Closure of the Rosebud, Bethany Congregation
After forty-two years, firstly as a preaching place in the St Peters Frankston parish, and later as a separate congregation, Bethany has been a small group serving members living on the Mornington Peninsula. St Peters drew members from across the peninsula, including Mornington, Mt Martha, Red Hill and Rosebud, and caused capacity problems for the church.
During this time, serving pastors at St Peters, including Pastors Paul Griebel, Wayne Muschamp and Tom Fischer held an early morning service in one of several places in Rosebud. Firstly, it was in a Uniting Church on the Nepean Highway in Rosebud, then another local Uniting Church in Murray Anderson Road. It then moved to Padua College, Rosebud, originally in the Staff Room or a classroom, until the College acquired an old church from Red Hill as the school chapel. The congregation assisted in the chapel’s renovation and it then became Bethany’s place of worship to this day. Bethany was always served with great care by Padua staff, and we are most grateful that they were willing to allow us to use that facility for many years.
Approximately 30 baptised souls formed the original congregation. When Bethany separated from St Peters, it was served by Pastor Peter Benz on a part time basis, until his retirement in 2008, due to ill-health. Since then, we have been served by a number of pastors on a part-time basis, mainly one service each month until 2019. This includes Pastors David Koehne, Ray Roehm, Warren Partridge, and Special Ministry Pastor James Hoth Luk. However, special mention must be made of Pastor Emeritus Janos Dabasy, who has faithfully provided the congregation with quarterly services and communion for 13 years, and as recently as 2 weeks ago.
We give thanks to God for providing all the Pastors, and also to each of them for their service to our community.
We thank God for Bethany Lutheran Church; we have been truly blessed. His hand is in evidence from its genesis, gestation, implementation, and survival, through to this day of closure. The Holy Spirit has been with us, supporting and encouraging us, every step of the way, motivating the original members and all who have followed them – the Pastors, Chairmen, Treasurers, Secretaries, Committee Members, the Lay Readers, those of the Altar Guild, the providers of morning teas and the worshipers of this congregation. How else could the congregation have survived for 42 years, meeting weekly, with such minimal Pastoral involvement? Lord, we ask that you continue to bless every member that has called Bethany “My Church
Today, February 26, 2023, sees the closure of this unique congregation, but not to our individual Christian journeys. Accordingly, we ask for God’s guidance, wisdom and support, as we determine how and where each of us will continue to worship Him.