Majors Dena and Kent Hepditch want to bring the Sydney Community together. Major Dena Hepditch has helped spearhead several projects in the Sydney area, including organizing a hot meal for teachers at Sydney Academy. The teachers have had a tough year, with the death of several students, so Dena decided to plan this meal as a way to lift their spirits. Dena and several volunteers worked hard to plan the event and it was greatly appreciated by the staff of Sydney Academy.
Sydney Academy presented The Salvation Army with a Catherine Karnes Munn replica of Sydney Academy and a monetary donation towards The Salvation Army’s ongoing work.
“I am so thankful to our Sydney Community Church family, says Dena, as when I asked for volunteers I received an overwhelming response.”
“We had 12 people volunteer at this event, said Dena, and many others who offered to help, if we needed them. The volunteers want to continue reaching out in this practical and caring way.”
“We are hoping to do similar events for our police, emergency health services and firefighters in the future. We want to recognize and show appreciation to these people who work hard to keep us safe and show them that we care,” said Dena.
Majors Dena and Kent also wanted to make a connection with students at Sydney Academy, as their church is located close to the school. They decided to begin youth BBQ’s last May and they have been so successful that they have continued to invite students.
For the first BBQ students helped clean-up their local community by filling a bag with trash before they ate. Also, the students and school have helped to raise money to help The Salvation Army youth group raise funds to build ten wells in Africa. During the last BBQ in May, over 180 students attended and some brought donations for the local food bank that The Salvation Army runs.
Another initiative that Majors Dena and Kent have begun in the Sydney area is a Community Breakfast. It takes place the first Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Around 30-50 people attend weekly and many have adopted it as a monthly event. The initiative began in March 2014 and continues to grow.
“God has blessed us with a beautiful church here in Sydney and we really want to be good stewards of this resource. It is our goal to reach, connect with and minister to as many people as possible. We desire to be a church that is welcoming and inviting to everyone in our community,” said Dena.
“We aim to bring people from all ages and walks of life together, says Dena, sometimes when we offer free meals people may think it is only for the homeless or poor, however we want this to be a community event that is welcoming for all to attend.”
“There are many people in our community who are lonely and who eat their meals at an empty table. We want to bring people together, so that they may catch up with old friends, forge new friendships, or simply enjoy a meal in the company of others,” said Dena.
Please join us Tuesday July 7th for our next one. We would love to see you there!