The Northview Blog

stories of community, faith, and values

God Calls Us to Serve Others: Northview’s Local Outreach Partners

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016

FEATURE STORY
BY ANNE-MARIE WILLIAMS

 

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45 (NLT)

Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
Isaiah 68:6-7 (NLT)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
I Peter 4:10 (NLT)

God calls us to serve.

There are countless verses in the Bible that speak on serving others. In fact the central theme of the Bible is the story of Jesus, a man who made the ultimate expression of service through his innocent death on the cross for the sins of all mankind.

If Jesus is our example and we have a biblical mandate to serve, how can you get started living your life on mission? These Northview partners allow you to put your compassion into action.

Circle City Relief

Circle City Relief 2

On any given Sunday you will find Matt and Sandy Gay in the parking lot of a west side Indianapolis Public School serving up a hot lunch, smiles and hugs to a waiting line of those in need through the work of their ministry Circle City Relief (CCR).

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Northview Partners with Brookside Community Church for Brookside Play Initiative

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016

INTRODUCTION BY ANNE-MARIE WILLIAMS

Northview is excited to partner with Brookside Community Church family through Play.  Brookside Community Play (BCP) will host a neighborhood play event every Tuesday night in June and July at Brookside Park. Volunteers of all ages are needed to promote healthy and safe play, engage the community, and build relationships with the local church.  For more information and to register please contact shanna.thompson@northviewchurch.us.

(Original post below from David Cederquist on February 17th, 2016 at bccindy.org/journey/missing-play.)

The effects of exposure to a disadvantaged, chaotic, or violent neighborhood creates a lasting impact on children’s developmental, academic, and economic outcome in this life.  The fact that only 30% of the 3rd graders in our neighborhood schools are passing the IRead 3 test and are held back from entering 4th grade brings us to the point where we have to do something.  Educationally focused after-school programs on the near Eastside strive to help kids progress in their academic achievement, but the question we have to ask is…are these educationally focused programs helping our kids? Is this the right approach to fix the brokenness of our neighborhood?

Brookside Play picture

Research shows that we were all born with an intrinsic drive to play.  Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play says “play is a biological drive and when it is suppressed we suffer socially.  Just as sleep deprivation leads to sleepiness and fatigue, play deprivation is harder to identify but has its negative consequences also.”  Dr. Brown shares that a play deficiency, both in children and adults, include a lack of interest in the environment, irritability and poor response to inter-personal stress.  The place we see these deficiencies being played out are in the schools of our neighborhood.  Kids have a lack of interest in learning from their teachers, there are constant relational issues with other kids in their class, and emotions like anger and frustration are seen with the slightest provoking.  Instead of art, music, or sports clubs, resource teachers are hired to manage the chaos and to provide one-on-one mentoring in key educational areas, but still the majority of our kids are not passing the IRead 3 test.  We believe there has to be a different approach to alleviate the play deficiencies we see in the kids of our neighborhood.

Play, in it self, has the potential to transform a child’s life and significantly change the way young people think about themselves and the world. Structured play enables youth to develop positive relationships with adults and peers, experience a sense of belonging and connectedness, and learn valuable life skills.  We believe through play, we will see God begin the needed transformation for our children to learn and grow socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and academically.

For more information, please check out Brookside Community Play. 

Donations are currently being taken to help get Brookside Community Play off to a great start! Items are due by April 24th and can be dropped off at any Northview campus in the lobby (or in any Good Neighbor bin at the Carmel campus).

 

Brookside-Play-Social-ItemsNeeded-v2

 

 

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Career Day: The future re-imagined

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015

BY FRED SMITH

Last year, my wife Martha was tutoring a sixth-grade student at Brookside Community Church. He demonstrated exceptional math skills for his age, doing algebra problems at age 11. When asked what he might want to do for a career, he thought for a moment, and then said, “A math teacher.” Teaching is a worthwhile career; however, we immediately realized this child might have only had teachers as role models. The only person he knows that uses math in a career is his math teacher. Back here in Carmel, a student like this would most likely respond with a doctor, a scientist, or maybe, an engineer!

career day

Photo by Dennis McClintock

 

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Career Day at Brookside Elementary

Posted by on May 14, 2015

BY FRED AND MARTHA SMITH

Northview volunteer interacting at Brookside (photo by Tim Allen)

Northview volunteers reach out to students. (photo by Tim Allen)

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did anyone inspire a career? If you are a student, what do you want to be when you grow up? Is there anyone who inspires you now? Most readers will remember being asked this question — it is natural in our culture.

We probably had role models or mentors who got us interested in what we do for a living or what we will be doing someday. We are surrounded by people who work in jobs that require college education as well as those that require a skill such as trades. We come in contact with people from all kinds of jobs every day. Now, go about 15 miles south of Northview’s Carmel campus to the Brookside neighborhood in the urban core of Indianapolis. A whole different world exists.

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Making a difference at Brookside School 54

Posted by on May 3, 2014

BY ANNE-MARIE WILLIAMS

Brookside School Field Day 2011

A chorus of sing-songy voices greets me the moment I open the door, “Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Williams! You came back!” It is 1:30 on Thursday afternoon and Ms. Matteson’s second grade class at Brookside Elementary (School 54) is in the middle of their writing and math block. Math is the undisputed favorite subject of Ms. Matteson’s class and Thursday afternoons are quickly becoming my favorite time of the week.

The kids are always excited to see a visitor and their teacher gives them a few minutes to pepper me with questions.

“Did you go to work today? What do you do at your work?”

“Did you have ice cream last night?”

“Does your son play football?”

“Can I be your son?”

“Are you going to come every week?”

Consistency is rare indeed, both at school and at home. So they are mostly amazed and delighted that I keep showing up week after week.

This week there are 16 kids. Last week the count was only 11, and the week before, 13. None of these numbers represent the full class roster. In the ever-changing landscape of an urban school a teacher can hardly predict what their classroom will look like week to week. An entire class has been known to turn over from one semester to the next. The makeup of a school like School 54 shifts so much that teachers are often shuffled between grades in the same school year.

But none of this matters to Ms. Matteson. She runs a tight ship for whoever shows up—uniform shirts tucked in at all times, feet on the floor, no talking out of turn, paper and pencil at the ready, and if she catches you not paying attention to the lesson you’re going to shape up for sure.

It is clear she strives to know these children well and she is doing everything in her power to see them succeed, but she can’t do it alone. I visit School 54 once a week as part of Northview Church’s partnership with them.

Tutoring opportunities vary. Some tutors see two to three kids a week for 20 minutes at a time in the school library. Other tutors pull kids in the hallway to work on math or reading skills. I’m one of the lucky volunteers that gets to be in the classroom the entire time. I’ve helped the kids learn how to do internet research on very old and slow computers. I’ve learned a bit of new fangled math and have spent most of my time making new friends.

This isn’t my first stint at school volunteering. I have three kids at three different schools within Hamilton Southeastern School district. I love my school system and my kids have amazing teachers and administrators. It’s important to me to be involved in my children’s education, but being a room mom in the suburbs is sometimes more about the mom than the kids.

In my school system, I have to be placed in a lottery, and chosen out of a hat for the privilege of chaperoning a 3rd grade field trip. I have to sign up for a one-hour time slot a month to come in and make copies for my son’s 6th grade home room teacher. I’ve seen Moms go to great lengths (not to mention spend hundreds of dollars at Oriental Trading Company) to “out-Pinterest” one another for classroom parties and Staff Appreciation Week.

Inner-city schools hear big plans from church and community groups. Mostly empty promises, the majority of those volunteers stop showing up after a few months and the organization’s support trickles and dries up.

Northview placed a very small but mighty group of committed volunteers during the 2012-2013 school year. This commitment helped propel School 54 from an “F” to a “B” school. That’s a three-letter improvement in just one year! This jump means more children are passing standardized testing, mastering math skills and reading at grade level. Most importantly, it represents over 600 kids on the embattled near Eastside of Indianapolis receiving an educational leg-up.

It’s almost time for me to leave the kids for another week. The boys give me high fives and the girls give me hugs. Suddenly, the door slams and a defiant little boy slinks in. He is only 8 years old, but he has been in detention. His hair is an unruly disheveled mess on top of his head and he carries an elaborate paper airplane.

Not only has he spent his time making airplanes instead of doing his work, he can’t find the papers sent to detention with him. He will surely come to school without them tomorrow and face further consequences. He comes to school sporadically and never on time. One can assume from his appearance that he is responsible for getting himself up and out the door for the walk to school. His mom came to pick him up early but has never stepped foot in the front door of the school or returned any of the teacher’s calls or emails.

Ms. Matteson sighs as he shuffles out. She pauses to stoop low, places a hand on his shoulder and reminds him that she looks forward to seeing him tomorrow—asking him to bring a better attitude. As he leaves she looks at me with eyes that say, “What can I do?”

One of the key components of stemming the rising tide of hopelessness we see every night on the news and every morning in our newspapers is education. Is it fair that 20 minutes away from School 54 my children receive a public education that puts them on the fast track to college and future career success? These kids and their teachers deserve a fighting chance. And we can give it to them.

Once leery of our involvement, School 54 has now given Northview full access to the school and asked that we provide an army of 50 tutors for next year. We would like these tutors to start before the end of the school year in June so they can hit the ground running next fall.

Will you step up and give these kids a chance?

To volunteer, or learn more about Northview’s programs at Brookside School 54—including Box Tops for Education, Backpack Drive and Field Day—please contact: aimie.morris@northviewchurch.us.

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Follow the yellow bag…home

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014

Maybe you’ve seen the yellow bags in Northview Church’s lobby. Here’s your opportunity to follow the yellow bag’s journey from Northview to home.

Thanks to Dennis McClintock for the photos!

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