Photo: Serve Day 2022 participants from Kingscliff Seventh Day Adventist, Gardn Church, Tweed Church of Christ and the Anglican Parish of Kingscliff.

 

By Julia Gilchrist 

 

Mission & Ministry team members Abi and Jessie Skelly are part of a dedicated nucleus of volunteers supporting Tweed Shire communities as they rebuild after devastating floods hit the Northern NSW region earlier this year.

As images of the crisis covered our screens, it was painfully obvious that significant help would be required. Rolling news footage panned over acres of rubbish and rubble, demonstrating the clean-up would take weeks and the rebuild longer. 

From the start, Abi and Jessie were in the ‘Mud Army,’ a spontaneous collaboration of volunteers who clear away tonnes of flood-borne mud and debris. 

As various groups got ‘stuck in’, a loosely networked community hub emerged.

This provided a space for Tweed Shire residents to help serve people in need and give residents the option to also come with their needs for support. 

From this, the seed was planted for Serve Day 2022, held on Sunday 26 June.  

Organised by Homegrown Collective, a combined initiative of local churches – people from Kingscliff Seventh Day Adventist, Gardn Church, Tweed Church of Christ and the Anglican Parish of Kingscliff – unified to support the people of the Tweed Shire. 

Abi says a key question the churches faced was how to continue to work together as a collective of churches in helping the community past the initial crisis.

“We all knew how rare it was and loved getting to know one another with similar hearts in wanting to be an active presence in our local area. 

In doing this, we united, and all felt the same … that we did not want this to be a once-off.” 

Serve Day 2022 was an opportunity for Homegrown Collective to offer their love, enthusiasm and compassion to their community.

“Together, we delivered food hampers, gave practical assistance to families still recovering from February’s floods and cleaned up our local beaches!”  they shared on Instagram.

“It was such a beautiful atmosphere and being able to pray together and send them out into the community: all different churches, working together, united as one body as we served our community,” said Abi. 

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