Because we believe that God is already working to enable justice and compassion to flourish on the northwest side of Grand Rapids and to further our vision that all life will experience God’s shalom and reconciling love, the body of Christ called Trinity Reformed Church commits to the following strategy for sustainable and mutual engagement with the neighborhood in which we are planted.
We will move toward fully embracing and utilizing the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). This means that we will strive to bring together the gifts and strengths of the people at Trinity with the gifts and strengths of our neighbors (residents, businesses, organizations). In short, we will change the way we currently engage with neighborhood residents and stakeholders so that it will be characterized more by “working with” residents (and identifying and using our mutual assets/strengths/gifts) than by “doing for” them. To reach this goal we the following will be accomplished over the next 3-5 years:
- Contracting with Wayne Squires, a community development trainer and coach with Partners in Neighborhood Transformation who last spring engaged the congregation in three highly attended Adult Sunday School classes. Squires will provide practical and strategic support for our neighborhood initiatives and to help keep us accountable for moving toward our goal. We anticipate a 12 month contract with Wayne.
- Organizing and implementing continuing educational and practical experiences in respectful listening and “good neighboring”.
- Experimenting with ABCD principles in our current neighborhood ministries: Community Kitchen, Schools of Hope, and Front Porch.
- Developing strong partnerships (using ABCD principles) with other churches, ministries, and organizations that share a commitment to working for the common good and flourishing of the neighborhood and city. Possibilities include Harrison Park School, West Grand Neighborhood Association, West Leonard Business Association, and developing an intentional network of churches.