Don’t discard your confidence, as it brings a rich reward and keep faith in God’s higher view from the ‘coach’s box’, noted sports chaplain Cameron Butler told the 400-plus people attending this morning’s (May 14) 30th Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast at Rumours.

“Don’t give up in times of adversity, as it is faith and trust in God’s higher view of our lives that sees us through,” Mr Butler said.

A life’s involvement as a sports chaplain, firstly with AFL side the Melbourne Demons, which has been replicated across many other Australian sports and internationally, has given Mr Butler an insight into, “how to live a full and intentional life in a crazy world”.

“There are three very Biblical principles that can be applied in everyday life and also on the sporting field,” Mr Butler added.

“Trust in your teammates, believe in the game plan and have faith in times of adversity. We must trust and encourage one another and not become disengaged.

“If you notice people struggling, we need to show acts of kindness and look for opportunities to bless someone. It is also important to work for the team.

“In difficult times we need to keep faith and trust in ourselves and each other; not shrink back. God has the most amazing perspective, which we can lose at ground level.

“God is the coach who wants to help direct you; he has a great game plan for your life.”

The morning started with a welcome by Town Crier Kevin Howarth and featured two musical pieces performed by Jimmy Graham and Joel Hunt, with a scripture reading by Juliet Ballinger and a prayer that was prepared and shared by the 2024 Toowoomba Citizen of the Year, Tiff Spary from the BASE Services.

Mary Barac shared her recollections of how sport (netball and AFL) had helped her build meaningful connections. Mary was born in Toowoomba after her family was resettled in the city from Egypt, where they lived following their displacement due to the war in their home country, South Sudan.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald thanked all sponsors and supporters at the Breakfast for their ongoing generosity.

He said funds raised from the 2024 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast will be presented to Safer Toowoomba Regional Partnerships Inc. (STRP) in coming weeks to help run Community Connect events that are intended to strengthen communities by encouraging a greater sense of belonging.

Mayor McDonald said STRP’s Crime and Violence Prevention Focus Group was organising the gatherings with the help of Relationships Australia’s Neighbours Every Day program to promote the benefits of social connections. Details of the localised events will be publicised in the surrounding neighbourhood. Enquiries can be directed to STRP on 0419 853 703.

Pastor Andrew Hoey, who is the Senior Minister at Rangeville Community Church and Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast committee chair, also thanked the guest performers and speakers along with all supporters for contributing to the 30th annual fundraiser.

The Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast was started by former Toowoomba City Council Mayor Ross Miller to raise funds for drought relief. The event has raised more than $318,000 for charities across the Region.

Caption: Above: Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald (left) with guest speaker and sports chaplain Cameron Butler at this morning’s 2024 Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast at Rumours.

Below: Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald (left), guest speaker Cameron Butler, Safer Toowoomba Regional Partnerships Inc. executive members (and charity recipient reps) Lindsay Hornery and Kaye Lindsay (right), with function speaker Mary Barac and Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast committee chair, Pastor Andrew Hoey at Rumours.

Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast committee members Nev Siebenhausen, left, (TAFE Queensland, South West Region leading vocational teacher Hospitality and Cookery) with Rumours proprietor Jim Aspromourgos. Mr Siebenhausen was wearing his chef’s hat for his 21st Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, while Mr Aspromourgos and his team have donated their venue and facilities for every function.