How sowing buttons turned into $100,000

1 May 2022 by Rev Terence Corkin in: Letters, Thoughts, News

How sowing buttons turned into $100,000

From Rev Terence Corkin
Eurobodalla Uniting Church

A member of the Moruya Uniting Church is a regular worker at the "Repair Cafe" that runs out of the Anglican Church hall every week. This project, which encourages re-use of resources rather than throwing them out, is run by the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA). While chatting at the sowing bench a leader of SHASA asked the Moruya UCA member whether our church would be interested in accessing funding to upgrade the church building to better support the community during bushfires and heatwaves.

The conversation continued and the Eurobodalla Church Council agreed that the Batemans Bay site would be excellent for this as it had been an essential haven for people during the black summer fires. The building is also used for supporting people in need and the lonely through Pivot Point and Dove In. Pivot Point provides emergency food hampers, the only free hot showers for homeless people in the whole Shire, and free use of a washing machine for anyone who needs it. The listening ear offered by Pivot Point is supported by the parallel hospitality activity of Dove In. Here clients of Pivot Point or people just looking for some company can pop into the foyer of the church building for a cuppa and a chat.

SHASA agreed to submit a grant to the Commonwealth "Preparing Australian Communities" process. They did all the grant application (with the local church setting the priorities for what needed to be done) and would use the grant by funding the work at the Batemans Bay Uniting Church.

On Friday April 22nd the congregation was advised that the grant has been successful!! Chatting while engaged in a shared service to the community resulted in a grant of $99,700 being received for the benefit of the mission and ministry of the local Uniting Church.

This funding will allow for air conditioning with HEPA filters to be installed in the worship area (and removal of the dangerous old gas heaters), a significant number of solar panels on the roof, a powerful generator and a new shed to house it plus related electrical works. In addition, Pivot Point will benefit from additional shelving, some minor repairs to their area and new freezers.

Two other grant applications are still being assessed. If successful they will allow stage two and three works to be undertaken to add additional shower facilities and other things that will support the ministry of Pivot Point. That sowing ministry may yet result in more than another $50,000 to support mission and ministry.

Terence Corkin
Chairperson, Eurobodalla Uniting Church Council