WHAT IS COMMUNITY ACTION?
Community action is a church-led project designed to serve the local community, either in response to an immediate and obvious need there, or, following a survey of needs which has uncovered an issue.
The nature of projects can vary widely, from tackling loneliness, isolation, poverty, hunger and abuse, to finding ways of addressing a lack of integration between ethnic groups, right through to promoting local recycling initiatives.
WHY START A PROJECT?
Community action shows God’s love transforming people’s lives in amazing ways through the practical support given by volunteers (and sometimes paid workers). Regardless of how ‘humble’ a project is, good things can come out of it, perhaps in more ways than we can imagine when we first begin.
Community action is right at the heart of the work of our church and has been for centuries
For example, the second great commandment asks that we love our neighbours as ourselves. In answer to the question ‘Who is my neighbour?’, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan, (Luke 10: 29-37), to show that everyone is our neighbour, and in the parable of the ‘Sheep and Goats’ he says: ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me’. ‘Honour one another and seek the common good.’
Finally, three of the Five Marks of Mission make clear that ULCCI’s mission includes pastoral care, social action and engagement with the social, economic and political structures that affect people’s lives:-
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The church engages in community action because, quite simply, through loving our neighbour, God gives us a passion to help others.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMMUNITY ACTION PROJECTS
These are just few examples of the type of projects which you might consider in your local community, but isn’t an exhaustive list:-
- WOMEN AND CHILDREN’S WORK
- FINANCIAL AND IN-KIND ASSISTANCE
- CREDIT UNIONS
- EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATION
- FOOD AID
- LUNCH CLUBS AND CAFÉS
- EDUCATION AND TRAINING
- OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
- OUTREACH AND PREVENTATIVE WORK
- STREET PASTORS
- COMMUNITY LINKS
- NETWORKS AND FORUMS
- RECYCLING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
- SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
- ADVOCACY AND CAMPAIGNING
HOW TO GET STARTED
Speak to your Diocesan Community Action Development Advisor who will be happy to direct you.