There is a method to community organizing called Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). While some approaches to development focus on needs and deficiencies, practitioners of ABCD map and build upon the assets present in the residents and associations that already call the community home. ABCD prioritizes relationships over resources and pursues goals outlined by the community itself. This “glass half-full” attitude re-frames how people see themselves and leads to more proud, resilient neighborhoods.
We can take a similar approach when serving our local community. God has been at work in NE Austin for a long time. Pastors have been proclaiming the gospel. Doctors and nurses have been helping people in need. Teachers, administrators, and social workers have been caring for kids. We don’t need to start from scratch when looking for ways to love and serve our neighbors. We can jump into the places where God is already present.
A group of us from COTC have been praying about how to participate in the work God is doing all around us. We’ve identified two places to begin:
Hope Medical Clinic has been providing high quality healthcare and related services to refugees and other underserved populations since 2012. It’s located about a mile from where we worship at the Phillips Event Center. We’re having info meetings on May 11th and June 22nd to learn more about their mission and how we can help.
The founders of Hope Clinic are going to be at the Crawfish Boil next weekend (sign upnow). We’re going to give all the proceeds from the party to them and someone from COTC has generously pledged to match all the money we raise. Did I mention you can sign up now?!
Harris Elementary has a rich history of educating children and enriching families in Windsor Park. The school is just a few blocks from the Parish House. We’ve developed a relationship with Rudy Castillo, the parent-support specialist, and he’s asked us to help him plant a vegetable garden at the school for local residents. We’re planning a couple of work days and will communicate more details soon.
Central to our identity as a church is be in and for Northeast Austin, participating with God in the renewal of all things. It is a bold, biblical vision and it’s exciting to see where in the neighborhood it will take us.
Grace and Peace,