On Sunday, 19th August 2012, at 9.30am St Paul’s was vibrant with the fruit of the earth. People were greeted on arrival with a wonderful sign made of fruit and vegetables, exhorting them to “Give Thanks”. The dais was resplendent with produce and non-perishable goods, given with thanks for our good fortune and wealth of food. During the service, we learned that the fresh produce will be used in the local community to supply those in need with nutritious food. The non-perishables and monetary donations will be transported to St George where the Presbyterian Church will distribute them to people in need there.
The Right Reverend David Niven led the service, giving thanks for the earth’s bounty and dedicating the gifts. The Sunday School children performed a poem called, “This is the World that God made”, illustrating the process by which we receive our daily bread.
In acknowledgement of the 149th Anniversary of the church, Deaconess Dianne Parker presented the first of a series of cameos, which will be presented during the sesquicentennial celebration year. We learned about the United Evangelical Church, which was founded by settlers who arrived on the Fortitude in 1849. Although this church was disbanded, it played a part in the beginnings of our own church.
Chairperson of the Restoration Trust, Penny Floyd, told us about the achievements and plans of the Trust. The bird-proofing of the bell tower is complete but there were rumours of repeat offenders which had to be followed up. The tower remains secure. Next in the plan has to do with making sure the tower is strong enough to withstand ringing the bell; and removing stone work which is in danger of falling.
Our service was beautified by the wonderful singing of “Accord”, the vocal ensemble from Somerville House, directed by Celia Mylne and accompanied by Carolyn Eisenmenger. The girls’ performance was excellent and we thank them sincerely for their participation.
Following the sermon, in which Mr Niven encouraged us to “Praise the Lord, O my Soul”, the congregation enjoyed morning tea in the warm winter sunshine in the front yard of the church, while the children enjoyed Harvest Games. They played Rob the Farmer, participated in Broom and Potato relays, an egg and spoon obstacle course, apple dunking, tug of war and apple bobbing. It was hard to convince them to stop even after the adults had gone into the hall to enjoy a delicious lunch of homemade soup and bread rolls.
What a wonderful day it was. With the weather reminding us how lucky we are to live in Queensland, and the bountiful produce reminding us how fortunate we are in Australia, it was only right that we praise God for his goodness and give thanks for his kindness.