‘Celebrating Faith’ service inspires community with message of hope
“When hope gets hold of your life, you’re different,” said Wesley Mission CEO, Rev Keith V Garner AM. “Hope liberates, hope motivates.”
About 200 Wesley Mission community and congregation members and staff walked away inspired from the stirring words shared by Wesley Mission’s CEO at our ‘Generating Hope’ service on Sunday 3 August at the Wesley Theatre in Sydney’s CBD. ‘Generating Hope’ is the third service in a three-part series called ‘Celebrating Faith’.
Three Wesley Mission employees, Rev David Van Akker, Chaplain, Wesley Disability Services, Mrs Lucy Burdett Wesley Connect Coordinator and Rob Seaton, Operation Manger, Wesley Specialist Homelessness Services were interviewed by Mr Garner and shared what hope personally means to them.
Lucy shared how hope is vital when supporting those who walk through the doors of Wesley Mission’s community services and congregations. Lucy told the story of how a man, who was given temporary accommodation after living on the streets, struggled with isolation and loneliness. While a regular at Wesley Connect–a food and care program for those experiencing homelessness–he initially came for the food but after weeks of being part of a community, his perspective changed.
“Six weeks later he accepted prayer from us and doesn’t think we’re so strange now, but he said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on here yet, but I’m holding onto some hope that I find in community’,” said Lucy.
“I think the ways that we can show hope, not necessarily from a platform but would be through you know, kindness and…taking a real genuine interest in that person because God loves them.”
Mr Garner continued the conversation about hope in his message and echoed similar sentiments to Lucy. He shared how hope is activated when part of a community.
“When you get a community of people who have got hope in their hearts, when you’ve got a group of people [who] have allowed themselves to be set free and they are hopeful, not only for themselves but for their community and for the world, then things can happen.
“At Wesley Mission, [hope] unleashes compassion, helps people find real purpose in their lives… For many people today of hopelessness, there is nowhere to go. No one can help me. I am down. I can’t get up. But hope says, ‘Oh, you can’.”
The talented band and choir, Redeemer Baptist Music also led a powerful time of worship at the service.