Message from Pastor Brian
As we come up to our mid year break in July, I can only say how proud I am of you and your amazing gifts of donations that has consistently kept our doors open in support of your community. With the struggle that continues to burden our city, the individuals who are suffering, the families who are impoverished and for those who have fallen by the wayside, the hand that we can offer them can only ever be managed by your generosity and support.
At the end of last year, we received news of our corporate groups ceasing their attendance for community service through OzHarvest, which meant that we would more than likely to fall short in practical terms of our budget. But I have always believed that whatever we attempt through God’s inspiration, it will always come to pass. When I think of the times over the years when the treasurer has come to me saying that we are in need of more financial support, I pray.
So this year, with the concerns around the loss of income to the attendance of corporate groups and their donations, and believing that God is in control, that He will inspire people to give, we are now half way through the year and were $ 1000 behind our estimated budget. But faith is an amazing thing, when put in place, God always honour His Word that he would inspire people to give and today, my office manager informed me that in the last 2 days, over $ 6000 has been donated through the generosity of those who heard the call. So I wanted to thank you for being inspired to give to such a God-given cause placed on our hearts to care for those are struggling, marginalized and impoverished.
Jesus said that the poor will always be with us and it is our responsibility to care for them. I wanted you to know that your donations are a part of that big plan. God has given me such an amazing team who are willing to serve, to give and to love unconditionally this includes you even though you may not have the opportunity to come to be part of the ministry in Newtown, you are very present because you have the same heart.
So with the Mission Statement resonating in our hearts “In the heart of Newtown, with Newtown at heart”
We wake each morning to fulfill the vision of embracing others, ensuring hope, and engaging on the journey with them.
“It is not right for someone to walk alone
but to have a someone who cares
who will stand in the gap for them.
To fight the good fight for what is right.
And so we stand together,
hand in hand, we make a stand
For the Lord is with us
who can stand against us
For those who struggling,
For those who cry
We lift our eyes , we stand and fight.
At the forefront of the ministry is the Jordan Café, manned by some of the most amazing servant hearted people I have ever met. These people each week give up their valuable time to prepare, create and serve food in such a way that reflects courtesy and unconditional love. The planning around the preparation of these meals is somewhat spontaneous based around what has been donated to us weekly.
So each week, the uncertainty of what will arrive is not fully known until the last minute. So I take my hat off to my kitchen staff for their amazing ability to be able to create something out of nothing.
We use the opportunity to build team as an incentive for those who have been unemployed, disrupted in lifestyle or suffered in relationships to be a part of the team as a part of their recovery and to regain self-worth.
Embrace is the key to the first steps of recovery.
Each week as we open our doors to the community, we find ourselves facing many difficulties. We live in a city full of broken dreams, broken lives and hearts which need specialized attention at times to ensure others that hope is achievable. We have set up different forms of recovery through the various agencies around the city who we have networked with successfully over the years. With the relationship with Corrs, Chambers and Westgarth, we continue to provide pro bono legal services under the banner of Homeless Persons Legal Service.
In conjunction with various other government agencies such as Drug Court, Forum Sentencing, State Debt Recovery and Juvenile Justice opportunities for individuals struggling to integrate, assimilate or recover have been implemented as a long term strategy.
Based around the vision of ensuring hope that all things are redeemable, we continue to work closely with families and individuals to see such dreams fulfilled.
THURSDAY THANKSGIVING CHAPEL SERVICE
The Thanksgiving Chapel Service continues to be a point of contact where people feel they are safe to engage with each other and with God. Each week people from all over the city, young, old, homeless, rich and the poor gather together as a real community to feel what genuine unconditional love is all about.
Donations from various church groups, schools, local businesses and individuals continue to fill our store room full of food and essential items for those who are underprivileged. A special thank you to Padstow Uniting, Killara Uniting, Kingsgrove Uniting, St Stephen’s Uniting, Haberfield Uniting , Woollhara – Double Bay Uniting, St John the Evangelist Dee Why.
WHY IS COMMUNITY IMPORTANT?
In an age where uncertainty surrounds us in the area of housing, income and cost of living increasing, the fear of job loss, the importance of maintaining community based around a desire to love and serve others can
only bring about a wind of change to those who are in leadership roles. A cry has gone out across this city for our leaders to see the brokenness and uncertainty as an urgency to do something that is good and wholesome, something that will sustain those in need. People need to know that others care and especially those who are sitting at desks, in meetings making decisions for others, that their hearts are hearts of compassion.
Why is community important? Because people matter.
Because people need to be able to feel safe. They need to be able to trust, that no matter what comes their way, something good will come from it. That things will get better and they would not be left behind. To all those who consider themselves a part of this ministry, thank you that you have heard the cry. That you understand the need to give. And that you are an inspiration, and you have reflected hope.