Revive 2017

By Jess Davidson

Every year we love having the opportunity to serve at Revive, the NSW and ACT Baptist Churches annual conference, and partner with them to see the equipping of the local church. With this year’s theme of SEE LOCAL, SEE GLOBAL it was the perfect opportunity to showcase some of our local initiatives across BaptistCare HopeStreet and BaptistCare. In particular, for HopeStreet that meant highlighting our response to homelessness, our Community Development program and our Women’s Services program.

With our coffee van pumping out coffees and chais, we invited people to relax in our eclectic op-shop styled space, to be immersed in the individual stories of people we work with and to speak with subject matter experts on issues such as social isolation and homelessness. We curated photographs and quotes that captured the reality of living on the margins, and paired them with individual stories of transformation to give context to the external issues that people often face.

We also invited people to respond to the stories that resonated with them, both in a spiritual and practical way. Spiritually, we invited people to take a Polaroid of what they were committing to pray for and then stick it on our large LOCAL artwork. It was so encouraging to visualize so many people committing to pray for others and issues such as domestic violence, social isolation and homelessness. People could also practically support each cause by connecting in with our fundraising and support opportunities such as token boxes available at our coffee van or learning about openings to volunteer.

HopeStreet was also able to present a workshop in partnership with BaptistCare on “What does love look like for those who society isolates?”. The workshop not only gave an overview of both BaptistCare’s Pastoral Care program and HopeStreet’s Women’s Services, but also practical ways churches can address issues such as social isolation and stigma.

Being part of Revive is always a highlight for us at HopeStreet and an amazing opportunity to connect with many of the churches and individuals that support us. It also gives us an opportunity to hear about the many other great things that are happening across the state with churches, individuals and other organisations.

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