Sustainable september anglicare bags of cloth

Practical Incarnation of Excellent Second-hand Theology

by The Reverend Mark McCracken | Mission Leader | Anglicare WA

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Practical Incarnation of Excellent Second-hand Theology

by The Reverend Mark McCracken | Mission Leader | Anglicare WA

Many people in the Anglican congregations offer their second-hand clothes and goods to the community through giving to Op Shops.

Anglicare WA’s network of Op Shops provides essential low-cost clothing and furniture for people on marginal incomes. The funds raised from Op Shops enables us to do our work with flexibility and creativity, along with providing important volunteering and on the job training opportunities. Our Op Shops also support Anglicare WA’s commitment to doing our part for planet Earth through our efficient recycling of used goods for re-use in the community.

This commitment to recycling and sustainability places us squarely in line with the Church’s commitment to stewardship for mother Earth. Some time ago Bishop Tom Wilmot said, 'I would be bold enough to say Jesus is calling us to join the recycling flock. Here is where our Anglicare WA and parish Op-Shops can be revealed as practical incarnation of excellent 'second-hand theology'.

Our Op Shops are not merely places where we can generate income to help others. They are places where the church can interface with the local community. They are places of ecclesia (gathering) where human networks, Koinonia (community) naturally occur.

They are places where we can be reminded that our consumerist lifestyles are dangerous not only to the planet but also to our souls. Op Shops call us to downsize our wardrobes and our lives. They tell us that sustainable economics are possible, for if we make things with integrity and recycle them conscientiously we won’t need several planets or exhaust this one which is our only God given home. And this too is sacramental ministry which has the capacity to call us into a right relationship with each other, our fellow creatures, the planet and God.

May God bless our Anglican Op Shops, all who staff them, all who use them, in the name of the Good Shepherd, who calls us to join the Recycling Flock! Why? Because the recycling of all manufactured consumer durables is one essential ingredient in a range of responses necessary to create a sustainable economy for life on earth. In other words, it is responsible stewardship; and our church, through its Op Shops and our 'second hand theology' can model a different future for the wider community and make a difference with enduring consequences.

Who’s a good sheep then?

Anglicare WA is facing increasingly low stockpiles of clothing for our Op Shops which is where we need your help. We would like to work together with the Anglican community to bolster these supplies and help to create a sustainable future, not only for Anglicare WA but for those in need.

We can work with you to:

  • Hold a clothing drive and bring a bag of clothes to your church on an allocated Sunday
  • Create a pop-up Op Shop in your church and raise funds for those in need
  • Have a morning tea at our Op Shop Warehouse and see behind the scenes

We would be happy to talk to you about your Op Shop ideas and how you too can join the Recycling Flock! To know more please contact Anglicare WA.

The Op Shop collection points can be found at

Published in Messenger, September 2019.

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