Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Blog

The glory of the Lord shone over them
Christmas in the Bush can be many things - Carol services are held in halls or sheds and paddocks, an old CWA hall, the school or the back of a truck. The kids all dress up, so do some of the dogs, and they come together. 
Not all places have fancy choirs but someone will have a guitar or keyboard or a boom box with some Chrissy songs that are good to sing along too. End of year means the older children are home from boarding school  (when you live a long way out of town it is often that or school of the air, as school bus runs don’t happen)
Depending on the season, and your location, Christmas can be a busy time. Down in the Riverina often it was the time for stripping (a custom that when I first heard about did make me not wish to drive around) but was informed by friend it was harvesting of the grain crop, not a performance of the “Full Monty”, though in the heat one would be seeking ways to get cooler. Then came air- con in tractors, trucks and headers (machines that strip the grain). 
Plus often the heat brings bush fires, lightning strikes from dry storms,and thoughtless folk driving hot cars in long grass or dropping butts out the window of a car. These can change Christmas day from a rest to full on. 
The  tools  used for harvest
In the shed on the Farm 
At  Girilambone school 
On stand by on hot days 
Temp maybe bit different out here! 
For many, Christmas is family get- together, others trips to the Coast, harvest over, stock on agistment, time to relax if the year has been OK. 
Sadly for many, this has not happened for 3 years or more. Small and large country towns have Christmas Parades, a celebration of what has given the life to the area and those who stepped up . There is really not a lot difference between City and Country maybe the size of the back yard and how far to corner store but the people all just want the best for their families and friends and some Good News.  The angel told them 

Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.This very day in David's town your Savior was born---Christ the Lord!  

A child is born King of all creation 

So for us, in the light of much that is going on, we long for some Good News. We often forget that message from the skies to those, like us, ordinary folk, that Jesus Christ was born into our lives in a small country town with no room, but an act of kindness allowed them a place to stay and their child to be born,  and when the Shepherd left they sang and told all what they had seen. By sharing we can spread the Good News to those we meet - press “Share” and send the GOOD NEWS that Christ is Born into "ALL OUR LIVES" this day and every day

The light of the World for you

Merry Christmas from the Rural Chaplain team: Sue, Julie and Phill and a Wet New Year! 

Rural Chaplain Phill Matthews 0418627875

Friday, 19 December 2014

End of year celebrations in two tiny towns

It is great fun to be able to join with small schools and their communities to celebrate the end of the year and the Christmas story.

Last Friday I was able to join with Enngonia school in the morning for their concert and prize giving. Melissa the Principal is a wonderful dance teacher and the concert had lots of fantastic dance by everyone from pre-school up. Many of the stories had an Aboriginal theme and other were based on favourite books.

The dance of the Brolgas

Santa arrived in fire engine

After the dances and presentations it was lunch in the courtyard with the Salvation Army band playing Christmas carols.

On leaving Enngonia I travelled across the back roads to get to Weilmoringle and was really struck by the patchiness of what rain there had been. Enngonia has had good rain and there were large puddles along the road while there has been almost none in Weilmoringle and it is bare dirt. It was a reminder that even though we hear about good rain falling, often there are patches that miss out.

Lush green growth at Enngonia

Bare dirt around Weilmoringle only 100km away

The evening event in Weilmoringle started with a BBQ, followed by a concert and school prizes. It was a great fun night with lots of laughter and good fellowship. One of the fun parts of the evening was a new initiative by the Walgett police to engage the kids (more about this another week).
Three bears from Golidlock's story
Before setting off the home the next morning I had breakfast with some of the Aboriginal Elders and had good discussions around activities in the village.

It really is a great privilege to be able to join with these communities in their times of fun and celebration.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Pamper Day Quombone

Natasha O’Neill Uniting Care Drought worker
 I headed  out to Quombone to join the team in this great day. We had 20 booked in for this day of fun and pampering.  There were two gentlemen also there for the day - both had hair cuts and a massage and felt so much more relaxed.

I had great conversations with our guests, hearing from young and and longtime residents. The guys, both 5 generation, coping with land size changes as they seek to find ways to make it work. Crop and cattle seem the go- sheep did not work out. The ladies loved it. Their hair cuts and styles -Wow!- the 3 girls knew their craft! Not one unhappy camper- or pamper! Some were not sure if their partners would know who they are.

It is good to see people come in happy but worn down to leave looking and feeling great. The food was great, lots of non- healthy snacks with the odd bit of non- dipped fruit.
 Did it work? Yes, it did. How do I know? I saw their faces. I was told  by many of the farming folk -male and female- their children had a great time with trained child care. The picture on the left taken by Catherine is one of the only live shots. Permission given for this one but for the privacy I left my camera in the car. Having facials is a private moment more so when you have a white beard - ouch!
Who would think behind this school people's lives are transformed 

The Pamper packs where given by Uniting Church Ladies Fellowship from NENW Presbytery.
Loading the car in Tamworth 

Stored in the kitchen 

There is more to this area if you go and look Quombone is the door way to the Macquarie  Marshes. The part I drove to was quite dry. It is a bit better if I'd gone a few more k's down the road but it's well worth a visit out to Coonamble and Quombone. Spend your tourist money at the shop, stay at one of the many motels. If you read my FaceBook page you read how they even change flat rivers.This is one way we can help rural towns -visit and spend money in the shops and services.

The Start of the Marshes 

 I drove round Gulargambone on way through and got a drink. It was beautiful town but sadly many shops had closed up but there was still lots to see.

May we have a very wet Christmas  and a fire free New Year!


As we head into Advent - Hope is it will rain, Joy is it has rained, Peace is we live with this and be gentle to ourselves and each other, Love is God is with us, Christ is in us, the Holy Spirit is all around us.

Merry Christmas  from Phill Matthews Rural Chaplain to NSW 
madpom52@gmail,com  0418627875

Friday, 5 December 2014

Round the traps - not all full

Well, a week at home and it is time again for goodbyes and off we go. Lyn, back to work and birthday parties for Miss H and Mr F, the Big 5, BJ back to his country retreat with his other family and me on the road. Three days of meetings plus drought work and some travel down to Dubbo for a resources drop then onto Cobar to meet with the Far West mob. I had permission to bring the D Max due to a fault in my left knee - old age and I treated my self to a new toy - a Frig Freezer! 40 degrees with cold water and no melted Tim Tam biscuits is a life changing event! Plus I was sick of throwing out football shaped soy milk........... but it does explode well!  I digress.........  back to the blog.

It was good sharing with David of Broken Hill Patrol and Jo& Lou, Nyngan /Cobar Patrol and UCA. Julie, sadly, could not attend due to family commitments. Our prayers went to her. The sharing of what's been happening and what's planned allows us to plan and support each other as well as fellowship and info swap,not to mention a great lunch!

I slept over ready for trip back to Dubbo and the RMU meeting plus reference group and via  phone I hook up with my supervisor.  Well, most of that happened. This is the hard part of our role when something is cancelled you're 4 hours from home and have to come back same time week.

The time was well spent though with a time with my references group, an affirming time with a few" thou shalts" thrown in.
RMU had a low number so was changed to  Rev Karyn going through my work plan - most helpful as fine tuning is always welcome . I then talked to Rev Janet, the wise lady of the MNC. By time I had a few more" thou shalts" and "well dones"  I left Dubbo for Coonamble, feeling I was in good places.

The trip over the road was a new one as I'd  mainly come from other ways previously. I saw hay in striped crops sand in creeks and empty shops along the way mobs of cattle and drovers camps Looking for feed and water .

The Well Being Day in Coonamble was their first "go back" by services arranged by locals. It looked at Mental Health and at asking if "Your're OK" There was around a 100 people, plus workers, from service providers, such as the High School, Uniting Care, Catherine (not Cath) as printed last week- Catherine from Uniting Care. The drought team was also joined by Margaret. Both work in the area with people affected by drought and its effects. We had several speakers. The main one was from Beyond Blue - a young man who had dealt with depression. His story was about seeking answers even if none seem to be found by the doctor - try another till one shows understanding. He point out that this is harder in some areas but we must look for answers.

Well Being Day team. Photo by Brook Wall, Coonamble High School teacher 

I was knocked over by a young singing group formed by Medicare Local  and the school. I think there is a link to see for yourself. It is on my Face Book page but I give it to you here too - Tin Town Trackers is their name. Put this into YouTube -
The Tin Town Trackers - 'Reach Out'

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Road to Nymagee........and back again.

The goats race across the road at Nymagee.
I loaded the car with water and some food for the road and "off we go" - as I said last time - out to Nyngan to help with some drought events. This was with the team from Uniting Care Burnside FY,   Nat and Cath, who had found that no other services involved were attending as there was another tour in the Brewarrina area. At Nyngan it was just the presenter and many of the providers where out at Brewarrina.  As we rolled out of Nyngan the temperature was climbing into the high 30’s. Armed with cold water, we headed to Hermidale, a small village on the side of the Mitchell Highway on the way to Cobar. 

Inside the CWA Hall at Hermidale 
The town has seen better days, they will tell you- shops and servo gone but the school is doing lots of things plus there's a new tennis club, air con, a pub and the CWA hall, which was our base. We joined in on the writing program (same one I was at in Wanaaring)  but this part was on journaling. The  rule when you attend these things as a pastor is that you have to take part, which was good, as a rumour had gone round that it was off,  so not all had come but those that had enjoyed a day off the farm. 

The day ended with a lot of planning for upcoming events ,including a Pamper Day. As I had a donation of some great pamper packs, I was happy to resource this and provide the packs for the girls.

The CWA hall
 The group here has connections with a Nyngan Uniting Church minister,with Frontier Service Patrol, Jo and Lou, so this brings 3 areas of the church together plus the Congregation and Fellowship from NENW by linking them in to Jo at Nyngan. When the drought money ends there is a ongoing link, not just a one off event leaving people alone till the next event happens. 
We spent the night with a farming family for tea of a baked dinner. This was a great time and yummy food. As the girls talked, I talked with the man of the house on a range of things, then home to my motel room.  Up next morning meeting with another local, again growing connections. Yes, and drinking coffee. Change back into passenger roll for our trip out past Hermidale to Nymagee. The day was a bit hotter. As we passed along the road farmers were hard at work bringing in their crop. We also saw two big tractors rolling the stubble over. Clouds of dust filled the air. 

Nat, who comes from a farming back ground felt this was to do a couple of things - lower bush fire risk and keep moisture in the ground .  We hit the dirt. Goats running in family groups across the road, then town came into view. The cars round the hall told us we had a good crowd. The heat was up there. The car outside temp gauge saying 45.  Luckily, we had ice for our water and were in time for lunch. We talked to the group men and women, mostly farmers, wives and some town folk. Mothers, daughters and sons of all ages.  We did the course touching our creative side,  then a cuppa and feedback time.  Most got things out of it, if not just a laugh  and a yarn and to forget about life for a time.  It was good meeting and been part of things. It was said that the service will be around to talk till Christmas but not sure after this. I jumped in and said the Rural Chaplains and Frontier Services will be here for the long run and we have links to the counsellors. It’s funny some service forget what we are about.  That give me space to say something the Uniting care team and also to push that I'll be around, that’s why they bring me along . 
I can see but can't reach the wheel! 

Sitting in the back been driven meant lots of photos :)  There was a lot of debriefing  this time and as we hopped in the car the temp had not moved. Before we left I'd started the car and put the air on as I took the last shots of town and talked with those still hanging round. Many had headed for the comfort of the pub. We'd done the cleaning and packing up and told everyone about the Pamper Day. 
"We'll be in that,! See ya!" and off we went. 

Nymagee CWA hall

By the time we made Nyngan it was 5.45pm and I was back behind the wheel, on the right side! Quick call on the hands free to report to Lyn. I was told not to keep going but the trip was very good, the break from driving and a good night sleep, a fuel stop and some coffee and food, cold drinks and a photo shoot had all done their job. 
Next thing I was in bed, washing on, quick clean up and vacuum - set Robovac to work, washed floors and off to Armidale  for NENW Presbytery AGM via Bingara as the highway was blocked. 

What a beautiful  drive! 
Lyn rang, "Where are you?"
"Beats me!" 
I got in to Armidale before I dropped out but I got there and back and Lyn was home.

 Yeah, see you somewhere out there!

Phill Matthews Rural Chaplain


PS From Sue - Phill sounds very handy at home! or was it just because Lyn was coming back?

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

National Rural Ministry Conference

National Rural Ministry Conference

This trip had a lot of stories and events woven into it.  The main game was the National Rural Ministry Conference in Harrietville, Victoria. Yes, interstate again ,but I also set up a meeting along the way with Cath from Mission Aust, Dubbo, picked up Lyn on way home from Sydney and the Caravan from Dubbo .  So Dubbo was a shopping trip for Adult Literacy books for our Weilmoringle project. We bought a heap of children’s story books for the reading corner at play group - all of them had Indigenous stories and great pictures.

Hay in Southern NSW 
A wonderful night with Holly and Darren. I was also in time for the gathering they hold and met some great folk and shared a meal.

A family set up in rest area
I had to stop for this church  in a paddock 

Next day off to Victoria, but coffee first, of course….but what’s this: no steering wheel and on the wrong side of the car? How strange it is being a passenger, even putting on the seat belt. We travelled along some of the roads we had been on for the MDB trip and then out to Kelly country.The conference was in a beautiful village called Harrietville just past Bright at the foot of Feathertop   Victoria’s second highest mountain.

The views just go on forever.
There were ministry agents Lorraine Stokes, from as far as West Aust, 3 from SA -David Buxton, Ashley Davis & Rob Morgan. From Vic/Tas - John Thompson, Colin Thomson, Paul Blacker, Mike Lewis and Wendie Wilkie, who did a great job of keeping us in order. From the Riverina - Myra Cowell, Darren Wright and Dorothy Creek, plus others who popped in and out.
The time was broken into 2 sessions with guest speakers, Rev Jenny Byrnes, Executive Director of the Centre for Theology and Ministry, who led us in a session on sustainable, resilient leadership, and John Emmet, Mission officer with the Property department, previously mission catalyst with Commission for Mission, who led us in a session on mission in the 21st C – “being small and vulnerable - a theological reflection”  looking at the possibilities and understandings of rural life. Both these sessions gave a lot of challenging thinking into how we go forward and break habits of church to move into 21st.C

Hard at it with John Emmet 

Dorothy and Myra working on presentation

 There was an afternoon sight-seeing around the district and the rest of the time was in sharing stories from our patch. Again a helpful time allowing us to hear good and bad news and how it was dealt with.  Yes, all Synods are looking at new ways of “being church” and working around resourcing lay-led churches. We also had a visit from a local historian telling about those who had pioneered this area. Seems having children was a past time as most had around 10-12. We also heard of an interesting project in town of boarding students from a NT Indigenous community in 2 cottages as they attended school in Bright. They also can work in the project’s coffee shop.
It was good to worship and share over the time. The “race that stops a nation” was run and won as we travelled - it was funny seeing large groups of people hang around pubs in the middle of the week but it was a Public holiday down there.
We had a great cook whose cooking and sense of humour, added to the camp as she moved without intrusion, but also slotted in at the right time. 

Above Bright at the lookout but we need to lookout for the grader from the passenger seat

I headed north to Sydney, out the back way to Gundagai then up to Sydney for Lyn’s 

Birthday and some grand kid time, then home. Due to loss of a friend, Lyn stayed  and I headed in to my next blog……..…..empty car, wash cloths, re- pack and then early start to head  “Out West” for  a few days of drought work around Nyngan.

Sorry if this is not up to standard but I am on my L plates 

Phill Matthews Rural Chaplain


Monday, 17 November 2014

Getting a Good Idea Off the Ground.

When you work in the biggest office in the state and your co-workers can be anything from 5 minutes to 9 hours away, organisation can be interesting at times.This is particularly the case for projects which involve several elements and various people coming together to make them work. One such is the Outback School Satellite Scripture Project.

The plan and development of the project went something like this:-

1 rural chaplain is based in Hillston NSW- Julie Greig.

4 years ago Julie visits Weilmoringle and Louth schools and realises there is no scripture being taught there and that despite the schools wanting to have scripture,there is no one to teach it.

Caitlin enjoying her teaching over the satellite.
1 year ago a teacher was found and by now 3 schools want scripture,Wanaaring has been added to the list. The teacher had moved into the Hillston area. If you want to amaze yourself check out on a map where these towns are in NSW and how far apart they are and yet they are still considered to be in the same area in outback terms.

1 accessible satellite system to teach the lessons. A school is found when the local Hillston principal agrees to have the lesson taught from there. Other teachers at Hillston agree to train the scripture teacher.

The 3 schools need to be co-ordinated to fit scripture into the school program at a time the suits the scripture teacher and the host school. This is achieved by visiting the schools with the new teacher. It was a wonderful trip that allowed relationships to start to be formed.

Caitlin, teaching in a real classroom while visiting the schools.
Finally all the elements are in place and the project starts and goes well. 2 lessons are taught and everyone is happy.

Then ...1 husband of the scripture teacher gets a move to the Blue Mountains. She is still willing to teach but needs to find an available satellite in the Mountains. The Mountains public schools are all willing to help but have no available satellite space. All the time is being used for their own students needs.

Next step - Pray and Look for a solution.

This is a very worthy project as many children in isolated areas have no access to information about Christianity as there is often no local church or only one very irregularly.

It will take a little while to get the program started again so it's going to be interesting.

Many projects of the Rural Chaplain are like this.

It's interesting to see how God works behind it all to bring it all about.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Working together CAN make a difference

"It is better a terrible end rather than terror without end".

This quote has come from research into those contemplating suicide and highlights some of the great pain and suffering of those who kill themselves. It also reminds us that suicide prevention is an extremely difficult area to be working in.

It was a recognition of this and wanting to support those who are working to make a difference where they live that lead me to gather a group of people to organise a Forum last Saturday. The Forum brought together community groups who are working to reduce suicide in their communities, and a few people who are interested in starting groups. People came from Hay, Wagga, Gundagai, Beechworth, Coolamon, Temora and Sydney.

Part of the organising committee - L to R Alan Woodward, Sue Murray, Merilyn Limbrick, Julie Greig, Tina McManus, Tony Cassidy and John Harper

The day was one of great passion, very innovative ideas, lots of interaction, good networking and learning. Most of the day was given to groups to share the story of how their group came into being and what they have been doing in their communities.

We heard stories of organising bike rides, media events, music concerts, huge numbers of people undergoing training, innovative ways of getting information into the community and continual efforts to raise awareness. The enormous energy and enthusiasm in the room was very catching.

We also had three excellent guest speakers. Sue Murray, Executive Officer of Suicide Prevention Australia, spoke about the "Communities Matter Toolkit" (more about that later) and how it could be used to help community groups. Tony Cassidy, Wesley Lifeforce, brought to us news of the expansion of the Suicide Prevention Networks and Alan Woodward, Executive Director of the Lifeline Foundation, spoke of what works in communities and self-care.

Lots of people helped  make the day work and my thanks to the committee who worked with me and Red Cross and UnitingCare who helped sponsor the day.

Julie Greig

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Friday, 31 October 2014

Yes it did get done by Synod .....

.... and the Launch was great!

Click here to see full Tootlkit

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog you may remember a post earlier in the year about a joint project with UnitingCare Mental Health Project Team to produce a toolkit for congregations with a bit of information about mental illnesses and how congregations and individuals can help. Click here to see this story
After the first draft the Toolkit was focus tested on a number of congregations and their comments, alongside comments from selected others, were put together and whole project then handed to the design team. The result is visually stunning with many of Phill's photos, and full of great ideas and information.

The deadline was the Synod meeting so it could be launched with the 400 representatives from across NSW and ACT. And we made it.

Tina McManus, Operations Manager, and Lisa Kinsey-Smith, Project Manager, and myself had the privilege of being able to present the project during the Rural Ministry Unit session. We were able to talk about the how the project came about and what was in the kit. Afterwards copies of the Toolkit were handed out to all participants.

Tina, Julie and Lisa

And even nicer were the wonderful comments we received on the Toolkit after the launch. A few people shared their own experiences and how much they could have used it when they were having difficulties. Others talked about the need in their communities.

Mental illness is very prevalent and the effects can be devastating on individuals and families. Hopefully this toolkit  will encourage people to think about how they can help those around them. As Christians we are called to follow Christ's example and be alongside those who are hurting.

So where to from here?  Now we start Phase 2 that will look at backing up the Toolkit with other resources, short courses for congregations and more. Stay tuned to the blog or the facebook page for updates.

If you would like to download a copy of the toolkit then click here.


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Friday, 24 October 2014


For Synod this year a special edition of Ruminations, the journal of the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW/ACT Rural Ministry Unit,was produced. It is attached to this blog ..but first, a page from the edition written by Lay preacher, Larraine Hoffman at this years Riverina Retreat.

Riverina Rural Lament

Listen to my words, O God and hear my sighs
I am worn out, O Lord, have pity on me,
Give me strength; I am completely exhausted.

How long will you wait to help us?
Our numbers continue to dwindle and our congregation is getting older,

Our loved ones have moved away, and our young ones are indifferent.


 Where do we go from here Lord?
       I am gripped by fear and trembling
       What is in our future?

How can we find a clear path to follow?
Who is there to lead?

Blessings from an unexpected quarter.

Click on the link below to read the whole edition.

Give praise to the Lord
For He hears our cry for help.

The Lord protects his people.

The Lord will save his people and bless them.

               Larraine Hoffmann

Friday, 17 October 2014

Conversation Group Workshop

Standing - Lake,Yoko, Alanna,Carole and in front- Ania and Roma.

Our workshop was held at "The Shamrock" which serves Korean and Australian food and is staffed by Korean and Japanese backpackers.

You may well ask why the Irish name and the Asian staff and cuisine?

 I think it reflects the changes in Hillston over the years and, indeed the changes in all of Australian society as we accept our place as neighbours of Asia. Eventually the restaurant will become "The Seoul Kitchen." It is already on the menus.

Jenny, Alanna,Carole, Ania, Roma and Sue enjoy sharing ideas and lunch together.

Why were we there and why at "The Shamrock "?

We were there through the generosity of Uniting care Aging in providing a grant to training, resources and catering and also the generosity of Hillston locals prepared the give their time freely each week to help non-native speakers learn and improve their English.

Closely perusing the resources.
The day was very successful as Alanna Townsend, our language teacher from TAFE in Griffith, presented us with handouts,advice and research about good resources to be found online to use with our students.

 It was also a chance to say thank you by providing lunch for the volunteers to show how much we appreciate what they do.

There is more training and support to come as tutors and the conversation group, as local native speakers, continue to work with backpackers and also with locals on AMEP programs, which provide 500 hours of free tuition to those on visas enabling them to live in Australia, with a view to taking citizenship.

This English program has been a major focus of Sue's work for this part of the year and it is hoped by sharing it, others will be encouraged to take up this work elsewhere.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Murray Darling Basin Tour 4 - "A sense that we have come and listened and seen.."

Up early, coffee, porridge, get bus ready as most of us were heading out to Mungo National Park.
Our guide, Graham Clark, jumps on the bus. Stewart, his friend, follows the tar and then turns onto a smooth open highway that someone covered in much sand dirt rocks and grooves. Just like the roads at home - only in a bus! Hmm…..

Look to the sand.
 As we drive out we get a commentary on the dirt. I slowed down to hear and so Graham could point out things of importance – like dry lakes and ants nests. As we entered open country we stopped for a break. Morning tea was worth waiting for.

Stewart and Graham packed up. They were very organised, telling stories of work as they worked –about his mate’s full time job as photographer for magazines.  There were lots of questions about how and what. I rescued him so he could do his own thing, plus more... and so people would stay together. What was said was met in mixed ways but for me this was a great time to walk on the grounds early man had lived on, tended and died on.

Fossilised trees
Trees frozen in time, shells and bits of carbon. The clouds gave me great photos and on top of the hill we had 360 degree view. 
 To then hear the pictures of Graham’s culture drawn in the sand was very interesting. We had lunch back at the information centre - again made up of kangaroo plus bush tucker and ham. 
All good.

But I will let the photos talk ....

Keeping the story line.
Mungo National Park
Then …..home to the boats. A quick clean up, then our last Forum. Again great church food and hospitality! By now our group had split and mixed with the locals. The local ministry team spoke and so did Myung Hwa of what had moved  and touched her on trip. This was a good night as we again heard voices of different people with different views. Back to the boat for a big day tomorrow.

Coming back - on the river it style.
Morning - Up at 6 am, ready to be off the boat by 7am. 
Everyone else gets to travel across to the Dockside Marina.  I grab a healthy breakfast - soy coffee and bacon &egg roll and hash brown (no, really –eggs are healthy!) then drive round to the dock, load on trailer, placed the bus in a spot where I could not get parked in, then off. 

We pulled up at Lake Bora for a roadside service. Myra preached. I did communion. Pity the service I loaded and prepared was on a dead tablet so I had to follow God’s will in front of the Moderator Elect! ( I may be sent back to Bron for retraining!)

 We then all said our good byes as Geoff, our friend from Vic, had chosen to catch a train from Kerang. At our lunch spot on Father’s Day lots of messages were coming in to those on tour. I thank the group for the kindness shown and coffee given.

Mungo Shearing Shed
The long ride back was not as easy as the going but yet a sense that we have come and listened, seen innovation, new technologies, communities and Individuals, efforts to bring about change along with cultural customs aimed at bringing new visions. The ancient tribal boundary trees are on the other side of rivers, as no one tribe ever owned the water in the river. 

Yet we fight over ownership of the river’s water.

Phill Matthews

PS Let's look at that amazing sand picture again!


(I just love this photo!
Hands up-
Who else likes it too?


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