Talk 1: Community engagement, hope, forgiveness and relationship: A social work, sociological and theological conversation
by Dr Monica Short, Charles Sturt University
‘Seeking to address barriers and build the capacity and confidence of people to participate in, and negotiate and partner with, institutions that affect their lives’ is one way the United Nations defines engagement. Sparked by Monica’s work about rural Anglican Church engagements, this talk will start with presenting a cross-disciplinary discussion of engagement and participation. It will also briefly consider the importance of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation when engaging with groups.
Furthermore, regardless of our location and situation, Monica’s talk will help us grow our interest in grassroots movements and local institutions and consider how engagement promotes human flourishing in the community. This talk celebrates that engagement can:
- be a civic, local, public, social and/or faith-based activity;
- holistically and authentically respect and promote the dignity of all who are engaging with institutions.
Talk 2: How can agencies work with grassroots churches to promote community engagements: Sharing stories of hope
by Reverend Sarah Plummer, Anglicare
Stories of hope during difficulty and isolation can inspire us all. In this presentation, Sarah as an Executive Manager with Anglicare will share her professional observations of the current experience of isolation and disconnection in Australia caused by drought, bushfires, flood, hail, mental health challenges, stress, and COVID-19. She will inspire us through Biblical narratives and sociological insights to value connection and reconnection with our communities, friends, and family. Sarah will also be introducing a partnership framework and outlining its utility in promoting grassroots community connections.
Dr Monica Short is a social work lecturer and social science researcher at Charles Sturt University. Monica works cross-displinary, integrating knowledge from social work, sociology and theology. Monica’s research creates public platforms where people can come together and share their experiences of engaging in community.
The Revd Sarah Plummer is Anglicare’s Director of Mission and Culture. Sarah enjoys meeting people and hearing their stories. She loves discovering ways communities can flourish together so that everyone can have the option of engaging with Christ’s living hope and goodness.