Yesterday saw more people in South Sydney Uniting Church than I have ever seen there. The occasion was the induction of Andrew Collis who had been serving as acting minister since the end of 2006, Vlad Korotkov having gone overseas, and then to Melbourne.
Representing NSW Synod (Sydney Presbytery) Neil Eriksson presided, and assisting were Dorothy McRae-McMahon, the assistant minister at South Sydney, and Pastor Sione Mohetau Hau of the Tongan congregation that shares the building with SSU. The Tongan Choir towards the end of the service was one of the highlights of the service. Other UC ministers present included Bill Crews from Ashfield; South Sydney participates in an Exodus Foundation literacy project for Indigenous students. The service began with an Aboriginal smoking ceremony performed by Uncle Max Eulo, seen below at St Vincents Hospital last year,and among Aboriginal groups in the congregation was Mark Spinks, chair of Babana Aboriginal Mens Group Redfern.
Father Brian Stoney from the Cana Community was also there, as Cana uses the church as a shelter during the week and SSU has been a partner in a number of ventures with Cana over the years. (I missed the Easter services this year so hadn’t seen Brian since last year.)
One of the hymns sung appealed:
Faith will not grow from words alone
from proofs provided, scripture known;
our faith must feel its way about,
and live with question-marks and doubt.
That was also the theme of the occasional address by Dr Anita Monro, Lecturer in Liturgy, United Theological College.
RELATED: Local paper growing in range and interest. The South Sydney Herald is one of the works of South Sydney Uniting Church, but not a “church paper”.