I am encouraged!
Last week I had a 90 minute conference call with CAPS Director Vance Henry and his team - They are strongly behind our Bless Your Block initiative and will be at our meeting on March 21st to connect us to a variety of resources. CAPS District Organizers and city service contacts will provide unprecedented assistance, especially in the "Care" area: acts of kindness / service projects / community development. The potential of what we can do better together than on our own is truly great.
Eager to see and hear what the Lord has in mind,
- Pray that many of us will gather in Christ's name on the 21st (info below) and discern how to proceed into a collaboration we have yet to see among the Church throughout Chicago.
- Would you forward this Emessage to someone (or two) or make an personal invitation to a colleague? A pastor, someone who can mobilize a network of congregational or organizational leaders, or a denominational representative ... I am hoping and praying for representation that reflects our geographical, generational and ethnic diversity - You can help make that happen!
One Great City ~ CH!CAGO
Bless Your Block
Churches Serving Their Communities
Hosted by Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Pastor of The Moody Church
Facilitated by Phil Miglioratti, One Great City: Ch!cago
Special Guests: Vance Henry, Director of CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategies) along with CAPS District Organizers and Departmental Representatives of City Services
The Question: Would the focused prayers and acts of service by scores of Chicago's Christian congregations have enough impact to transform the lives of neighbors and neighborhoods?
The Answer: Christian leaders are meeting to become the "Yes!" to that question.
*WHO - Pastors, Ministry Leaders, Organizational Directors, Denominational Servants … Persons of influence within and across the Body of Christ … Who have a Kingdom-sized vision.
*WHAT - A vision-casting gathering to set Bless Your Block in motion.
*WHERE - The Moody Church (parking @ NW corner of LaSalle & North)
*WHEN - Wednesday, March 21, 2007 from 10am to Noon
*WHY - Our Lord & Leader has called us to "get out of our seats and into the streets" so that we bring His light and love to people in darkness and without hope.
*HOW - Bless Your Block is a simple strategy intended to mobilize a congregation into self-discerned acts of kindness or service projects ... Churches small or large ... By asking God what breaks His heart on the block your church facility occupies.
Who is in charge of this?
Bless Your Block is an initiative of congregations and ministries who serve Jesus Christ as Lord. One Great City and CAPS serve as only catalysts. Churches (or other religious organizations) do not need permission from CAPS or One Great City to show kindness to people in their neighborhoods.
What is the strategy?
Bless Your Block calls churches to:
* Pray for their neighbors by name - A relational component
* Care for their neighborhood by need = A practical component
* Share their faith-hope-love in Christ as opportunities arise - A spiritual component
Why is CAPS involved?
CAPS has a commitment to improve Chicago's neighborhoods by any means possible which has led them to partner with faith communities. CAPS does not control the service projects nor limit the conversation of persons providing service. Obviously, messengers of faith and hope will be expected to demonstrate love in the process of serving or sharing.
Does a congregation involved with Bless Your Block automatically endorse CAPS, OGC, or other participating congregations?
No. Participation does not reflect any political or theological agreement among registered organizations. Our common cause is serving communities in the name of Christ.
What does it cost to participate?
Nothing - There is no registration cost. Participation is completely voluntary.
Everything - Any congregation or organization seeking to bless their neighbors must sacrifice time in praying, caring and sharing. Service project costs are the responsibility of each participating group.
What is required of a participating ministry/
Each Bless Your Block group agrees to:
1. Prayer - We will pray for direction in how to best serve our neighborhood and will mobilize our entire constituency to pray for our neighbors
2. Care - We will perform at least one service project during the summer of 2007.
3. Share - We will be prepared to explain the hope within us as opportunities arise.
What is our goal?
Four participating congregations and/or ministries in each of the 25 CAPS Districts would result in 100 acts of kindness impacting citizens, their communities and our city.
The strategy is simple but how do we get help or training or resources?
OGC & CAPS will work together to provide training during the spring as a prelude to a summer of serving and caring.
How do we register?
One Great City will keep a list of participating congregations.
OK, one more time . . .
What? ... "Bless-Your-Block"An opportunity for congregations and ministries to show & tell the love & mercy of ChristWhen? ... Summer '07 (each congregation & ministry determine their own "what & when" acts of service)
Where? ... We hope to cover Chicago, block-by-block; wherever you live or worship or work or play
Why? ... Neighbors and neighborhoods are stronger and safer when blessed with good works and good words
How? ... Churches and organizations will deploy teams to clean, paint, fix, mow, rake, help - Anything that makes living on that block betterWho? ... To register as a Bless-Your-Block participant contact Phil Miglioratti * firstname.lastname@example.org * 847-344-7837Join us for an informational meeting: March 21st, 10am to Noon at The Moody Church (1609 N. LaSalle)
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