SOCIAL JUSTICE & COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Our congregations have a long history of Social Justice Ministry, here are some of the ways we proclaim the Gospel:
South Bronx Churches (Community Empowerment & Development)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Community Youth Programs
  • Community Halloween & Christmas Parties
  • Prison Ministry
  • Urban Cultural Arts & Justice Ministry

 

Details

South Bronx Churches

SBC is a Faith-Based Ecumenical Community Organization, with an international support system, that focuses on Housing, Education, Health and Community Safety.  With some thirty congregations participating, SBC has built over 1,000 houses that were purchased by lower income persons and renovated hundreds of housing. It has also worked with the local Police Precincts in lowering Drug Sales and crime to help improve the lives of the residents of the South Bronx.  Father Bennett is the present Chair of the Board of SBC and was the clergy person who led the Housing Initiative.

Iglesia San Juan Bautista – English as a Second Language Classes (ESL)

ESL classes are held each week, one in the afternoon and one in the evening to assist people who only speak Spanish learn English.  The classes are free and open to all with the intent of helping people to be more fully involved in their communities and be better prepared to advance economically.  (Soon to start this Spring)

Community Youth Program

Each month the Young Family Ministry sponsors a trip to a fun location, often educational for the children in the community and the congregations.  The youth group assists in the supervision and operation of the trips.

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St. David’s Community Halloween & Christmas Children’s Parties

Each Halloween a party is held for the Children where they can show off their Halloween Costumes and socialize with other children, have some food, games and plenty of candy.  This replaces going door to door trick or treating, which is not that safe to do in the South Bronx, as well as in other communities. The church provides a safe space. On the Friday before Christmas, the church sponsors a Christmas Party complete with food, games and Christmas presents.

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Prison Ministry

The prison ministry is a major effort on the part of our congregations working with religious leaders across the city in helping incarcerated persons.  They assist them in re-entry to our communities and being involved with issues that cause unnecessary incarcerations, such as the lack of Mental Health services that cause many to rotate in and out of jail who need support and services.

Urban Cultural Arts & Justice Ministry

The Urban Cultural Arts and Justice Ministry is a Community Outreach Program of the Church without Walls which promotes and supports people in learning and expressing their talents in issues of Justice through various Musical, Artistic and Spoken Word mediums.  It will also encourage participants to explore their spiritual experiences and needs for Community support through forums on Injustices in Racism, Classism, Sexism, Gender Orientation Issues and other forms of Injustice in our Society.

Programs Consist of:

Community Choir (Spring 2018)

Steel Band     (Spring 2018)

African & Latin Drumming    (Spring 2018)

Visual Arts    (Summer 2018)

Social Media Graphics and use of Internet Skills  (Summer 2018)

Spoken Word     (Summer 2018)

Poetry Jams      (Fall 2018)

Theater      (Fall 2018)

Discussion Forums (Summer 2018)

Community Projects (Summer 2018)

Dance (Spring 2018)

The Program

The Ministry goal is targeted to showcase and encourage local expressions of art, spoken word and music, especially from an Afro and Latin cultural forms, though open to all, especially young and young adult people in Cultural creative fields.  It consists of classes and forums for teaching, spaces made available for meetings, gallery and performances. Programs will include discussion forums on Justice and Spiritual Growth, especially the role of Art, Music, Acting, Poetry and the Written/Spoken word.  Whenever possible programs will be coordinated with congregational programs of Music and the Arts. Teaching classes will meet mostly weekly, such as Group Voice, Steel Band, Drumming and Dance.

Target Population & Marketing

The program will also attempt to recruit young adults (especially those 18 to 40) cultural people who have interest in teaching younger people, children and other adults in their specific fields and developing and participating in Community Events.

Marketing will be targeted to the local community who may not have regular access to the internet by flyers and banners and to those in the overall South Bronx by our Web Sites.  The program will be clear that we are an open and affirming progressive church and program and open to the LGBTQ community

Desired Accomplishments

The hope is to expose the Arts in children who have limited access in their school programs.

To enable local artists to showcase their work and share their talents with others.

To support the discussion of Social Justice Issues in our community, our city and our society at large.

To assist in giving opportunities to share to create a place where young people and young adults can discuss spirituality and personal/community development in peer group discussions.

The program will also provide a Computer Center and Training for Arts and the Internet.

Preparations

Local young adults in the Arts have been contacted to answer questions on their art, their spiritual development and justice views.  About a dozen have responded and they will then be asked if they would allow us to do a video of each, where they discuss their responses.  In this way the program is developing from where people are at and what they are looking for.

Planning Process

The team that is planning and coordinating this program is the CWW Marketing and Social Media Ministry staff person, a young artist and media specialist, the CWW Choir Director, a young musician and performer, the CWW Young Family and Community Organizer, a licensed special education teacher and our Special Project Administrator.  All the staff, except for the Special Projects Administrator are bi-lingual, Spanish and English.

Implementation

Though we had hoped to start the program in the Summer of 2017, with the need organization of the CWW Team Ministry and the reorganization of some of the structures of the participating congregations we decided to begin this process in Spring 2018.  It will begin in stages and some of the staffing has been identified, after the funding is secured, they will be hired.

 

The Episcopal / Anglican Church Really Welcomes All, A Place to Belong for All People

The Bronx Church without Walls is a Regional Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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