The lines were clearly drawn but they had nothing to do with opposing footy teams. Something not as fun as footy rivalries was keeping more than a playful distance between good friends this winter in Victoria, Australia. An invisible “ring of steel” separated Melbournians and regional Victorians for several months in 2020. Even after the rigid Covid19 lockdowns were lifted (allowing residents a greater measure of freedom) the “ring of steel” remained firmly in place until every last Covid case in Melbourne had been stamped out! 

Though Zoom meetings kept the RPCA young Adults in touch, it was with much relief and anticipation that a new plan for regular Young Adult gatherings, in person, was launched by Louise and Jono Blakston, of Frankston RPC, with help from Andy and Susan McCracken. The purpose of the regular meetings was to encourage meaningful friendships, and to support one another in discovering how to transition well to being the next generation of committed servants in the RPCA. 

The first event was an overnight campout on the west side of Port Phillip Bay. Pastor Andy McCracken addressed the group, affirming their value and the church’s need of their leadership and ministry, and also encouraging them to use the Young Adults group as a place to ask questions, share concerns and seek support in navigating this phase of life. It can be difficult to transition into positions of leadership and service within a multi-generational group in which you have always been “one of the kids”. The members of the leadership team shared some of their experiences of making that transition themselves, and of helping their own children in that transition.The young adults responded by sharing their own thoughts about what they need and hope for in the process of growing into new and weightier responsibilities in the church. 

Games, fellowship and a walk on the beach rounded out the evening. 

Other gatherings have included dinner at the Blakstons home with devotions led by Jono Blakston followed by a raucous game of “Clay to Win”, and brunch in the city on Easter Monday. We hope to continue meeting monthly throughout the year to foster friendship while pursuing faithful discipleship of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  

Susan McCracken, Frankston RPC, Australia

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