Together in God’s Name

Diane Hatwell | Lay Pastoral Minister | Parish of Wyalkatchem-Koorda with Dowerin
Diane Hatwell | Lay Pastoral Minister | Parish of Wyalkatchem-Koorda with Dowerin

The Gift of Christmas

The population of the town of Dowerin is usually about 300 people, but in late August another 20,000 people pour into town for the annual Field Days. Exhibitors, visitors, day trippers, those who need somewhere to stay. The event is huge for the district, because much of the work is done by volunteers who sell tickets, make sandwiches, cook chips, trouble shoot everything from a muddy site to a lost child. It is challenging and fantastic, exciting and a financial boost for all our community organisations. On the Sunday before the Field Days the four churches in town, Anglican, Uniting Church, Catholic and Church of Christ, get together for a Field Day service, to call for blessings on all of us, exhibitors, visitors, workers. The President of the Field Days says a few words, symbols representing the many jobs that volunteers do over the busy week are presented and laid on the altar. It is a moment’s pause in a hectic week, a moment to remember that it is not just about us.

This year The Right Reverend Jeremy James tssf spoke at our service. The Reverend Dr Elizabeth Smith wrote some new words of liturgy for us and a delicious morning tea was enjoyed. It is a chance to listen for God’s voice, to worship and to enjoy some fellowship together. The four Dowerin churches combine for a range of services over the year. In April we present much of the ANZAC dawn service which is followed by a gunfire breakfast, the Field Days service in August, around All Souls’ Day there is a combined service at our local cemetery particularly remembering those community members who have died in the previous twelve months and we get together to present a Christmas service of readings and carols, and more food of course. We are all small congregations, but Jesus promised that where two or three are gathered in his name he will be there also. Although we do things slightly differently, it is wonderful to acknowledge that it is the one God that we worship and we can witness together in our community, supporting each other.

Article published in October 2018 Messenger magazine