CONGREGATIONS – also see Geography above.
Our local Congregations in the Presbytery range in size from memberships of a handful of people to groups in excess of one hundred regular worshippers. Some congregations have a number of preaching places. Many congregations have chosen to operate as independent congregations linked through sharing the cost of a ministry agent. The Presbytery is currently engaged in a number of conversations with congregations considering becoming Faith Communities.
Most of the population in the Presbytery lives within 100 kilometres of the coastal perimeter. There is significant population variety. Rural towns have stable but declining populations with a diminishing pastoral property base. In areas such as the Central Highlands where coal mining dominates, the population is very mobile. These centres are influenced by shift work patterns and fly in/fly out staffing practices. This makes community life in mining towns difficult to maintain. In other established rural areas the adult population is less transitory with the exception of young adults who leave the areas to study and find work. The majority of rural towns in the Presbytery have been affected by rural decline and the drift of population to larger centres. Mining and Rural sectors are subject to significant variations in profitability which, in turn, has a significant impact on the surrounding towns.
PRESBYTERY MEETINGS AND STRUCTURE
The Presbytery meets three times each year – March, July and November. On each occasion the meeting begins on Friday evening and concludes after worship on Sunday. The July meeting is a live-in meeting at PCYC Leadership Centre, Yeppoon, and the other meetings rotate around the congregations with those attending being billeted. The July Presbytery is followed by the annual retreat for ministry agents, spouses, and support persons. The Presbytery has three committees: Pastoral Relations/Standing Committee; Property Committee; and Social Responsibility + Justice Committee. A Young Adult/Youth Task Group also operates within the Presbytery. There are also active Emmaus and Chrysalis Communities in Central Queensland. To provide support with the administrative responsibilities of the Presbytery, a part-time Administration Assistant is employed.
UNITINGCARE COMMUNITY is active in three areas of the Central Queensland Region – Mackay/Whitsunday, Gladstone and Central Queensland (Rockhampton).
BLUECARE operates throughout the area, although its lines of management do not match the Presbytery boundaries. In the southern half of the Presbytery BLUECARE is managed by Central Queensland (Rockhampton) and from Mackay northwards BLUECARE is managed by North Queensland (Townsville).