Even if not wild, this month’s Assembly meeting will certainly be woolly.
VicTas moderator Sharon Hollis will take along suitcases full of hundreds of specially knitted scarves, beanies and mittens to hand out to Assembly members needing to rug up for the Melbourne winter.
Ms Hollis made the request for people to knit the winter wear at last year’s Synod meeting after gathering a collection of woollen wear knitted to donate to a congregational mental health outreach program.
“People went back from Synod and just kept knitting,” Ms Hollis said.
“It’s of one of those things that got a life of its own.”
Ms Hollis said she had attended previous mid-year Assembly gatherings where people from warmer climes, such as northern Australia and the Pacific Islands, had complained about the cold, even during the meeting held in Brisbane.
“I thought rather than moan about Melbourne’s weather let’s make a positive feature of it and rug up,” Ms Hollis said.
“I will bring the suitcases of scarves to the pre-gatherings and people can take what they need. They can wear a different scarf everyday if they want.
“Then they can take them home as a gift. If there are any left over we will give them to a worthy cause.”
Ms Hollis already has a scarf picked out for President-elect Dr Deidre Palmer, one that is Deidre’s favourite colour of purple.
“I’ll be popping one on her table at the beginning so she is good to go,” Ms Hollis said.
Ms Hollis has been collecting the knitted wear on her travels around synod.
From Tasmania she picked up a scarf knitted by a woman who followed instructions from a YouTube video.
Another Tasmanian scarf came from a dementia sufferer who has lost most other memories but is still a skilled knitter.
Ms Hollis said she hadn’t expected such a generous response.
“I’ve just been amazed by people’s enthusiasm,” she said.
“It’s a sign of people wishing Assembly well and wanting to be a part of it.
“I feel like perhaps they have knitted their hopes and prayers for Assembly into a scarf.”
Dr Palmer will be installed as National President at the opening service for Assembly, held from 7.30pm on Sunday 8 July at St Michael’s Uniting Church on the corner of Russell and Collins St in Melbourne city.
Assembly meetings and events will continue at Box Hill Town Hall from 9 Monday to 14 Saturday July and are open to observers and visitors. Find out what’s going on by visiting assembly.uca.org.au.