Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Uniting Church has double-faulted

from w
 I haven't been in a protest since the Pauline Hanson thing came to town and I tore up her photos. 

Anyway the current protest is about the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria listing our local tennis courts for sale despite a viable, excellent Club that links the church with ordinary people. I wrote a paper. My son wrote a professional document with dot points and concluded that the Property Project group had made a serious mistake as the resolution was to sell 'underutilized properties'. Anyway we went to the local St Andrews Council meeting and our friend Neil led a one-hour presentation and two Presbytery leaders were there listening, though one did say bluntly, the rule cannot change. What kind of normal justice is that. Even a criminal has his day in court! 

Then today I went to Hoppers Crossing for the special Presbytery meeting. I think six properties at this level have been targeted. After a nice quiet devotional we were given a chance to speak for 5 minutes each. I was first. I held up a racquet and shouted 'The Uniting church has double-faulted' and that got the attention of about sixty people. I spoke of passion, we each have passions in life, mine is art, music, Fiji and the best aspects of the church. I said I represented Neil Lamond, mentor,coach and lynch-pin of our tennis club who has a passion for both tennis and his church. I talked only a little about the club because I gave a couple of dozen handouts of both our papers. Then I referred to the movie' North by Northwest', Cary Grant at an auction and yelling out $40 five cents, etc. ' But then we are polite, reasonable people and don't do things like that! ' Ourminister Rev Ikani spoke that he is a member of the tennis club and as a pastor he has engaged in meaningful conversations with various players. Other speakers followed and I was particularly touched by a woman who spoke of St Stephens Williamstown losing the lot. Others spoke of lack of justice, etc. I don't think we will actually win though there's maybe 1% chance of a change of mind s they don't actually need the $100 million that the listed properties throughout Victoria are probably worth. Our tennis players are devastated as our club - a few metres from our home, and the men and boys in our family all play competition tennis, and just wonder what the future holds.

And from the Geelong Advertiser:  the journalist rang me up yesterday and I suggested he do a story on Geelong South church as we were too busy with our protest presentation to talk to him about the tennis court for sale. Maybe he could take a photo of the kids playing tennis Saturday for a second story I said.

Church up for sale

DEVASTATED parishioners are facing loss of their 144-year-old South Geelong church as Uniting Church Australia seeks to sell 56 Victorian properties.
The bluestone church at the corner of Moorabool and Fyans streets, a hall and UnitingCare office, and the site of East Geelong Uniting Tennis Club in Denman St are listed for sale.
Observers have estimated value of the church property alone at $4 million.
The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is selling the properties to ease debt linked to its Melbourne Acacia College closing last year.
South Geelong Uniting Church elders chairman Ric Killick said 25 parishioners had been shattered by the news.
"It's devastating, it's like losing a member of the family really," Mr Killick said.

"The whole of the congregation, they don't know where they're going to go.
"The UCA is saying we'll help ... and will transfer you to another congregation but the point about that is you're moving away from a church that's been going for that long."
Mr Killick, 80, who has attended the church for more than 70 years, told the Geelong Advertiser in May of the congregation's pride in having a third spire on the church replaced after $50,000 work.
A dedication service for the spire will go ahead tomorrow.
The church has a heritage listing preserving its exterior.
East Geelong Uniting Tennis Club members met yesterday to discuss options for protesting the sale of their site.
Synod general secretary reverend Mark Lawrence said the 56 properties were listed after a identification process.
"While this divestment process is a very important decision for the future of the church, we understand it will cause upheaval and upset," Dr Lawrence said.
"Congregations and agencies impacted will receive income replacement and/or relocation funding and pastoral support."

and more about South Geelong Uniting Church in recent years:

CELEBRATE: South Geelong Uniting Church elder Rik Killick and some of the congregation prepare to celebrate their church's 140th anniversary.

WHEN the South Geelong Uniting Church first opened, the British Parliament had only recently stopped sending convicts to Australia as punishment.
Acknowledging 140 years of worship this Sunday, parishioners will also celebrate the completion of recent renovations.

Church spokesman Ric Killick said the exterior of the church had remained the same since its opening, despite considerable alterations to surrounding buildings.

``The spire was a late addition to the original design, however, it was included in the construction stage of the church,'' Mr Killick said.

Mr Killick said recent renovations had ensured the church would stay put for many years to come.

``There has been significant repair to wall cracks and associated plasterwork and the entire interior has been repainted,'' he said.

``The leadlight windows have all been repaired and cleaned.''

Parishioners will celebrate the church's 140th anniversary this Sunday at 2pm, with tea, coffee and finger food to follow worship.


Post a Comment

<< Home