As the church, we seek to be Christ's hands and feet; we seek to be the physical tools through which Christ currently works. As a result, we desire to meet the needs of our community in various ways. We try to pray for those who need prayer. We try to give food to those who need food. We try to serve those who need our service. Basically, we try to love those who need love.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in the Law was, Jesus' reply was simple; he said,
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Our vision is to be and do that very thing: to love God first and foremost and then to love everyone else in the same ways that we love ourselves and wish to be loved.
Out of our desire to show Jesus' love in our community, we began hosting special events each year and inviting our friends and neighbors to come, with no obligations from our guests other than a willingness to get to know us and allow us to get to know them. Our first such event was a Neighborhood Barbecue held to reach out in friendship to our neighbors. We have continued with the BBQ each year since and have added annual Thanksgiving Dinner and "Trunk-or-Treat" events as well. All are invited to join us in these fun, family-oriented occasions.
Each year, on a Wednesday evening in June, we offer a Neighborhood Barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, and fixings. Tables are set up in the church parking lot for our guests and church members to share a meal together to start the summer off right. It has been such a blessing to get to know our neighbors through this effort.
On the night before Halloween, our church members park their vehicles in the church parking lot, decorate them and pass out candy and treats to all who come our way. The response to this has been overwhelming! It brings us joy to see the excitement and delight on the faces of so many kids and their parents. We have also been blessed in recent years to have the Multicultural Greek Council from Chico State University volunteer to help us with this event.
On a Sunday night leading up to Thanksgiving, we provide a Thanksgiving Dinner for anyone who would like to come share this meal with us. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, dessert and drinks - Yum! Tables are set up in the Fellowship Hall and Auditorium for enjoying this meal together - prepared and served with love by members of the congregation.
The Jesus Center's mission is to offer help and hope in the name of Jesus to the homeless community in Chico. Their services include providing breakfasts and dinners, shelter and transitional housing, a Resource Center, a JobLink program that helps clients develop skills and find employment, and more.
"In all that we do and all we call others to, we do in compliance with the command of Jesus: 'Love each other as I have loved you.' Without this love, all we do is in danger of becoming a vain & empty action. In love, we enter into the lives & needs of our clients with compassion. Founded in God's love, we show respect for human dignity, hope for and commitment to transformation, and a servant attitude." - the Jesus Center staff
We provide and serve the Sunday morning breakfast four times a year. If you would like to help with this effort contact Wendy Thompson for more information.
Torres is more than just a place where people sleep. Torres is a comprehensive program where men, woman and families gain stability, income and housing. Their case managers help each adult address barriers like substance abuse, chronic health conditions and mental illness so they can recover their lives.
"Last year Torres helped over 800 people. 800 people who would otherwise have spent the night on our streets; 70 families found refuge within our walls, and over 120 children. Our men's transitional housing program provides a much needed alternative for an under served population. Our rapid rehousing program helps families remain in their homes through a combination of case management, life skills training and financial assistance."
The Torres Mission
To provide transformational services to people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The Torres Vision
To ensure that our community has the appropriate service model for each person who is homeless with the goal to attain self-sufficiency.
Bridging the Gap was created by Shirley Adams in 2006 to help provide clean, safe water sources for the many people in countries in Africa who have never had access to it before. Through Bridging the Gap, wells have been dug, Tiva water filters have been provided, and education on hygiene and sanitation has been taught. Clean water changes lives for individuals and communities.
Our church family has helped provide clean water through BTG since 2008, when the first annual Walk4Water took place. We have a yearly fundraiser lunch before the walk, and help with preparation for the event.
One of Shirley's favorite quotes is:
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller