How the Salvation Army Church is Helping Their Community [Greater Sydney Church Leaders Series] – Hope 103.2

How the Salvation Army Church is Helping Their Community [Greater Sydney Church Leaders Series]

Miriam Gluyas is Divisional Commander for Salvation Army in NSW and the ACT and she shares about lockdown lessons and serving the community.

Listen: Hope Afternoon's Ben McEachen chats with Miriam Gluyas, Divisional Commander for Salvation Army in NSW/ACT, about lockdown lessons and serving the community.

By Ben McEachenWednesday 6 Oct 2021Hope AfternoonsChristian LivingReading Time: 4 minutes

How have our churches been helping local communities during lockdown and what lessons have they been learning? Hope Afternoons has interviewed church leaders across Greater Sydney to find out how God’s people are loving their neighbours, and each Sunday and Wednesday throughout October we are sharing what they had to say.

Miriam Gluyas is Divisional Commander for Salvation Army in NSW and the ACT. 

Miriam Gluyas is Divisional Commander for Salvation Army in NSW and the ACT. 

Source: Supplied

Miriam, what has your church learned during lockdown?

“This has been a great opportunity for us to look at things differently and I would say that it was probably time for this to happen.

“I think people are looking for real community and by that I mean I love the term about community which says it’s about ‘loving and being loved, serving and being served, knowing and being known, celebrating and being celebrated.’

“People have a real heart for that – so how do we do real community with people?

“I think we’ve learned that we can’t rely on Sunday; Sunday is good for some people but they don’t work for everyone. So, options; I think that’s been good.

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“We’ve learned that authentic relationship really counts and [the need for] flexible ways of engaging. We’ve had to do that and have done that very well.

“Small groups – where we get around and talk about life and faith and what we can do on mission together – are going to become really key. Whether that is online or, hopefully soon, in person.

“I think we’ve also learned that we have to live like and for Jesus, so I think there have been some incredibly good messages. Now, we need to take them into whatever is to come in the future.”

How has the Salvation Army been helping its community during the pandemic?

“South-west Sydney obviously has been a real challenge and we have a real heart for that part of the world. We have lots of great practitioners out and about.

“We have recognised a lot of fear out there. A lot of lonely and isolated people, so we have made lots of calls to people, to connect with them because a lot of people, ordinarily, come into our centres.

“We have had food parcels going out to people. We have had a lot of engagement with kids, including kids doing their HSC; we’ve done up special packs for them.

“We have had our frontline services still engaged. So, if someone is in recovery or is homeless, we have had to pivot a little bit and work out how we still sere them best.

“One of our places has been used as a vaccination hub.

“Our people have very safely and very carefully cared for people who desperately need someone.

“I’ve been pretty proud of our people.”

Miriam, can you offer us a word of encouragement?

“My word is – there’s always hope.”

“We can adapt and care for others in tough times or good times, and I think everyone of us needs hope right now.

“Through these days we’ve also realised we need God – and that’s a really good thing.

“My encouragement is: always hope – look for it, you’ll find it and sometimes it is found in the people around us.”

“My encouragement is: always hope – look for it, you’ll find it and sometimes it is found in the people around us,” – Miriam Gluyas, Divisional Commander for Salvation Army NSW & ACT

Miriam’s prayer

Please pray with Miriam.

We thank you Father because you are a good father, on our good days or bad days.

I want to pray today for those who are struggling, through grief, loss, isolation, loneliness, sickness, distance and missing loved ones.

Thank you for those who care.

I pray that your body, the church, would reach out beautifully at this time, and may our world recognise that we need you like never before.

Thank you because you are God, in us and through us and for us.

Please help us, in Jesus’ name.

Amen


Feature image: The Salvation Army Australia Facebook / May 7: “Due to the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, we were forced to postpone our largest Red Shield Appeal fundraising event in Sydney where we had planned to raise much needed funds for Australians experiencing homelessness. ⁣But in true Salvos spirit, our team have sprung into action and have spent their day packing and delivering 400 meals from the sponsored event to our Homelessness Services in the city. The food will not only assist us feed those in need but it will also ensure that nothing goes to waste.”


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