Homeless and Day Warming and Overflow Shelter Sites

It’s the time of year when our friends who sleep outside need a warm place to lay their heads. Please note the following press release that came out earlier today and make notes for the future! Sorry that I didn’t read and post it sooner. PLEASE NOTE IN BOLD AND ITALICS BELOW… In order to sleep in the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter, you must have a referral. Note: There are NO services (that I know of…) on the weekends! Sigh.

City’s Day Warming Site Open ~~~ Saturday, December 13 Through Monday, December 15

The City’s Cold Weather Day Warming site will open on Saturday, December 13, Sunday, December 14, and Monday, December 15 from 6:30 a.m. to noon.

LOCATION:

  • Saturday and Monday – shelter guests should enter through the doors at 9th and Clay streets, closest to the court building.
  • Sunday – City’s Department of Social Services Marshall Plaza location, 900 East Marshall Street.

 City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter (overnight) Open ~~~  December 12 through December 14 

The City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, December 12, Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 as overnight temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees during this period.

The overflow shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter entrance is the second entrance on the 9th Street side of the building closest to Leigh Street. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Shelter registration will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry by 5 p.m. today for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry is located at 511 West Grace Street. A referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be provided to individuals who are not eligible for an existing shelter or if all available beds have been filled.

Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral.

Other Cold Weather Notes:

The City’s Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


I’m Baaaack!

It’s been while since I have written. Living life sometimes just gets in the way of writing. And writing sometimes gets in the way of living life. Life won out over writing. Many of you have asked why I’ve been radio silent lately. This will give you some insight into what we have been up to and why it’s been a bit quiet.  So…here’s what’s been happening since I really spent some time putting words to paper.

I’m overwhelmed by the support of our ministry since we gathered together for Jen Hatmaker in mid-August. She was a true delight to spend time with and was a welcomed guest in our home. Thanks to all of you who have reached out and shared your experiences, thots and life changes since we heard from Jen, as well as our other friends…

We are so thankful for the planning team and all the volunteers who supported the effort! What a blessing!

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Just as we were recovering from the weekend, Louis’s mom had several significant health issues that basically forced us to move her to Richmond (RVA) from Charlotte, NC. We are so grateful for her church family that have helped out over the years, but especially with her transition to RVA. 3 months later, we are attempting to settle into a rhythm again. Life hasn’t been easy for Mama Louise (Mama L, for short). In 3 months, she’s had a broken elbow, countless doctor’s appointments, 2 back surgeries with a total of 10 days in the hospital, multiple moves, and significant number of other changes including multiple diagnoses. We are soo glad that she was open to moving here where we can be closer to her and help provide for her care. I’m so grateful for the many friends (here and in Charlotte) who have come along side us as we continued to ‘do life’ in Southern Barton Heights and love on Mama L. I don’t know what we would have done without them. Seriously.

So, in a life where we intentionally live ‘on mission’ in our community, often times our family becomes our “mission”….our priority. This was much like last year (2013), when Louis had 3 joint replacements and I had an emergency gall bladder removal. We had to slow down significantly. Although it can be a difficult time for Mama L and for us, it is a blessing to serve her and those who take such good care of her.

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Mama L, Louis and his sister, Angela, visiting from Lake Tahoe

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Louis and Mama L

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Dear friend, Noelle (fancy hair stylist!), Me and Mama L after she got a hair cut and style.

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Mama L chillin’ with Louis and me as I finished a jig saw puzzle in her apartment.

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Our friend, Cherie, stopped by sporting our ITN T-Shirt!!! (Nice Photo Bomb!)

Halloween, as always, is an OUTRAGEOUS time at Miss Marti’s House. We are grateful for our friends and neighbors who came by. We also are sorry we didn’t get many pictures, though.
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We were thrilled to partner with Endorphin Fitness, who came out to hold a Bike Repair Clinic. We fixed up over 20 bikes in just 2 short hours. Not only that, we set up a circuit to got exercising as well. What a gift to the community! Truly. So thankful for our friends from Hope Church who continue to join us in a variety of ways!

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We celebrated Louis’s 24 Years of Ministry as an Ordained Minster of the Gospel with food and fellowship with a side of prayer around the fire pit. We welcomed friends and stories from the past and present! Thanks to the many friends who showed up and made this possible! Mama L even made it to the celebration!

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On Tuesdays at 4pm, we now host a kids club called H.I.S. Kids at Miss Marti’s House.

H = Hope    Where we share the Hope in Jesus Christ.

I = Inspire   Where we Inspire and Encourage the Kids in all they do – at home, at school in the present and the future.

S = Serve    Where we look for opportunities to Serve our neighbors.

At our first meeting, they made a list of rules to live by…

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And, we continue to meet together as a micro-expression of a missional church  – Life Transformation Church – every Tuesday evening…as we fellowship together, study God’s Word together, pray together, and do life together. I love this group of friends and spiritual family!

community dinner picture

Recently, new friends donated a minivan to our ministry! This is AWESOME news! It needs a little basic maintenance (a front end alignment and 2 new tires pretty soon), insurance, and other basic items before we can officially use it. But, we are thrilled to have an opportunity to provide tangible services to the community in the near future. We are calling this ministry – “Holy Rollers”, where we will be able to provide transportation to an affordable grocery store on a regular basis, doctors’ appointments, and jobs! We are in the very early stages of developing the plan with our community, and we are SUPER EXCITED!!!  More to come!IMG_1218

We have some upcoming community building times coming up. Feel free to join us!

**Tuesday, 12/2 6p
Glorious Christmas Nights Christmas Program at WEAG (Limited tickets available and are required to attend)

**Wednesday, 12/17 evening
Christmas Caroling with Restoration Church Youth

**Saturday, 12/20 10a-12noon
Happy Birthday, Jesus Christmas Party for Children of ALL ages!

**Thursday, 1/1/2015 10a-2p
Annual New Years Day Open House and Pancake Brunch

Thanks for your continued support and partnership! We are full of THANKS for your GIVING! Your gifts and donations help us with these and other upcoming ministries we have planned in 2015!


Halloween Annual Front Yard Party – 2014

Halloween 2014


The harvest is plentiful…5 Things I Learned Planting My First Garden

Living a life of mission can be really rewarding some days.  But, many are just plain TOUGH! A constant struggle between the microwave, instantaneous society we live in, and the sometimes difficult, almost ALWAYS lengthy process of going deep and building relationships. Living a life of mission is to BE the church and DO the Bible. It’s not a drive-by, hit-and-run way of life. As a matter of fact, it is a way of life, not a one-time event or project. That’s what makes it so hard….and that’s what makes it so rewarding at the same time. With my new ‘eyes’, I can’t just go home and not see the challenges every. single. moment. of. every. single. day.  On days where it’s more challenging than most, it’s a matter of pausing from my ‘Martha’ activities and spending time going deep in my relationship with Jesus….it’s time to ‘Mary’.

This morning has been a ‘Mary Morning’. For reasons left untold, the last 24 hours have been tough – mentally and emotionally – for me. My ‘Mary Morning’ consisted of…

  • reading God’s Word
  • sitting quietly
  • cooking
  • a few emails/texts with friends encouraging and praying
  • gardening

Gardening…I recently learned that I really love gardening.  I knew NOTHING about it. Yet, God has revealed a lot to me through this gardening process…and especially this morning when I was playing in my veggie garden.

When planting a garden…

1.  It’s important to do a little research and take time to prepare. Friends would say – just throw it in the ground and see what happens….you can always dig it up, transplant it, throw it away when it dies. If you know me well enough, you would know that I’m not that person. I’m more thoughtful…doing research (ad nauseam)… trying to figure out the best way to do it…asking questions.  Total fear of failure! Louis did research on the best way and size to build the raised beds. H learned what he needed to do before he got started.  Measured 10x before he cut.

  • Living a Life of Mission –
    • Ask God questions like – where are you at work, God? how can I join you in what you are doing? what would you have me do in my community? where is my person of peace?
    • Ask your self questions seeking your motivation. We must first prepare ourselves… Someone once said… You must be a changed agent in order to be an agent of change.  Safety precautions are airplanes state to give yourself oxygen before you help someone else. We must first know who we are and whose we are before we can be sent out by God.
    • Ask the community questions like – If I brought coffee tomorrow, would you be interested in hanging out during soccer practice/ballet class/etc? What are your dreams for your children, community, family, life?  What keeps you up at night? Could you help me with….?

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2.  I actually had put off planting a vegetable garden, because it was something new…and I didn’t know where to start! I didn’t want to screw it up. I was afraid. I had to take a risk and just do it. After doing a little research and asking a few friends questions, Louis built me 2 4×10 beds (yeah…that’s not starting small….).  We threw down some newspaper and some dirt, and planted a few seedlings from Lowe’s. Wasn’t going to even try starting from seeds!

  • Living a Life of Mission –
    • Talk to some friends who are doing it. Ask questions. Watch them. Be willing to share your fear. You will learn they were afraid initially, too!
    • Start small. You don’t have to make it a big production….actually don’t make it big event. Work it into the everyday rhythms of your life…but yet it does require intentionality.  Pray for opportunities to be a blessing to someone because God gave you new eyes to see.

3.  I got a late start at gardening.  Louis and I didn’t plant our garden until the end of May. Friends have been reaping their harvest for weeks. Mine is just coming in. I came close to giving up and just waiting until the fall or even next year. Louis encouraged me by building them anyway…as my birthday gift. It was indeed a labor of love, because carpentry doesn’t come naturally to him.  He’s a plumber, car mechanic, electrician….not a carpenter.

  • Living a Life of Mission –
    • You aren’t meant to do this alone. In Luke 10:1, Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs….2×2 to prepare the way for Jesus to visit. Pray for the other half of your pair.
    • Call in reinforcements. I am grateful for my friends who join me in the journey.
    • It’s never too late to get started. Plant where you are. Plant where you go. Plant in good soil…where God is moving. It doesn’t matter when you start – just start.
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my first tomato… we missed the harvest because we were out of town… :( It’s all about the timing…

4. Things go wrong.  Birds, deer, and bugs eat your potential bounty.  Bees don’t come to pollinate your flowers, so you have to change your approach.  Dogs dig up your plants… or in my case…eat my dirt. (Weird…I know…but Bella loves the rich, ‘meaty’ dirt!)  so you build a fence. Storms and hail  come and beat up your poor little plants. (I’m thankful that we planted late! The hail storm that came earlier wrecked some friends’ gardens.) And then…there’s the dreaded…ugly ‘dog vomit fungus’. Yes…true story…and it was GROSS!  It required tender, loving care..and removal of the fungus and adjusting the soaker hose.

  • Living a Life of Mission –
    • The enemy…Satan…seeks to discourage, kill and destroy. Yes. It is true. Be prepared. Our God is ALL POWERFUL!
    • Timing is everything. Sometimes it’s just not the right time. God’s timing is always right on time.  Trust Him.
    • Turn to the Lord. Trust that the Lord of the Harvest raises up laborers…He draws them near.
    • Christian community is often the fence around your new seedlings. Build a fence of support and community to protect your upcoming fence. Sunday morning church service isn’t enough. It needs to be closer, more intimate discipleship…tending, sowing truth, etc.

      Fungus Among-us

      Fungus Among-us

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The creative fence Louis built to keep Bella out. Sunflowers and strawberries (5/30)

5. It takes time.  Plants take time to grow…some grow faster than others. There were a few moments I just wanted to give up…and let the beds go to weed. Some start slow and then take off like crazy. Some are weaker than others..and aren’t producing anything at all…and are almost dead.  No 2 plants are the same.  2 days ago I had a cucumber that was about 5 inches long. Today…it was about 9 inches, and I am eating it!

  • Living a Life of Mission –
    • Surround yourself with support and encouragement, too. You are not meant to be a lone ranger.
    • Tend to the garden…and to the gardener. Go to the Master Gardener who will tend to you.
    • Look for the little wins. Where God is at work.
    • Praise God in the difficult challenging times….and for the fruit of your labor!

A few scriptures that often encourage me…

Galations 6:9      Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Romans 5:3         Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 
And Lastly…
Luke 10:2            Jesus told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” 

Time to get busy… Want to join the conversation on living on mission?

Check out this opportunity!

click the link below…

Living On Mission

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Enjoying the first fruits of our labor


Memorial Day 2014 – You’re Invited!

Every year, we hold our annual community Memorial Day Party!  Come if you can…and bring something to share! Here’s last year’s post if you wanna check it out…  Memorial Day 2013.  See you Monday!

Memorial Day Flyer 2014


RVA: Under Construction – Jen Hatmaker Speaks

 INT presents Jen

presents

Jen Hatmaker Speaks…

RVA: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

METRO Richmond, VA is under construction!

WE, the Church, are being called to rebuild it by fulfilling the mission Jesus gave us: 

Love God. Love Neighbor.

Make Disciples who Make Disciples.

Join us in welcoming Jen Hatmaker, as 700+ attendees will hear Jen speak and discuss what it means to live on that mission as an individual, as a small group or family, and as a church!  Jen’s message is NOT just for women only! GUYS – You are welcomed and encouraged!!!  Although many of her books are geared toward women, her message is for everyone who is part of the body of Christ in RVA: men, women, church leaders, young adults, singles and parents!

Location:

St. Giles Presbyterian Church
5200 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23226

Weekend Schedule:

Friday  8/15   6-9:30pm

Saturday   8/16     8:30a – 1p

Saturday “Un-conference” - Attendees are encouraged to continue the dialogue following the event with new friends and old by joining them for lunch at various places throughout Richmond. More information will be provided as the date approaches.

Who is Jen Hatmaker?

Jen Hatmaker and her husband, Brandon, live in Austin, TX where they lead Austin New Church and raise their brood. They pioneered Restore Austin, connecting churches to local and global nonprofits for the spiritual and social renewal of Austin and beyond. She is the author of nine books and Bible studies, including Interrupted and 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Jen and Brandon have five children ~ Gavin, Sydney, Caleb; and in 2010 they added Ben and Remy from Ethiopia.

What is Into The Neighborhood?

Into The Neighborhood is a newly formed nonprofit Christ-centered ministry, founded by Louis and Marti Williams, based on scripture:

The Word became flesh…and moved into the neighborhood.    John 1:14 (MSG)

For more information, click here > Into The Neighborhood.

Where can I get tickets?

Please Note:  Early Bird Prices are available through May 31, 2014. Prices won’t be this low again, and numbers are limited.

purchase tickets

Where can I get information about sponsorship?

If you are interested in a sponsorship package please contact Marti below.

We are super excited about seeing you at St. Giles on August 15-16 and are praying for all attendees..

 


Choosing Love

Last week we came up with the idea that we would do some drive-by joy instead of the drive-by shootings that have happened in our community quite a bit lately. You can read about that adventure and more here >> Easter Fun!  Thanks for responding!!!  You totally answered our plea! Exceeded our expectations! And WOW…are we sooo grateful! Thank you for your generous investment in our ministry and lives!!! You are the BEST friends EVER!

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The Easter Bunny and a few neighborhood kids, and I toured the Northside yesterday afternoon…Southern Barton Heights, the Southern Tip of Highland Park, Brookland Park Boulevard, and parts of Battery Park.  We greeted people with “Happy Easter!” while giving out candy and smiles to all we saw along the way.  We even caused a small traffic jam a couple of times too.  OOPS! What a blast!!!

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We were greeted with joy, laughter, and smiles. Photos were taken. Fun was had. Candy given out and eaten. We stopped to treat a guy who was walking down Dove Street.  He was filled with joy unspeakable. I wish I had gotten his name…knew who he was. But, we gave him joy in the form of candy, and he said “One good turn deserves another. Let me see what I might have to give you.” He presented us with a selection of rings to choose from. These are the ones we chose. His parting words were… “God bless you. Pay it forward!” And…we are. God bless you, too….new friend. God bless you, too.

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Ya know, as I pause to look at the picture… to really reflect on my life. As I reflect on this picture…of one White/Caucasian hand among 3 Black/AfricanAmerican hands. I think about all the hate that’s out there. A lot of fear. But, as we approach Easter in another week, I am really reflecting on the cross.  Jesus chose to LOVE when he chose to relocate from heaven to earth.  He chose love when He died on that cross for our sins.

When I reflected on that picture, I realize that I chose my ring well yesterday..because I chose LOVE on my ring, and I want to choose to LOVE in my life. I really want to choose LOVE every minute of every day.  Sometimes, it’s so much easier to hate….with my words, my thoughts and my actions. But, one that I know is that LOVE is a choice. And I want to choose LOVE at all times.

John 3:16-17 (NLT)

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Side note: Let us know if you want to join us on one of our drive-bys! Happy to have the company!


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