When we read the Gospels we find that Jesus' ministry was 'filled with compassion' [Matthew 9:35–38] Following in His footsteps, Adventist Christians enjoy making a positive difference in their community. Here are just a few samples of what is happening around southern England...
Family Fun Day in Plaistow
Family Fun Day, in Plaistow, included fire engines, Zumba classes, multicultural food stalls and musical performances throughout the day. Organised as a 'Mission to Mend' venture, in conjunction with the Newham Olympic community, the park was filled with church and community members alike. Organiser Karen Clarke commented, “All the 'Mission to Mend' team members actually live here, this is our park, this is our community. This is our way of showing them who we are as Adventists, we are here we’re playing games with them, we’re eating with them and socialising with them!”
Health Checks at the Vitality Show
2012 marked the ninth year in a row that the South England Conference’s Health Ministries Department held a stall at the Vitality Show, Earl’s Court. The stall was manned from Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 March by Elsie Staple, Health Ministries Director, and the department’s volunteers, who successfully gave away thousands of pieces of literature and carried out hundreds of health tests on those attending the exhibition. “We’re not only thinking about the physical component, we are thinking about the spiritual component as well,” commented Elsie Staple.
Community Street Fair in Clapton
A feisty Zumba class and knife-juggling performance were two of the many activities held outside, on Chelmer Road, for the Clapton Church Street Fair on Sunday, 8 July. Vern Griffiths, a gentleman from the neighbourhood, commented, “I heard the music start up and we came over. The kids have had a great time with the face-painting and the bouncy castle. It’s been really fun getting to hang out with people from my local area.” The church’s ‘Pathfinder’ drum corps, opened the festivities by marching around the local area, bringing traffic to a halt and intriguing onlookers enough to ask what was happening and where they were going.
Advent Shelter at Christmas
Between Christmas Eve and Monday 31 December, 2012, the Advent Centre in Central London was turned into a place of safety, shelter and a haven for the rough sleepers and the homeless people of London who came as guests.
The project saw over 63 male and female users accessing the facilities and services. The Advent Shelter provided different activities and facilities for their guests during their week stay: a movie room, a games room, access to computers, a barber service and hairdressing salon provided by volunteers from area 6D. They had access to shower facilities and could have a change of clothing and shoes, alongside breakfast, lunch and dinner. A special thanks goes to the following organisations whose financial and food donations helped to support the project – A & M Vehicle Rentals, C Lidgate Butchers, Fair Rent, Gerry Taylor Butchers & Grocers, LAR Traffic Services, MNJ's Catering Services, Solar Self Drive and Godwin Benjamin, the Advent Centre Manager.