Wesley Mission gives hope in so many ways for Christmas 2015
For Christmas 2015 at Wesley Mission, our words and actions were all about hope. In his Christmas message the Rev Dr Keith Garner, spoke about hope in the context of the uncertainty of life.
“Each day at Wesley Mission we help people who face up to enormous personal challenges: poverty, homelessness, mental illness, loneliness, fear and family breakdown,” he said.
“These people choose hope and move forward in life. They can teach each of us not only about the power of redemptive love but how despair can be acknowledged and finally overcome.”
Our Christmas fundraising campaign in December focused on the story of single mother, Christine and her daughter Sarah who faced Christmas with nothing in the cupboard or under the tree. The community responded to the appeal with enthusiasm donating a total of $257,598.90 (with just under 22 per cent of that from online donations).
An army of volunteers packed over 2500 hampers and thousands of cans of food for underprivileged families.
People eager to contribute at Christmas dropped off beautifully wrapped gifts and hampers at centres including 220 Pitt Street, Wesley Counselling Services and Wesley Youth Accommodation Coffs Harbour.
The ever-popular gift-wrapping by Wesley Mission volunteers at Sydney’s Kinokuniya Books brought in strong donations as shoppers flocked to finish their Christmas shopping.
On Christmas Day itself, Wesley Mission reconnected more than 325 children in foster care with their birth parents on Christmas Day across western Sydney, the Hunter and Central Coast.
To celebrate the birth of Christ people from across the Wesley Mission family came together in worship services at Wesley Theatre at 220 Pitt Street and at our Wesley International Congregation at Ryde.
The community continued the celebrations and feasted together at Shepherd’s Tucker and Christmas with Friends at 220 Pitt Street.
At Shepherd’s Tucker, Dr Garner welcomed 80 guests and said grace before they sat down to spring rolls, Christmas ham, chicken and salads. The hot food and salads was generously provided by the Upperroom Restocafe in the Wesley Centre.
Piano and accordion music rolled over the crowd at what was a very relaxed and happy occasion.
The fun continued with trivia hosted by Wesley Centre Chaplain Jeane Finnegan – and the arrival of Santa with gifts for the children and care pack for the adults.