Community Care and Love
Being there in the midst of hurting or distress
God goes right to the heart of humanity and takes up our cause in times of need and distress
The mission of God goes right to the heart of humanity and takes up our cause in times of need or distress. In showing the love of God, Jesus of Nazareth spent a lot of his time living alongside and restoring those who were hurting, sick, brokenhearted, rejected or forgotten by society. The good news Jesus lived and preached is that God desires to restore wholeness and peace to individuals, families, communities, nations and creation itself. Pathways biggest investment in terms of staff, volunteers, finances and training is getting alongside people who often feel unheard, in need, overwhelmed or unworthy. Wherever God cries out for God's people, we want to be God's hands and heart. We want to uplift, restore and embrace people to their rightful place; being a beloved child of God within the family of God, not be by merit, but by God's grace and love.
Breaking down our islands and connecting us to the mainland
No person is an island entire of themselves... we are a piece of a beautiful continent!
A few centuries ago, John Donne (a minister and writer) wrote the words 'no man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.' One of the qualities of New Zealand's urban culture is the proliferation of 'islands' we live in and often struggle to maintain. Rather than sharing housing or food costs, we are encouraged to 'look after ourselves'. For those of us on benefits or lower incomes, this can result in financial strain and unmanageable debt. Rather than having generations sharing accommodation or neighbourhoods, our elderly often move away to retirement homes or villages where their needs are often looked after by staff. This move increases our social isolation - especially for our elderly. It deprives our babies and children as much as it does our grandparents or great-grandparents. At Pathways, we want to help connect people back into the mainland.
Uplifting those who often feel the least
TIME is our most precious commodity... is a key marker not only of our love, but of God's love, to OFFER our time to one another
Some of us are fortunate to be born into nations, communities or families where we aren't exposed to war or violence every day. We might take it for granted that we can afford food when we are hungry, or that we go home to the same house every night. Perhaps we might be blessed with good social standing because we of our wealth, beauty, or being accomplished in a field that is valued by society. For the few that experience these benefits, there are hundreds who don't. Martin Luther King Jr., in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, wrote ‘I have the audacity to believe the peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centred men have torn down, men other-centred can build up.'
At Pathways we invest in people to help uplift and restore them by sharing ourselves, our own gifts, talents and resources. When we open ourselves up to share what we are blessed with, we too experience some of the fullness of life and love God desires for all people.
Praying and working for God's values in God's world
Prayer underpins everything. It reflects our dependency on our God who LOVES to provide for our us EVERY DAY
Throughout Jesus' public ministry, he would withdraw to pray to God whom he addressed as Abba or Father. Prayer restores us, stills us, humbles us and deepens our relationship with God. Just as communication is important in any loving relationship, so too is being able to talk and hear from God. Nothing is too small or large for God. Jesus actively encourages people to rely on God for our 'daily bread'. Prayer helps us move away from our natural inclination to be self-sufficient, to being interdependent in God and with God's people and God's creation.