New Local Partnerships
The Task Force on Local Partnership Ministries was established to consider new opportunities for mission work in our local community, Washington Township, and to consider ways to adapt existing mission projects so that they focus more directly on our local community. In his Eight Strategies for Church Growth, Rev. Chris Henry encourages us to, “Develop relational ministries that nurture broad connection and deep community.” More specifically, the goals for the church for 2019-20 include the following:
Second Presbyterian Church will take meaningful steps to form, nurture, deepen, and expand partnerships in the city of Indianapolis that offer hope and concrete support to those in deepest need. Embracing the call of Matthew 25:31-46, we will put faith into action on behalf of the “least of these who are members of (Christ’s) family.” We will review our own practices and processes; evaluate the sustainability and impact of partnerships in an effort to be faithful stewards of resources offered to us; and explore new opportunities to be in relationship with the diverse community in which God has placed us.
The Task Force identified opportunities for Second to establish or deepen our involvement with four local organizations (listed below). As we live into the promise of these new partnerships, you will be hearing more about these organizations and how you can engage with their work in our community.
- ProAct. This organization has worked for a decade “to stand in the gap for vulnerable populations while empowering youth to actively transform their communities”. ProAct envisions a proactive community with well-informed, well-intentioned, empathetic, and confident youth who are equipped with 21st- Century skills to adapt and improve upon the modern work environment. Second has supported them in the past and provided a $15,000 grant about two years ago that was delayed due to internal restructuring. The project was set to begin last year but was delayed due to the pandemic. ProAct wants to expand mentoring to Greenbriar and Willow Lake elementary schools and establish a mobile food pantry that can distribute food in Washington Township once or twice a month, when safe to do so in person. Volunteer engagement in this program would require a long-term time commitment to provide continuity for the students.
- Nora Ambassadors. Established a year ago, this program brings together congregations in our community to support our neighbors physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. A current focus is the shocking disrepair of low-income apartments at Lakeside Pointe at Nora. This large apartment complex houses a number of patrons of Second’s food pantry. Lisa Enright is already connected with Nora Ambassadors, but would like a volunteer to serve as another point of contact for Second and to attend meetings of the group.
- IU Health Congregational Care Network. This program connects people in our community who have been discharged recently from the hospital with a trained “connector” from our congregation who will speak with their neighbor by phone once a week for six weeks to provide support and connect the neighbor to assistance they might need. St. Luke’s Methodist recently joined the growing group of congregations in Indianapolis participating in this program. IU Health asks that Second have a point of contact for IUH and the volunteers to coordinate support for the neighbors. There is training from IUH for everyone who participates in this program, and no costs for Second to establish this volunteer opportunity.
- NeighborLink Indianapolis is a nonprofit serving Marion County providing free home repairs and services to neighbors who are low-income homeowners-seniors or disabled- living at or below 150% of the federal poverty line. Its mission is to help our most vulnerable citizens age in place safely and with dignity. Since it began in late 2013, NeighborLink has provided more than 2,000 home repairs. Volunteer opportunities are flexible, great for groups, generally in three-hour segments and do not require any skill--just a heart to serve. Minimum volunteer age is 12 years old (with adult supervision). NeighborLink has a collaborative relationship with SAWs as NeighborLink does not build ramps. Second could enable volunteers from the congregation to participate in projects as needed, with identification of projects and 3 registration provided by NeighborLink. One of the advantages of this program is the opportunity for families with children 12 or older to participate together. We would not expect that staff time or financial resources would be required to support this program.