Category Archives: Oak Creek Village Partnership

Eagles’ Nest After School Tutoring Program

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COMING FALL 2014 

Thanks be to God! 

We are praying, planning, and recruiting toward starting Eagles’ Nest up again Fall of 2014! 

When we left our building on Garrett Road we left a neighborhood that God had called us to love and serve! We have been wrestling in prayer and conversation with how to continue being involved with people that we love and care about at Oak Creek Village for the past six months.  I have some great news! God has answered our prayers!

A few months ago Vintage Church moved into our former worship space and they heard about Eagles’ Nest. They are very interested in opening up their space for the program!

Therefore, we are partnering with Creekside Elementary School, the Gathering Church, and Vintage Church to start this ministry up again in the Fall of 2014. We need to recruit a minimum of twenty volunteers from all the churches involved in order to begin in the Fall.

Would you consider volunteering as a reading tutor? Tutors are needed Tuesdays & Thursdays from 3:45-6 p.m.

Anna Sircar has graciously volunteered to lead the team from All Saints Church. She is a veteran Eagles’ Nest Tutor with a passion for the kids in the neighborhood!

Contact Anna Sircar (anna.sircar@gmail.com) to sign up or for more information.

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Filed under Community, Discipleship, Eagles' Nest, English and a Second Language, Evangelism, In the News, Local Missions, Oak Creek Village Partnership, Social Justice, The Holy Spirit, Uncategorized

Oak Creek Village Summer Kids’ Club!

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Our fourth annual OCV Summer Kids’ Club was a huge success! Here’s what a few of our faithful volunteers had to say about the experience:

“I loved being a part of Kids’ Club.  So many beautiful children came out to be with us each day!  They sang, they snacked, they listened to a Bible lesson, they made a craft, and they played games.  I helped with signing in the children each day, getting a name tag and a wristband on each one, and directing them to their correct groups.  What fun it was to greet them, even when I didn’t know their language!  I hope all the children who were a part of Kids’ Club left with a new awareness of God’s love and care for them.  I was blessed to be there.” –Teresa Waggoner

“My experience with Kids Club was great. I enjoy helping with kids, so this was a great opportunity. I think that it is great for the community because it gives Oak Creek Village a chance to learn about God. I wish that more people would have participated with this event. I am glad that I was able to help and would be glad to do it next year.” –Julie May (age 11–one of several youth group members who served faithfully all week!)

“The whole experience was very powerful and truly delightful. The way it was organized, having the children broken into the various age groups and eliminated big sister taking care of younger sibling it brought moms into the group. That exchange was new and real! The numbers this year were amazing.” –Peggy Morrell

Many thanks to all who helped make this great outreach event happen!

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Oak Creek Village Fire Relief Effort

This past Sunday’s Oak Creek Fire Relief Event was a tremendous beginning! I was overwhelmed by the way the church organized and came together in three short days to gather clothes, household items, furniture, food, and financial donations to help the households affected by the fire at Oak Creek Village.oak creek fire relief

Seven area churches came together to make Sunday a success. And we will need to continue working together if we are going to continue loving and following up with the displaced households. All Saints was joined by the efforts of The Gathering Church, Church of the Good Shepherd, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Cresset Baptist, Hope Valley Baptist, La Cosecha, and Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Over fifty volunteers from All Saints alone were on hand to receive, organize, and distribute donated items from noon to six this past Sunday. Our volunteers were amazing. Thank you for everyone who contributed so much time and energy!

The folks who were displaced by the fire came at  4 o’clock and took truckloads furniture and donated items back to their new apartments to begin putting their lives back together. However, they took back more than just physical possessions – they left knowing that they are loved and cared for by the body of Christ. It was deeply meaningful to interact with and the displaced families in the midst of their loss. In the last four days we have also collected over $20,000 in financial donations for displaced families!

thomas on TVThe evening news even showed up and did a little story on the event. CLICK HERE to check out the story! I have also placed a bunch of pictures at the bottom of this post.

The success of Sunday should not distract us from faithfully following up with the displaced families in the mid to long term.

Now it is time for phase two of our response! 

Phase two involves setting up relief partners with each household affected by the fire. These partners will covenant to walk with the displaced households for at least the next three weeks in order to pray with them personally in their homes, see what they still need, assess financial need, and help them to access available services.

All the residents have moved, but some in are greater need than others. We have many folks in the community who are making furniture available, but we need to know what each household still needs and we also need to work out the logistics to get the available furniture to them. These relief partners will take responsibility for one family and coordinate care and help! Many of the households are only Spanish speaking, but not all.

Would you be willing to be a relief partner? 

Would your small group take on this important role for the next three weeks? 

Do you know someone who would be good at this and who have the time to do this? 

The initial contact can be a phone call and I will email you all the contact information you need. 

This commitment needs quick response. 

If you can do this, we need to connect you with your household within the next day or so and you need to make contact by Thursday. Please forward this email on to any in your congregation that would be able to step into this important relationship.

These partners will help us determine how to distribute the money   we raised to the victims. It is also my prayer that these partners will have an opportunity to pray for and share their faith in Jesus with those they are walking with in the midst of this tragedy.

Please respond by emailing THOMAS KORTUS  (thomas@allsaints-chd.org). Also -please get in contact with anyone who you think would have the gifts and time to be a relief partner! 

Any ideas or input? Please let me know! 

thomas kortus

919.619.5007

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Filed under Community, Eagles' Nest, Evangelism, Fellowship, In the News, Local Missions, Oak Creek Village Partnership, Services and Special Events, Social Justice, Uncategorized, World Relief

FIRE AT OAK CREEK

Oak Creek Village Fire Response! THIS SUNDAY: Gathering household items, clothing, non-perishable food, gifts cards, and money, and furniture from 12 PM – 4 pm

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Dear Church Family,

There was a major fire at Oak Creek Village on Wednesday night. This is the apartment complex a stones throw from All Saints Church on Garrett Rd and where we and many of you have served and invested much in over the years.

Sixteen apartments were affected; eight were completely destroyed and nothing is salvageable and eight have significant smoke damage. I met with the apartment manager this morning and most of the families affected did not have renters insurance and will have to completely start over. Praise God that no one was hurt or killed – only a dog perished on the fire. Thirty-seven adults and twenty children have been displaced as a result of the fire. Please pray for these families!

The families are being relocated to different apartments in the Oak Creek complex, but are in need of EVERYTHING.As a community we are reaching out to help the families who have been affected? Some of the families have been involved in our Eagles’ Nest after school program over the years.

Here is how we plan to respond:

1. Praying for those affected and pray for the Oak Creek Village community

2. Gathering cloths, furniture, household goods, car seats, kids gear, baby stuff, nonperishable food, anything needed to set up a new home!

3. Collecting money and gift cards to distribute to the 16 families significantly affected by the fire. Checks or gift cards. Please make checks out to All Saints Church (memo: OCV Fire Relief). Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Kroger, McDonalds, Bojangles, ect.

Time is important here. These families have nothing and need much in the coming days.

HOW YOU CAN HELP?

Please bring donated items, money, and gift cards to ALL SAINTS CHURCH THIS SUNDAY – Feb 24th from Noon am to 4 pm. We can also take donations today – Friday until 4pm.

Please plan on bringing nonperishable food, household items, clothing, baby and kid gear to church on Sunday.

We also need furniture! If you can bring it do so, but if not please

email me and we can arrange pick-up.

CAN YOU VOLUNTEER SOME TIME ON SUNADY FROM NOON-5PM TO HELP ORGANIZE, RECEIVE AND DISTRIBUTE THE DONATED ITEMS?

If you have any questions call me ASAP. Let me know if you have any

other ideas or input.

 

Thank you,

thomas kortus

919.619.5007

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Filed under Community, Eagles' Nest, In the News, Local Missions, Oak Creek Village Partnership, Services and Special Events, Social Justice, World Relief

Living Epistle: Brendan Case on Eagles’ Nest and ESL

During the season of Epiphany we are featuring Living Epistles during our Sunday morning worship. Epiphany is a season in which we explore how Jesus is revealed as the saviour of the world and how we can join in and participate in God’s saving work. It is a season to marvel at the mission of God and to intentionally think about how we can be on mission with our God. Our vision for these 5 Living Epistles is to highlight ways that we can allow the light of Christ to shine through us so that Christ may be revealed to the world.

St. Paul uses the language of living epistle in 2 Corinthians chapter 3:

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

When God gets a hold of us he writes upon our hearts –  he gives us new hearts – he gives us HIS heart for the world. We are living epistles. We may be the only Bible people read. We may be the only church people ever experience. We are called to live our faith and proclaim, demonstrate, and embody the gospel of Jesus! We are called to reveal Jesus to others. However, as we seek to meet real needs and share the good news of Jesus, the great mystery is that we encounter Jesus and he is revealed to us more fully

The Living Epistle yesterday was given by Brendan Case.

Brendan and Alissa Case

Brendan and Alissa Case

Here is what he said:

When we came to All Saints’ in July 2010, we quickly encountered another community: Oak Creek Village, the vast apartment complex abutting our little church. Oak Creek is overwhelmingly home to recent Latino immigrants, but also to a growing number of international refugees – Vietnamese, Nepalese, Iraqi, and others – placed by World Relief. This is a community struggling with language barriers and education gaps, many of them anxious and undocumented, mostly impoverished, but deeply hopeful.

I first got to know Oak Creek by volunteering with Eagle’s Nest, an after-school tutoring program for students from Oak Creek Elementary. These effortlessly bi-lingual children are suspended between two worlds, between their parents and school, between chiles rellenos and hamburgers, between Los Tres Reyes and Santa Claus. I worked with Alex and Eduardo, who were both reading well below grade level, and who both thought our time better spent playing under the table than working at it. Eduardo, who had a flair for the grotesque, did love the lessons when I would let him write an alternate ending to a story we had read, once transforming a heart-warming tale about a lost train rescued by a friendly helicopter into an explosive cataclysm in which all tragically perished.

When my class schedule kept me from working with Eagle’s Nest, I volunteered instead with a recently-inaugurated ESL program that meets at the Church of the Good Shepherd, hardly a mile west of here on Garrett Road. The students were about half Latino – many of them Eagle’s Nest parents – and about half World Relief refugees. Needless to say, my class, a welter of Vietnamese, Nepalese, and Spanish, was primed for hilarity, and I wasted no time in stepping in it. My second week of volunteering, I arrived to find an older Vietnamese man who hadn’t yet attended class sitting at one of the tables; naturally, I walked over to introduce myself: “I’m Brendan, what’s your name?”

I took it as an ill omen when he responded, “I’m new.”

“Yes, I know you’re new,” I answered, “but what’s your name?

“I’m new,” he persisted, the last syllable emphatic.

Name?” I intoned like a spell. “New!” he said, tapping his chest.

I gave up and turned to Prem, a Nepalese man whom I knew had a little English already: “Prem, do you know his name?”

Prem grinned broadly, and nodded towards the chuckling newcomer – the two had about five words in common, but I could see they were sharing a joke. “His name,” Prem said, pausing for effect, “is Mr. Ngu – N-g-u.”

Later, I learned that Mr. Ngu, who at this point was in his seventies, had fought for the South Vietnamese during the war, and, after Saigon fell to the Vietcong, was held as a political prisoner for twenty five years. After he was released, he was eventually brought to Durham by WorldRelief, without family or friends, his speech meaningless to almost everyone he met. And yet Mr. Ngu was relentlessly sunny, even as he struggled to understand why he could say “Three sheep,” but not, “three cat.”

I hope that I was helpful to the Oak Creek residents I spent time with, that I was encouraging, and perhaps in some fragmentary way displayed the love of Christ. But, I am certain about a few things. I know that my time with these immigrants and refugees taught me more about living in exile than has anything else in my short life. “Here we have no continuing city,” says the Epistle to the Hebrews, “but we seek one which is to come.” Mr. Ngu necessarily – tragically – has far fewer illusions than I do about the permanence of our earthly homes; the immigrants of Oak Creek know far better than I do the sorrow of singing the Lord’s songs in a strange land.

I am also certain that because we once were aliens and strangers to God’s covenant (Eph. 2:12), but have now been “transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of his Beloved Son” (Col. 1:13), we are called in turn to welcome the stranger in our midst. I am certain that whatever hospitality we can offer these our neighbors is a service to Christ, himself born a refugee (Lk 2:4-7), who will say to the righteous on judgment day, “I was a stranger, and you took me in” (Mt. 25:38).

Please consider how you might welcome and learn from the community of Oak Creek.

For more information about volunteering with Eagles’ Nest or the ESL program we sponsor please email Thomas Kortus:  thomas@allsaints-chd.org

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Filed under Community, Discipleship, Eagles' Nest, English and a Second Language, Epiphany, Evangelism, Local Missions, Oak Creek Village Partnership, Social Justice, World Relief

Living Epistles: WORLD RELIEF

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During the season of Epiphany we are featuring Living Epistles during our Sunday morning worship. Epiphany is a season in which we explore how Jesus is revealed as the saviour of the world and how we can join in and participate in God’s saving work. It is a season to marvel at the mission of God and to intentionally think about how we can be on mission with our God. Our vision for these 5 Living Epistles is to highlight ways that we can allow the light of Christ to shine through us so that Christ may be revealed to the world.

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Yesterday morning we told the story of World Relief. World Relief is an international organization with a thriving office in Durham. They are committed to standing with the most vulnerable people in our world- immigrants and refugees. In Durham they help resettle international refugees. (Website: http://worldreliefdurham.org/)

These refugees come from all over the world (Burma, Sudan, Congo, Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, ect.), but they have one ting in common – they have been victims of violence, oppression, or injustice as a result of their ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation. They have all applied to the United Nations for political refugee status and have cleared extensive background checks and interviewing. The UN then works with the US state depart who in term contracts with local organizations to help resettle these individuals and families. World Relief is one of these organizations and it happens to be an evangelical Christian organization that is committed to equipping the church to reach out to these families and individuals!

Here is a link to a short video that tells the story of a refugee family that has been settled to Oak Creek Village by World Relief: http://worldreliefdurham.org/text-to-give-3/

Volunteering through World Relief an amazing way to love and serve an individual or family. These famiies and individuals are dry sponges in great need of friendship and practical help. Consider how you could get involved! This is a great fit for families, small groups, two families to partner together and spend time with a family. It is a great way to teach our kids what it looks like to reach out and love our neighbors!

Here is our experience with World Relief 

Eleven years ago Amy and I volunteered through World Relief to be conversational English tutors for a young Iraqi family that actually flew here on September 11th, 2001. Their plane was rerouted to Canada, but eventually they made their way to Chicago with their two young children. They were a hardworking couple who had a thriving business in north Iraq. He owned his own gas station and car repair shop at the age of 23. One day some individuals from the government came and told him if he wanted to stay alive he must abandon his home and business and never come back. They were being discriminated because they were Kurdish – a oppressed minority group in Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. It is the largest people group in the world that does name have its own country.

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This young family fled to Syria where they lived for 3 years before being granted refugee stats and coming to the Chicago area. Amy and I were introduced to them by their World Relief case manager began meeting with this young family once a week. We quickly fell in love with them, their two young children, and their food! They knew no English, but were eager to learn. The wife cooked for us often, we read their mail, took them shopping, helped them get a car, taught them to speak the language, sat with them, and laughed and cried with them.

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We are still good friends 11 years later. They now live in the Boston area, just bought a house, and just had  another child. He is a manager of a repair shop and fixes cars up on the side and she is a CNA at the hospital and works nights. The husband’s first job in the states was working for a repossession agency. Needless to say he learned quick when it came to the colorful aspects of the English language!

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We shared our lives with them and they shared their lives with us. They know that we love them and they know that we love Jesus.

Consider how you could get invovled relationally with a refugee. World Relief is a great organization that All Saints has financially support for the past 3 years and we hope to stengthen our partnership with them with regards to volunteers. 

World Relief is currently resettling about 25 people a month! Many volunteers are need! The need is great. The opportunity to shine the light of Christ is huge! Is the Spirit calling you to get invovled?

Visit the World Releif Website for more information!

Talk to me (Thomas Kortus) for more information!

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Filed under Discipleship, Epiphany, Evangelism, In the News, Local Missions, Oak Creek Village Partnership, Social Justice, Uncategorized, World Relief

Volunteers Needed this weekend for the Samaritan Health Center’s new clinic- painting, cleaning, ect.

Want to help paint the new Samaritan Heath Center clinic just a few feet from church? We’re recruiting volunteers for afternoons THIS WEEKEND. Email Elizabeth (ebrill@samaritanhealthcenter.org)  if you’re interested. Thanks!!

Samaritan Health Center provides free health care to the uninsured and they have been a local mission partner of ASC for the past few years. We are very excited about this new clinic as it is in our building and will be intentionally serving our Latino community!

Visit the SHC for more information.

http://samaritanhealthcenter.org/

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