The churches were empty one Sunday earlier this month in the Blue Mountains – but the Christians from Anglican, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Presbyterian, Baptist and Church of Christ churches still met. Together.
The normal gatherings of 14 different churches were canceled and they met together at the local Katoomba Christian Convention (KCC) site.
“It’s the fifth year we’ve done it as an initiative of the Upper Mountains Ministers Association,” says Jon Guyer, minister at Wentworth Falls Anglican.
“It was the first time we’ve asked everyone to cancel morning church and come together; the first three times it was in the afternoon.”
They have moved three times, each time into a bigger venue, winding up at the cavernous KCC auditorium. Its meant to be a Pentecost gathering – but this years celebration was “shifted to coincide with the ‘Resurrect’ conference at KCC, which was organised by Christian Fellowship Tours, so we could interview two of their speakers – Peter Irvine, who founded Gloria Jeans in Australia, and Tim Costello.”
The Baptists got to organise the music, and then an Anglican – the Upper Mountains’ newest minister, James Delanty of Leura – got to address the crowd.
He took Lydia, the businesswoman from Acts 16, as a “gospel influencer” – whether you’re the “strong” (i.e. influencial person in business or community) or the “weak” (just in the sphere of influence God has given you in family, school, friendships). But he made the point that when we are weak, that’s when God”s own strength comes through the most.
“One other lovely thing that happened was that we funded morning tea for everyone afterwards, but the KCC caterer surprised us all by providing a full lunch for everyone afterwards as well,” says Guyer.
Karl Grice who runs the Little Lost Bookshop in Katoomba puckishly tells Eternity: “Upper Mountains Ministers Association organised a cracker of a Pentecost service on a Sunday morning … They even agreed to move Pentecost Sunday back two weeks.”
“I’m not actually sure how one gets permission to alter the church calendar like that, but it worked.”
The livestream is at pentecost.org.au