This mainly working class, Sudanese American community is full of life and the Spirit – but couldn’t afford full-time clergy. Renewed investment enabled six times the previous clergy support and has borne fruit this past year in the form of:
- Sunday attendance up 56%
- Pledge and plate giving up 37%
- Over 30 children and youth (1/3 of the congregation) attend each Sunday
- Over 100 conversations with prospective new members
Our guiding question, “What forms of church are most compelling in the 21st century?” led us to experiment in the following ways:
- A joint Christmas Eve service with Genesis, a nearby Nazarene church
- A Maundy Thursday community dinner with the unhoused & those in recovery
- Rearranging our pews for more flexibility
- Collaborating in the development of mentoring programs with refugees, foster youth, and the incarcerated as an introduction to the heart of the Christian faith for those who want to "love their neighbor" but aren't sure what it means to "love God."
- Adopting political campaign software as our member database
We are blessed with a paid-off building, education center and an adjacent vacant lot . . . and we are beginning to generate revenue, new members, and ministries from these spaces! Our new partners include:
- Uptown Community Services Center: A long-running faith-based nonprofit based here as a weekday haven for North Park’s unhoused.
- Genesis Church: A nearby Nazarene church plant has now found a home to worship in our sanctuary -- and we’ve already begun working together on youth and outreach efforts.
- International Rescue Committee: A global nonprofit refugee resettlement agency will manage an innovative farming project in our vacant lot and a job training program in our soon-to-be renovated kitchen.
- RefugeeNet: Our beloved nonprofit partner serving the various refugee communities of San Diego.
We are called to serve newly arrived Americans, the working class, and millennials (many of whom are unsure where the church fits into their lives). While a worthy mission, this focus means our financial sustainability rests in large part on the generosity of others, including you! We are grateful for your continuing support as we live out our mission to create spaces that form life-changing relationships with God and each other across lines of prejudice and privilege. We have much to learn together on this adventure.