When the Plainfield schools began to make significant cuts to the arts, Nuevas Fronteras knew it had to take action. Partnering with the Synod of the Northeast with an Innovation Grant, Nuevas Fronteras developed a conservatory to teach children both music and the value of discipline.
In 2016 we provided Innovation Funds to the Genesis Center, a center whose mission is to provide churches with current and relevant Christian resources with an understanding of their unique needs and limited budgets.
The September 2016 Synod Mission and Ministries Commission was full of our regular work as well as approving items to pass onto the Synod Assembly for consideration and approval. The full Commission serves as the Synod Board of Trustees. In this capacity they voted to: have funds from the Wurffel-Sills Fund support the Robert L. Washington Scholars and Fellows Program; have the unused balance of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute Fund of $1,390 be transferred to the Robert L. Washington Program; approve the funding of $36,000 for the CrossRoads Racial Awareness program for 2017 from the Walker Fund; and authorize the Treasurer to take appropriate steps to receive distribution from the Eichelberger Trust, of which the Synod is a named beneficiary, with an expected payout of $125,000.
“Sankofa" is a word meaning ‘looking backward to move forward’ in the Twi language of Ghana. The Sankofa Journey seeks to assist disciples of Christ on their move toward a righteous response to the social ills related to racism. This interactive experience explores historic sites of importance in the Civil Rights movement, places of oppression and inequality for people of color, while seeking to move participants toward healing the wounds and racial divide caused by hundreds of years of racial injustice in the United States of America.
That day started a shift in me. All relationships are a challenge, but when you meld together two cultures the way we have in our home it is both an indescribable joy and challenge. I am on a constant learning curve and my daughter is always steps ahead of me. That day, and the confession I share with you of my behaviors, also started me on a journey in my ministry and in my life of asking the deeper questions about hospitality and welcome. How do we welcome? What is real hospitality? How do we set the table? How can we allow the in-breaking of the Holy Spirit--which is what happened to me through my daughter on that day--to allow the opportunity for rebirth and renewal?
I was inspired by the intelligence, experience, knowledge and spiritual insight of our Presbyterian Women leadership. The meeting improved my understanding, affirmed my worth and purpose, focused my attention on mission and service objectives, and provided opportunities for all to share their challenges and accomplishments.
For me, the joy is seeing how even seemingly insignificant offers of hospitality are deeply significant for people who simply want to be welcomed home, who have done their time and who deserve to be reintegrated into the community in a loving and respectful way. A little goes a long way. Think of a person who’s just getting out of prison. Think of what they need: that first set of clothes, first set of clean underwear, a birth certificate, a government-issued ID, a safe place to live, trauma resources, job interview training.
“The Prison Ministry Network is our challenge to the faith communities to live out the gospel in very specific ways and to stand in the gap,” says Shaw, who believes that hope relies on the volunteer power of communities coming together. “More than ever, our churches are needed.”