Following the heart of Jesus, Parkway Church is active in connecting to 'our world', both globally and locally. It is our desire to take part in the redeeming movement of God, bringing life & love to those experiencing oppression, poverty, injustice, brokenness, addiction, and anything else that is so far from what God intended for their life. We encourage each person who comes to Parkway to get involved in serving our world, as we generously share the love and grace that God has abundantly given to us.
At Parkway Church, we believe it's important that each person be involved in making a difference in their local community on a weekly basis. There are lots of places to volunteer and serve right here at Parkway Church. You can volunteer with our kids at Monkey Barrel, GEMS, CSB, Nursery or Summer Camp. You can get involved with our students at Revolve or Mosaic. You can be a part of our Sunday Welcome Team, our Cafe Team or even our Worship Team.
However, if you only have time to volunteer for one thing each week, we encourage you to get involved in a community program or organization instead of the church. We want the people of Parkway to be an integral part of our community, bringing hope and love to our neighbours and friends. This can mean volunteering at your kids school, joining Big Brothers and Sisters, coaching soccer or serving a local food bank. Here are just some of the community organizations and events that Parkway Church has already partnered with to serve our local community:
Jericho Road Christian Ministries is a local organization that exists to meet the needs of the poor, the addicted and the mentally ill of our city. They do this by providing care homes for men with mental illness and addiction issues, as well as running a weekly coffeehouse for those in need. Volunteers from Parkway Church can regularly bfound serving food or playing music at the coffeehouse, volunteering at one of the care homes and walking in the annual Coldest Night of The Year fundraising walk.
The Big Give is an annual event that mobilizes churches across the country to extravagantly bless their neighbourhoods through a unified day of radical giving where everything is free. In 2015 and 2016, Parkway provided hundreds of people with free clothes and household items, along with face painting, live music, lunch, and a free car wash. We look forward to next year's Give!
It is our heart to see everyone at Parkway discover how important it is to serve others. There's a deep shift that begins to occur when we're impacted by the love of God. It's a shift from a self-focused to selfless mindset & lifestyle. What many of us have discovered in our own journey, is that encountering different cultures, different people and different perspectives has really helped us begin to take the first steps in making that shift from self-focused to selfless. We don't think that serving the global world is just something for a handful of people at Parkway to do, we think it's something that everyone should be involved with in one form or another. Here are just some of the ways that you can get involved.
Because we are all about relationships at Parkway, we don't want to just send money to global projects and missions workers. We want to be long term partners with them in the work that they are doing. We currently have established partnerships with Frank Juelich in India, Stan Annonyby in Maylasia and Open Doors International. These partnerships are not just financial, they are personal. These are people we have met, who we stay in regular contact with and for whom we pray regularly. We encourage everyone to learn more about our missions partners, to pray for them, to write to them and to find tangible ways to get involved and support their projects.
Every year Parkway Church sends at least one team of volunteers on an international expedition to support one of our global missions partners. In the past few years we have had teams of volunteers go on service trips to Costa Rica, India, Haiti and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. We have also twice sent a team of students to support the work of The Dream Center, an organization dedicated to serving the poor and marginalized in Los Angeles. In addition, we have supported and empowered a number of people at Parkway who have taken personal initiative to serve in locations around the world, including India, Malawi, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Zambia, Uganda and Los Angeles. We believe strongly in the power of Service Trips to help inspire people not just to make a difference globally, but to make a difference locally once they return home.
In 1981, Frank Juelich purchased 17 acres of land in Nagpur, India to build a home for poor children in the area. Over 30 years later, Prem Sewa Shikshan Shang houses and educates more than 1000 children who would otherwise be limited to the slums and remote villages of Central India. While Frank still resides at Prem Sewa, local nationals Rohan Yaut & Bapu Desai now give direction to the operations. Parkway Church has been partnering with the work of Frank and Prem Sewa for over seven years through regular financial support. Many people at Parkway have chosen to sponsor a student at Prem Sewa and in 2016 a team of 6 people from Parkway visited the school, to educate themselves and to support the work of the school.
Today there are approximately 60 million people in the world who are displaced from their homes due to conflict. We believe that the Bible reveals that God's heart is for those who are oppressed and displaced, so as a church, we felt compelled to do something tangible about the global refugee crisis. While our church is unable to solve this problem alone, we did not feel that should stop us from taking action to care for those in need. In that light, we rallied our church and local community together to raise the necessary financial and volunteer support required to sponsor a refugee family looking to resettle in Canada.
On January 6, 2016, Omar, Amar and Hamoudi were amongst the first Syrian refugees to arrive in Ottawa. We are committed to supporting them for 12 months as they integrate into life here in Canada.
If you'd like more information about how you can partner with Parkway Church as we serve our global and local world, simply contact our church office to get connected to volunteer opportunities here at Parkway, in our community and around the world. If you are new to Parkway there are many places where you can get involved right away.