This summer has been an exciting one!  We received a $10,000 grant from Culture Works to deepen our listening and storytelling efforts in the Historic Brookland Park area, through a project called Unsung Heroes.  We also received a $5,000 grant from Bank of America to support the expansion of our Young Leaders Program which many of you financially supported during our year end campaign. As I shared back in April, we also received a partnership grant from VCU to deepen our relationship with VCU and the city of Richmond.

We hired Jackie Washington in May to spearhead the Young Leaders and Unsung Heroes efforts and we have recruited and trained six neighborhood youth. This fall they will be capturing the stories of unsung heroes in the Historic Brookland Park area as they begin designing and developing their own community strengthening projects. Please check out our Facebook page for profiles of the youth and the unsung heroes they are discovering.

We have also partnered with Bing Bicycle Company to launch a youth-led Bike Shop, named “Joe’s Bike Shop,” which will operate at our All Souls location on Saturday’s from 9:00-2:00 starting Saturday September 2ndIf you have a bike to donate or are in need of bike repairs, visit “Joe’s Bike Shop” at 19 Overbrook Road, Richmond Va. 23222.  Also please “like” Joe’s Facebook page.

We are also thrilled to announce that Woodlake UMC will be hosting our Mission Shift Training series in January of 2018.  The training will be open to members of congregations and organizations who are a part of our ABCD network.  Please follow us on Facebook for more information as we get closer to the date.  You can also email me and I can add you and/or your congregation to the invitation list.

As you can see we have been VERY busy with lots of exciting new opportunities to strengthen communities from the inside out!

As always, we welcome the opportunity to speak to your congregation, neighborhood association, or non-profit about our inside out community strengthening process.  Please let me know if you would like to learn more about any of these or other opportunities.

Thank you again.  Without your faithful support, none of this would be possible!