It was on 11 November 2007, that the 168km distance between the two congregations was traversed via the internet. The pioneering project uses technology to deliver the Christian message when clergy are unavailable.
For the initial trials, telephone cables were laid 100 metres across the church paddock from the manse to make the internet connection. The concept and technology developed with Glen Waverley also enables connections with other country Victorian congregations.
A strong bond has developed between the Beeac and Glen Waverley congregations, with dedicated support from the Glen Waverley ministerial team. Although Beeac now receives pastoral oversight from the Corangamite-Otway Region of the Western Victorian Presbytery, the city-country linkage has been maintained and is highly valued.
Midweek contact with the Glen Waverley worship team ensures that local prayer concerns are incorporated in the worship service. When the minister interacts with their congregation during worship, Beeac is able to text through their ideas and answers.
Beeac Uniting Church has also been fortunate to host visits from the Glen Waverley Free Spirit Choir. Following worship, the visiting choir performed in Colac as a fundraiser for the Colac Schools Chaplaincy Appeal.
Each October, Beeac contributes over 100 bags of sheep manure to the Glen Waverley Church Fete where it is quickly sold. Beeac members stay overnight for worship the following Sunday morning.
The Glen Waverley connection and support has been instrumental in maintaining enthusiasm as well as a heightened awareness of the wider mission of the church.
This month, Beeac and Glen Waverley Uniting Churches will celebrate 10 years of transmission (via the internet) of worship services in a special two-way broadcast on Sunday 12 November at 9.15am.