Community Outreach

Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice: A Vital Skill for City Work

Since 1982, the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) has been bringing victims, offenders, and involved community members face-to-face to restore wholeness to those affected by crime. Through our restorative justice process, the injustice is recognized and made as right as possible, trust is rebuilt, and the relationship restored. The process holds offenders accountable for their actions, providing them an opportunity to hear how their actions affected others. It also empowers victims, offering them a voice as the parties decide how the offender can rebuild trust, restore equity, and implement necessary changes to ensure a better future. Once the parties reach an agreement, mediators follow up with victims and offenders to confirm that the agreement has been met to the victim’s satisfaction.

Grace SpencerConflict Resolution and Restorative Justice: A Vital Skill for City Work
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How Do We Get at Effective Outreach?

Every once and awhile we want to send you out from the ENP Blog for something that is not only really good but someone we think you can continue to learn from. Ed Stetzer’s piece on outreach is one of those articles. Ed is a writer, pastor, and missiologist. His writings have greatly influenced our work. Please check out one of his recent posts.

As the mission field changes, churches will change. | ED STETZER

I frequently get asked about the future of outreach. Let me be honest, and perhaps you already know this: outreach will not get any easier.

Let me share at least three reasons why I believe this is the case.

First, our culture will continue to experience a decrease in nominal …

Continue reading the full article here.

andrewfeilHow Do We Get at Effective Outreach?
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More than a Carnival

On Saturday, October 31st, Central Community Church & Highway City Community Development hosted a Fall Festival with carnival games and a resource fair for the entire neighborhood. Nearly 1000 people attending throughout the day, but it was so much more than a carnival!

andrewfeilMore than a Carnival
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Saturday Sports

 “Just go outside and play.”

Do those words bring back memories from your childhood? Playing outside was what most kids did for fun, but it isn’t quite as simple today as it was back then.

SATURDAY SPORTS will be up and running, full force by mid September at 32 sites all over Fresno. The majority of the programs are in SE & SW Fresno, where sitting in the house, watching TV, or playing video games are more common activities for kids in many of our neighborhoods.

SATURDAY SPORTS gives kids the opportunity to go outside and play, not only in a safe “green space”, but with folks who deeply care about them and want to make an impact in their lives.  That’s why so many churches see Saturday Sports as a simple outreach and great way to connect with kids and families and ultimately find many ways other ways to love and serve our city.

Map showing partnerships that offer Saturday Sports Programs

Last year more than 2,200 kids had the opportunity to “go outside and play” at Saturday Sports, and it’s so much more than SPORTS!  Crafts, games, fun . . . and of course, sports, if you want.  But more like it was “back in the day” when kids went outside to jump rope, play four-square, shoot hoops with dad, or play a game of baseball in the street with friends.

More Saturday Sports programs are needed in Fresno!  There are lots of kids who would love to play outside, and need people in their lives to love them, and encourage them, and help them see their value and potential.

Northpointe Church has been hosting a Saturday Sports Program at Toby Lawless Elementary for the past 4 years.  A real impact is being made in the lives of these kids!  Check out the video and see for yourself.

After you watch it, ask yourself if can think of a church that might be interested in coming alongside and supporting an existing Saturday Sports Program, or if you know folks who might like to volunteer to take attendance each week at one of the Saturday Sports sites.  We also need several volunteers each week to pick up lunches at Poverello House and deliver them to Saturday Sports.  Financial donations are also welcome.

There are lots of ways to love and serve our city, and most importantly, give these kids a chance to be kids!

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about ENP.  We love helping folks get connected to serve!

Donations Welcome

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andrewfeilSaturday Sports
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Parents Advocating for a Better Blackstone

Even through the Summer our partnership parents from Susan B. Anthony Elementary and Yokomi Elementary are learning and working together and be advocates for their communities through their involvement in the Better Blackstone project. As they take a closer look at their neighborhood they envision walkable sidewalks, revitalized businesses, bike lanes, cross walks and a shady bus stop with benches. All of which are elements of a healthy and flourishing corridor.

Parents gathered in early July and walked from Divisadero to Olive on both Abby and Blackstone, taking pictures and observing the assets and needs in their neighborhood.  The ultimate goal: to identify broken sidewalks, missing cross walks, missing waste baskets and any other areas that could be improved to make a healthy, safe, walkable community. 

They are excited and empowered by this role they are playing.  It’s just one more step in helping parents see the important role they can play as volunteers and leaders in their school and neighborhood.

. . .

On August 7th neighbors will come together to Imagine the Possibilities for Blackstone.

Blackstone neighbors will be sharing their findings through a photography display. This “Photovoice/Fotovoz” project will highlight the healthy and unhealthy aspects of  daily life in this neighborhood. Through this project they are learning to be positive and proactive as they work together for a better neighborhood.

. . . . . . . . .

Brenda Bravo
Every Neighborhood Partnership
Parent Engagement Coordinator

andrewfeilParents Advocating for a Better Blackstone
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Great Fun Hoopin’ it Up!

The gates opened at 9am on Saturday morning and kids began to arrive to “Hoop It Up”! They had fun hanging out with friends and practicing until it was their time to compete.

The boys were ready to compete!

There was one little girl however, who was looking a little sad.  We asked her what was wrong.  She quietly replied, “The boys said that girls can’t play basketball.”  We reminded her that was NOT the case and ushered her over to the check-in table.  She signed in, put her blue t-shirt on and began practicing.

Kids in our partnership neighborhoods don’t have many opportunities to participate in competitions like Hoop It Up. This was a morning of fun for them and a new experience for many.

patiently waiting their turn

89 kids participated from nine different schools. Each child received a very cool Hoop It Up t-shirt (thanks to our awesome sponsors) and then waited for their turn at the free throw line. Everyone had fun!

. . . some kids needed a little extra help 1st, 2nd & 3rd place medals were awarded at the end of the morning in all age categories

WHAT A GREAT MORNING!

Fun morning for everyone!

THANKS VOLUNTEERS!

GREAT group of volunteers!

Thanks to our great group of volunteers who had fun interacting with the kids & helped make Hoop It Up a huge success!

 Kids had the chance to compete (a new experience for many of them).
–  It was another opportunity to promote health and fitness.
–  Hoop it up brought more awareness of the value of Saturday Sports and the need for mentoring kids in our Fresno Neighborhoods
–  and we raised enough money to purchase sports equipment for 30+ Saturday Sports Programs that will start up again in the fall!

THANK YOU SPONSORS & FRIENDS!
Thank to Kaiser Permanente, J&D Foods, Fresno Housing Authority, Cargill, Torosian & Walter, NY Life, Spirit Radio, Fresno Breast Surgery, Spike & Rail, Holiday Inn Swan Court, FS Lawn, Bobby Salazar’s, and a lot other friends of ENP who helped sponsor kids to compete in the event!

We also want to thank Principal Tharpe for allowing us to Hoop It Up at Olmos Elementary!

Special thanks to Walgreens who not only provided unlimited water for everyone, but came in person to hand it out throughout the morning AND even helped with the competition.

Thanks also to the Fresno State Nonprofit Management Class and Professor Zhanna Bagdasarov who assisted ENP in planning and seeking sponsorships for Hoop It Up!

This day was a beautiful picture of MANY in our community coming together for the kids!  We at ENP value the partnerships we have with churches, businesses, universities, and our schools and know that Fresno is a better place because there are SO MANY who want to be part of the transformation!

. . . . . . . . .

ALSO WORTH NOTING: The first medal was awarded to A GIRL!  Who said “girls can’t play basketball” anyway!

* The first medal was awarded to A GIRL!!!

andrewfeilGreat Fun Hoopin’ it Up!
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Let’s “Hoop It Up” for our Kids!

On the morning of Saturday, May 30th, Olmos Elementary will be filled with kids trying to reach a goal as they compete with other kids their age in ENP’s Hoop it Up Basketball Competition.

THEIR GOAL: To make baskets from various spots on the key and get points for each basket!

 

ENP has several goals for the day as well!
The purpose of this event is to promote the importance of physical activity, bring awareness of the value and need for mentoring kids in our Fresno neighborhoods, and raise funds for Saturday Sports.

ANYONE CAN COMPETE!
YOU CAN REGISTER HERE

. . . . . . . . .

REGISTRATION FEE is $20
– Participants will receive an event t-shirt
– 1st, 2nd, 3rd place Medals will be given
in each of the following categories:

1st grade and under
2nd-4th grade
5th-6th grade}
7th-8th grade
High School
Adult

. . . . . . . .

We are also looking for folks who would like to sponsor a child from one of our partnership neighborhoods to participate in the event.

SPONSOR A CHILD

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andrewfeilLet’s “Hoop It Up” for our Kids!
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. . . 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.
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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
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Clovis Hills Hosts World Changers

Over 150 kids and leaders from various churches throughout the states came to Fresno last week on a mission to serve and love our Southwest Fresno neighborhood.

These young people were a part of World Changers, an organization that  “seeks to provide Christian youth and adults with opportunities to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others through practical learning experiences that teach servanthood and personal commitment to missions”.  Clovis Hills did an amazing job organizing and coordinating this weeklong event. (A HUGE “high-five” to Michelle Pellerin!)

The teams stayed at Fresno Rescue Mission at night and spent their days working in SWFresno. This gave them an up-close look at the needs in our city and opportunities to make a difference through their service.  Six local churches provided lunch each day for the teams while they were on the job sites.  It was truly a team effort! (See the list below of all the churches, businesses and organizations that came together to make this week possible.)


Projects included repainting and beautifying homes, a neighborhood church, a local business, an elementary school, and a community center. In 100+ degree weather, teams worked daily from Tuesday through Friday. Those who came from Arizona had no complaints about the heat, however the team from Washington State struggled a bit more and probably applied more sun block during their week in Fresno than in their entire lifetime!

On Almy and Roy Avenues a total of 5 homes were blessed (as were the families that lived there). Houses received a fresh coat of paint, yards were cleaned and clutter removed into trash bins donated by Allied Waste and Southwest Waste.  Each home had a team of 15-20 members working to complete the project. It’s amazing how cleaning up a few houses in the neighborhood inspires other residents to make some changes!

At the southeast corner of Fig and North Avenues both the church and the convenience store were painted.

At West Fresno Elementary, teams focused on repainting the cafeteria.  The staff break room was cleaned and kids also spent time on the campus, picking up debris and trash. But it didn’t stop there! The speed bumps in the parking lot received a bight yellow coat of paint, fire zones were repainted a shiny red, and the curbs and poles at the front of the school were repainted creating a fun and colorful entrance.

On the other side of the elementary school is the middle school. The lower 6-feet of the gymnasium received a fresh coat of dark green paint to cover scuff marks and graffiti. Several teams worked together throughout the week to complete this large project.

At Mary Ella Brown Community Center, teams worked together to clean up the community garden, and adding more planter boxes including some that are wheelchair accessible.  On the inside, the center received new floor giving it a modern updated look!

When the week ended, everyone looked back at the huge amount of work that was accomplished, but even more impactful were the relationships that were made, the residents who were blessed and a SW Fresno neighborhood that looks just a little bit brighter.

Did they change the world?  Maybe not quite yet, but if you ask Mona (one of the homeowners pictured below), we’re pretty sure she will tell you that this team of amazing young people that spent the week working at her home truly changed her world last week!  And for these young people, their world got just a little bit bigger and they no doubt went home with a part of their heart that will always find ways to serve others.  That’s kind of the point of it all!

Just imagine if we all served and loved our city the way these kids did last week!  . . . maybe together, WE could change the world!

Let’s start small!

How about we just start with FRESNO!

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THANKS WORLD CHANGERS!

. . . and thanks to the following churches, businesses and organizations who helped make this week so amazing:

Allied Waste, Cargill, Clovis Hills, Cornelia Baptist Church, Cravings, Fresno Rescue Mission, Darling Industries, Fresno Grizzlies, Habitat for Humanity, Lifeway Baptist Church, Lowe’s, Mary Ella Brown Community Center, New Hope Community Church, Soma Christian Church, SouthWest Waste, United One Productions, Wawona Frozen Foods and Woodward Park Baptist Church

andrewfeilClovis Hills Hosts World Changers
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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
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