On December 13, Dongara Uniting Church celebrated 136 years of the church building.
The Methodist congregation of the 1880s had acted to construct the church on land that was donated in the town centre. The building has been maintained, renovated and repaired at regular intervals in that 136 years, however, the basic structure remains intact, and is a cool and welcoming space in which we gather to worship and celebrate.
During the service, we had a time of Remembrance of Our Past Saints – people who have relocated to other towns, or who have died, in the past 10 years. Those present were invited to speak a few words of remembrance for any of these Saints who had inspired or connected with them in a particular way of grace and faith.
We then each placed flowers or sprig of rosemary alongside tealight candles in a tray filled with beach sand, as a gesture of remembrance. It was quite a moving experience for some of us. Good laughs too, as we recalled some of the identifying characteristics of these Saints.
At the same service, we celebrated the new main doors and sheltering porch which had recently been installed on the church hall. Fresh lawn had been laid also, to cover bare ground near the hall. These were dedicated as part of the sacred space we use each week in worship and fellowship. We prayed there will continue to be a life and witness to God and Christ as the buildings are occupied regularly.
The event finished with a fine morning tea, of course! We take any opportunity to share a ‘meal’ together, celebrating further the current gifts of congregation members.