The Uniting Church congregation in the little town of Uralla, in the New South Wales Northern tablelands, is one of the great supporters of the work of Frontier Services and the support we give to people in remote Australia.
Uralla once boasted a population of 12,000 at the height of the gold rush and then found its fortune on the sheep’s back. Today many graziers have turned to raising black angus cattle and two local timber mills are the largest businesses in this town of 2,680.
The town is also a favourite tourist spot being halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. Its history includes the exploits of its infamous son, the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt (Fredrick Ward), who robbed gold deliveries and was shot dead by a local policeman.
Thunderbolt lies buried in the local cemetery and his likeness can be seen in a statue in the main street and in the local museum.
To show their solidarity with Frontier Services, Uralla Uniting Church staged the Great Outback Barbeque on Saturday September 7. Although the congregation is small they show big hearts raising $2,000 on the day.
At the invitation of church elder Merle Wilkinson, Dan McAloon from Frontier Services national office, visited the congregation recently to thank them for their incredible effort. “All Merle asked of me was that I should bring a prayer for rain for the people of Uralla who are doing it hard now, especially as it is calving season and the country is drying out.”
Dan had the opportunity to read the prayer out at Sunday service, and in this season of fire and drought we send this prayer to people all around Australia who anxiously await the gift of rain:
A Prayer for Rain
O Heavenly Father, through whom all things are made
Hear our plea to bring a soaking rain unto this thirsty earth
Bring to us your water of life so that creeks, dams and tanks might fill
That thirsty humans, animals and plants may drink their fill
That rivers and creeks will clear of debris and run pure and clean
Bring the deep rain that makes the soil rich and bursting with life
Bring the rain that greens the crops and colours the gardens
Send us Lord an abundant rain, we pray,
And teach us to be better stewards
Of all the blessings you provide.