News

Take A Look at what God is doing with Urban Impact!

December 2013
Dear Friends,

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers – Galatians 6:9-10

I am going to let in you on a secret.

It’s not that we have the best programing, the best ideas, the best facility or the best staff (although we’re very close on that one!). Our key is that we are consistently in our neighborhood sharing our lives and the transformational power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

In an era of sound bites, tweets, and flash mobs, the world thinks that new, short ideas are where it’s at.  At Urban Impact, we don’t focus on the newest, fastest “great” thing. Instead, for over 24 years, we have dedicated our lives to being a consistent beacon of hope and life to Central City New Orleans.  We believe that if you love people, share the hope that Christ is, you will see change.

Along the way, we’ve learned that no one can reap a harvest before its time.  You never know when things you planted some 20 years ago will become a harvest.

Year_End_NL_Pic_2013The Story of Rashida, Kendrick Sr. and their combined family of Rajaye, Kendrick and Kenneth are a living example. Rashida once came to Bible Study at our house back in the mid 1990’s  She was there with Redhead, Kerry, Vja and many other faithful neighbors.

Her daughter Rajaye started coming to Challenge Circle, our summer outreach, at age 6.  She then got involved in day camp, homework help and SLAM, our junior high Bible study.KAA_2013_006

When the mother of Kendrick and Kenneth died unexpectedly in June 2011, Urban Impact was a steady beacon of hope that helped the family pick up the pieces of their life and grow together. Kendrick and Kenneth went to live with their father and Rashida and Rajaye, and they began attending UIM activities. The boys quickly got involved in SLAM and became fishing buddies with one of Castle Rock’s members.  Kenneth, the jokester of the group, accepted Christ at Kids Across America, our summer camp partner.

 

By being a steady presence, we build long-term relationships with all of our kids.Kendrick talks of how he likes SLAM, “I like what T(Youth Pastor Tyrone) talks about.  He went through the same things I do.  It really helps.” And our consistent presence helps kids succeed in every area of their life. Rajaye, who is a participant in our afterschool program, is on the honor roll.  She is excited about being a helper at Children’s church and Slam_Color_pic102213_023will be in our upcoming Christmas Program. Though all the kids were involved with UIM, it took awhile for Rashida and Kendrick Sr. to get around to coming.  As we often see, children influence their parents, and when they do, God shows up!

“I remember growing up in the Melpomene Project, and watching the Challenge Circle.  I also remember going to Coach John and Wendy’s house for Bible Study and then swimming at Loyola University,” recalls Rashida.

But it wasn’t until Rajaye got baptized last spring that Rashida came to church. I remember doing the baptism and wondering who this lady was who walked right up on the platform to take pictures.  What I later found out is that Rashida went home and told Kendrick Sr., “We need to go.”

They have been coming to Castle Rock ever since, and Kendrick Sr. shares that he loves the community that is our church. Rashida has been leading the effort to increase our fellowship opportunities. Both speak glowingly about how UIM and Castle Rock has been good for their family and how important it is to have a safe place for kids in our neighborhood. A seed sown years ago in the life of a child reminds us that we will reap a harvest inYear_End_2013_NL_Pic_2 due time!

Thanks for consistently partnering with us to bring the hope and transformation of Christ to Central City New Orleans.  Your involvement helps transform families. Your gifts at the end of last year helped us meet our goals of growing the youth ministry to over 75 students, expanding our after-school program to 30 participants, and reaching out to the new development a block from us. And we have nearly finished our new youth center.

We are asking you to help us reach more families in Central City so that we will reap a great harvest of hope and transformation.  We must seize the opportunity before us, or we may very well lose the harvest.

Through a gracious donor, the first $50,000 in gifts will be matched dollar for dollar. Your dollar will equal 2 dollars. With this matching challenge, it is our goal to raise $175,000 by the end Year_End_2013_NL_Pic_3of the year.

The hurricane is long gone, but there are still hundreds of families in our neighborhood who are struggling through hopelessness, riddled by violence, and stuck in the spiral that only Christ’s love can bring transformation. Through your help, we can transform families like Rashida and Kendrick!

Thank you for your prayers.  Thanks for considering how you can help us be a consistent presence and a beacon of hope that continues to make a neighborhood where kids can ride their bikes.
In HIS  Grip,
Pastor John

P.S.  Please give by December 31, 2013 in order to DOUBLE your gift and help us end the year on a strong financial foundation and bring eternal change to the people of Central City New Orleans.

It’s happening! Our vision of creating a neighborhood where kids can ride their bikes is coming true!

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Thanks to you, the reality of our new ministry center is even better than we dreamed or imagined. We have seen our church attendance increase by more than 30% and now have 100 weekly attendees.

The expansion of our physical presence has also allowed our youth, education and recreation ministries to grow. God blessed us with prayer partners, financial contributors and hundreds of volunteers. We are grateful for God’s faithfulness, as our vision has been realized beyond our greatest dreams. 

But we are still on a journey. And part of the journey involves dealing with the reality of living and working in the heart of New Orleans. READ FULL ARTICLE >

 

Renovated Castle Rock Community Church embraces community in New Orleans

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Throwing a football and playing catch aren’t typically on the to-do list for starting a new church. But at Castle Rock Community Churchwhere the congregation recently held its first worship service in its newly renovated sanctuary at 2323 S. Galvez St., that’s exactly what happened.

Urban Impact Ministries Inc. began 20 years ago, when founder Glen Schrieber stepped into the Melpomene and Calliope housing developments to engage youth with recreation and Bible study. READ FULL ARTICLE >

Archives

Dedication Celebration October 26-28

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow! That is exactly what we will be doing October 26-28 as we dedicate our new facility to God and his mission for us in Central City New Orleans. In only one year, May 2011 to May 2012, we were able to purchase our new facility, renovate more than 15,000 square feet and move in. God is so good. Thanks to donors, nearly 400 volunteers, and faithful church members and staff, the unthinkable happened. READ FULL ARTICLE >

God is soooo good!

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Fourteen months ago, I wrote you concerning our financial deficit and how Urban Impact was in its worst financial position ever. Now, just over a year later, your partnership and generosity has not only helped stabilize our finances but allowed us to renovate and move into our new facility! Thanks to hundreds of supporters and volunteers, we are thrilled to be moving forward with a stronger ministry. READ FULL ARTICLE >

February 2011 Newsletter

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Moving foward with St. Monica purchase

After more than two and a half years, we have finally come to an agreement on the purchase of St. Monica Church and School. Throughout the entire process we have seen God’s hand moving. READ FULL ARTICLE >

July 2011 Newsletter

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New ministry center purchased
After more than two and half years, we have finally purchased St. Monica Church and School. Throughout the entire process, we have seen God’s hand moving us toward this day. For the last few years we have been limited by our current facility. Our new home will give us the tools necessary to more effectively reach out to our community. READ FULL ARTICLE >

 February 2011 Newsletter

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Steps to Redemption
Urban Impact has a vision to transform our neighborhood by redeeming blighted properties for Christian families who move in to be lighthouses of hope in our community. READ FULL ARTICLE >

August 2010 Newsletter

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This year we took 35 kids to KAA in Branson, Missouri for a week of fun, learning, new experiences and plenty of opportunities to hear the gospel. It is always our prayer that students will not only have a great week at camp, but that they will return home with a greater understanding of who God is and how to live for him on a daily basis. READ FULL ARTICLE >

February 2009 Newsletter

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Celebrating 20 Years!

Pastor John F. Gerhardt
As I look at our twenty year anniversary cover I cannot help but cry. The tears are a mixture of the sorrows, frustrations, joys and successes that God has brought our way. I often say, and will never quit saying, that we are to “love God with all we got and love people til we drop.” It may be simple but if I, if we, can live out that creed we would be living a life pleasing to God. I thank God for how He has given UIM the privilege to live out that creed right here in Central City New Orleans. Here are a few memories that stand out in my mind. READ FULL ARTICLE >

October 2008 Newsletter

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Pastor John F. Gerhardt

As you can see from the cover, it has been an unbelievable three years of ministry since Katrina. Many of the things we have been dreaming of and you have been praying for these past 19 years are coming to fruition. READ FULL ARTICLE >

May 2008 Newsletter

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These are a few of the new legacies that we have seen and want to continue to develop here at Urban Impact Ministries. Just as Joseph began a new legacy in Genesis, it is our vision that God would build new legacies for youth and families in our neighborhood. Our desire is not just productive members of society but more importantly productive, kingdom-minded people who, as members of God’s local body, have a worldwide eternal impact. READ FULL ARTICLE >

 

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