‘God is with us’: celebrating 206 years of Wesley Mission
It was a significant occasion as Wesley Mission congregation members, staff, volunteers and board members came together on Sunday 20 May to celebrate 206 years of our organisation’s service and support to the community.
Held at the Wesley Theatre, the service was not only an opportunity to celebrate our history and Methodist roots, but a time to honour the tireless work being done by our staff, volunteers and congregation members to help those most in need.
Three Wesley Mission staff members, Amy Ngo, Wesley LifeForce Project Coordinator, Sue Banks, Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland Crisis Support Coordinator and Andrew Tilsley, Wesley Human Resources Executive Manager were all given the opportunity to share about their experiences of working at Wesley Mission. They each reflected on what it’s like to be part of a Wesley Mission team and how they overcome difficult times in the workplace.
“Seeing our services operate well brings a high degree of satisfaction to those in a support role such as ours,” says Andrew.
“All organisations pose challenges, and Wesley Mission is certainly a challenging place to work. This is because of our complexity, diversity and scale. We are bound by the fickle nature of government funding, and constant political and social change.
“When difficult and tough times come upon us it is easy and natural to react, for myself I am buoyed by those around me, colleagues who share in our values and who are committed to serving others.
“As someone who loves and follows the Lord Jesus, I aim to keep my focus on him during difficult times, whether it is a challenging work situation or difficult family matter, I return to the one who is a man or sorrows and acquainted with grief.”
Soul Purpose, a gospel choir made up members of Wesley Mission’s Tongan community, gave two inspiring performances of ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘He still loves me’. A team of musicians and singers, consisting of Wesley Mission staff and congregation members also led those present in a number of worship songs.
Chair of the Wesley Community Services Board, Michael Anderson offered prayers for our work and the leaders of Wesley Mission, and then led the congregation in The Lord’s Prayer.
Wesley Mission’s CEO, the Rev Keith Garner then shared how God has always been with us when our organisation has faced challenging circumstances and will continue to be with us in the future.
“When I think of suffering in relation to our history at Wesley Mission, I think of all the difficult experiences … the times that our future hung on a gossamer thin thread and has done time and time again. Which is why when I think of the world in which we live and I think of all the possibilities of what might happen in future years, never fear this … God is with us. He has been and he will be. And that to me is so very important.”
After the service, Wesley Mission board member and deputy chair, Meredith Scott, long term congregation member and elder, Margaret Bayliss and Mr Garner recognised this historic occasion by cutting the anniversary cake.