Community Partner Spotlight: Fairmount Pines

In last month’s newsletter, you had the opportunity to read about the Valentine’s Day Party we hosted at Fairmount Pines. This event was just one in a string of events we’ve been privileged to host at the apartment complex’s community center. This ongoing relationship is a great one, and one that I certainly hope we can continue to strengthen as time goes on. As you all know, a partnership takes the work of two entities. While we’ve been blessed with many volunteers and resources on our end to help make these events happen, it has also taken the work and commitment of the Fairmount staff, mainly Randy Coleman. Randy has been a great community partner, and for this reason I wanted to give him a chance to introduce himself a little further, and for you all to get to know him better. Check out his letter to Christ Church!

**Hi, I’m Randy Coleman, the Service Coordinator at Fairmount Pines. I assist the families in becoming more independent and less dependent. I aid the families with community resources, volunteer opportunities, mentoring the youth, job searches, and after school activities—just to name a few. The passion that I have comes from what I believe is my purpose work. Not only did I come from the same economical background, I also have a strong emotional tie with youth and families that live in certain conditions. Understanding that setbacks sometimes weigh us down, I feel that I am able to serve as a beacon of light to the families here. The laughing, smiling and excitement of the children is what amazes me. When they are playing the games, doing activities, indulging in the snacks and food, it’s a great sight to see them so engaged and happy. It’s also pretty cool to have so many volunteers that are willing and ready to engage with our community and kiddos. This is a community that is often shunned and stereo-typed. Its nice to see the volunteers from your church show no concern of that. I continue to hope that we can build on this healthy, strong relationship. We would love to be able to see Christ Church provide activities at Fairmount Pines for youth and families and to host us at your facilities as well. I do want to say that we are grateful for Pastor Mike Janes, Annie, and the Christ Church body.

**Randy

Editors Note:

** Fairmount Pines is part of the Davenport-based Ecumenical Housing Development Group. The complex has over 115 units and is a Section 8 complex, meaning that it is for low-income families. Over 90% of the tenants are single-parent, low-income families with kids. Most of the moms work one or more jobs. Our partnership with Fairmount Pines is helping provide programming for those children and families to help keep them out of trouble, establish community and give them a successful future.

Where's the Baby?

You may notice in the nativity picture below, there’s an important individual who is missing from the scene. While baby Jesus may not have arrived quite yet, the Kid Start kids know that He is on the way!

Each week during Advent the kids have been adding a new figure to our nativity scene as we learn their story about hearing the Good News of Christ’s coming. Starting with Mary, then Joseph, just this last week we added the shepherd and sheep to the stable. The kids know it’s almost time to add that special baby boy. This coming week as we add the baby to the manger, we’ll be celebrating His birth with a birthday party for Jesus. Not only have we been preparing to celebrate Christ’s coming in that way, the kids have been able to do a variety of craft and game activities that tie-in with the lesson. From stained-glass nativity scenes (pictured below) to herding balloons like they’re sheep, there’s many fun ways for even the young ones to participate in the Advent season!

The last part of our Christmas preparation has included the Advent wreath. Each week the kids have been coloring a candle on their wreaths as we work our way to the “Jesus” candle. We’ve learned about what each candle means and how that applies to our own lives.

It’s fun to prepare the way for Christ with the kids during the Advent season. As one child proclaimed “I can’t believe Jesus is born every year!” Although I couldn’t help to chuckle at the time, in a way He is so right. Although Christ may not be physically born each Christmas as he was so many years ago, He can sure be reborn in our hearts each Christmas!

Reflections: Vacation Bible School June 2013

When we at Christ Church held our Vacation Bible School this past summer little did I realize the lasting memories!

The theme was "Kingdom Rock"! The church was full of children from our congregation and even more from our surrounding community to learn about God's love for them.

Their excitement and enthusiasm brought the church to life! Those serving enjoyed the fellowship while working together. We learned daily how to "Stand Strong" for God. We ended our VBS week with special performances by the children of one of our VBS theme songs for their families and our congregation during our Sunday worship services. What a blessing is was to be a part of this memorable week with the kids.

May these pictures inspire you to be a part of this annual Kid Start Revive the World ministry next year! - Jon