Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friday night at Synod

On Friday night at Synod I participated in the most amazing worship service. It was the opening worship service of the 28th Uniting Church Queensland Synod which was held at the Alexandra Park Conference Centre on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

It was an amazing time. The emphasis of the service was the multiculturalThe emphasis tonight was on the multicultural diversity of the Uniting Church of Australia in Queensland. The service started with a special ceremony, a welcome to the land by the Kabi Kabi people, the traditional owners of the land that we were meeting on. Because the Bay, just down from the conference centre was known as a birth place by the traditional owners, the welcome ceremony was carried out by indigenous women. Not all of them were from this area but they blessed us by walking amongst us and sprinkling us with water, flicked by gum leaves. As they did so we were sung to by a band made up of aboriginal people and accompanied by a didgeridoo player. Then there were words of welcome spoken by an aboriginal man, and an aboriginal elder, a woman and an exchange of gifts to and by the moderator.

Immediately following that there was some singing at one of the doors and a group of Tongan people, in traditional costume entered and sang unaccompanied as they walked down one aisle to their seats. On the other side of the auditorium another group of people entered, also in traditional dress singing in their own language, a different song, then another group and another and another... a cacophony of sounds, and a myriad of colours of costumes and skin, people singing praise to God. It was amazing... spine tingling, awe inspiring and worshipful. There were people from Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Sudan, Burma, and some others that I have forgotten.

Throughout the service which followed there were times when people spoke in their own language, to pray, to read the bible or to sing. The South Korean group presented a worship item of song and dance. The man who sang had the most beautiful voice and his wife who did the dance was so graceful and beautiful. The different groups brought greetings to the Synod in their own language. It was wonderful.

The next day the Synod business sessions began. There were hours of meeting, debate, tabling of reports, motions, voting. There were times when people agreed over important things and also disagreed. Sometimes the disagreements were minor, and over trivial issues, sometimes they were over major issues. With God's grace and strength we were able to find a way through the discussion and debate and hopefully were able to determine what God's will for us as a Synod was.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fantastic. I was just down the road at Caloundra for a church ladies weekend. Good company, good speaker, good food, great scenery. Truly blessed.