CCVT has had a long history in working with affiliated communities to demonstrate in concrete and practical ways of the love of God in action. Communities are the hands and feet of Jesus at work in local neighbourhoods.
Churches of Christ Community Care is a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) focused on caring for the poor, the sick, the marginalised and the vulnerable in our neighbourhoods. CareWorks partners with churches and agencies of Churches of Christ in Victoria & Tasmania (CCVT). CareWorks is able to provide affiliated churches and agencies with tax deductibility for donations to CareWorks projects and a range of other benefits, including CareWorks Grants, assistance with grant applications and access to an online donations/fundraising platform
The story of Churches of Christ Community Care is the story of God’s people reaching out to care for people who were in need of support and assistance to partner with them in community relief and support through CareWorks. It includes stories of visionary leaders who were committed to discovering relevant ways to love God and to love people, and so to announce the Kingdom.
In 1921 the ‘Churches of Christ Anti Liquor Temperance and Social Questions Committee’ was elected at that year’s Churches of Christ in Victoria Annual Conference. By 1923 it had been re-named the ‘Social Services Committee’. The Social Services Committee was established to provide material help to needy persons and families, and to give assistance to those with personal family problems. In June 1925, confronted with the social and economic problems created by World War 1, and with the great Depression beginning, the Committee resolved to appoint a part-time worker. The work had expanded enormously in the following areas: Meeting immigrants and arranging hospitality, investigating cases of charity, and responding to their needs; and finding employment for the unemployed.
By 1935 a benevolent fund known as the Christian Fellowship Association was established by the Committee. The purpose of the CFA was to provide interest free loans to people experiencing financial difficulty. Also during the 1930s a Fund to provide a ‘Home for the Aged’ was established, beginning a long Churches of Christ involvement with aged care, as an expression of the ministry of Jesus. In the 1940s Community Care’s work of ministry and mission included care for the aged, chaplaincy to migrants following World War 2, industrial and hospital chaplaincy, and support for local church welfare programs. By 1979 the CCVT Social Services Department (formerly Committee) had changed its name to the Department of Community Care. From the 1990s Community Care took steps to reconnect with churches and to partner them in community mission through CareWorks. This was a strengthening of an aspect of Community Care’s charter to be actively involved in public benevolence activities.
Community Care now exists as a legal entity within CCVT, supporting the work of CareWorks partners and groups seeking to provide care and support to those in need in local neighbourhoods. CareWorks partners continue to have profound effects on their neighbourhoods every day, offering friendship, support, and care to vulnerable people.
In this video, David Ratten and Jo Antoni talk about CareWorks.