Glenville Church Builds Relationships With Euclid Community
The Allegheny West Conference's Glenville church in Cleveland is currently in the middle phase of their Building a Place for Grace campaign to build a multifunctional community facility in the Euclid neighborhood. Construction is set to take place in early 2016. Church members have become more active introducing themselves to the community, including going door to door to meet residents.
Story by Akhil Esdaille
One of their more successful efforts was an inaugural ice cream social in a neighborhood park. Church leaders planned the social to reach the youth and families of Euclid while also providing an opportunity for church members to leap out the its’ brick-and-mortar building and engage the people. Planners also wanted to reveal the grace of Christ through beyond-the-surface conversations as well as free ice cream and exciting games.
“Euclid is a community in grave need of social and cultural transformation, having bared the painful marks of poverty, crime and fragmented families. It is in deep need of God’s grace,” says Pastor MyRon Edmonds. “The ice cream social [helped us] break through spiritual, cultural and socio-economic barriers and bring people from different spheres of life together as brothers and sisters.”
Hundreds of youth and their parents attended the event. The atmosphere was lively, ringing with childrens’ laughter and the booming base of Christian music. Aaron Cammon, youth coordinator, provided the spoken word and led testimonies that included children proclaiming the greatness of God.
Glenville’s church members, young and old, got to know the youth and parents of the community. “The feedback from the event affirmed that when you focus on extending grace, no matter the form, it naturally draws all men closer to God,” says Edmonds. A single mother who attended told a church member, “Sometimes you feel so neglected as a community, and it feels good to know that someone cares about us.” Another neighbor raved about the event and expressed deep appreciation for their church really acting like “church.”
The event was not only a blessing to residents, but also to the church members says Edmonds. He adds, “The opportunity to step out of the confinements of our church building and serve the needs of the people of Euclid brought an unspeakable joy and peace to our souls that can’t be captured in words.”