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Getting Involved in the Community

The Congregation connects with the community through many activities
 
 

Seeds of Growth

Garage Sales

Scripture in Schools

Parramatta Mission

Support for Fiji Eye Project

Support for Getting Ahead Program at Bidwill



Seeds of Growth
Our congregation contributing to the wider work of the church

The primary means by which congregations in the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT of the Uniting Church contribute to the church’s mission and service at home and abroad, is through Seeds of Growth. It links congregations’ giving and mission planning with the ministry of the whole Uniting Church.

In addition to the other outreach programs listed here, Wesley is currently contributing $14000 p.a. to Seeds of Growth, to be used by the Church for its state-wide projects. The funds come from a range of our fundraising activities, but principally from our twice-yearly Garage Sales, which are supported not only by our own hard-working volunteers, but also by members of the community who donate items and come to buy.


  Garage Sales
An activity that involves our members and the whole community

From 2020, COVID-19 restrictions have prevented us from holding our usual Garage Sales. However, we have still been able to provide support for some in need in the community, by supplying some of the furniture and other items we have in storage. In May 2021, we held a reduced Garage Sale, which nevertheless raised a considerable sum.

In 2021, volunteers at Hawkesbury's Helping Hands have been working through floods and COVID lockdown to ensure that people in need can still access food and support services. On June 30 the service handed out over 130 food hampers to people in need, after severe floods damaged the region.

Just days before the subsequent Covid lockdown, the charity received a $20,000 donation from Wesley Castle Hill Uniting Church.

We usually hold Garage Sales twice a year, but the congregation works throughout the year to sort, store and prepare the items for sale. Each sale runs over two days, and involves a large number of volunteers to set up, manage the sale and refreshments, and clear up afterwards. 

This is an important activity on several fronts: principally, it involves people from the community who have come to know us as they donate no-longer-needed items for sale, but also it assists those who need to set up house at minimal cost. Often, when the Hills Family Centre wants an item of furniture for a needy family, we are able to supply something from our Garage Sale store.

The Garage Sales also provide substantial income, much of which is directed to the Uniting Church's outreach program Seeds of Growth (previously known as Living is Giving), Bidwill Getting Ahead Program (see below), Fiji Eye Project (see below), and to other good causes.

Read more of the history of our Garage Sales

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Scripture in Schools
Wesley provides accredited lay teachers to conduct Special Religious Education classes in local schools.
Currently we have a teacher conducting a two classes each week in Primary School, and we provide material support for Scripture teaching in High Schools. Specific approved material to teach scripture/S.R.E. in schools is used in the scripture classes. Statistics show that only 27% of children who attend school scripture classes also go to church or Sunday School; so for the other 73%, this may be their only religious experience to hear the good news of God’s love to all these precious children.

Previously we have had more volunteers, and we would always welcome more helpers! We have approved training for those interested in teaching scripture.

If you are interested (especially former/part-time/retired teachers)! please contact Mrs. Margaret Crofts, Scripture Coordinator at Wesley.

(Click on the picture for a larger version.)

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Food Parcels for Parramatta Mission
Each winter and Christmas we collect food parcels to help Parramatta Mission in their work with needy people

Parramatta Mission has been providing services to people who are homeless, facing crisis and living with mental illness for over 40 years. Its broader history can be traced back to the opening of the first Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on the current head office site in 1821, and with it - the commencement of multiple community outreach and support services.

Our Winter and Christmas collections usually deliver 60 to 80 bags to Parramatta Mission.

For Christmas 2020, we suppored the Mission by collecting food parcels from contributions from our members, and we were also strongly supported by the various groups who use the church building for their meetings. We were able to deliver our largest contribution to date, 180 bags of foodstuffs.

The event hosted by Parramatta Mission was called the Festival of Christmas. It was very successful and the feedback we received from the community was overwhelmingly positive. Here is their message of thanks —
Please see below the highlight video of our Festival of Christmas event that we have put together for you. This event had a significant impact on the community of Parramatta and brought about much hope in what was one of the most challenging Christmas periods we have experienced to date.
The Festival of Christmas

On behalf of the mission and the people in the community we support, I would like to convey our sincerest appreciation and gratitude for your generous support. The work we do would not be possible without it.

For more information on the Mission, see parramattamission.org.au.

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Supporting the Fiji Eye Project
In conjunction with St Clair Uniting Church, we have supported biennial visits by a team of eye surgeons and support staff, to spend about two weeks in Fiji, performing eye operations.
In 2019, the team has operated on 128 adults and children. Images are on the Wesley Castle Hill Facebook page.

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Support for 'Getting Ahead' Program at Bidwill
Rev John Dacey is the community Minister at Bidwill and Mt Druitt and the team at Bidwill Uniting have been supported for many years by the funds donated by the Garage Sale Committee.

Rev John Dacey has a lot of history with Wesley as a member of our congregation for many years as a young person and is looking forward to telling us how Wesley’s contribution has helped in shaping their community and the support they give each other.

In the words of John Dacey referring to Bidwill, “It’s important to celebrate the area’s diversity, share people’s struggles and successes, connect with their spirituality and help advocate for change. In an area like Mt Druitt, with its high percentages of unemployed people, single parent families, low income households, Indigenous people and people from non-English speaking backgrounds, such respect and recognition have a profound effect.”

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Updated 9th October 2021