Partnership Spotlight

Where Differences are Made

Kyle Godfrey started attending the Powers-Ginsburg Saturday Sports Program when it began in the fall of 2009. He was just out of the sixth grade. Since then, he has become a volunteer for the program, where his focus has shifted from competition and entertainment to making a difference in the lives of children who currently attend.

Leah BighamWhere Differences are Made
read more

ENP City Calendar

. . . not to BE served, BUT TO SERVE

More than 150 projects took place during Serve Fresno Week, with 40+ churches participating. There were 11 park clean-ups, 6 school beautification projects, and 1000’s of hours of raking, shoveling, cleaning, beautifying, painting, blessing, playing, crafting, tutoring, bike fixing, advocating and encouraging!

Projects blessed many non-profit organizations, including Poverello House, Youth for Christ, Rescue the Children, Campus Life, Spirit of Woman, Community Food Bank and Marjaree Mason Center.  The data is truly impressive, but it’s the stories that share impact!

In the Sequoia Neighborhood, two projects were coordinated by Clovis Hills in coordination with the principal and vice principal at Sequoia Middle School. They invited students, parents and staff to join them for an alley clean-up project on Thursday and a campus beautification on Saturday.

The relationship that has been built over the years between Clovis Hills and Sequoia is a true partnership, evident by the church’s presence neighborhood throughout the year.  They are seeing the value of including students, staff and families. We will enjoy watching this partnership (and these relationships) continue to grow.

At the Lafayette Park Clean-up Project, folks from two different churches were there sweeping, raking and cleaning up this beautiful park.  A little boy came by and asked what they were doing. One of the volunteers told him, “Some friends from my church and Pastor Oputa’s church are cleaning up the park tonight.  The little boy then asked, “Can I help?”

“Of course you can!” they said.  Then he worked alongside volunteers until the project was done. He knows Pastor Oputa from Saturday Sports which takes place at Lafayette Park twice a month.  He also now has a glimpse of other ways The Church serves and loves his neighborhood . . . and he wants to be a part.

GREAT STORIES FROM ACROSS THE CITY
A life group from The Well helped organize a celebration with a small church in Sanger for for kids in this farming neighborhood. It was a huge success! When the volunteers found out the church struggles to do this event every month, they decided that together their life group would take it on as a monthly project.
. . . . . . . . .
At the 4141 Ministries project, a couple Fresno State volunteers signed up to serve.  One of the girls, now a freshman at Fresno State, (not so many years ago) faithfully attended one of the first Saturday Sports Programs in Fresno.  She grew up seeing The Church love and serve her neighborhood and in the process a strong relationship was built with her family.  Now she is finding ways to follow that example of service and giving back to her city.

In serving we are not simply doing something that needs to be done, and not just so we can check “serving” off our to-do list. In the process of serving, we learn more about our city and the people we would not get the chance to know if we didn’t spend time in their neighborhood.  We are hearing the stories and learning about needs of the people, organizations that are serving and the opportunities we have to walk alongside them, support and encouragement them.

LIVES ARE BEING IMPACTED
It was an amazing week to watch THE CHURCH united in serving Fresno (and beyond!)  It also brought a lot of folks from our churches outside the walls of buildings, into the heart of our city and into the lives of the people.

In serving, we are setting an example for our children, for the Church, and our city. We may never see the full impact, but in the process of serving He brings people into our lives; and while we think we were there to make a difference in THEIR neighborhood, He often uses the opportunity to make in impact in OUR hearts!

It is the Mission of ENP to help churches partner with elementary schools and neighborhoods in our city, with a vision of seeing the Church deeply engaged and invested, not for just a week, but throughout the year.  It is the goal of ENP to see a church partnering with every neighborhood in our city, to see our schools supported and blessed as they teach OUR kids.  Ultimate goal: healthy families and a thriving city! During Serve Fresno Week it felt like THE CHURCH made a giant step toward that goal!

 *SERVE FRESNO is a movement of churches united in serving the city as the body of Christ . . . not just for a week, but throughout the year!  This movement WILL continue and we look forward to watching it it grow.

. . . . . . . . .

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

*Check out the Serve Fresno Week highlight video on the home page.

andrewfeil. . . not to BE served, BUT TO SERVE
read more

Many Serve Together at Olmos

When Pastor Du’Chene came up with the idea for a serve day at Olmos Elementary, he probably had no idea that such a variety of groups would come together to serve!

On the morning of Saturday, May 17th this team cleaned up the streets around the campus, an empty lot across the street, as well as the school campus itself.  Then they planted 4 flats of flowers around the school.  Not only were there volunteers from Pastor Du Chene’s church (Faith Worship Christian Center), there were also students from Olmos, Sunnyside High School as well as a group from Cal Poly who were in Fresno with F.I.F.U.L. for 24 hours learning about urban ministry.

As they were preparing lunch for everyone, a parent who was dropping his kids off at Saturday Sports asked what was going on. They told him they were having a Serve Day and asked if he wanted to join them. He EAGERLY joined in and was a HUGE asset to the day.

Key Word: ASSET! Every neighborhood has assets. Sometimes it just takes an event like this to begin discovering them, and the potential when they work together and focus on an opportunity for change and growth.  So many came together on this day:

Olmos students were serving at their own school.  

Parents were involved not only in this serve day, but have been “the force” that started the Saturday Sports Program at Olmos.

Principal Tharpe has been such an encouragement!  She is a part of everything that goes on at Olmos and a visible presence even on the weekends.  

The church, Faith Worship Christian Center, that holds services each Sunday at Olmos, now calls this school “home”, which makes them more deeply invested in the neighborhood. 

Students from Sunnyside High school served Saturday at Olmos – a school that feeds into their school.  This gave them opportunity to talk to the Olmos kids about high school. 

Students from Cal Poly came to serve and were able to talk to the Olmos and Sunnyside students about the value of a their college education. 

It was a GREAT DAY in the Olmos Neighborhood and Pastor Du’Chene feels very blessed to be connected to this school and neighborhood.  It’s a partnership that has potential to grow even more!

It’s a neighborhood where many assets are being discovered. That makes us smile!

andrewfeilMany Serve Together at Olmos
read more

Beautifying School Campuses

During the past several weeks, five elementary school campuses have been beautified by a variety of groups from partnership churches as well as families and students from the schools.  Centennial, Columbia, Ewing, Williams and Susan B Anthony all received a splash of color with bright, cheery flowers in the flowerbeds and a lot of people had the opportunity to get their hands a little dirty making our schools and neighborhoods look more beautiful.

. . . . .

During spring break week, jr high and high school students planted flowers and raked leaves at Williams Elementary.  (This was one of several projects they worked on in Fresno that week. 

For a Serve Dei project two groups of volunteers from The Well beautified the campuses of Columbia Elementary and Centennial Elementary.  At Columbia, volunteers also planted 8 trees, cleaned and sanitized the playground equipment and donated portable bleachers.  The principal from Columbia said she feels “so loved” by The Church because of all the engagement she receives at her school.

Leadership students at Susan B Anthony teamed up with volunteers from their partnership church to plant flowers in the atrium.  Some of the kids had never planted a plant in the ground before!  It was a great experience for them.  They loved  hearing the great comments and thanks you’s  from the staff and fellow students.

At Ewing Elementary this past weekend it was parents and students from the school that volunteered, along with the principal and a few staff member.  They planted 6 flats of flowers on their campus and were excited to see how nice the campus looked when they were done.  They decided to plan another workday together in August with more  projects on the campus.

We love to see volunteers from partnership churches investing in our neighborhoods, but it’s even more exciting to see families and students from the schools beautifying their own neighborhoods. Seeing the feelings of pride and ownership on their faces is priceless!

This is a great progression!  We see volunteers from our partnership churches coming alongside the schools, neighborhoods and families, and working together to make our neighborhoods not only more beautiful, but a better place to live.

What’s the next project we can work on together?

. . . . .

Special thanks to Gazebo Gardens who has been a great resource for beautifying our schools!  Thank you for being such an awesome community partner!

 

 

andrewfeilBeautifying School Campuses
read more

Addams Saturday Sports – “What rain?”

Neither rain, nor cold, nor muddy fields . . . will keep the kids in the Addams neighborhood home from Saturday Sports! What a fantastic time the kids had! It was a bit chilly, and it may have been raining in other parts of the city, but not more than a few drops of rain at Addams while the kids were there. 

The morning was filled with football, basketball, jump rope, crafts and games.  At the end of the morning Pastor Wil  gathered the kids together and told the story of Noah!  Quite appropriate for the weather we have been having!

What a great morning!

Thanks Northwest Church for doing such a great job loving the kids in the Addams neighborhood!

 

andrewfeilAddams Saturday Sports – “What rain?”
read more

Now THAT’S a Picnic Table!!!

Volunteers from Trinity Community Church recently finished construction of an awesome picnic table at Jackson. You might have a mental picture of a cute little table that seats 4-6 people comfortably. Nope – this one seats a MULTITUDE!!!

Now the kids who come to Saturday Sports have a great place to do crafts, eat their lunch at the end of the morning.  They will be able to enjoy it at school during the week as well.

This table isn’t going anywhere any time soon, either.  It will probably be there for these kids to show to their grandkids, and they will tell the stories about the nice people “the church” who built that table for them.  Pretty sure the kids will also remember a lot of other amazing ways, that these volunteers Trinity Community Church made an impact in their lives.

This table will simply serve as a reminder!

 

andrewfeilNow THAT’S a Picnic Table!!!
read more