Church Link, April 2015
Welcome to our Easter edition - This month we have an article from Chris Hibbs, Volunteer Chaplain at Andrew House, Clevedon, Bristol, who reflects on the Easter message of hope...
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)
We are in the Easter Season and so it is appropriate for us to reflect on this central celebration of the Christian Church. It is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ that gives hope that we need not be overwhelmed by the circumstances and seeming futility that sometimes besets us. What for many is a deeply personal and joy-giving reflection at this time for so many others is a strange and mysterious time, which has none of the superficial appeal of Christmas. However, the culmination and purpose of that life born in Bethlehem is remembered and celebrated over the Easter weekend as a deep and powerful work of God is displayed in various ways, from processions with a cross to sun-rise services.
The Easter message of Hope is not just one for preaching and keeping in church. AlabaréChristian Care and Support is all about bringing hope to those who have lost it, or would if no intervention takes place. We require no adherence to a statement of faith to give out practical hope any more than Jesus did, but the cross reminds us that there is a cost to go against the values of this world. Jesus was plotted against because he was perceived as a revolutionary threat to the conventional thinking about God. One might think that such an arcane theological dispute would not upset the world, but it has and still does because if we realise that God cares we have to live for more than ourselves. Why would one bother with the poor and needy when you have no needs yourself and you are certain that you are right with God? Jesus told those who thought like that how wrong they were. We will still find some who blame the poor for their own plight and the actions of Christians and all of good will, must stand against that.
One of my special delights is to see the residents in Andrew House discover their self-worth and for some the knowledge of the events recalled at Easter has been especially significant in bringing them to a place where they can stand with dignity in this world. They find an appropriate humility before God and hope that drives them to achieve more than they could have imagined.
Salvation from sin is not just a personal experience, it is a call to a life of service and sacrifice. It seems to me that for all who serve in Alabaré, service and sacrifice is shown in many different ways across all the services. Let’s thank God for all who reflect that attitude to those we serve and to those who look on.
by Chris Hibbs, Volunteer Alabaré Chaplain, Andrew House
Homes for Veterans are coming to Wilton Hill!
We were delighted on Budget Day (18 March) to learn that our joint bid with Our Wilton Trust and Our Enterprise for a 'Veterans' Village' received a huge helping hand from The Treasury who are distributing the funds levied from the LIBOR fines. It means we are going to be part of a pioneering model of care on the former British Army Land Command Site at Wilton, Wiltshire, for Veterans.
Alabaré will provide support to Veterans living in twelve newly built housing units which are part of a new Veterans accommodation project in Wilton. Read more.
The 2015 Sleep Out – A GREAT NIGHT OUT
More than 100 volunteers slept out in Salisbury Cathedral on 13 March to help us raise vital funds. Yes, it was chilly. Yes, sleep was at a minimum but we are hopeful that the night will raise a staggering £20,000 for our drop-in centres in Salisbury and Trowbridge. Click to see the Photo Gallery.
We are delighted to let you know that we've now received the funding from Hampshire County Council's Children's Services to house up to 27 young people from Hampshire and the Test Valley at any one time. We will be able to work with each resident on an individual basis to ensure that they are getting the help they need to manage themselves to successfully live independently in the future. Read more....
Sam's Story - Part of the Success of our INVEST Service.
This is the story of Sam and how his interest in mechanics is helping him build positive relationships to form a brighter future.
Jonathan Malins, our Support Worker in Weston-Super-Mare tells the story... Please read on.
North Somerset Supported Housing - I.N.V.E.S.T. provides support for adults with learning difficulties/disabilities.