• October 20, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Many churches are asking themselves how to be good stewards of their buildings and land, especially as in-person attendance shrinks and classrooms sit unused. It’s easy to see an underutilized space as a liability, but what if it was an asset to your church and your community? 

Bringing community partners into your space can revitalize both partners, and provide vital services to your community. It can diversify your income streams and provide stability to the congregation. But how do you determine what needs your community has or who good partners might be? What effects might this have on your physical space and on your congregation? Hear from three local churches who have opened their spaces up to provide vital community services and energized their congregations in the process.

Steve Verkouw from Grace Lutheran Church: Grace hosts a low-income daycare run by CAP, three Community Meals per week, multiple NA groups, English language learning & citizenship classes, among other regular programming. 

Joe DiPaolo from First United Methodist Church: First UMC hosts Anchor Lancaster which serves five Community Meals per week, a day shelter for unhoused folks, a daycare program, and a seasonal tax clinic for low-income neighbors.

Willonda McCloud from Bright Side Opportunities Center: Bright Side Baptist Church created a separate nonprofit after conducting a neighborhood needs assessment. They host after school programs, adult and English language classes, a branch of Union Community Care, a Careerlink center for employment and job training needs, fitness center and classes including Silversneakers, computer lab, and youth center.