Joy springs up as communities unite over Easter
The Churches of Christ event was an authentic collaboration, organised by staff from Housing, Home Care, Children Youth and Families, Chaplaincy and Church and Community Engagement teams through their Ipswich Hub meetings.
Church and Community Engagement Regional Engagement Partner Steph Luckey said the goal was to combat isolation of the people who use Churches of Christ services.
“We wanted to promote social connection between our Ipswich complexes and provide an opportunity for Home Care clients and staff to connect and engage with others in their community.”
Lunch began with live music and 37 people including residents, clients and staff from housing, home care, retirement living, CYF, Oasis church and Churches of Christ head office staff came together to celebrate.
Eileen and John from the small community of Walloon travelled especially for the occasion.
“Eileen said she almost didn’t come but was so proud of herself and grateful that she did. She cares for her husband who has dementia and it’s been really difficult for her at times,” Steph said.
After the meal was over, the live music continued and Eileen led the dancing.
“Eileen shared that she used to sing and dance all the time but hasn’t in over 24 years as she’s gotten older and been busy with the duties of being a carer,” Steph said.
“Eileen said dancing and laughing today brought her so much joy and reminded her ‘she’s still got it!’ It felt so good to see her so happy and enjoying herself that I nearly cried.”
Housing residents Tamika, Cheryl and Shane came from three different Churches of Christ campuses, and sat together for lunch, agreeing they liked celebrating Easter, with delicious food and great music.
Tamika said it was a treat to have a fun ‘time-out’ while her son was in day care.
“It feels good to get out and about, get dressed up and be an adult,” she said.
Integrated events like this are a hallmark of Churches of Christ care philosophy and their success motivates more collaboration between our services.
CYF case manager Jordan Greaves said collaborating with other parts of the organisation allowed them to offer so much more.
“The Fassifern Residential Aged Care bus picked up two of my Home Care clients, it was driven by the Housing Chaplain Wes, the Church provided the venue, entertainment and some of the food and Churches of Christ staff did the rest,” Jordan said.
Churches of Christ Interim CEO Mike Folland attended the event and gave a warm welcome and blessing.
“For Christians, Easter is a time where we find hope in Jesus,” he said.
“Even for those here today who are not Christians this can be a time of hope and joy as you meet together with friends and families.
“As we reflect on the message of Easter, we find there is new hope, new life and new joy through the resurrection of Jesus.”
Pastor of Oasis Church, Mark recognised the importance of bringing people together.
“Events like this are important because people need to see that the church is very approachable and wants to be a part of their lives,” he said.
“For me this is about the Father and his love. The world came to us today and we need to respond to them with the love of Jesus.”