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2020 End-of-Year Update

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To our supporters, We are grateful. Thank you for being used of God to make our 2020 ministries possible.  Update: It was a wild summer. With all of the parks and gyms in the city closing, there was an unprecedented amount of activity in the parking lot next to our house. COVID restrictions necessitated creativity in how we engaged with our neighborhood. Some highlights included apple picking, art projects, baking, playing cards, and reading together. We’ve also been able to do food distributions multiple times a week. Caleb has worked on several worship arts projects this year with people from the church community. These songs can be viewed in previous posts on this blog. In other news, the church is fully moved into our new space at East 13 th and Superior Ave. This location is central for our people right downtown. It’s 5,000 square feet, and our lease is for 5 years. While the building allows us to centralize our ministries, COVID has had a decentralizing effect. Whereas

The Weary World Rejoices

I spent a portion of the last 24 hours sorting, wrapping, and delivering gifts to kids we know around the city, many of whom will receive little to nothing else this Christmas season. This work, made possible by so many friends’ and strangers’ generosity, leaves me humbled. The extra time allows me to reflect and pray. The heaviness of life, the pervasiveness of poverty compounded by the pandemic, and general hopelessness they experience brings me close to despair. This year has been wearisome, but I believe I would pen these words even if COVID-19, lockdowns, political division, etc. did not exist.   Our community has seen more hurt and despair than imaginable this year. Young children, gone “before their time.” Houses turned to silent funeral homes; grief intensified by social isolation. A local teen and key community member declared guilty before ever seeing trial. His life devalued by those who cowardly type hate from the safety of their own homes. Disruption, violence, abuse, trau

Shame Don't Live Here Anymore

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This is a project that I have been working on with Bernice from church. She is a powerful testimony!

Lunchtime Mixtape

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With Cleveland schools going virtual this fall, we have begun to host all-day, socially-distanced tutoring on Thursdays to help our students. We have 10-15 teens coming out plus a few college-aged tutors from church. I wanted to share this window into what's happening here at CityView. We had fun making this beat and recording this song on the lunchbreak. Creating local arts can uniquely reflect our creative God in worship.   "They say nobody ever beat the grave but 500 people saw Him in a day Why does it matter that He rose again? From grave to glory’s proven who is Thank you Jesus for showing me the way Only a living God is worth a praise Life like a bird but Your love is the nest Still gives me hope when the world got me stressed"

Fall 2020 Update

The Garden

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Each summer we plant a garden in our backyard. It is one of my favorite parts of the whole year. Starting seedlings, prepping the ground, planting, weeding, fertilizing, watering, watching the growth, and harvesting the fruit of my labor. Caring for creation in this small way helps realign my focus to see how God cares for me. He provides my every need. We get to worship as we are good stewards of that which He has given us, namely His creation. In being good stewards, we, imperfectly, reflect Him.  As God ministers to me through the garden, He also provides opportunities for ministering through it. Through the garden, we get to teach about God as Creator and Sustainer of everyone and everything [1]  Through the garden we get to teach about the fall – the temporary undoing of what God made and declared good. [2]     Most significantly, through the garden, we get to share the gospel. The good news that our Creator and Sustainer sees the world’s brokenness, sees our brokenness and s

Front Porch Perspectives

Tonight, we held our second Front Porch Bible Study which is, as the name implies, a Bible study on our front porch. 10 neighborhood teens, 3 of whom have never been to CityView, and a number of Shoreway leaders attended. We discussed what it means to be “living dead” - physically alive people who are spiritually dead apart from Christ’s work in and through the gospel. Following the study, a time of fellowship naturally occurred and included snow cones, PB&J, conversations, card games, and even more teens (thank God for a large parking lot to allow for social distancing).  From my limited and earthly perspective, this evening was a success. It would be easy to walk away and think “We really are doing something right. 10 teens willingly attended a Bible study. We got this!” But this viewpoint wrongly inflates our role and limits the ability to see the fullness of God’s hand at work.  This evening was what it was because God called His church to be generous, they (many of you re