Restore St. Louis


 

What Was the Impact of Last Summer? – Refugees Loved!

Restore St Louis group photoTo the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations-as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:14-19

Part of the inference of this passage is that God has brought his people out of the desert and slavery to be a blessing to those who are in a desert and in slavery–foreigners. This fall, we have had several refugees who have responded to the love of God from our summer teams. Refugees who are not Christians have become more open to hearing God’s Good News in Jesus Christ. Refugees who are Christians were greatly encouraged by summer teams and have shared the Gospel both with other refugees and their new American friends.

Why? Because God is committed to showing his love to the immigrant and he is committed to showing his love through the immigrant to us!

Are you interested in learning more about God’s love in and through the immigrant? We would love to walk with you!


Bring the spirit of God’s love to St. Louis through practical deeds of mercy and reconciliation.  

Why didn’t our cities die during the Great Depression? Because poverty does not destroy a city, abandonment does. During the Great Depression, our cities stayed intact because people did not abandon one another; rather, they reached out neighbor to neighbor, to help in times of need. Our success is based upon three very important ingredients: we are relational, we are integrated, and we are Gospel centered. By moving into the abandoned neighborhoods of St. Louis we are able to help through building close relationships where mutual dignity builds trust. The integration of our different ministries is a recognition that the same person will likely have a lot of different needs, and will over time benefit from diverse ministries that work together. And most important, the Gospel is a message of compassion to needy people. To be Gospel-centered merely means: to recognize our own need of God, and of one another and out of the mercy and kindness shown us to show the same to others. By moving into the rejected neighborhoods of  St.  Louis we are able to build close relationships where mutual dignity develops trust. The integration of our different ministries allows us to touch the same people at different times in their lives so that change over time can be dramatic.

Our Vision and Mission

Summer Urban Missions exists to seek the establishment of God’s kingdom rule in the hearts of every ethnic group by discipling the nations in the reconciling Gospel of Jesus Christ through a clear proclamation of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone and by doing Spirit-led deeds of justice and mercy. Teams who participate in Summer Urban Missions and the folks who are served will experience the reconciling love of God in Jesus Christ…

  • through a restored relationship with God and with one another across all racial, social and economic divisions, which has been achieved through Jesus Christ
  • through multi-culturally redeemed worship where the delight of God in us and our delight in Him is experienced
  • through Christian community relationships where fellowship, love, increased knowledge of God and a commitment to take care of all basic human need is practiced
  • through an equipping of the people of God that mobilizes each member to be a part of extending God’s justice and mercy to the nations and proclaims the unsearchable love of God in Christ Jesus to St. Louis and throughout the world.

How Will Our Mission Be Accomplished?

God Will Advance His Gospel of the Kingdom Through Us this As We…

…Believe the Gospel Together

Primarily, we will be learning about the Gospel as we worship, work, eat, and sleep together. We will believe the Gospel together as leaders at New City Fellowship share with teams on Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, and then on a daily basis during devotions Monday through Thursday mornings. Youth groups will have a nightly debriefing time to focus and process on what everyone is learning. We will also proclaim the Gospel with our mouths during evening Bible Clubs that are held in the community. The week is designed to show both our sins and our weaknesses and to point to the fact that we need a Savior.

…Take on a Kingdom Focus
We will work, sweat, cry, and laugh in the homes of widows, the elderly, the disabled, and other people who need assistance Monday through Thursday afternoons. This work could look like demolition, painting, plumbing, drywall, digging, cleaning maggots in basements, washing mold off of walls, stripping paint, removing brush, and many other things! A portion of our work time will also be spent working on New City Fellowship’s building to facilitate Kingdom work that is carried on there.

…Pursue Reconciliation

We will worship in many languages on Sunday morning alongside New City’s congregation in University City. We will work alongside and for people of many different racial, educational, economic, and social backgrounds. We will be intentional on Sunday morning: as we tutor, as we work on homes, and as we teach Bible Clubs about looking at our own prejudices, confessing them for what they are, and seeking reconciliation. One of the devotional times in the morning will be a discussion of reconciliation in the church.

…and Work in Teams

You will work with MANY different people when you come this summer. Andrew Stern will help coordinate many of the activities but many other team members will direct you. Our pastors will share with you about the Gospel of the Kingdom on Sunday. Team leaders of the tutoring, work project, and Bible Club ministries will orient you on Sunday afternoon. During the tutoring sessions, college interns working with InterVarsity’s CityLights Urban Project will direct you. In the afternoons on work projects, you may work under a Harambee crew leader, a college intern, or you may lead a site yourself! Sound confusing? It is! It is further evidence and opportunity for God’s grace to be made all the more evident! Of course, your own group needs to work and live as a team. Teamwork provides more opportunities to expose our sin and more opportunities to see that God’s grace is both needed and at work!

Project Overview
Each summer, Restore St. Louis hosts various work teams at the New City Fellowship St. Louis campus. Teams come from all across America to learn, tutor, work, and teach in a structured week-long program. The Summer Urban Missions program is primarily designed for high school youth groups, but we have had family and junior high teams join us in the past. As an outreach ministry of Restore St. Louis, Summer Urban Missions is a collaboration of resources between New City Fellowship members and groups from other local churches, schools, businesses, etc. New City Fellowship generously provides (at no charge) their campus facilities, staff, and equipment, and other resources.

Living Arrangements
Teams will live in the Administration building during their time here. We have adapted the dormitory space for housing short-term partners, with some areas also set aside for lounging and recreation. You will have access to the first floor for meetings and recreation and the second floor for sleeping and quiet study. Separate sleeping, restrooms and shower accommodations are provided for women and men

Meals: Are provided by staff, and each team should designate 2 volunteers as kitchen helpers as assistants to them.

Breakfast
Continental style in the Cafeteria building.

Lunch
Made at breakfast and carried to the work sites by the volunteers teams.

Dinner
Buffet style in the main dining area

Group Aspects
Team size: Urban Mission teams are encouraged to be no more than 50 members.
Age: Mature Jr. High, High School and adults are encouraged to come.
Leadership: Group leaders must be present with the group at all times. If there are both young men and young women on the team, both a female and male leader must accompany the group. A high ratio of adults to youth teams is desired.

Transportation:
Restore St. Louis does not provide transportation for teams. Vans are encouraged as the transportation method of choice. Buses are not allowed. If your team is flying in, please check with us for suggestions relative to vehicle rental agencies.

Typical Schedule
We have morning devotions as a group on Monday-Thursday mornings for about half an hour. Students will receive a devotional booklet that will work through and journal in throughout the week. The devotional will have follow-up questions that leaders may use for the evening debriefing sessions. The morning sessions are led by New City Fellowship staff and are vignettes of Sonship teaching and its application (one of the core Biblical teachings that God has adopted us into His family through Jesus Christ and sealed us in Him by His Spirit). During the devotional time we will sing (bring your own music and instruments!), pray (corporately and individually), listen to each other, and journal.

Saturday Arrival

  • Plan on arriving Saturday evening. Please eat your evening meal while on the road.
  • 8:00 PM                   Orientation
  • 11:00  PM                Lights out

Sunday

  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM        Breakfast in cafeteria
  • 8:30 – 10:00 AM      Introduction to Gospel of the Kingdom
  • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Worship service in Gym
  • 12:00 – 2:00 PM      Meals with church families
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM        Rest
  • 3:00 – 4:00 PM        Separate Leader Orientation and Team Member Orientation
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM        Combined Orientation
  • 5:30 – 6:30 PM        Dinner
  •  6:45 – 8:00 PM       Depart for Kids’ Clubs
  •  8:00 – 9:30 PM       Youth group leaders review of devotional resources; team time
  • 11:00 PM                 Lights out

Monday – Thursday

  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM        Breakfast in cafeteria
  • 8:30 – 9:00 AM        Devotions led by Andrew Stern
  • 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM Tutoring Program
  • 12:30 – 4:00 PM      Work sites (eat prepared lunch on the way)
  • 4:00 – 5:30 PM        Shower and rest
  • 5:30 – 6:30 PM        Dinner (special on Thursday)
  • 6:45 – 8:00 PM        Depart for Kids’ Clubs (except Thursday)
  • 8:00 – 9:30 PM        Youth group leaders go over devotional packets; team time
  • 11:00 PM                 Lights out

Friday

  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM        Breakfast
  • 8:30 AM Free day for sightseeing, cleaning dorms and bathrooms, and packing to leave.
  • Teams departing on Friday must request approval at time of registration.
  • 11:00 PM                 Lights out

Saturday   Departure

  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM        Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM    Check out and depart for home

Ready to Get Involved?
Contact Arklie Hooten ahooten@pcanet.org / 678-294-3011
or
Sherry Lanier
MNA ShortTerm Missions and Disaster Response Facilitator
678-294-3012
slanier@pcanet.org

Learn more about Restore St. Louis: www.restorestlouis.org