Christine Nicholas, member of Uniting Church in the City, shares two exciting projects the congregation has been passionately involved in, despite the challenges of 2020.
The good news of Jesus Christ calls us to be a missional people – to be caught up in God’s mission in the world.
Uniting Church in the City has supported the Boab Network, a project of All Saints Floreat Uniting Church, since 2016. Every school holidays, the Boab Network involves teams of volunteers running activities for the children of the remote Mowanjum Aboriginal community, with assistance from adults within the community.
Uniting Church in the City has a member on their Network and for the last three years has sponsored the school holiday program by bringing a group of teenagers and carers from Mowanjum – some 10 kilometers south east of Derby – to Perth. In past years, the itinerary included a visit to Uniting Church in the City Wesley Perth, the experience of looking at Perth from the Central Park Tower, a basketball coaching session by the Joondalup Wolves, kayaking with the River Gods, a ride on the Fremantle Ferris Wheel, being totally spoilt by Bunnings Homebase and a visit to the Perth Zoo.
The camp gives the young people the opportunity to visit the city and the schools here, helping to breakdown barriers. They get to visit a world outside Mowanjum, with different ways of communicating and different ‘norms’. This helps them to become comfortable in this outside world. Just as we find it a leap to live in Mowanjum’s culture, they find the same coming into the Perth cultural setting.
Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service
We have also formed a relationship with Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, who provide health services mainly to Aboriginal people throughout Perth. Last year, Uniting Church in the City, through our then General Manager, Neil Starkie, received hand knitted and crocheted blankets, including baby blankets, from friends of Lifecare Willetton Physiotherapy.
Ninety of the blankets were taken to the Head Office at Derbarl Yerrigan and every single blanket was given to those in need. The Uniting Church in the City Mission Committee also gave monetary support for food parcels. This year, homelessness has spiked due to COVID-19 and our Mission Committee has given financial support to Derbarl Yerrigan to help support those without a roof over their heads.
Our new General Manager, Simon Godfroy, kept up the good work and through the friends of Lifecare Willetton Physiotherapy we were again able to give more blankets to vulnerable people in our community.
Top image: Students from Mowanjum during a visit to Perth, made possible by the Boab Network and its supporters.