Called to be Christ in our community

Dongara Uniting Church. Typical of small country towns, the church can be the hub of the community.

Dongara Uniting Church. Typical of small country towns, the church can be the hub of the community.

‘A rural community is people living across a wide rural-based area serviced by a small town (often with limited facilities) which is a central hub for interdependent activities which meet  social, commercial, educational and spiritual needs.’ Rural Ministries Working Group

Jesus came and lived amongst people, ministering to people, loving people. The church is a community of people who are bound by that rule of love, giving of themselves for one another  as Jesus gave himself for them (John 13). The community of the church is called to live that life of love in all aspects of its life which includes in the wider community.  Community in a rural setting tends to be far more intense than in the city. In our small country towns each person is known to the other through the network of community groups in the  town. In pastoral care of each other this both helps and hinders the local church community. Everyday pastoral care comes naturally to those we know, and the church community  relates easily to the whole community.Continue Reading

Building belonging through mentoring

Building community with – not for – young people is one of the main principles of the First Third concept. The idea being that people feel more connected and included while breaking  down the ‘us and them’ paradigm that so often exists between the generations.

In the Metro West Region, Jessica Morthorpe, First Third specialist, is trialling a new path for the region, moving on from the old youth group model and encouraging mentorship through participation in small interest groups.Continue Reading

From the burbs to the outback: It’s not all beer and skittles

A train returns to isolated Tom Price

Over the last two decades, Western Australia has seen a 400% increase in fly-in fly-out work. It has become so prevalent, that it’s likely you know someone who works a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) job, if not someone in your own family.

As of May 2012, The Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded that the resource industry in Australia employs around 269,300 people. Although there is limited data about how many of  these people work FIFO, one private survey, with over 18,000 participants found that 47% of mining employees were working FIFO or DIDO practices.

While a lot of families and communities benefit from this kind of work, which incurs extensive travel to a workplace resulting in being away from home for periods of time, it can also  come at a cost.Continue Reading