The ‘Christadelphian Outreach Group’ is a newly formed Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with three objectives:
- To promote and fund outreach projects in local communities and in street work
- To pilot outreach projects so that Christadelphian ecclesias and individual members can participate and grow local capacity and experience
- To raise general awareness of outreach within the UK Christadelphian Community through the provision of a hub of support, advice and ideas.
So far we have had a really positive response from brothers and sisters and we are feeling enthusiastic. We know that it will be a challenge, but we also know that if God wishes this work to go ahead then we can be confident that He will be involved and guide the journey.
"Outreach" is not a word that is commonly used within our own community and yet it can operate on many levels and be understood by everybody. From simply acknowledging your neighbours in ecclesial prayers, to welcoming them into your hall space for coffee or going out on to the streets to talk with them and provide comfort and support: it’s all about starting a relationship. As believers, many of us do this during the week as individuals, but the exciting thing is that as a group so much more can be achieved and our faith can be built up by working together as a team with a common vision.
The COG definition of outreach is simply to obey the commandment of the Lord Jesus to: “love your neighbour as yourself”. Which often means meeting people ‘where they are’ and, in compassion, helping to provide for their needs – be it company, clothes, food or education. This may well lead people to ask why we are doing these things, which can then lead to discussions about our faith. But the initial impetus of COG is that we simply want to help those in need. We have no hidden agenda. In this, we believe that we are obeying the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and responding to the grace and love that he has shown us (e.g. Matthew 5:14-16, 43-48; 25:31-46; John 13.34-35; Acts 9.36-39; Romans 12:8,20; James 2.14-18).
Many ecclesias are already trying different ways to reach out, whether it is something like a toddler group, coffee morning or whether it is actually going out of your hall and on to the streets to meet your 'neighbours' to provide company, food or clothing where needed. Whatever you choose to do, we want to help you and your ecclesia with support, funding and advice on how to reach out to those around you.
Pictured: Sarah, Mel, Jack, Cilla & Lois