Yesterday morning at the combined service for the 32nd Uniting Church birthday we went to St Andrews, East Geelong. There were three children and maybe 80 adults and one of the preachers was a Samoan, Rev Sani.
In the afternoon combined Fijian service at Altona Meadows there were asbout 200 adults and 30 children. Rather than participate in a nearly 3 hour service mainly in the Fijian language, I chose to help with the Sunday School children, mainly junior Primary School age. Claire, the teacher, has prepared a super program of stories, songs, games, activities, and we were a busy bunch. Toddlers were opening and closing the door with a bang some of the time as they drifted between their mothers and the Sunday School. Through the wall we could hear the choirs, hymns, and preachers a bit, but nevertheless we made our own noise. It was such a long time that we took the children out into the playground slides and climbing equipment for 20 minutes, and then came back inside for wind-up singing when a Fijian woman who taught the Sunday School at one of the churches came and in very strong terms got the children to really be quiet and orderly. Hmmm - in training for future choir members? We had started at 1 p.m. and it wasn't until about 5 p.m. that we ate our beautiful lunch. Every family had brought large pots of delicious foods, including lovo
, curries and puri
. Altona Meadows/Laverton Uniting Church has a modern building and is multi-purpose which is really useful - one moment all formal with chairs, and another moment a dining room, or informal place for chatting while sitting or even lying on the mats.
The adjoining children's room became a kava
gathering for the men later on! So there's a picture of that posted here.
Two women talatalas were there: Rev Tepola Raicebe and Rev Eseta Meneilly.
It was a lovely afternoon - with friends from four congregations - ATM, Coburg, Chadstone and Dandenong. The purpose was mainly to connect with the difficulties of the Fiji Methodist Church and its awkwardness with the military regime to pray for Fiji and to discuss our soli for their Conference which is on/off on/off at present.
Labels: Altona Meadows/Laverton Uniting Church, Fijians in Australia.