Byron Bay Uniting Church to mark 30 years
On Sunday, 20 June, Byron Bay Uniting Church will mark 30 years in ministry with a commemorative service followed by a soup lunch, all the while taking donations for a worthwhile cause.
Byron Bay Uniting Church minister Rev. Phil Dokmanovic told Insights that the initial vision for the church’s multi-purpose worship centre was largely the idea of then-minister Rev. Samata Elia and the church’s property committee at the time.
“It took a lot of faith… to come up with this vision for the multi-purpose centre,” Rev. Dokmanovic said.
The church, he said, had since stayed true to the original vision for the building’s use. He cited the recent example of when the centre was offered to rough sleepers during severe weather.
Seeing the building used in this, “positive way is seeing the legacy coming to fruition.”
Rev. Dokmanovic has been a part of that legacy for five years. He recalled hearing that the initial funds for the building were raised through cake sales and other fundraising activities.
“It’s been wonderful to journey with this community.”
The building was officially opened with a ceremony on 9 June 1991, when Rev. Elia took the keys to the worship centre from property committee member Jack Porter.
On Sunday, the church will share in a soup lunch, with donations going to the Catherine Hamlin Fustula Foundation, which works to eradicate fistula, especially in Ethopia. Dr Hamlin was an Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist who co-founded the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.
According to Rev. Dokmanovic, this idea for the soup lunch was the initiative of congregation members who have become involved in the Foundation’s work.
These members, “decided they’d love to have an annual event” and,“invite the community along well, as a way of making it not just a part of the service.”
Soups and desserts will be served free of charge and in a COVID-safe manner.
Byron Bay Uniting Church’s 30th anniversary service starts at 10.30am on Sunday, 20 June. The soup lunch begins at 11.30am.