Local volunteer Brodie Rafferty is excited to be a part of the Coastside Church team, and can’t speak highly enough of his mentor, Assistant Pastor Ian Mathews. As a way to say ‘thank you’ for providing him with the opportunity to volunteer and learn new skills.
Brodie suggested we interview Ian and profile the church and the many community services it performs …
Brodie Rafferty – Coastside Church volunteer.
Hi Brodie. Tell us a bit about yourself please …
I was born in 1990 in Port Macquarie District Hospital. I was unwell around my birth, and had to have three shunts inserted. I was treated in Camperdown Children’s Hospital for much of my first year of life. I was released about a day prior to my uncle’s wedding, which was held in Newcastle in December 1990, during which time my mum was offered a house in suburban Port Macquarie.
I’m second of four boys, my older brother being Jackson Rafferty, musician and photographer from Port Macquarie, and I have two awesome younger brothers, Garth and Coen. My mum and step-dad have done an awesome job raising us kids.
My number one interest is music. My favourite genre is Country, and I have a lot of respect and time for former Port girl, Aleyce Simmonds. I enjoy playing my guitar and saxophone, and I have been interested in politics and current affairs since about 2011.
I’ve taken a keen interest in swimming, which I’ve done in some form nearly each day since 19 October last year, even through most of the winter, missing only 8 days in total.
I attended St Joseph’s primary from K to 6, and after a short stint in Brisbane, I attended St Joseph’s Regional and Australian Technical College (now Newman).
I’m also a very keen volunteer, and have been at Coastside since roughly December last year.
What are some of the new skills you’ve learned at Coastside?
My duties at Coastside Church include vacuuming, gardening, refreshment duties (making tea and coffee for colleagues) and I might occasionally give the auditorium a major tidy up. My eyesight is not great, but since volunteering, I’ve managed to gain improved hand-eye coordination. Despite the fact my vacuuming is still not perfect, it seems a bit better since volunteering.
You nominated Ian Mathews as a great boss. Why do you enjoy working with him so much?
Ian Mathews is a brilliant superior. I’ve known him since I was in primary school, and we lived close to one another. I then started volunteering at the former Switch Skate Park in early 2004, which at the time was owned by Coastside Church. I decided in late 2011 to pop in to the church to say hi to a few people and see if there were any volunteer positions going, and Ian let me volunteer.
I enjoy volunteering in a peaceful, low pressure environment. I’m hoping someday, if I no longer feel able to pursue my duties at Coastside, that either Ian, Mark or Sheree will give me a reference to take into possible future employment.
What are some of the things you dream of doing in the future?
In the future I’d love to go for a holiday to Los Angeles, because I’d love to meet some celebrities. I’d also love to be able to do a TAFE NSW course.
I’m a ‘Coastsider’ through and through, and I hope I’ll be there for years to come.
Ian Mathews – Assistant Pastor
Hi Ian. What’s your position with Coastside Church, and what’s involved with this role on a day to day basis?
I’m an Assistant Pastor. My role here at Coastside is multi-functional. Being here on staff three days a week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, supporting our Senior Pastor, Mark, I’m responsible for pastoral care (hospital visits, home visits, counselling and praying for people), as well as the care, cleaning and maintenance of the church building and grounds, with the help of the many great volunteers we have here at Coastside Church.
As the adult’s demographic leader in the church, I’m also responsible for all those over 40 in our church, which incorporates coffee mornings, scrapbooking, Coastside seniors and a knitting cell.
How long has Coastside Church been established in Port Macquarie?
Coastside Church was established here in Port Macquarie over 30 years ago as a part of the Christian Outreach Centre movement, moving to our current location in Mumford Street in 1989, and being renamed ‘Coastside’ in 2004.
In the future we plan to relocate to our gateway site opposite McDonald’s on the Oxley Highway, to facilitate our vision of being a district-wide church.
What are some of the regular activities/community services the church is involved with?
At Coastside Church, we believe strongly in community involvement.
Carl and Faye Moses, our Community Pastors, released a grief package into the Hastings, which is now being used by the public hospital and Lifeline to help those working through a difficult period in their lives. These packages can also be obtained by contacting Coastside Church. Pastor Carl is also the Chaplain for the RSL and Liaison Officer to Council for the Ministers Association here in Port.
For the past 6 years, volunteers from Coastside have wrapped presents at Port Central for a gold coin prior to Christmas. With the money raised, we assist our youth to travel over to Bohol in the Philippines, where our church sponsors 40 children through their schooling. Port Central graciously supplies all the wrapping paper, ribbon and tape, so all donations go directly to our youth team. A team left for the Philippines in early October, where they had a chance to meet the sponsored children and exchange photos, letters and gifts.
Brodie speaks very highly of the way you’ve helped him develop new skills. What’s the story behind how you and Brodie first met – and what role does he now perform at Coastside?
Brodie and I first met while living in the same street, and this led to him asking to volunteer one day a week at Coastside.
Gardening, cleaning, setting up for conferences, special events and general maintenance is where Brodie helps; he is more than willing to assist, with his happy, friendly nature being an encouragement to those around him.
What’s on the agenda for Coastside over the next few months?
On Friday night 23 November, our ladies have their next special event, ‘Shine’. Guest speaker for the evening is Kathy Abraham. Kathy is the Senior Pastor of Elevation Church on the Gold Coast, together with her husband, Ross. In conjunction with the March ‘Shine’, this event will support the local community, providing gift hampers. Last year, these events supplied over 60 Christmas gifts to local children in need.
Preparations are also underway for our Coastside Carols, which are held on the Coastside Church grounds on Sunday 23 December, starting at 6pm. At Coastside, we believe singing traditional carols is an incredible way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, ending with fireworks lighting up the sky.
This event is open to all to attend. Our Coastside volunteers are excited and ready once again to serve our community through hosting the Coastside Carols.
Interview by Jo Atkins.