Below is an article by Patrick Cone, one of Storyline’s house church leaders (for the Victor Church), relaying some of the work they’ve done to get involved in the community and work for justice. I love the way working for justice attracts and connects us to those who are searching for God.
As stated on its website, Storyline Christian Community lives to discover its place in God’s story through dependence on God, mission, life change and genuine relationships.
One way we do this is through our justice initiatives. Each house church chooses an area in which they think they can be of use in the community around them.
The Victor house church has chosen the Ferguson Road Initiative as our area of influence. The Ferguson Road Initiative’s mission is to “transform White Rock Hills and Greater Casa View into a safe, beautiful, prosperous and proud community by inspiring hope and working together to achieve a shared vision.”
Just 10 years ago, east Dallas’ Ferguson Road corridor was the most crime-ridden area of the city. The initiative has brought vast improvements and we want to be a part of that movement. Two of our members live in this neighborhood and the area would be a very attractive place to plant a house church in the future.
Our partnership with the initiative began in April, 2010. So far, we have adopted St. Francis Park, a large park right in the middle of the community. We meet as a church group once a month and pick up trash and try to make a difference cosmetically. We believe part of being a child of God is taking care of his creation. So far, we’ve had 90% church participation. We also have a friend who has faithfully joined us at each “justice event” to date, yet has never attended a house church gathering. We are excited about our friend’s desire to join God in his mission here in Dallas and we rejoice that his heart is for justice.
However, park clean up is just the beginning. As the school year approaches, we hope to get involved in adopting a classroom at one of the schools in the neighborhood. We have also had members get excited about mentoring, an anti-graffiti initiative and one member was even selected by the Initiative’s board to serve as event coordinator for the community-wide fall festival. This position will involve recruiting other members of the community to volunteer at the event. What a wonderful way to meet new people.
Our church family prayed and considered this opportunity for several months and in the end, we believed God was leading us to the Ferguson Road Initiative. We are excited, FRI officials are excited and we believe we can work together with the community to inspire hope in this neighborhood.
This is inspiring. So thankful for these initiatives.
I think the church has to be engaged in the community to be effective and this is a great example of what that might look like. Thanks for the inspiration!