The Church staff and parishioners celebrated their first anniversary of their new Church last weekend and Scientologists came from around Australia for a weekend of functions, presentations and a conference where different Church representatives came to discuss the plans for expanding Church services and community activities and providing larger Church spaces around the county.
The Melbourne Church of Scientology is now the second fastest growing Church of Scientology in the world, with Church services increased more than 5 times since opening their new Church in Ascot Vale.
In addition to distributing thousands of anti-drug booklets in the city and suburbs to provide effective education about drugs and dispatching Volunteer Ministers to Queensland in early 2011 to help with the clean up at Cyclone Yasi and the Brisbane floods, the Church is also concentrating on providing needed services to its local community of Moonee Ponds.
The Church’s The Way to Happiness Volunteers (wearing green shirts) work with the local community on a regular basis. Volunteers planted trees at Royal Park and helped the local community clean up the Moonee Ponds Creek. The Way To Happiness is a common sense moral code, which gives 21 precepts – rules for happy living. It can be used by a person of any or no faith to make survival ethical decisions in life.
Volunteers joined with City Link’s Neighborhood Connections, Friends of Royal Park, Melbourne City Councillors and others.
English classes: Members of the Oromo Community come to the church every Wednesday night to improve their English reading and writing skills. A Church volunteer who is an educator helps these people extend their skills. Graduation ceremonies are held where the students share their success stories and heartfelt thanks.
The Homework Club: Eighty children are enrolled and meet with Church volunteers every Saturday to get help with their homework. This was an existing program started by dedicated members in the community and we have been very happy to help and see the program grow and the children really make positive gains in their study. It started out with 10 students and has steadily grown in number.
The Way to Happiness Days: On the first Friday of every month the Church of Scientology Melbourne hosts The Way to Happiness Market Day. People come with their family and friends to join in the festivities. The Wild Action Zoo brings animals for the children to see and pet and local residents set up stalls. It is a fun-filled day. Local community groups send members to speak about various issues – internet bullying; crime prevention and a right to a fair trial (presented by a Melbourne Lawyer) to name some of the topics addressed.