At Ferntree Gully Uniting Church, a set back with their new water tank turned into an opportunity.
It all started a few years back, when some of us began to worry about the lack of rain and climate change and what we, as a congregation, could practically do. So, a water tank seemed a very good thing - not one that was to water our garden, which is extremely low-maintenance anyway, but one which would be plumbed into the toilets. As we, like most congregations, have many groups using the church buildings throughout the week, a water tank would be a good investment to save on water, as well as an example of our congregation's care for the environment, and perhaps as a witness to the people of Ferntree Gully Village.
So, the tank, a 9,000 litre tank, with suitable pump was installed, facing out to the Village car park for everyone to see. However, we did not bargain on any one finding our pump appealing, and trying, in vain, to remove it from the tank. But they did, and so something had to be done. It was done in such a way that this setback turned into an opportunity to offer something to the surrounding community. We decided to put a fence around the tank.
This was duly done. But then it was felt that we could use this fence space to make something attractive for the passers by. And so it was that two of our congregation's young people came up with the idea of a painted mural, depicting scenes from a fern tree gully - complete with waterfall, frogs and butterflies and all. These two young women came up with the design and then drew it onto the newly painted fence - no mean feat.
It just so happened that N.C.Y.C. was scheduled to begin in Melbourne, and the organizers had sent out requests to congregations for ways in which the delegates could become involved in "doing the Gospel". Their studies were based on the Gospel of Mark, and the emphasis was on the "doing". We put in our request: for some young people to come and help us paint the mural on our tank fence. And come they did, on a very hot Melbourne January day. And with their help, and a lot of camaraderie, the majority of the mural was finished. Finally, in July, it was properly completed. And it is a delight!
So, thank you to all those who have helped - to the two young women who facilitated the project: Madeline and Claire, and to the N.C.Y.C.'ers: Fantastic job, well done!