HUGE news!

 

 

 

HUGE NEWS! Forge Flint is now the proud owner of a garage property on the corner of Pierson and O'Connor. The garage will minister to under-resourced families by providing reduced cost auto repairs. "The Forge Garage" will also serve our community as a center for apprenticeship and job training. Stay tuned in the coming days for ways to be apart join and support this exciting new initiative! forgeflint.org/donate

Water for Flint

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” - Isaiah 43:18-19

For more than two years the community of Flint has been facing an unprecedented water emergency.  Lead leached from an aging water infrastructure has lead to thousands of residents being exposed to dangerous levels of contaminants.  The State of Michigan estimates that repairing the damaged water system may take up to fifteen years to replace and will cost untold millions.  

As a response to this ongoing crisis, Forge has started a new initiative to provide safe, clean water to our neighbors through free water filtration installation. Forge is deeply committed to creating employment opportunities and has trained and employed two members of Joy Tabernacle Church in Civic Park, Anastasius Brown and Dave Hardy to install whole house filtration systems free of cost.  Jason Lipscomb, our Garage Director, who has previous experience drilling wells with the Church of the Nazarene in Haiti is spearheading Forge’s filtration efforts.  Take a minute to check out this ABC 12 News story from last week highlighting Forge’s water initiative. 

Click here to support Forge’s ongoing mission of hope in Flint.

Preparing for the Weeks to Come

 
Forge staff enjoying the sunset during a quick training week trip up north. 

Forge staff enjoying the sunset during a quick training week trip up north. 

We are only two days away from the first day of camps, and we could not be more excited! This summer, we will be hosting eleven different groups who will be coming into the city to serve with us and to explore this summer's theme of Unity in Christ. Our summer staff arrived early this week, and they have spent their time getting to know each other while working through devotions and becoming familiar with the city.

As they have been preparing for camps, the staff has been considering all that the summer may bring. They would like to share some of what they are looking forward to, as well as some prayer requests:

Summer staff is looking forward to:

  • Having the opportunity to talk and get to know the students who are coming into Flint. I am excited to hear their stories and where they come from
  • Seeing this community grow as a whole.
  • Being a part of God’s work in the community.
  • Excited to serve alongside the members of the Flint community.
  • Helping the youth understand that service and mission are to be lived out not just in this week here in Flint, but throughout their lives.
  • Exploring what it means to be united in Christ for this summer.
  • Introducing the students to the city of Flint and introducing them to the genuine people in the community rather than the stigmas and stereotypes of the city.
  • Excited to see youth groups unite as a whole, and build bonds with one another that they may not have done by their own doing before.

 

Prayer Requests:

  • Dan: Mental and emotional endurance and stability.
  • Kassie: That God gives me the confidence to be the leader he wants me to be and to glorify him in all that we do this summer.
  • General Prayers: Safety while we are at work in the community.
  • That God continues to bless and further the relationship between Forge Flint, Joy Tabernacle, and the Civic Park Community.
 

Engaging with Our Kingdom-Building Partners

 

This past weekend, Forge partnered with the Urban Renaissance Center to host a Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Intensive at Joy Tabernacle in Civic Park. CCDA is a national association whose mission is “To inspire, train, and connect Christians who seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God by reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities.” Individuals and groups representing many different Michigan and Great Lakes region communities gathered together to learn how CCDA’s Christ-centered principles could be introduced into their organizations, work, and daily lives. Through the intensive, we hoped to foster a common language and philosophy that would mobilize the church and kingdom-minded organizations to be engaged in transformative ways in our unique contexts.

 

Throughout the event, not only were people learning from the knowledgeable facilitator, Reverend Jonathan Brooks, but also from each other. During the intensive, people were encouraged to lean into their current seasons of life and ministry, whether they were in the depths of frustration or at the peak of joy, and this honesty created an opportunity for everyone to grow. By the end of the day, new ideas were birthed, relationships were formed, and many truths had been spoken and renewed.

 

We encourage you to visit CCDA’s website, http://www.ccda.org/ , and learn more about CCDA's philosophy and mission.

 

 

MLK's Beloved Community & Flint Water Crisis

Each year the third Monday of January rolls around and we pause to celebrate the extraordinary 39 year life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Very rarely are we gifted with a leader whose message has such longevity and widespread impact on society.  48 years after his tragic assassination, King’s words transcend time and speak prophetic truth into our present reality; beckoning us to a higher way. MLK held a deep belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and subsequently that all life is intrinsically connected. He understood that in reality there is no gulf between the spiritual and the social, but rather they in fact they go hand in hand. King said, 

"In a real sense all life is inter-related. All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality."

The myth that one can exist without the other is incredibly toxic.  Too often our attempts to be holy apart from social engagement inevitably have lead us to legalism and disconnection, while social action apart from the Spirit of God can easily morph into self-centered promotion. Dr. King’s ultimate vision was to see the Kingdom of God come and manifest itself in what he called the “beloved community”. He identified the “beloved community” as an inclusive movement, that invites all people to be unified by love and to creatively address the challenges facing our world. When we open the newspaper or drive around the block, we are often assaulted with the brokenness and overwhelming challenges existing in our world. Today the Flint community is facing an unprecedented water crisis, with no end in sight.  This latest crisis is yet another wound to a city that has struggled to deal with the effects of deindustrialization, government corruption, racial division, unemployment, blight and violent crime just to name a few.  To make matters worse, we live in an era of incredible polarization and division, where discord is the norm. It is exactly during times like this that we need to be reminded of Dr. King’s vision of the “beloved community” and our interdependence. Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Building on the same theme, King reminds us that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  As we strive to form the beloved community, may we be reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his followers in John 17, that we “may be one”. May we renew our commitment to stand side-by-side with our neighbor in solidarity, as we strive to be a manifestation of creative good in the face of despair.  And finally, may we never lose hope that one day “We will get to the promised land”, and that we must get there together. 

God's peace,

Matthew Soulia | Executive Director | Forge Flint

If you or your church want to get involved in responding to the “Flint Water Crisis” please e-mail us for up to the minute ways to engage. 

E-mail: forgeflint@gmail.com 

Give: forgeflint.org/donate