By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
If you’ve been keeping up with the True Story Project, the above verse is a familiar one from the Gospel According to John. One of the defining marks of the people of God is love. It is our vision at Redemption Tempe that we would have a community saturated with gospel-infused love that flows throughout the cities and neighborhoods we call home. It is with this goal that we launched the $100 Idea Contest at our last First Wednesday.
The basic premise was this: if you had $100, how would you use it to love your neighbor? Dozens of ideas were submitted and posted on our website for you, the church, to vote on the top fifteen ideas, each of which to be given $100 to be implemented in order to love our neighbors.
If you’ve been following along with our sermon series through the Book of Acts, you’ve probably noticed how much Luke, its author, emphasizes ministering to the marginalized in society. It is no wonder then that the most voted ventures reach out to the vulnerable and voiceless in our midst. These ideas ranged from single mothers, to families with special need children, to refugees, to the elderly, to those experiencing homelessness, and to those growing up without their biological parents. Without further ado, here are the winners of the $100 Idea Contest:
- Deliver healthy meals to single mothers through Meals and Go
- Respite night for parents of children with special needs, which includes dinner, massage, and toenail painting
- Washer and dryer at Redemption Tempe for those experiencing homelessness to use on Thursdays
- Free oil change for single mothers
- Talk to refugees about their stories, record them, and publish a podcast intended to amplify the marginalized and misunderstood
- Buy international phone cards for newly resettled refugee families so they are able to
immediately reach out to connect with loved ones from afar
- Buy $100 worth of essential supplies for foster children to donate through Care Portal
- Help more children get nourishing meals over the summer by passing flyers to raise
awareness of summer feeding programs, and provide them with bus passes
- Purchase a digital tape recorder to listen to stories from a senior citizen, which will be used to publish a book, giving a voice to the voiceless
- Put together welcome packs for new special needs families that come to Redemption Tempe
- Make and distribute backpacks containing essential supplies for those experiencing
- Have a foster kid fun day at someone’s house with food, games, and worship
- Have an RC do a game and prize night with a nursing home or assisted living community
- Enable a family with children to bridge the generational gap and overcome the loneliness experienced by the elderly by bringing food, gifts, games, and music to an assisted living facility
- Provide low-income families with realistic training on how to cook better food, since there is a decent correlation between poverty rate and obesity in the modern world
If you would like to volunteer or otherwise be a part of any of these specific ventures, please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is our hope that this would only be the beginning of the bursting of the dam for creative ways that we, as the community of God’s people, can answer our calling and contribute to the flourishing of our city. As our Lord said, it is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are his disciples.