Someone said each of us individually may be a snowflake, but put us all together and we’re an avalanche. Together we have the power to do some real good.
We have a crisis within a crisis in our city. A variety of long term systemic factors like low wages, lack of affordable housing, aging out of foster care with no support, lack of accessible mental health and addiction recovery treatments, racism, homo/transphobia, human trafficking, all play a part in homelessness in our city. Now, we have the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, like job losses leading to evictions, leading to even more people experiencing homelessness. COVID19 also means that overnight shelters need to create 6’ distance between cots out and adopt precautionary measures, so existing shelters have lowered capacity; the primary Men’s CCWS capacity slashed from 100 to 50. Additionally, past years’ regular volunteers are staying home because many are at higher risk for severe complications and death from COVID19. The situation has reached critical as we’re seeing freezing cold temperatures and hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in our community.
First Unitarian Universalist Church and National Avenue Christian Church are partnering with so many organizations and individuals to offer shelter this winter. In less than a week First UU went from entertaining the ask to opening their doors! On Saturday December 18, 2020 15 people were sheltered while temps dropped to 31 degrees, this will continue on all nights temps are at or below freezing through April, assuming we can keep it staffed. First UU is providing the building space and the heat and together we’re providing staff, volunteers, snacks, coffee, and other resources.
You will be able to enter the meeting through a Zoom link that is provided in the comments section of the live online worship. This is a great time to connect with folks, share concerns/ideas, and see all the in-front-of and behind the scenes happenings at NACC! Questions before hand? Please feel free to send them to us HERE.
Beginning Sunday, November 29th, Walking Church will happen throughout Advent season at NACC. Come walk, pray, reflect and center as you walk the sacred space of our sanctuary. Each Sunday, 6 – 7:30pm. The labyrinth will also be available. Please sign up for both HERE.
In this season, we have invited one another to love beyond. Beyond what we can see. Beyond what we can imagine. Over the past several weeks we have held the tensions of living in Holy Chaos and shared about ways we are being the church and loving beyond this moment. Church happens in our homes. Church happens through texts. Church happens as we build connection via zoom and Facebook. Church happens as we find ways to love beyond.
During this season of claiming the ways we see love, live love, and become love, we are celebrating the resources entrusted to our care. We have heard the call to love our neighbor, to care for creation, to care for Spirit dwelling deep within us and to care for our community-in new ways. We celebrate this call and the ways we invest in this community. Together, we have provided food and a safe space for our unsheltered neighbors and friends. We have provided additional space for AA groups to continue meeting during critical times, we expanded space for DGMS so they could offer programming for kids in the SPS school system, and much more.
A paper estimate of giving is on it’s way! Please watch for it to hit your snail mail box in the next few days. It has a tear off section to mail back as well as a self addressed and stamped envelope! If you prefer, there is also an online form for you can fill out HERE!
We look forward to reflecting on the ways we have been church and dream about what comes next! On November 22nd, we will have the opportunity to offer our support for this community as we prepare for next year.
We will hold our semi-annual congregational meeting on August 30th.
We are planning to hold the meeting via zoom (with a call in option) and with paper ballots. All information is available to members of the church via mail and email this week. Paper ballots and reports will be included in the mailings.
The nominating committee has put together the proposed list of leadership to be voted on at the congregational meeting. Leaders will be asked to commit to doing anti-racism training over the next year. Currently, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) requires ministers to participate in anti-racism and pro-reconciling training and to work to maintain standing within our denomination. We feel the urgency to deepen our work and commitment as a church and to give our leadership the tools to do this critical work as well.
In these digital times, the way we live as Elders, Deacons, and a board may look different but remains as important as ever. We look forward to finding meaningful ways to support our work as a church to nurture spirituality, deepen community and do justice together.
To help in that mission, we would love to hear from you. Please fill out THIS survey on your hopes, questions and concerns so that we can address them at the meeting!
As we find new ways to be church, we long for ways to pray for one another and be in familiar sacred space. The Spirituality Collaborative, Pastoral Leadership, and many others are working together to create a safe space (in our sanctuary!) for this to happen.
On the evening of Sunday, August 23rd, the Sanctuary will have prayer stations and invitations to pray for one another. We will update the post as soon as we have time slots available to sign up for.
You can pray at home (on your own walking path!), walk in the sanctuary, or do both!
The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks will be holding a blood drive hosted by National Avenue Christian Church and in collaboration with The Ozarks Dharma Community, University Heights Neighborhood Association and Phelps Grove Neighborhood.
The drive will be held inside the Gallery at National Avenue Christian Church from 1-6pm on Monday, July 27th.
All participants will be asked to wear a mask, if you do not have one, one can be provided to you.
National Avenue Christian Church will be giving a $5 donation to AIDS Project of the Ozarks for each person who donates blood.
Each individual who donates will be provided with a t-shirt and 5 dollar gift card while supplies last.
In 1847, a group of enslaved Africans started the church we know today as Pitts Chapel UMC. Their building, built in 1911, is in need of major repairs totaling $250,000. Recently we heard from Rev. Tracey Wolff that Gibson Chapel, another historically black church was demolished in the last several month, and we don’t want to see Pitts fall to that fate.
We want to send a check from NACC to Pitts Chapel for $10,000, so the Justice Collaborative has committed to a matching challenge grant of $5,000 from Unitrust funds. So far, we are at just over $1,000! The matching challenge runs through the end of July!
Make your contribution by noting Pitts Chapel in the memo line on PayPal or by mailing a check. Everything received through the end of July will be collected and matched and then sent to Pitts Chapel.