Events give public voice to Wesley Mission’s ministry and mission
More than 1,800 people worshipped at one of Wesley Mission’s ten congregations led by a team of eight chaplains each week during the past year, according to Wesley Mission’s 2010-2011 Annual Review.
The Review also shows the diversity of Wesley Mission’s Ministry and Mission with services conducted in English, Mandarin, Samoan, Rotuman and Japanese.
The public ministry of Wesley Mission grew as well with Wesley Mission’s Easter Sunrise Service once again filmed live from the Sydney Opera House and broadcast across Australia on the Seven Network at 6am on Easter morning. The event was the most viewed Easter Sunrise Service for the past ten years.
Unprecedented media coverage of its Easter events reached more than two million people through newspapers, television and radio reports.
The coverage of Wesley Mission’s Palm Sunday march and service, Good Friday re-enactment and service, the Sunrise Service at the Sydney Operas House and Wesley Mission’s Easter Breakfast extended the reach of the gospel into homes and lives across Australia.
Praise, Prayer & Preaching, the heart of Wesley Mission teaching, had 51 programs screened on the Australian Christian Channel (ACC) during the year.
The re-named Wesley Impact! TV — a fresh, exciting Sunday morning program — featured people whose lives had been transformed, singers who inspired with the beauty of their talent and practical Christian teaching that encouraged and challenged all who watched it on Channel Nine.
Various staff and congregation members continued to engage in mission activities in several countries including China, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia.
Six Ministry & Mission staff were invited to Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province in China. While there they shared in worship, visited churches, and met with local ministers and pastors.
Seven delegates from the Wesley Chinese, International, Samoan and 6pm Congregations attended the World Methodist International Christian Youth Conference in South Korea.
Congregations gave generously to support those affected by natural disasters in Queensland, New Zealand and Japan.
Marginalised continue to suffer
During the year, the Ministry & Mission office distributed a total of 1,144 food parcels and handled 425 referrals and 189 requests for financial assistance.
While Australia may have escaped the worst of the world economic crisis, telling statistics in Wesley Mission’s Annual Review show a continuing detrimental impact on the most disadvantaged in our community.
Wesley Mission provided accommodation for more than 920 homeless people in 2010-11 but had to turn away over 1230 because of a lack of shelter.
“While Australia has not been severely buffeted by the ills winds of Europe and North America the most marginalised in our community continue to suffer,” said Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner.
“As Sydney bucks the trend of falling house prices there are many who find it hard to make ends meet. These are individuals and families who find it difficult to enter the private rental market and rely upon the goodwill of family and friends — sleeping in garages or on living room floors. While this may be a roof over their heads it is simply not a place to call home or an environment in which to bring up children.”
More than a Bed, a report by Wesley Mission released earlier this year revealed that children in homeless families are socialised by the experience and can often repeat the pattern as adults.
“It was clear from these results that having a parent who has been homeless is a significant predictor of being homeless as an adult,” Dr Garner said.
Lifeline Sydney and Sutherland, which is run by Wesley Mission, took more than 20,420 emergency telephone calls last year. More demand could be met if additional funding was available to train more counsellors.
Almost 170 families provided foster care to 213 children while 98 young people were mentored through Wesley Mission’s Aunties & Uncles program although 178 are still on the waiting list.
Wesley Mission’s volunteer ranks grew as well with 3,328 people volunteering — an increase of 13.5 per cent on the previous year. This small “army” of volunteers was the equivalent to 95 full-time positions within Wesley Mission.
Donations to Wesley Mission can be made here or phone 1800 021 821.