Posts Tagged 'Frontier Services'

Charleville wrap-up


It’s just over 24 hours since Dale and I along with four others from our church arrived back in Brisbane on the Westlander.


On the journey back – uneventful in the bigger scheme of things – we spent some time reflecting on how well our week in and beyond Charleville had achieved its objectives.

IMG_3988There was consensus that apart from the hope of engaging in some children’s ministry there, it was a green tick the rest of the way.

There’s no doubt that everyone in our group will now have a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the work of Frontier Services, of the challenges of those on the land, of a different way of ‘being church’ out there.  We were able to share musical and other gifts in a variety of contexts.  It seemed our encounters were times of blessing and encouragement to those we met.  More than this, though, we came away knowing we were perhaps blessed ourselves moreso … such was the hospitality and friendship received. The leadership, friendship and assistance shown by patrol padre John Case in arranging so many of our encounters was tremendous. Thanks John!!!

Buckey panorama

What was the springboard for all of this?

Perhaps two-fold:

  1. doing something more tangible as a local suburban church to connect with Frontier Services’ work – one catalyst being 2012’s 100th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the A.I.M. under Rev John Flynn’s leadership and vision. I wrote (see next post) the song ‘Cross this land tonight in recognition of this.
  2. 40 years ago, our minister at Indooroopilly Presbyterian Church, Doug Brandon took a bus load of young adults out one December to his old Burke & Wills patrol stomping ground. Yes, the same territory we in a small way interfaced.  This experience has never left me, all these years on.  I wanted Oxley folk to catch a glimpse of this too.

I believe they did.

20131003-071942.jpgThe last two days saw us:

  • presenting a concert of song and story at the Waroona Nursing Home in Charleville.  A moving experience as we shared some oldtime and Aussie folk songs



  • spending time at the Bilby CentreIMG_3992
  • farewelling our road-travellers
  • consuming tasty food at the RSL and Mars-Bar cheesecake at Bartlett’s bakery
  • presenting an impromptu singalong across the road from the Bailey Bar Caravan Park.

One of our lighthearted slogans through the week was “What happens in Charleville stays in Charleville!”.

Not sure if that’s going to stay true for me.  Perhaps others.

It’s left its mark … the people we met have left their mark. Praise be to God.

Now … I’m onto the second half of long service leave. Some time at home, time at the beach and then a rendezvous with Dale’s folks and a six-berth motorhome at Alice Springs.  We worshipped in the city this morning, took in GOMA (first time for me) … and then there’s the little matter of a footy Grand Final this evening.



P.S. I’ve submitted this piece for possible publication by our Uniting Church Qld magazine: Journey. Kind of sums up the week.

Continue reading ‘Charleville wrap-up’

memorable two days … now on with the holiday!

What can I say about the last two days?!

Yesterday morning, we headed off to our o/n unit on Albert St, E Melbourne for the special Frontier Services worship service to celebrate the 100th anniversary of John Flynn founding the Australian Inland Mission, and a few years after, what we know now as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This was a good move and much better (looking back) then driving or training back afterwards!

So yesterday, we thought it would be nice to take the Sorrento to Queenscliff car ferry across Port Philip Bay. This was lovely … glorious weather. After doing a few things en route we made it (thank you Navman) through Melbourne’s CBD to our unit. This turned our surprisingly spacious, tidy and practical. Tripadvisor knows this now too!

Nice afternoon tea with Harry & Jan T down from our Oxley church for “the” event and we head to Dallas Brooks Hall for rehearsal. We’re not there long before we meet Ted Egan AO … national living treasure … outback icon et al. Ted remarks how lovely Dale’s voice is as per demo mp3 of “Cross this land tonight” and Dale finds herself singing the song with Ted; me on guitar. Song went well, though not convinced the guitar was very loud in the mix. Anyhow, such a great honour for me, at such a memorable occasion, alongside Ted Egan and with Dale involved; and that – at Ted’s suggestion! Thank you Rosemary Y &Frontier Services.

Great service, with a range of musical components. Thought my song held up very well against the considerable one: “Resilient and free” written by Bruce Prewer and Colin Brumby for the service. Loved Julie Perrin’s new second verse for “For you deep stillness”. Such an evocative song. So much more in service including some special words from Andrew Dutney, Tim Fischer, Simon Crean and local aboriginal elder. Some special prayers, images and symbol used. Loved Ted Egan’s John Flynn song! Nice catching up with people over coffee afterwards.

Today? A bit of the tourist. We left car (fortunately) at the unit and apart from having morning tea at Federation Square (over- rated architecturally is my verdict, sorry) we did our own thing. Dale checked out Queen Victoria Markets & some shops; I headed for the National Sports Museum @ the MCG. Fitted in short trip on the free City Tram.

We got back to our Rosebud base camp around 4 pm in time for a lovely swim at the large indoor heated pool.

Quiet dinner, TV & reading followed.
The next few days we’re looking forward to some laidback days. … with some exercise and local sightseeing thrown in. Come Monday, off for a three -day jaunt featuring Ballarat/Sovereign Hill … then to the Great Ocean Road.

Oh … a Melbourne Storm win in- between!











on the way … to Frontier Services song

A while since the last posting and this one needs to be short.  Full-on times leading up to Christmas.

On the music front, a few things happening:

  • Dale and I have finally completed a vocal track for On the Way – my reflection on paragraph 3 of the Uniting Church’s Basis of Union.  I know; doesn’t sound all that riveting – until one actually reads para 3 – and then it’s actually mind-blowing.  Past posts unpack that somewhat.  Anyhow it’s great having a vocal track in the can, and Dale as usual did a great job with the recording.  I’ve recently upgrading (or downgraded, depending on your perspective) to Outlook Express, so the first project with the new software.   Check out the vocal track. It’s in many ways an Affirmation of Faith, Uniting Church/David Mac-style.
  • I’ve been invited to write a special song – to be sung by all present – for Frontier Services 100th birthday celebrations next September. Yes; truly honoured by this!  While up at Noosa recently some melody-line thoughts have started to emerge.  Kinda want this to have a bit of an Australian folksong feel – though in a contemporary sense.  My hunch is that post Christmas Day, things will start coming together.  “Mantle of safety” will be in the chorus somewhere, that’s for sure.
  • Christmas Day, we’re doing my Celebrate Emmanuel from a few year’s back.  I’m taking my Yamaha keyboard so as to add in a synth/trumpet part in the refrains.

Christmas blessings,everyone.


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