I Love My City – Sunday Compassion Center Update

  1. Tell us about your journey to the compassion center – My heart
  • Just a little over a year ago today, I was approached by Pastor Steve to consider the role of Alderwood Compassion Center Director. I wasn’t looking for a job at the time, I was happy in my career.  5 months later, after much prayer and thought I was on a business trip with my wife and she was reading a chapter out of Francis Chan’s book “Letters to the Church”.  While she was reading, I couldn’t help but feel the tugging/prompting of the Holy Spirit, that this was the next chapter in my “career”.  23 years at SGW, was what I needed to prepare me for helping people in a much greater role – Not just meeting physical or educational needs but providing a solution for the greatest need of all – a relationship with Jesus Christ!
  • Starting in July I was overwhelmed by the number of people desiring to serve. Throughout the summer as I connected with other Church ministries, and both faith- based and non-faith-based services, it became very apparent to me that God had His fingerprints ALL over this ministry. He was orchestrating
  1. What is the Compassion Center?
  • The Alderwood Compassion Center is a dedicated space for community outreach. Its goal is to provide assistance and resources for the working poor while we build relationships with our neighbors in need, share the hope we have through Christ, and demonstrate His love and compassion.
  1. What services will the Compassion Center offer?  
  • The Compassion Center is not a homeless shelter or homelessness-focused ministry.
  • The Center’s ministry focus will be on the working poor. The working poor will be defined as individuals whose income is equal to or greater than that of the federal poverty level for their family size.  The programs services will be available to both those in our church and the community abroad.
  • Our geographical footprint will include Edmonds, Lynnwood, South Everett and Mukilteo
  • The Food program will operate once a week (4X) per month. Our first initiative is a food program and dinner outreach. The food pantry will be open to our neighbors on Tuesdays from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, with complimentary dinners served one night a month to start. Shoppers will have the opportunity to select from a variety of perishable and non-perishable food items.  Childcare will also be available on dinner nights.
  • Neighbors who want to shop the food pantry will first go through an application and approval process.
  1. What if someone is living on the street and not working
  • For walk-in visitors who haven’t filled out an application or haven’t yet been approved, the Compassion Center will stock to-go bags with non-perishable foods and other items. Additionally, a CC team member will be on duty to help direct people to other local resources if their need is greater than what we can provide. Our   Our goal is that no one leaves the building empty handed.
  1. What other ministries are we planning for in the Compassion Center?
  • The food program is the foundational ministry that we will build upon. As the Compassion Center grows, our vision is to expand our services to meet our community’s needs. Future options under consideration include job search assistance, vocational training, English language learning, and other possibilities. We also hope to expand our reach by partnering with other local like-minded ministries and organizations.
  • As our job training and vocational programs develop, we are hoping to partner with business, some of whom might be in our church, who are willing to hire our neighbors who go through our training programs.
  • Housing navigators, healthcare navigators and veterans’ affairs, are examples of other services we may offer
  • Developing community and a sense of belonging is a common theme amongst many in need. Relationship building is central to our ministry… (might need to word smith this a bit)
  1. How will we let people know the Compassion Center is open?
  • Initially we will partner with the Angela, Parent Resource Advocate of Cedar Valley Elementary School to spread the word amongst her families at the school. We have partnered with her to provide last year’s Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gift giveaway.
  • We want to start out small, approximately 10-15 families. After a trial period of 2-3 months we will look to add additional families
  1. What do we want to see happen through the ministry the now/future?
  • I want to see people come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as the one true answer for brokenness. The opportunity we have before us to demonstrate the love of Jesus, not just by providing a meal or groceries, but also how we treat those who may not look like us, or act like us.
  • I want to see ACC along with other churches like NW Center, and Trinity Lutheran, combine resources and come alongside the broken in our community, meet their needs and show them and share with them the Hope that can only be found in Jesus. 
  1. Tell us about the Needs

In order to become operational here are the top needs that we have

  • Commercial grade refrigeration unit and freezers
  • Racks for storing perishable food
  • Kitchen suite:
    • Appliances
  • Furniture to outfit our Hospitality rooms

 

 

 

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