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.
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.
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!
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 ArrangementsTeams 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
Are provided by staff, and each team should designate 2 volunteers as kitchen helpers as assistants to them.
Continental style in the Cafeteria building.Lunch
Buffet style in the main dining area
Group AspectsTeam 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 ScheduleWe 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.
Monday – Thursday
Ready to Get Involved?
Contact Arklie Hooten firstname.lastname@example.org / 678-294-3011
MNA ShortTerm Missions and Disaster Response Facilitator
Learn more about Restore St. Louis: www.restorestlouis.org