising); Carols By Candlelight in a local park;  Girls’ Brigade; World Day of Prayer;  and the highly successful ‘Sharing a Hills Christmas’ in which food and gifts were donated, organised and circulated to hundreds of people.

Individual churches were then invited to outline some of their other community outreach initiatives.  It was all quite extraordinary to hear the reports of what was being attempted and achieved – and all this was happening locally!

Over the last ten years we have continued to meet three times per year to continue building friendships, to continue to hear what other churches were doing, and of course, where possible, co-operating and supporting each other in these programs. An email link has enabled us to promote each others special events and programs, to the benefit of all.

We meet in different churches each time; the host church sets the agenda and steers the meeting. On occasions we have had guest speakers of local significance such as Rod Lavater, who came to tell us all about the Esther Foundation which had just opened up in Kalamunda providing support for young women overcoming difficult circumstances. Rod also runs a coffee and op shop in the main street – a great promotion for the Esther Foundation but also a great training opportunity for the women involved. It was good that Rod could address one gathering of people representing eight churches.

ChurchLINKS has broken down barriers, built a better understanding and enabled us to work together. We now have in place an annual program called Christmas Lights where churches have been encouraged to light up their churches for Christmas to share with the broader community the reason for the season. This is a particularly successful outreach for churches situated on main roads.

ChurchLINKS has brought home the message to all of us that despite some different rituals and practices in our churches and even slightly differing theological beliefs, we are all one in the Spirit being be led to work in a God-honouring way for the betterment of all.

Marcia Maher

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