Yinnar Church to be repurposed

Sunday November 18 saw the final worship service held at the Yinnar Uniting Church.
It is to become an op shop, a place where people can come for a bargain, find companionship, a listening ear, and feel welcome - a true outreach place in the community.
The service was attended by a congregation which had mixed feelings - sadness because some had worshipped there for many years, but also hope for the future in the proposed use of the building.
Robern Lubawski arranged a reflective and thoughtful service with elements of positivity.
There were poems to reflect the situation, prayers of thanksgiving for the service rendered by the church over the decades, and memories of people significant to the church - Ian Hornibrook, George Firmin, Win Jones, Sheila Crookston, Brian Lawrence, the Smith family who donated the organ, and Sharon Smee.
Significant events included the Good Friday Walk of Witness with the Catholics, the Family Christmas Day service, the choir, piano lessons with Kath Doonan, Pip installing the stained glass window, Bible studies and of course twice monthly worship services.
Ian Blake spoke of the dedication of the Sunday School, teachers over the years especially those who came from farms.
Bill Armstrong read the Bible lessons and Ruth Lloyd played the organ.
The singing was loud and hearty.
Val Hornibrook and John Lubawski took up the offering.
Ian Combridge, Chairperson of the parish’s Parish Council spoke the following words:
“In Gippsland we acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land the Gunaikurnai people.
Today in Yinnar we are here to acknowledge the history of this building, the people who have worshipped here, been baptized here, married and had their funerals here.
Also those people who’ve come here, into this building, over many years, seeking answers to situations in their life, seemingly beyond their control, and finding God’s peace through prayer answered.
This building has seen families grow up - new families begin and grow, and many loved ones depart.
This building has a country history.
Today we are not selling this building or pulling it down, we are re-purposing it to strengthen our Parish in our future ministry.
In a new lease of life, in a different way, I would love to see people still being comfortable to find God’s peace here, through fellowship and prayer, even as an opportunity shop.
Parish Council has been very aware of how difficult this idea might be for some people.
To those I say, we thank you for helping us do what we feel is the best way forward for our future Parish ministry.
We looked into neighbouring parishes and realised how an opportunity shop can help fund ongoing ministry with reduced numbers of church people.
I see this is a real opportunity to link into this community and ask everyone for your prayers for the success of this project.
This building is still an important place in our Parish. Thank you.”
Reverend Judy McLeod representing Presbytery delivered the following words:
“People of Uniting Church in Australia, Yinnar, the time has come to commend this place to God and for you to seek God’s presence in new places.
I therefore on behalf of Gippsland Presbytery recognise the ending of your worship life here and send you out to worship where God’s Spirit leads you.
This congregation at Yinnar, was organised as part of God’s Holy Church.
It was God’s gift for a reason. We give thanks for the many ways it has served the call of Jesus Christ.
It has accomplished its purpose.”
Following the service, a delicious spread of morning tea was enjoyed as folks stood and sat around exchanging memories of the church special to them.