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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 5pm & 7pm each Sunday
The Shoalhaven Aboriginal Community Church (ShACC) celebrated its 10th anniversary on 30th June, at All Saints Anglican Church, Nowra. This was a very special milestone, blessed by God and with many prayers and much planning.
The visiting Reverend Tom Slockee gave a message titled “ONE”. The readings were Ephesians 2:1-22 and Isaiah 40. He also encouraged people to look through the website Australians Together.
Many people attended from supporting places like Macarthur, Bowral and Wollongong. The local Chinese congregation attended. I attended as St Michael’s representative.
The service included a welcome to country. A number of slides of ShACC showed the important of gathering together, community, relationships and fellowship.
Many moving and classic Christian hymns and songs, including Royal Telephone by Jimmy Little who had ties with the local area. The prayers to our God expressed the faith and were a blessing to all.
Rev Tom’s godly leadership for his people and us all shone through. He reminded us of our oneness in Christ despite our sometimes lack of connection. He added humour and bold honesty regarding his faith journey. As a young man he did not want to attend church. It was a struggle to attend a white man’s church in his early days. Fortunately the Aboriginal Evangelical Church in Melbourne provided a pathway for him. He smiled as he also reminded us that our women were still encouraging men to attend church.
The analogy of the soaring eagle given in Isaiah 40:31 is inspiring for us all. And you can’t help feeling the connection to the resilience of the aboriginal community through so many past and continuing challenges. We all gain strength from God’s word.
We were reminded of many important things we are taught by our Lord: the Holy Spirit, a lack of materialism, integrity, respect, being One.
During the service a birthday cake was lit and we all sang ‘Happy birthday’. Some leaders of ShACC blew it out. It was great fun.
Following the service the Nowra senior minister, Geoff Thomson, hosted the unveiling of a plaque at the entrance to the church. A special version of the Lord’s Prayer was said in the local aboriginal language along with the English interpretation.
There was fellowship as ONE afterwards.
Please pray for ShACC, the leaders, including Phil Miles, and all those fellowshipping at their church. It continues to have many challenges.