November 2021


After a year of Covid curtailment in 2020, ELC operations bounced back strongly in 2021. Events were well-attended and there was plenty of energy and enthusiasm amongst our Task Group members and volunteers. A small number of events still had to be postponed because of lockdowns and restrictions around the country, and in particular we were forced to cancel the Wilkes Oration for the second year in a row, but we’re now working on the possibility of two in 2022 to make up for it!

Highlights for the year included a great year of Seminary of the Third Age sessions on the theme of “Searching for Authenticity”, four very poetic Poet’s Corner events, the birth of an Uluru Statement Support Group which has now taken on a life of its own beyond the ELC, a new Meditation Group now sponsoring a great series of events leading up to Christmas, four very popular Social Issues events with significant funds raised for very worthy causes, and the set-up and launch of the Environmental Action Group website at the Uniting Church Expo in September.

2021 was also a year of review. In February a proposed new model for ELC structure (see below) was presented to the Christ Church congregation, suggesting a move away from a structure based on Task Groups, to one based on four overarching “umbrellas”, defining the ethos and values of the ELC: Spirituality, Community, Relationships and Environment. The aim was to reinvigorate the ELC for the future, draw in more church and community involvement, and reach out more strongly to the local community and beyond.

The new model was well-received by the congregation, and a decision was made to trial the model during the remainder of 2021. A joint meeting of Church Council and ELC Management Committee will be held at the end of 2021 to assess the trial and decide on future ELC structure.

In the meantime, if you have any great ideas for the ELC, or want to get involved in our activities, please talk to one of our current committee members in the congregation: Margaret Calder, Heather Hill, Wendy Claring-Bould, Judy Barry, Julia Lim, Dorothea Megow-Dowling, David Shepherd, Ian Calder, Fergus McGinley.

The annual ELC Planning Meeting will be held on November 6, so stay tuned for plans for the continued resurgence of the ELC in 2022. As Maximus says to the troops in The Gladiator, “what we do today echoes in eternity”: our work in the ELC – Christ Church’s mission to the community – is a vital part of the great ongoing task of building God’s Kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Fergus McGinley – Chair of Management Committee