Mission trip to the city: being part of God’s response to those in need
Hundreds of young people from across the church will be serving and supporting people all over Sydney during the September school holidays as part of a new missional experience developed by Wesley Mission.
Wesley Urban Misison will see high school students (years 7-12) take part in God’s compassionate response to the pain, hardship and struggles many people experience in city life.
Wesley Urban Mission will be based on Cockatoo Island from which young people will venture each day to work alongside community service professionals and connect with neighbours in the wider community. Participants will learn not only about social problems, but about various ways they can respond through involvement with their local churches.
The CEO of Wesley Mission, the Rev Dr Keith Garner, said Wesley Urban Mission is a catalyst for a whole-life discipleship for a new generation of Uniting Church young people.
“We are not bringing Jesus into the community, we are following and finding him there,” Dr Garner said. “We want to help young people discover their life’s meaning through serving others with respect, dignity and love.
“The intention of Wesley Urban Mission is to ignite young people’s passion for social justice and help them to reflect on the vital integration of faith and service.
“God responds to what’s wrong in the world in very tangible ways. Wesley Urban Mission is about young people getting involved in that response and being able to take that experience into other parts of their lives.
“When young people dedicate a week to serving others in love, it has an enlivening effect, not only on them, but on their churches, their friends and their families.”
As a Uniting Church parish mission, Wesley Mission’s congregations and services support families and young people facing real crises, facilitate innovative suicide prevention programs and offer practical assistance for those with disabilities and residential communities for older people.
“This is something we can share, and that we are called to share, with the wider church,” he said.
“We are seeing local churches across the Synod connecting their worship life and service life in exciting new ways. This short-term mission experience is a powerful and humble way for young people to have a formational and transformational experience.
“We have some extraordinary young people across the Uniting Church. They understand mission at a very profound level. They understand who we are called to be as a people ‘on the way’. All they need are opportunities to live out who we say we are as a church.”
To explore what the Wesley Urban Mission journey could mean for young people in your church this September, visit wesleymission.org.au/wesleyurbanmission, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9263 5464.