Student pastor, Harley Southwell, Pastor Mark Harvey, Trevor Mawer, Reverend Daniel Sitaran, Reverend Kaye Ronalds and Bruce Jones.
Student pastor, Harley Southwell, Pastor Mark Harvey, Trevor Mawer, Reverend Daniel Sitaran, Reverend Kaye Ronalds and Bruce Jones. DEIRDRE SMITH

Praying for rain

ALL the Christian ministers from Stanthorpe churches get together once a week at a fraternal meeting but it wasn't their idea to pray for rain. It was the parishioners.

A combined service, 'Community Called to Pray' will be held on Sunday, June 23 at noon at Stanthorpe Showgrounds.

Baptist Church pastor Mark Harvey said several of his parishioners lived on Texas Road, which is severely affected by drought.

"Their neighbours aren't Christian but they came to them and asked them to pray,” he said. "We know farmers are in severe strife and can lose hope.”

Several had commented to him that, even though they had lived through the drought in 1994, the current situation was the worst they had ever encountered.

The ministers stressed it was not just a religious occasion but 'an opportunity for the community to come together'.

Reverend Kaye Ronalds of the Uniting Church said ministers were always mindful of the needs of those outside their parish as well as with their own congregations.

"We do regularly pray for the needs of the community, including for rain,” she said.

"And last time we prayed for rain, it worked'.

Pastor Harvey said they wanted people to know that the churches also offered support for anybody facing difficulties and it could take the form of accommodation, counselling or food.

The Ministers Fraternal meeting includes Catholic and Protestant churches, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Salvation Army and newer churches such as the Vineyard Church. It meets once a week for prayer and monthly to discuss the needs of the community.

"The thing we have in common is Jesus,” Reverend Ronalds said.

"There is a little bit of cloud around, we will pray that they come together and rain.

"Everybody can come along. The roof won't fall in if you pray.”

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