City Serve Presentation
Rick Prosser and Jason Cleare from Newcastle visit to Shellharbour Regional Leaders Meeting
Albion Park Uniting Church 9 am Thursday October 9th
Notes from audio recording (no visual presentation material):
Shane Cook introduction:
Personally impacted by story of churches working together for good in Newcastle
Lord’s Prayer, John 17. “Oneness is our demonstration to the city”
History of CityServe: Began with Louis Palau. It combines Local Council (Government), Businesses and Churches. “Not a platform to preach from, but to build relationships”. It’s about “How can the church serve the city?” It’s not about showing how good we are. We approach the council humbly “We want to journey together”. “We don’t drive a faith journey; we work at a value level” “Values are the place of connection”. The mayor launched CityServe, he had the vision and wanted to see the model go national. He gave 3 months of his salary to CityServe (“and not in a brown paper bag!”)
Rick repeated that they always ask “How can the church serve the city?” The surf club experience: 2250 litres of paint, 800 volunteers, over 5 weeks. 6 clubs with 4500 members and now there are chaplains in the surf clubs. “We aim to pastor our city”. TV stations have given cheap peak air time. The churches are all the time building bridges into the community.
Participating churches are not asked to preach, but to act and demonstrate love.
Jason reluctantly took on the role as the CityServe project manager working from Newcastle Council. He however chose to tell his personal story. He had an inspiring testimony of finding Jesus through personal and welcoming contact with the CityServe teams, who had that “certain something different”. He got caught in the practical and spiritual groundswell and described at last being “hit by a sledgehammer”
Acts 2 45-47 (CityServe is about doing ‘one-off’ projects). The platform that CityServe springs from is Church Unity. It is not just about projects.
Foundational is to institutionalise the culture of collaboration of the church serving the city.
Rick handed over a $1000 gift from CityServe Newcastle to CityServe Shellharbour.
CityServe structure is built around “Kingdom Works” with Rick Prosser as chairman.
There have been many and varied projects (examples given)
Church resources are not stretched, it usually only involves one weekend in October.
Demarcation issues between Church and Council did not eventuate. CityServe is a legal identity, Council are heavily in debt and going backwards, and therefore welcome the initiative. Council provide the risk assessment, WHS controls, do the foundational work and limit the roles of volunteers. There have been no reports of injuries.
Vandalism has decreased as community ownership has increased.
CityServe is the public face of the projects. The local church provides a lead project person and the relationship is built between the site owner and the local church/es involved.
Council have provided CityServe a building, advertising, and even painted 4 garbage trucks in the CityServe logo.
Primary aim is to bless and serve.
Conclusion, thanks, gifts for Rick and Jason.