Serve the SUX
We are sent to love and serve Sioux City and its people. We do this in creative, tangible, and relationship-building ways around the city. In Isaiah the prophet tells us to "learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." In James we read that "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction," shattering any idea that following God means showing up to church gatherings, singing songs, or reading our Bible privately. We do all of those things, but Hopesprings is a place where we actually do something with the love we have been given: we share it with the people of this city.
The 5th Sunday
If there are 5 Sundays in a month (this happens roughly quarterly in the year), our 5th Sunday is spent in the community. That means if you show up for our gathering on a Sunday at 10:30, we will have left the building in search of ways to love and serve our city in tangible ways. We have served meals at the Warming Shelter where some of our friends who don't have homes have spent the night. We have given out gift cards to a grocery store in the neighborhood. We have even taken our gathering on the road, moving it to the community center at Opportunities Unlimited so our friends who can't make it to a church gathering find instead that a church gathering comes to them. We are just getting started: we will continue spending the 5th Sunday in our community loving people in tangible ways, and serving our city.
When Hopesprings began in Sioux City, we began cultivating relationships with our friends at Opportunities Unlimited. They are a great organization serving people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Our friends at OU can feel isolated from friends and family, and when see our relationship with people there fulfilling the constant calls of God to love people who feel isolated. Many of these friends cannot make it to a church gathering, and would love to be plugged into a community of faith. Our community of faith goes to them.
We have found, planting ourselves in the heart of the city, that many people in Sioux City do not have homes. A lot of these folks stay at the Warming Shelter when they don't have another place to stay. The call of God in Isaiah rings deep in our bones: "share your bread with the hungry", "invite the homeless into your lives", "repair homes for people to live in"...and our time with the people living downtown is out of a desire to do the things God is telling us to do by building relationships with people.
Welcome Home is an organization with a mission to make sure the formerly homeless families they serve never end up homeless again. Through coaching, training, and connecting families with resources Welcome Home helps equip families for their next step. Hopesprings has helped Welcome Home to add another apartment to its housing program, meaning over the next year four families will be shepherded through their program. We help move people into their program, and are looking for more opportunities to connect and serve the people who are taking their next steps with the help of Welcome Home.
Just the Beginning
We have done other things to love and serve Sioux City in tangible ways. We have raked leaves, mowed lawns, and provided meals for neighbors. We have helped out single moms. We have given water to help hydrate those at Saturday in the Park. Helping the Mardi Gras Parade get down with our own rendition of "Party in the Sioux Citay" and "Shake it Off", we shared a message of love and helped our city party. We helped convert a parking spot to a French Cafe to connect with people downtown during Parking Day. More creative ways to build relationships and share the love of God in tangible ways are coming.
Don't forget: your relationships, your job, or volunteer work...everything you do can be an expression of God's love for people. We encourage everyone connected with Hopesprings to get intention and creative with your lives, your time...with everything you have...to show and tell about the love of God for all people.