Last night I attended the Eureka Carols. It is the only outdoor carols service in Ballarat and has become quite a significant community event. The carols started forty years ago in my grandmother's backyard. Just a few friends around the piano for a sinag-along and a simple string of lights has grown into something quite extraordinary.
I think that one of the reasons that it has not only survived for so long, but has also grown is that a sense of community has been nurtured. The church has made a conscious effort to serve the community with the event. While they maintain creative control they work hard to partner with other churches, businesses and the broader community. They have had a long partnership with 3BA radio and the carols is used to raise funds for the 3BA Christmas appeal which is in conjunction with the Salvation Army, Anglicare, UnitingCare and St Vincent de Paul. It was a great night and it highlighted the way in which individuals, businesses, churches and other organisations can band together to have a positive impact on the community.
One of the other reasons that I had such a good time at the carols is that I love singing and I love singing traditional Christmas songs. My all time favourite is 'O Holy Night'. For me it distils the essence of my faith.