Seeds of God’s Transforming Love Planted in Shelby Park

We are just over a month in to our regular weekly work in Shelby Park, and stories of God’s transforming love are bursting forth as vividly as the emerging colors of fall.

The number of elementary school kids who have joined us for homework help on Mondays has doubled since the beginning of the month, and new tutors from Highland are finding meaning and experiencing soul-stirring interactions with the kids. Bible Study classes have signed up to bring dinners and spend time with the folks of Shelby Park in droves; we’re nearly booked through February! Several of you have responded to the call to share your particular talent or skill with the elementary- and middle-schoolers!

Aside from our Monday nights in the park, members of our Shelby Park Leadership Team have mobilized en masse in the Shelby Park neighborhood.  From attending monthly meetings of the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association to working with the Network Center for Community Change, traveling door-to-door in the neighborhood to meet the community and reaching out to administrators at Shelby Park’s elementary schools in order to work for the ongoing education of our kids, this team of folks is living out the call to love God and love neighbor in intentional and life-giving ways. (They even entered a recent chili-cookoff at Smoketown USA in Shelby Park – and came in fourth with their delicious vegetarian chili!)

In the opening words of 1 Corinthians 3, Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” The seedlings that were planted last January are beginning to bear fruit. God is moving in the corners of Shelby Park to give great growth to this ministry of love. Will YOU come and plant seeds of love? Read on for more information about how you can volunteer in this ministry! For any of these options, contact Emily Hull McGee with your questions, interests, and availability.

Tutoring
Each Monday, tutors gather with a group of 5-10 elementary-age students to spend time offering homework help from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Shelby Park Community Center.  Can you spare an hour a week to tutor?  If there is enough interest, we will be expanding our tutoring program to four days a week – Mondays through Thursdays.

Activities, Crafts, and Games
Monday evenings also hold our main gathering of activities, dinner, and interaction with the kids of Shelby Park. From 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Highland volunteers lead games, crafts, sports, and conversation with 30-40 elementary and middle school kids from the neighborhood at the Shelby Park Community Center. Can you teach a skill or lead games for two or three Mondays? We will be introducing short ‘clinics’ where YOU can share your skills or talents with the great kids of Shelby Park! Do you know how to make origami, teach dance lessons, play soccer, or love to introduce people to card games?  Come and share your particular skill!

Dinner
Following our time of activities, a group from Highland brings dinner to share with this wonderful gathering of kids from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Can your Bible Study class or group provide dinner one week? Ask a member of the Shelby Park Leadership Team to come by your class in the coming weeks if you have questions!