Easter Appeal 2022
Message from Stewart Playstead, Lead Pastor at Southern Cross Presbyterian Church
Our city has been struck to its very heart. The natural disaster of 2022 has seen flood waters rise 2m above any historical markers in known history. Our city was not ready. Our city is in crisis. Our city’s heart is flat lining.
This natural disaster has impacted Southern Cross Presbyterian Church like never before. Around one in five of the 400 people connected to Southern Cross have been personally affected. Close to 80 people have either lost all their possessions, lost homes, workplaces, or have others living with them. For some, they have lost all.
As a result, Southern Cross’s weekly giving has been dragged down since this disaster. We predict we will not survive until Christmas 2022.
To see generous metropolitan churches partner with us towards offering us giving to stabilise our staff team roles so that they can act as agents of hope in our broken city, proclaiming the refuge, safety and protection that is found in Christ.
St Thomas’ is in a position to support in a unique partnership with SCPC, Lismore. Jess Egan was won for Christ, discipled and invested in through the ministry of St Thomas’ North Sydney. At the beginning of 2022 she moved to Lismore as a recently graduated teacher to begin teaching at a school on the Northern Rivers. She also began a part time role with SCPC in a shared kid’s coordinator role with SCPC.
– This generous gospel giving would also protect the viability of our church plant in Goonellabah, which celebrated its fifth anniversary one week before the natural disaster.
– Protect our ability to support, develop and nurture our next generation. Seven of whom were baptised in December 2021.
– Protect our ability to continue to raise MTS apprentices. We have had 15 apprentices in the past and have three that may complete an apprenticeship over the next three years.
– Protect our unity, focus and gospel determination. Giving would mean we can focus our emotional, physical and spiritual energies on our Easter outreach, as a beacon of hope for our city, in this sea of despair.
You can give directly to Southern Cross Presbyterian Church through direct bank transfer
Account: Southern Cross
Description: St Toms giving
“The vibe was intense. So much grief/trauma but also so many people caring for and helping each other”. – Maryanne (young adult whose house got flooded)
“We’re not doing so great at the moment, but nothing like so many people in Lismore. The flood disasters, the aftermath, the destruction of the town is overwhelming and heartbreaking. [My husband] is emotionally exhausted from patient after patient recounting their survival stories or their hero rescuing stories and reliving their nightmares and trauma, as well as processing his own nightmares from his wild week at the evacuation centre as the second doctor on site with no medical supplies in the first 48 hours.
The girls have missed three weeks of school due to flood damage to schools or road access. Disruptions will be for at least this year, maybe longer. The educational damage on top of two years of covid interruptions will be profound for this area that already struggle to achieve results. Covid is everywhere and teacher shortages at school, in addition to flood related absences, is impacting schooling too. Life in Lismore certainly doesn’t look very hopeful for the next few/many years.” – Parent and teacher from church
“These recent natural disasters, while tragic, have been such an awesome opportunity to see God’s people united. It’s been a privilege to be able to witness the intergenerational desire to provide help either by cooking food, providing a room to stay in, helping people throw rubbish away and clean up, sorting through possessions or even just listening well. Personally I’ve been really encouraged by the young adult community at church not just by their desire to get amongst it and help anyone who needs it but also how they have forged relationships and been bound together through crisis.
In the last month young adults shared a meal almost every night, after being all over the town helping farmers or cleaning houses, sharing a meal was a much needed debrief to just chat and process what they may have personally lost and all that had gone on. Seeing the young adults’ unity in Christ and enthusiasm to share God’s love to our community has really refreshed my soul!” – Luka (music and youth leader)