The need for Christian organisations, community ministries and Churches to work together was evident long before the earthquakes.
All of these groups have traditionally ‘punched above their weight’ impacting many people often doing so with minimal resources. At the same time there has been overlap and duplication of Services along with the duplicated overhead costs to do so.
ConnectU was established to start pulling together the Christian Services, not to take them over, but to identify who was out there, to see what commonalities we had, to see how we could work together better – while retaining our own strengths of mission and vision. It started with mainly local Trusts but now has to focus on expanding the city wide network.
At the forefront is to serve God by serving our clients to the best of our abilities and resources. We want to see God transforming lives – on all levels of their (and our) lives whether it be physically, mentally or spiritually.
Some buzz words that are key to the future are around providing a ‘wrap around Service’ – that seems to be what the government is looking for. And it makes sense for us too as ‘holistic’ agencies. Despite many of our Christian groups doing great work in a focussed area, they are too small and would not have the breadth of skills to be able to offer the desired ‘wrap around Service’.
BUT here’s the good news – Together we can! Think about the imagery of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 – we need all parts of the ‘body’ to enable healing of individuals, families and communities.
Together we can meet people at their point of need.
Together we can be part of what God is doing in individual lives around the city.
Together we will see God at work. Interestingly in a number of situations of people coming to Christ in recent years, there has been a theme that they had worked with/helped by 2, 3 or 4 different Ministries. Part of them coming to Christ was that they had a series of relationships with Christians, each helping at a point of need. That opportunity still sits out there today – that in working together, we hope that more people will come to Christ.
ConnectU is expecting to meet 3-4 times per year where we can:
- Share food together
- Discover what other Christian organisations are out there
- Learn who is doing what
- Access help for our people in need
- Pray together
- Encourage each other
- Share information
- Share resources
- Brainstorm solutions
- Speak out on community issues
- Market ourselves together as a ‘wrap around service’
- Combine for training opportunities
- Join others to tender on contracts that none of us could do ourselves
The Social Justice Unit is part of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch (NZ) and Anglican Care Canterbury and Westland.
The Social Justice Unit works collaboratively with a variety of NGOs and agencies on a wide range of issues. They are currently involved with; child poverty, the Living Wage, penal reform, rental housing, predatory alcohol placement, pokies and trafficking.
The unit also offers training and resources for groups and individuals wanting to get involved in advancing their own causes.Sign up to stay informed and receive updates from the social justice unit.