Sermon for 26 October 2008
1 Thessalonians 2.1-8
Rev Michelle Cook is a deacon and the minister of St Luke’s Weipa, a cooperative congregation of the Uniting and Anglican Churches. She is also the patrol padre of the Cape York Patrol of Frontier Services, and it is this she spoke to us about:
As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals whether from you or from others…
No, we never did and we never do – why, because people in the bush have a very good bs detectors. They can see right through you.
My name is Michelle Cook – and I am a patrol minister up in Cape York.
To confuse people I usually say that I live on the West Coast of Queensland. Most people just look at me funny and say ‘wha?’.
That’s right, there is a west coast of Queensland – and I live near the top of it.
I live in Weipa – a mining town of about 3000 people – 10 hours drive from Cairns across Cape York.
You may notice that on the screen there will be some photos – this is just to give you a taste for the area that I travel around and the people that I meet.
So while you look at some photos you might be asking yourselves – what is a patrol minister? And how can I get a job that involves driving around some of the most beautiful country in the whole world.
Well I think I have been asking myself that since I was about 10 when I stuck a Frontier Services sticker on my bookcase at home. I don’t think I really knew what Frontier Services was then – but I liked the idea of travelling around the back of beyond helping people who lived without electricity, running water and television – of course I had a romantic view of these things imagining life was like “We of the never, never”. But in my three years in the Cape York Patrol I have found out what a patrol minister is…