City on a Hill is a church established 7 years ago in the heart of Melbourne that seeks to Know Jesus and Make Jesus Known. From the beginning our desire has been to serve the city and help care for the most vulnerable.
In Isaiah 58, the Prophet calls people to turn from their religious hypocrisy:
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday." – Isaiah 58:6-10
When we see the world the way that God sees the world, we will respond with comfort, care and compassion. Many Rooms is one way that we are seeking to “pour ourselves out for the hungry”.
As God Has Loved Us
In November 2009, Many Rooms opened its doors for the first time with The Kitchen in North Melbourne. Our vision?
“as God has loved us in Jesus, so we aim to love and care for the homeless of Melbourne“
In the past 5 years we have seen close to 20,000 meals served.
Since starting that first Saturday, we have served lunch every week. And 2 years ago we began serving breakfast every Saturday as well.
What Many Rooms provides is more than just food for those in need, but community in a city where it's easy to be disconnected and on the margins.
And So We Celebrate
On Friday November 8 we were able to celebrate the last 5 years of Many Rooms. 100 people gathered at the Multicultural Hub in the CBD to join in the celebration.
We celebrated those whose lives have been impacted through Many Rooms. One of the highlights of the night was hearing one man interviewed who was homeless for a couple of years. He received community, support, and dignity from Many Rooms. He shared that he has now met God and is actively reaching out to the homeless in Melbourne. Praise God for his work.
We celebrated the 100 people who volunteer their time each month to serve food and build community through Many Rooms. We are thankful for each volunteer and their commitment to serve. Many Rooms wouldn't exist without their humble, courageous, and sacrificial leadership.
Our event was also an opportunity to publically thank the City of Melbourne for their significant partnership in Many Rooms.
Unlocking a New Room
We also celebrated the unlocking of a new room! In January 2016 we will begin The Kitchen: Friday nights in the heart of Melbourne. The Multicultural Hub will be the venue and its location means that we will be able to connect with some of our cities most vulnerable.
From January 16, 2015 we will begin this new room every Friday evening. We will also be continuing with our Breakfast and Lunch in North Melbourne each Saturday.
That means we need an additional 40 volunteers, either for Friday night or Saturday morning or lunch!
As a newcomer to Melbourne and Many Rooms, our Kitchen Coordinator Jim Davison has particularly impressed me. Seeing his hard work behind the scenes and also his diligent work each Saturday has been inspiring. For Jim, it is clear this is more than a job, but a passionate calling.
With the unlocking of a new room we are looking to employ another Kitchen Coordinator 2 days per week. This person will coordinate the Friday night room as well as assisting Jim with other aspects of our Many Rooms ministry.