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As We Prepare
For Easter

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The Revd Chris Thomason Chaplain

On the Fourth Sunday in Lent, we will hear from John’s Gospel, that familiar verse, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life’ (John 3:16 NRSVUE). Some may use this as a basis for their Lenten reflection as they prepare for Easter.

Easter could be said to be the most important event in the Christian calendar. Christians should come together as communities to commemorate the significance of Easter. The significance to us as individuals, to our worshipping communities and those wider communities beyond that.

My reflection leads me to ask, how can we as Christians demonstrate that love?

We can always look to the second of the two great commandments given in Mark’s gospel by Jesus, ‘The second is this, You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:31a).

But how do we put that into practice?

At Anglicare WA we look to the five marks of mission to guide us, specifically the third and fourth marks.

To respond to human need by loving service and to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.

Those two marks drive what we do and can be seen in our vision: We believe in a just and fair Western Australia where everyone can thrive, and in our purpose: To drive positive outcomes with those in need and to challenge barriers to thriving.

One of the pillars of our strategic plan is to promote solutions. The team responsible for finding and testing new solutions has been hard at work.

I have written before about the Sunshine Project which is one of Anglicare WA’s innovation projects. Recently we ran another project, this time with a focus on employment. We called it the Hopscotch project.

At Anglicare WA we know that having a source of income can be a pathway out of significant hardship and that good work contributes to a good life. We also know that there are many barriers to finding work. For instance parents of young children face additional barriers that can prevent them from getting into work.

The Hopscotch project enabled participants who were parents to engage in a range of activities including personal development, community building and accredited training to help bridge them into the world of work.

All of the participants completed the course and in the words of one participant, ‘I have so much confidence now. You all made me realise that I can do anything I set my mind to.’

We are now looking to see if the project can be scaled up and repeated in other locations. We will keep you updated on how that goes.

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