A Synod Mission Resource Fund grant is helping people to join hands across boundaries and put their faith in action together.
Launched in March 2009, the OneHeart initiative of West Epping Uniting Church has since grown to become a cross-cultural worshipping community of over 80 people with a heart for mission.
Now that our evening activities are located at Eastwood Uniting Church, OneHeart is a model of collaboration between two congregations, across two presbyteries, supported by the Synod Mission Resource Fund.
We hope to continue multiplying courageous, inclusive and generous approaches to serving the mission of God beyond our traditional suburban barriers.
Recently, as a result of a group from OneHeart attending NCYC 2011 on the Gold Coast, we joined with 10 members of Deepdene Uniting Church from Melbourne in a week of fellowship and mission. The group from Deepdene travelled to Sydney by bus and spent three days exploring Sydney and building relationships with members of OneHeart. Then, together, we set out for Bidwill to further put our faith into action.
At Bidwill we worked alongside Mount Druitt Community Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNoH) and members of the Tongan and Cook Islander communities of Bidwill Uniting Church in worship, witness and service. Preparing the ground for a Habitat house for, and alongside, a local single mum with twin daughters got us sweating in the perfect winter sunshine.
Working with local leaders of UNoH to conduct a kids program in the school holidays saw us running around and taking part in games, songs and crafts with local children. Sharing meals, fellowship and then worship with the people of Bidwill Uniting Church led us deeper into Christian community together.
As is God’s way, we did not come away unchanged, but deeply grateful for the chance to grow, learn, serve and have enormous amounts of fun together. So much so, we’re going back again in September!
Oneheart can be found at www.oneheartsydney.com or via its Facebook page Oneheart Sydney.
— Kent Crawford, Project Leader, and the OneHeart Leadership Team