Rest and Reflect at Engadine Uniting Church
Engadine Uniting Church launched their community space Rest and Reflect last month.
Councillor Carmelo Pesce, Mayor of Sutherland Shire, Councillor Diedree Steinwall, Heathcote MP, Lee Evans and Heathcote Labor candidate, Maryanne Stuart joined congregation members and Uniting Out of School Hours Care (OOSH) students for the launch.
Engadine Uniting Church member, Susan Foyle, was one of the speakers at the launch. She, along with volunteers and congregation members, was heavily involved in transforming the front of the church – complete with murals, benches and a revitalised garden.
In her speech Susan said that the Rest and Reflect space was for everyone to enjoy.
“Thank you to everyone that had a hand in creating this space for the whole community to share.
“A space that we hope stands as a divine message of the hope and love that can be found in God, and never taken away,” said Susan.
The featured custom murals outside the church, and focal point of the space, incorporated designs drawn by the OOSH kids.
Susan explained that these murals not only add colour but they also carry that same message of hope and love that their church community strongly believes in.
For Engadine Uniting Church youth member, Shane Slade, the launch was extra special, having come up with the original idea for the space himself and with the help of the community seeing it become a reality.
“It was fantastic seeing it come to life.
“The original idea really evolved and was improved by the all contributions of the congregation, it became such a collaborative effort,” said Shane.
Shane said the support of Engadine Uniting Church minister Rev. Tammy Hollands was integral for the development of this community space.
“In the beginning I really thought people wouldn’t like it, that it would be a silly idea.
“However, my minister Tammy was very encouraging and helped me ‘sell it’ to the congregation building a proposal for church council and putting it to a congregation meeting,” said Shane.
Shane hopes this space will eliminate perceived barriers for others entering the church and take the church out of the four walls.
“Community building is such an integral part of being a follower of Jesus and the reflective space was a bit of an ‘out there’ way to do that.”
“For me we’re doing that when mum’s sitting on the bench waiting to pick up her kids from the school across the road or nan is having a rest on her way to the shops. That anyone can walk by and just take a moment to collect their thoughts,” said Shane.
The OOSH is already planning picnics in the new community space.
The successful launch of Engadine Uniting Church’s Rest and Reflect, is a testament to what could happen when collaborative ideas are nurtured.
“Our young people have so many out there ideas on being church and we should be nurturing them and taking them up, who knows how it will turn out,” said Shane.