Posts Tagged ‘community’

Community Life

January 14, 2014

men-supporting-each-other

May not accept it but our physique is weak.

With a soul thats bleak controlled by a mind thats weak.

All in all its the completeness that we seek.

But by ourselves its of completeness that we leak.

May not accept it but our physique is weak.

With a soul thats bleak controlled by a mind thats weak.

All in all its the completeness that we seek.

But by ourselves its of completeness that we leak.

Our differences fill in the different holes and gaps in which we lack.

Living in community means we always have our neighbor’s back.

But what does it really mean to be complete.

Is it to have the American dream with a nice car, house,  and newest Jordan’s on your feet.

It isn’t. We can’t be God so we strive to be like Christ.

It’s like we can never be Jordan, so we strive to be like Mike.

It’s working together as one to create the ultimate city of peace.

So each by each our differences come together and complete the puzzle piece by piece.

Community is a fixation fixed on intergration.

Because our love for our neighbor should have no segregation.

Understand that I need you just as much as you need me.

That back and forth connection is how we create the love, peace, and harmony.

So we can stop people from acting to harm many. And stop that heart feeling of enmity and larceny. You don’t want to feel targeted so you constantly blame it on your enemy.

Obvious we cannot be perfect, but we can use the idea of perfection to guide our overall direction.

Devron Woodruff

Devron Woodruff

Devron Woodruff, a high school senior, lives in a South Atlanta neighborhood. He wrote this “spoken” word, inspired by helping to teach the Dignity Serves curriculum.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

I Stopped Going to Church

November 6, 2013

By Dan Crain

ATLANTA – Recently I had a conversation with a neighbor who lives on the streets in our community. I invited my friend to our church’s Sunday morning service.

He informed me that he had stopped going to church six years ago. He had grown weary of the politics and people looking down on him. So he stopped going.

I then told him that I had stopped going to church, too. He gave me a very curious look, as he knows that I am one of the pastors at the church in our community.

I shared with him that the version of church to which he was referring is most likely what many people call the “institutional” church. Such churches care more about their programs, their building and looking cool than they do about being a force for good in the specific community where they find themselves.

I am more interested in recruiting people into God’s kingdom than trying to fill the pews of our small urban church. I believe that if people see God’s kingdom, they will meet the master of the kingdom, Jesus. Then they will understand that Jesus has wired them to be in community around Him. And then ideally they will understand that for some reason this king has tasked the church to represent him here on Earth.

When I think of “church,” I think of a group of individuals called by Jesus to gather around the preaching of the word, taking the sacraments, share in community together, and moving out toward our neighbors. I think of people who I know and they know me, and the common bond we share in Christ. I think of people who know my junk and call me out on it. I think of people who know of the image of God that I bear and how God glories in me.

I rarely think of a building or even place. It’s not that I am against building or precise locations to worship, but we as North American Christians have grown too consumed with bricks and mortar and their upkeep. I believe that having an extremely nice place to meet unintentionally feeds a little bit of the need for control and security that so dominates American culture.

I was a part of a church for four years, which had what the pastors called “gray chairs.” These chairs were plastic and not very comfortable seats. The pastor continually reminded the congregation that the gray chairs served as reminders that the action was not “in the building,” in was out there beyond the four walls. The action was in the community, in the neighborhood, and among people experiencing distress.

Bob Lupton’s book “Toxic Charity” defines the difference between churches, which are “church-centric” versus “community-centric.” Church-centric congregations do everything to build themselves up. Community-centric congregations do everything for the benefit of their community. I personally believe effective loving on behalf of Jesus require both/and. A church must exist to benefit the neighborhood around it. If a church is doing its work properly, people will experience reconciliation through and in Christ and will be a part of the church.

So, I have stopped going to the institutional church and instead I gather with people who are committed to Christ, myself and loving our community in the best ways we know how. We are humbly learning what it means seek the good of our neighborhood through Christ. If our church were to move or stop meeting, I would want our neighborhood to grieve and plead with us not to abandon meeting and blessing this place. I would want our neighborhood to genuinely miss us because we no longer would be there.

I hope and pray that this becomes true of the church of North America. I hope and pray we all stop going to the institutional form of church and instead join God’s movement of called-out individuals to seek Christ’s kingdom here and now in order to bless the place we find ourselves in.

Dan Crain and his family in Atlanta.

Dan Crain and his family in Atlanta.

Dan Crain is a liaison/trainer for Polis Institute. He and his wife Adrienne and their family live in South Atlanta. He can be reached at dan@polisinstitute.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

Sit Through the Pain With Me: A Path to Racial Reconciliation

July 5, 2013

By Dan Crain 

ATLANTA – Every day we deal with false motives and people with agendas in our urban ministry. One of the most painful realities we deal with is racism. As I facilitate Dignity Serves training, which deals with the best ways of serving one another, we run smack up against unjust structures in our culture.

In my three years of sharing the principles of Dignity Serves, I have learned much about race and racism and the loving and appropriate ways to respond. I am still learning.

Two very specific instances stand out in the past three years as we have gone through “lesson four” in the Dignity Serves curriculum.

Both times, friends of color have shared an extreme amount of pain and frustration as members of a minority in a world dominated by one culture.

One sister shared with a group recently about her journey. She has been stereotyped and judged. She has not been heard.

It was a joy to hear this sister tell this to the group of 30 people sitting in a circle. Even more joyful was witnessing her walk across the room to embrace and cry with her friend who has sat with her in her pain and her honesty. It was a beautiful moment.

This friend has chosen time and time again to sit in the uncomfortable conversations around race, racism and privilege. When she shared and her stories become uncomfortable, they did not leave.

The more I dig deeply into this, the more I discover the importance of listening to the pain of others and the hardships they endure as members of a minority in our world. For those who claim racism does not exist and isn’t a factor, I pose this question: Have you ever talked with someone who experiences discrimination?  As my friend Ethan wrote recently, “If you think racism doesn’t exist, you’re probably white and have only white friends.”

How do we move past this? How do we heal as a nation? I say we learn the art of “Shiva.” In the Old Testament, when Job was experiencing a tremendous personal loss, he had friends who  “sat in the pain with him”.

They didn’t fix things. They didn’t say the pain didn’t exist. They sat and listened. Most important, they loved.

This is why relationships are the first steps to heal this nation. We need to be with people who are different than we are. We must listen to their experiences. We don’t need to “fix” each other. We must learn to be with one another, in community, so the Spirit of Christ can heal us, and prompt us to grow together.

Finally, I firmly believe that we must find commonality through the cross of Christ. When Paul describes the “New Humanity” in Ephesians 2 being formed together from the division between Jews and Gentiles, he talks about the death of Christ brining these people groups together. The cross of Christ is vitally important because it deals with sin conclusively. And sin is what causes divisions amongst us.

Come, let us sit together in each other’s pain and find reconciliation through the cross of Christ.

Dan Crain and his family in Atlanta.

Dan Crain and his family in Atlanta.

Dan Crain is a liaison/trainer for Polis Institute. He and his wife Adrienne and their family live in South Atlanta. He can be reached at dan@polisinstitute.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

Looked over

October 30, 2012

By Dan Crain

ATLANTA – There are many people in our culture who do not have the same opportunities and platforms to speak that others enjoy. Yet God has given goodness and talents to everyone.

I love it when people who often times are  “overlooked” by the world help mold and shape me as a person.

For example, some ministry leaders with whom I serve often talk about how frustrating it can be when people from outside our neighborhood visit and express such alarm when they discover goodness or rich talents among the our neighbors who live here. They are downright surprised.

I suspect people have their eyes opened because too often many of us are not willing to listen. Think about how many times people return from mission trips and say that they “received” so much more than they “gave.” Maybe the consistency of such revelations takes root because too many people are not willing to listen. They see the world only for what they can give, and not how other people can serve them with their unique talents.

One young man I am mentoring has taught me much about poverty and the realities of our neighborhood. Recently, he commented that the talents of people who live at or below the poverty level fail to be noticed. Their gifts are looked over. This is why I believe so strongly in asset-based ministry. We serve, expecting only to uncover what God is already doing in forgotten people and neglected places – and we strive to empower them.

The vision of Polis is such that, “We believe that well-being will improve only when the talents of the poor are properly engaged.” When you improve the well being of people on the margins, whole cities improve.

Unfortunately, some churches are stuck in a groove – a mind-set – that more “charity” will improve the well being of the poor. The truth is, most people who live in poverty don’t want more shoes, more clothes, more food, or to have their rent paid. They yearn for opportunities for their talents to be engaged. They need respect. As one sign says, “I don’t want your coins, I want change.” No one likes to be a charity case. Why do we expect anything different among the poor?

Do we really love our neighbors as ourselves by just giving things to them? Loving our neighbor as ourselves requires much more than charity. It involves relationships that typically get dirty very quickly.

Charity proves only to hurt, not help, the poor. Instead, we need to engage their talents. Given the freedom of transparency, many people on the fringes, the down-and-out, would tell churches: “Thanks for helping, but what if the way you helped was done in the best way possible?”

What if those who hold the power and resources and are in the position to help, served in such a way that did not look over the talents of the poor?

Dan and Adrienne Crain and their family. Since this photo, they've been blessed by the arrival of twins, Eden Violet Alliene and Isaac Levi Keith.

Dan and Adrienne Crain and their family. Since this photo, they’ve been blessed by the arrival of twins, Eden Violet Alliene and Isaac Levi Keith.

Dan Crain is a liaison/trainer in South Atlanta for Polis Institute. He can be reached at dan@polisinstitute.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

A Day In The Life: 2 Worlds in Atlanta

September 23, 2012

By Dan Crain

ATLANTA – I really love what God has called us into. As many of you know, I am a pastor/trainer/neighbor, leading “the church” (people) into living a life of giving and receiving with everyone we interact with. Through joining, listening and living interdependently with residents of an at-risk community, I see the ways in which God is at work.

Here’s an example of a good day, in two worlds

I was working in the office space I rent from in our neighborhood. I grew hungry and decided to return home to grab a bite before  my next appointment.

As I pulled into our driveway, I noticed a neighbor I am getting to know as he sat next to the large oak tree. He lives in and watches the vacant homes in our neighborhood. He’s a watchdog so thieves don’t strip the homes of copper rain gutters and pipes. (There’s quite a market for copper, which people sell to survive).

The neighbor and I exchanged greetings as I walked into the house. But I wasn’t far beyond the threshold when I felt the Spirit tell me: “Go and share your lunch with him.” In the kitchen, I heated up lunch and walked outside with two full plates – not before my wife asked me, “What are you doing?”

We shared lunch together for 10 minutes, and we talked. He shared about his life and his periods of homelessness. But we also talked about family and his three daughters. Bob Lupton says, “A relationship built on need will always be pathological.” I tried not to focus his need, but to learn what he enjoys and is good at. A good friend said, “The closer we get to treating everyone as family, the closer we get to how Jesus wants us to serve people in need.”

I spoke to this neighbor about church, and I shared more than its location – I offered an invitation. As a Pastor in an under-served neighborhood, I can point people on the streets in the direction of the church. “Come, be a part of our community,” I say. Then I asked my neighbor how I could pray for him, and I told him how he could pray for me.

When we had finished, I hopped into my car and drove out of the neighborhood to one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Atlanta. I had an appointment with someone who is interested in becoming a trainer in our Dignity Serves curriculum.

We talked about the same subjects as I did with my homeless friend; struggles with life, family, living inter-dependently, and the huge potential God have placed in our lives. Both people in such different neighborhood circumstances have huge value and dignity. I am learning to appreciate both and have the same kinds of conversations with people regardless of their apparent need.

It was a good day in two worlds.

Dan and Adrienne Crain and their family. Since this photo, they've been blessed by the arrival of twins, Eden Violet Alliene and Isaac Levi Keith.

Dan and Adrienne Crain and their family. Since this photo, they’ve been blessed by the arrival of twins, Eden Violet Alliene and Isaac Levi Keith.

Dan Crain is a liaison/trainer in South Atlanta for Polis Institute. He can be reached at dan@polisinstitute.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

Needing Others Well

September 12, 2012

By Dan Crain

ATLANTA — Scripture is clear: We need to lead honest and vulnerable lives in community, to confess our needs and to bear our burdens together. Yet how do we live out that command without “getting messy”? Or what if we don’t follow His command at all?

As Americans, we like to project an image of “having it all together.” We build walls or summon a force field to insulate ourselves from others.

We all know people who are eager to confess their needs to anyone willing to listen. I have done that, and sometimes still do. That’s emotionally messy. What I have realized is that it takes time – often a long time – to earn the trust and respect of people with whom we share.

And we also know people who guard their hearts. They live with deep, emotional scars. They erect walls around their lives. They don’t need anyone to help them.

So when Paul ends his letter to the church in Philippi, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus,” what does this mean in this context?

Let me offer some of my thoughts from my struggle through this idea:

God is the one who meets needs. I cannot. You cannot. We cannot. God is the “need-meeter.” No one and no thing in the world can “meet “needs like Him. Christ and only Christ can meet our longings for significance, security, satisfaction and belonging.

Yet to the extent that I am individualistic and focus solely on my relationship with God, I still am called to live in community with you. God commands us to live together.

This nugget of Paul’s wisdom especially resonates with me: “Not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only.”

There is so much meaning packed into those 14 words. Paul models a special kind of relationship, with this church being “partners in the gospel,” “suffering together” and “sharing of the same spirit.” Then he ends the letter by linking giving and receiving. Giving and receiving can be achieved only in the context of community as we give as well as receive.

So who really empowers the giving and receiving? God. So if I don’t confess my needs to you and pretend that I have it all together, whose help do I really refuse? God’s. He works through us, sometimes despite us, to meet our needs.

God’s intention for us to confess our needs compels us to realize that He is the only one who can meet our deepest desires to belong, to gain acceptance, to know security (peace). With that realization, we can confess our needs to one another, and appreciate that it is a two-way street. Confessing our needs to one another reminds us of where our deepest desire for belonging, acceptance and security can be found.

This is the beginning of Christian community.

Dan Crain and family.

Dan Crain and family.

Dan Crain is a liaison/trainer in South Atlanta for Polis Institute. He can be reached at dan@polisinstitute.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

Theology of Place: Live, Worship, Play Together

July 21, 2012

By Bill Behr

I recently was honored to hear architectural/urban designer Mel McGowan speak at Summit Church.  McGowan, who describes himself as “a card-carrying member of the Supreme Architect’s fan club,” is the president of Visioneering Studios, the nation’s leading designer of Christ-centered communities, specializing in architectural evangelism for churches and ministries.

He is the first architect I have heard speak about the “Theology of Place.”  He believes in redesigning neighborhoods so they can be places where our neighbors “live, worship and play” together.

This is what Mr. McGowan says in his blog:

“Just as God called Nehemiah back to restore the city of God, I believe that God is calling Christians today to redeem and restore sustainable Christ-centered community back to the heart of our communities, even where endless agglomerations of suburban subdivisions have never previously had a heart. Every believer can start by following Christ’s command to ‘love your neighbor’ and taking the ‘neighbor’ thing a little more seriously. …

“Choosing your neighborhood is choosing a mission field; prayerfully consider God’s leading in the same way that a missionary would. This singular decision is also the one that will have the greatest impact on our creation care footprint. The choice of where we live in relation to daily life needs: work, school, the grocery store, etc. is the single biggest variable with influence on the economic and environmental sustainability of our communities. …

“The challenge can sometimes seem daunting: to create sacred space in the heart(s) of the city … to bring a bit of the kingdom of heaven to earth; to build something that just might last the trial by fire. May you follow the God of Nehemiah on the journey to real community. …

“When choosing where to live, have you ever considered the issue through the lens of a ‘theology of place’? Why or why not?

“How does the physical location of where we live, shop, work, or go to school apply to our faith and mission as God’s people?

“How does the place you live — whether in the suburbs or not — make developing genuine community difficult? What could you do to overcome those barriers?

“Do you believe your church has a theology of place? If so, how? If not, how might you be a catalyst toward that end?”

Mel McGowan asks great  questions that we should  prayerfully consider and discuss with our neighbors and your church.  Do you see your neighborhood as “sacred space”?  Jesus called all of us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and that means moving into their space, to build real community.

Lord, help me to be more like Christ by reaching out and getting to know my neighbors.

Bill Behr

Bill Behr is the Associate Campus Minister of Summit @ 33rd St. and can be reached at bbehr@summitconnect.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

Yeah, But This Is My Space

June 27, 2012

By Dan Crain

ATLANTA – There is a coffee shop in Atlanta that is extremely close to heaven on earth. It is situated beautifully on the Chattahoochee River.

Recently I decided to go there and to do some work. I got up early, and I was the first customer at 8 am. I strategically sat at on the corner of the deck, overlooking the river, trees and pool. Heaven had just come crashing to earth.

Except there was one problem. Another person decided to make the deck her personal workspace. She began making phone calls, and her voice was loud – so loud that it interrupted my concentration and work.

How could she barge in on what was my place?

I mean, I woke up early to get to this special place. It was my mine.

This happens all the time, right?

We show up and think that whatever we see is ours.

This has been happening throughout world history. The Romans showed up and thought everything was theirs. The Anglos showed up in what was called “The New World” and claimed this country as their own.

Northerners move to the South and think the “new” space is theirs.

People migrate from the suburbs to the city, thinking this urban area is “their” space, claiming it as “their” neighborhood. Eventually these new city dwellers push out the poor through a process called gentrification.

What happens when this occurs?

One person or people group is displaced. They lose their “home,” be it their dwellings or a neighborhood and its character.

This happens in the geographical and relational sense. We show up and tend to push people into what we want them to be, with little regard for their history or to what God has been doing in their lives.

We want to transform neighborhoods and old homes and longtime mom-and-pop businesses, to make them  respectable, neat and tidy. The root of this you ask? Control.

When I grew up with my four brothers and cousin in Bumpville, Pa., we used to frequent the Gorsline’s swimming pool, over the hill two miles away. We went there all the time. Sometimes we were the only ones there. You know what happened when we came over the crest of the hill and saw others in the pool? We were angry. Why? This was our pool. And why did we think it was our pool? Because we had spent the most time there, and now wanted to control it.

What we didn’t know or consider was that the pool – this spot – was never ours to begin with.

As we live in the City of Atlanta, we believe we are called to respect the people who were here long before we showed up.  We are called to listen extremely well these people as we also seek to follow what the spirit is asking us to do. We believe we are called to share this space with as many people as God brings along our path.

We are called to steward everything. We are called to love longtime residents, and to love the most vulnerable and marginalized among them.

This space was never ours. We are called to hold all that God has given us very loosely. After all,  it all belongs to Him.

Dan Crain and family

Dan Crain and family

Dan Crain is a liaison/trainer in South Atlanta for Polis Institute. He can be reached at dan@polisinstitute.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.

Our Past Does Not Dictate Our Future in Christ

April 23, 2012


By Bill Behr

We all have developed beliefs about ourselves. Those beliefs have been shaped by our experiences, the happy and sad events in our lives, what we have heard others say (whether true or false) and what we have learned.

We ultimately decide which beliefs to adopt as part of our identity (whether good or bad), and they do affect how we relate to others (good and bad).

Many of my beliefs are healthy, true and part of my identity, such as, “I am made in the image of God my Father” and “God loves me dearly.”  But like all of us, I have also grown up with false beliefs about myself, many of them starting in my childhood.

These false beliefs also became part of my identity.

One of the false beliefs (lies) I discovered about myself originated when I was about 7 years old.  I was a bright-redhaired, highly freckle-faced, pale-white kid.  I stood out among other kids, but did not realize how much until the first grade, when some of my classmates started teasing me daily about how I looked.

I slowly became convinced I was not acceptable, and I was to embarrass to talk to anyone about it.   I tried to fix this lie by becoming a people-pleaser to validate my worth. I eventually shed this false belief with the help of family, friends and counseling. Most important, I came to realize my true identity is in Christ.  I understand now how Christ views me and His purpose for my life (for the lives of all of us).

I have learned a lot about my identity in Christ through reGROUP at Summit Church.

reGROUP is a Christian program that has been designed for anyone with hurts, habits and hang-ups (those cover the bases of all of us).   reGROUP teaches that I need to surrender, and to trust and believe in Jesus Christ, and then join Him in healing the hurt and restoring the loss in my life.

I need to surrender to the fact that I need the help of God and my Christian community to do this.

But I have to want this change.  Do I really want to experience a life of freedom and break away from my false beliefs?   Yes I really do!   So how do I do this?  I need to:

  • Sincerely want to surrender burdens and change (repent).
  • Honestly trust in the amazing unconditional love of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to change me.

When I do these things, God starts to call me to enter into a community of people that is willing to care about me, so I can share my struggles with them.  In community, we equally give (share) and receive (listen), and we agree as a community to surrender our lives and depend on God for our restoration.

I am part of a team from Summit Church that leads reGROUP in the 33rd Street Jail on Tuesday nights.  We have listened to the inmates’ personal struggles and also shared with them our own struggles.   We are building a level of trust and forming new relationships, in community, to learn together about the truth of Christ’s love for each of us.

This is where Dignified Interdependence begins, with a small community of you, God, and me as we lean in care for one another. This is where forgiveness, kindness, patience, accountability, God’s grace, repentant joy and sacrificial love all begin occur and our needs are met (Phil. 4:19).

When we all “surrender me” (ourselves) to God, He accepts us where we are and starts healing us.  We start to experience sincere change and become a new creation – the “old me” diminishes and the new (real) “me in Christ” is discovered

(2 Cor. 5:17)!

Praise you Lord for revealing the truth to us all!

Bill Behr

Bill Behr

Bill Behr is the Associate Campus Minister of Summit @ 33rd St. and can be reached at bbehr@summitconnect.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs. 

Who Doesn’t Like Barbecue?

April 20, 2012

By Rebecca Lujan Loveless

Scott and Sammi, residents of The Palms Trailer Park on Orange Blossom Trail, care about their neighborhood.  When asked what they think would make The Palms a better place to live, they said, “A place where friends and family can gather to barbecue, socialize and have kids play safely.”

They believe that having this community space will bring people together to get to know one another, which will lead to more trust between neighbors and even diminish petty theft and fighting.

“When you know your neighbor and they know you’ve got their back, they’re less likely to pick a fight with you over stupid stuff,” Scott said.

And, after all, who doesn’t like barbecue?

There is a grassy area at the front of the neighborhood between the Trailer One Community Center and Palms Chapel that is not used or fenced in. The area borders one of the busiest streets in Orlando.  Kids wait for the bus in the morning, playing on the sidewalk while 18-wheelers race by.  The space has dead shrubbery and is riddled with ant piles and weeds.

Scott sees this area not as the “eyesore” that it currently is, but as a blank canvas that, if treated properly (with the help of neighbors and other donors), could turn into a place where friendships are grown and ideas and dreams are shared.

Scott is a Master Welder and landscaping expert. He spent time and energy creating a blueprint for a professional BBQ Pit, Smoker and Griddle.  He also plotted out the landscaping plans, soil grading and re-fencing that he says will be necessary to create a space that is peaceful, safely protected from the busy street and able to hold a vegetable and herb garden.

The project can be accomplished for less than $1,000.  Scott and Sammi have already been going door to door, to neighbors, with hand-drawn fliers showcasing the plans, asking people to pitch in.  Scott has also called several companies to ask for donations of cement block, sand, equipment etc.  He is committed to seeing this idea come to fruition.

And he could use your help! Please donate to POLIS and indicate “Project: BBQ” and your tax-deductible donation will directly support this effort. You can also give of your time and talent, or provide some of the necessary materials. Just contact us at info@polisinstitute.org and let us know. Help Scott and Sammi make their community a better place.

Oh, and come by and join us for a barbecue soon!

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-lesson course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.