The Rainbow Beach Good Shepherd Church celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Sunday, September 16 with a joyous service and a special morning tea attended by many who were present when the church was dedicated all those years ago. (Heather Greenbury even wore her same outfit!!)
That day was the exciting culmination of many years of fundraising to first purchase the two blocks of land (all paid for by our local Rainbow Beach efforts led by Mrs Jean Collins) and then the most generous provision of the building by the Gympie Anglican Parish.
It had been so thrilling to see the church and the hall roll into town from Yeronga, Brisbane, its original home, under police escort, on two huge removal trucks after an eventful overnight trip – which included big sliding hall doors falling off, sideswiping a car which had not pulled over enough, flat tyres, and realigning all the guide posts on both sides of Rainbow Beach Road.
Even all the 30+ children from the school were brought down to sit on the footpath opposite and watch the trucks get bogged as they tried to set the church and hall in place in the soft sand!
The vision of the Good Shepherd Church family was then, and still is, to foster Christian unity wherever possible, and so the church has been made available for services for various other denominations over the years with our Catholic friends meeting here for many years prior to the opening of their St Peter the Fisherman Church.
Our vision also included our church being a “community” church, so our hall, especially when it was the only one in town, was used for a variety of purposes from large public meetings, community functions, land auctions, dance classes, pilates, craft and games mornings, as well as church activities.
We provide a base every year for the team of young people from Scripture Union (SU) who, for the past 40 years, have continuously run a holiday program here for all the local and visiting young people and their families between Christmas and New Year.
All our Good Shepherd services have, until the past year, been led by clergy travelling from Gympie each Sunday, but last year we were blessed to have The Rev’d Ingrid Busk appointed by the Gympie Anglican Parish as a permanent part-time community pastor for the three centres of the Cooloola Coast.
The Gympie Parish also sold its hall in Gympie in order to purchase “John Bradey House”, next door to the church, as a residence for Rev’d Ingrid.
We look forward to the next 25 years working to fulfil our vision for Christian unity and serving and loving each other and our community.