A message from our General Manager, Community and Fundraising
Having been a member of the Fundraising and Marketing Team under Jo Armstrong for about 2 and a half years, following her departure at the end of the year, I commenced in my new role as GM of Community & Fundraising on 15th December last year. In this new role I am responsible for the Meals Plus service as well as the Fundraising, Marketing and Volunteering functions.
As I have reflected on the last 2 years and look at what has transpired in both the church and Parramatta Mission, I feel God has pressed this verse from Isaiah on my heart: Isaiah 43:19: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness”.
Our entire way of life and worship has been challenged and disrupted. Not only have our Sunday gatherings completely changed (now mostly being on Zoom) but so to have many of our other social interactions with fellow believers which I believe are of equal importance to our Sunday services.
Parramatta Mission itself has been through one of its most significant transitions which not only included the transition of all our government funded services to Uniting but also the change in our Meals Plus service from a dine-in service to take away only.
With all the uncertainty that has plagued us over the last 2 years, it is easy to feel paralyzed in moving forward because of the fear that anything we plan will not be able to progress. I have experienced this fear myself and have even asked God what is the point of planning ahead with all the disruption we have experienced? Is it not all just a waste of time?
A friend of mine shared a story with me the other day from a book called the “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse”. The boy was walking through a thick forest with the horse and said, “I can’t see a way through”. “Can you see your next step”, replied the horse? “Yes”. “Just take that,” said the horse. Whilst I understand that we want to know what the future looks like and have certainty around where we are headed, I feel that God is encouraging us to move forward in faith and just take the next step.
I believe that we have been faithful in simply taking the next step in front of us since this transition began and that is how we have arrived at the point where we are now. We have an opportunity in front of us to reimagine the work we do at Parramatta Mission, and how we want to have a positive impact the community we serve going forwards.
Meals Plus began out of the desire of one of our congregation members wanting to feed and support a homeless person in the community. My hope is that as we proceed into 2022 that we can remember why this organization began, reconnect to that ‘why’, and build on it. Our community is depending on us to transition into the new PM well. We are called to be the hands and feet of our Messiah Jesus and serve “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). When we do this, we are in fact serving Him, and I look forward to working very closely with Paul as we strive to honour this calling.
Our services greatly value the help and provision of our supporters, which can be done through prayer, through giving and active volunteering. As we seek to connect with you in the coming weeks and months, I look forward to working ever more closely and expanding the impact we can have in Parramatta community.
Davyn de Bruyn
GM Community and Fundraising