At NewCity, we are asking God to give us a greater heart for and more opportunity to be Merciful and Just through Compassionate Relief, Personal Empowerment and Community Development.
Relief is the most common response to the great needs we encounter on a regular basis in our community. It involves the immediate and direct support and assistance to the pressing physical, material, emotional and economic needs of our neighbors. Jesus promised that even a cup of cold water given to relieve thirst would be rewarded by Him. Further, Jesus teaching on the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) provides ample encouragement for God’s people to love all of our neighbors, to look at the distress around us and allow that looking to lead to compassion, which leads to action.
Examples of Compassionate Relief are serving food at homeless shelters, food and clothing drives for organizations on the frontlines of addressing poverty in our community, fundraising for disaster relief requests, providing income for rent payments or temporary shelter, providing free or low cost medical or professional counseling services, encouraging and assisting singles moms, supporting the elderly, and providing protection for those suffering from domestic abuse and other forms of violence.
At New City, we encourage every individual to look for opportunities to extend mercy to their neighbors. We encourage every Home Group to rally around the various needs of any of its members. Finally, we encourage Home Groups to regularly work together to provide relief and meet the urgent needs of their neighbors.
In following Jesus’ teaching to provide relief, we meet the most basic urgent needs before us and experience instant short-term results but often fail to make the lasting impact needed to move an individual forward in life with growing strength and security.
Personal Empowerment, or investment, is far less common then showing Compassionate Relief. In empowerment, we help individuals, and in some cases families, move beyond dependency on relief towards economic self-sufficiency. Empowerment is far more complex and time consuming and requires the investment of multiple people over a long period of time. Although the desired results are not immediate the impact is far more lasting. Most of Jesus’ Miracles are examples of healing that brought about Personal Empowerment.
Examples of empowerment are funding, or subsidizing, education pieces for individuals to pursue better jobs, training job search and interviewing skills, providing financial counseling, tutoring and providing parenting and life skill training. You may have heard the old Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” As important as it is to give the hungry food we need to be empowering our neighbors to provide for themselves.
At NewCity, we have an ongoing relationship with Jobs Partnership of Central Florida to work alongside a partner church in the Parramore neighborhood. Our working professionals are building long-term relationships in their coaching and training of the residents of this community with the goal of seeing real spiritual and economic growth, stability and self-sufficiency. We also continue to deepen and expand our relationship with the Orlando Union Rescue Mission to better serve all her residents. For a list of Ministry Contacts as well as current initiatives, please explore the “Opportunities to Serve” tab below.
Community Development, or Justice, is the least common form of care provided by the church today. It moves beyond compassionate relief and personal empowerment by seeking to alter, change and transform the societal structure and conditions that trigger or exacerbate dependency or injustice in our community. Community development requires a tremendous amount of patience, wisdom and fortitude to endure the small incremental changes that lead to the greater community and have tremendous lasting impact on the lives of many individuals. Community Development involves understanding the community, advocating for those who do not have a voice in the power structures of their community, and doing community and economic development.
Examples of community development might include the creation of organizations that provide micro-finance loans for start-up new small businesses and/or working with local governments to change laws that would better protect women and children from sex trafficking in our community.
The old Chinese proverb is not enough. Yes, we are to give men fish and we are to teach men how to fish. But what are we to do if they do not have access to the lake? What if they have to pay heavy fees to use the lake? What if they are only given access to the polluted part of the lake? God calls his people to do justice. To make sure every human receives the dignity they deserve as image bearers of God. So Like Job we break the back of injustice for sake of our neighbors and the glory of God (Job 29:17).
Our first Community Development Initiative is well underway in the neighborhood of Holden Heights, downtown’s most underdeveloped, oppressed, dangerous and impoverished neighborhood. Demetrius and Amy Summerville are leading a team of residents of the neighborhood. We hope, in time, to duplicate and multiply our efforts to other neighborhoods and communities that are in need of development.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact:
Demetrius Summerville Holden Heights Team Leader
Opportunities to Serve
NewCity has an ongoing relationship with Jobs Partnership.
Jobs Partnership’s stated purpose is to be a “partnership of churches, businesses, and community organizations that uses biblical principles to help people maximize their calling at work.” It is a relational training program designed to provide assistance and empowerment to the poor. Each seasonal program lasts 12 weeks.
Orlando Union Rescue Mission:
There are numerous opportunities and venues to serve through NewCity at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission (OURM).
5-10 Year Olds
Contact Jeff Johnson
CityKids Bash! (monthly)
Contact Michelle Winslow
Contact Josh Hodges
Contact Natalie Lein
Contact Becca Hutchens
For other opportunities to serve at OURM, please contact their volunteer coordinator, Elizabeth Lynn