Thank you to all who came along and contributed to the pre-launch recently. After introducing COG and offering our thoughts on what outreach is we heard several presentations from people who are currently involved in outreach work, ranging from messy church to working with refugees and asylum seekers.
We then split into workshops to gather info on what was happening, what worked well and what barriers needed to be overcome. There was a wide variety of projects- a theme that emerged was that ecclesias are starting to open their halls up for things like Christmas meals, cream teas, art and yoga groups, knit and natter and toddler groups. Cafes seem to be a popular idea. There was also ideas like adopting a residential home or a 'helping hands' practical community scheme.
We discussed linking up with local charities and how it is a great way to discover the need in your particular neighbourhood, there may not be a homeless issue but there could be old age and loneliness to target. Even a simple act like sharing your car park if you have one, all these ideas invite the community to share your space and are the first step on the path to building relationships and opportunities. Several individuals came forward with experience in street work which will be valuable to build on.
So for us it was a good day and thank you for all the positive feedback we have had. It was a good feeling to spend time with like minded people who share the desire to serve the stranger as part of their discipleship. We can now make plans for the future and we will respond to the demand for a resources and skills bank to give support and advice. We would like to take the interesting projects that have been coming in to us and put them into case studies as part of an awareness campaign.There is plenty to be getting on with and we look forward to moving the charity forward.
We are very happy that Mel Downton (Horley) has agreed to be our treasurer and that David Smith (Wardley) has come on board as a trustee.We are also recruiting for a fund raiser so if you have the skills and passion for outreach please email to apply. We have now gained ecclesial sponsorship which will help with publicity. However, we do need funds to start work so please donate if you can via our blogspot or ask your ecclesia to collect. We would be very grateful for your support to get us going.
If you would like a full report from the day, please contact us and we will email it to you.