These regular updates provide you the opportunity to see what Trellis is up to and for us to introduce you to the great organizations we are building relationships and collaborations with
Collaboration and Reconciliation
It has been a rough few weeks for our country and a startling reminder of the unrest, distrust and animosity that resides and remains. One of Trellis' core values is pursuing reconciliation through building relationally based partnerships among different organizations in the city. It's through these partnerships that we can then move past stereotypes and prejudices towards understanding, listening and learning from each other.
The above picture represents a beautiful portrait of many churches from around Brooklyn coming together to pray for and be ministers of reconciliation in our communities.
Plans are in the works to gather residents, community leaders, pastors, and law enforcement for a listening forum and prayer night over the next few weeks hosted in a neighborhood, at a community center where this unrest is a ongoing reality.
Planting in Red Hook Together
A few weeks ago, Trellis organized a meeting to gather multiple organizations and people praying about what a church plant could look like in Red Hook. Home to Brooklyn's largest project and New York's only IKEA, Red Hook is a neighborhood in tension as this isolated community dealing with poverty and violence clashes with increasing affluence. The House Church BK, recently made a difficult but beautiful decision to move their church to Red Hook and become Redemption Church. Trellis has been working with Alex House, Red Hook Initiative and Find and Seek in helping connect them to this new plant in the hopes of seeing them work together to reach, serve and love Red Hook together. The seeds of this work actually started this week with a week-long vacation Bible school [VBS], loving, teaching and spending time with families from the neighborhood
Serving Students in At-Risk Communities
Recently, I (Zac) had the opportunity to spend the weekend at Mont Lawn Camp, an extension of the ministry at the Bowery Mission and their City Camps.
Every summer, Mont Lawn provides FREE week-long camps to kids aged 5-16 living in at-risk communities around New York City. I was there to see and experience their ministry and then teach at the chapel to the 80+ summer staff as they work through the fruits of the Spirit. Participating in this also provides the opportunity to highlight and then invite other churches to partner with the Bowery in this beautiful endeavor. Trellis' prayer and plan is to move towards future City Camps being established in Brooklyn, providing kids from around the borough the opportunity to learn about animals, [they have a farm with animals!], art and meet and learn more about Jesus.
Community Heroes - Gowanus Houses
Our second Community Heroes project this time in and for the Gowanus Houses is underway. This project is an attempt to change the narrative of the projects around the city where most might only see brokeness to instead highlight the beautiful people doing incredible work in helping make their neighborhoods better. It also provides churches the opportunity to have their photographers and videographers listen to, and capture these stories and show support and bring encouragement to the heroes in these overlooked communities. You can find out more at communityheroes.nyc
Moving from Toxic Charity to Holistic Ministry
There are many soup kitchens, food pantries and clothing closets doing great work in New York and around the country, but what if there was a better way to serve? Robert Lupton says that a charity [though often never aiming to fall into this trap] becomes toxic when it is using crisis solutions to address a chronic problem. Homelessness, under and unemployment are chronic problems, as 70,000+ people seek nightly accommodations in shelters around the city. Trellis and Recovery House of Worship [RHOW], thanks to Pedro heart and passion for this, are working together to rethink how they address these issues in new, better and we trust more holistic ways. Over the next few weeks, we will be gathering with key leaders of mercy at RHOW to work through Lupton's book Toxic Charity and talk through what more holistic mercy ministry might look like.
Stay tuned for more updates, including an update on incorporation and a TV appearance! You can also sign up for this blog as an email update