Sunday, December 11, 2011

Loan Payments: The End is Near!

Today is the 5th anniversary of the original commitment Sunday for the Compton Cares Campaign. This blog has existed to chronicle the beginning as well as the construction progress for accessibility in our building. And now there is exciting news as we realize that the payoff of our last accessibility loan is nearly here, some 10 to 11 months ahead of when we expected to do it. I have updated some figures in the sidebar, and if you want to review the posts from 2006, 2007 and 2008 to refresh you memory of the "before" and "after" now is a good time to do that. You also might want to revisit the list of donors and acknowledgements from the June 14,2008 dedication post.

When the celebration of the loan payoff is scheduled, I will update the blog once more, and it will remain up for about 6 months after that. But barring a new development, this blog will probably be taken down during the latter part of 2012, having served its purpose. The congregation is now utilizing an e-mailed electronic newsletter and a FaceBook page for the chronicle of its times, and a public blog no longer seems necessary. Just thought I'd let you know that if you want to save any of the photos or text from the account of the Compton Cares project, you might want to do it sooner rather than later. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Accessibility Loan Balance below $10,000

In June, the loan balance for the Compton Cares project dropped below $10,000. We are on track to pay off the loan on or before October, 2012. More details will be posted soon.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reprising 2010, Since the Blogger took a Sabbatical all Year

Although the blogger was absent in 2010, the mission of Compton Heights continued to grow. Once a month the Compton Rising Reading Circle (aka the book club) met to discuss the latest reading project. This group has involved more than a dozen people this year, and monthly attendance is around 8 or 9. We loved meeting at 6 North until they quit having Saturday hours and eventually closed the CWE location all together. Now the reading circle moves around. The last three months of the year we met at Van Goghz in the South Grand area.

Hooray for babies! The dedication of Jordan Walton (parents Matt and Shannon) was a highlight of a morning worship service. Jordan was the 5th baby born to members of the congregation in approximately an 18-month span. Two of the babies, Owin and Elizabeth, have moved away with their parents. And this fall Jordan moved to Columbia with her parents as they found new jobs. We continue to delight in the amazing growth of Peter, now 2, and Annabelle, soon to be 2. They are walking, starting to talk, and definitely know what they like! The addition of a play kitchen to the nursery is very popular with them.

The Peace Garden continues to flourish and the bulbs burst into bloom for Easter right on cue. Thanks to Jan Kreuger for masterminding the gardening! Often staff of Isaiah 58 hold meetings in the garden in the warm months, and clients use the benches while waiting for buses or to visit with others on nice days. The presence of the benches has made some of our residential neighbors nervous. Since once in a while a homeless person takes a nap on one, they question whether we are an attractive nuisance. We continue to try to explain that the mission of having a Peace Garden is to offer a place of refreshment and respite for body and soul, where people can gather or rest and restore themselves with a little of nature's beauty. It is a holy thing.

Since the addition of sisters DebE and Kim to our church family, the number of interesting and innovative fellowship events has increased exponentially. These ladies know how to have some holy fun. In September, a group of us went apple picking at Eckert's Farm in Illinois. Here, with the day's pickings of Golden Delicious and Jonathans, are Mary, Madeline, Marty, Norm, Kim, DebE, Darrell and Annabelle. Judi took the picture. There were fresh apples for coffee hour for weeks after that, and all kinds of other apple based goodies.

During the summer, Compton hosted Dr. Anil Henry, director of the Mungali, India, medical mission and learned more about the services that hospital and school is providing. Some of the group that visited India's Family Village Farm in the fall of 2009 is starting to plan another visit for the fall of 2011. Pastor Jacque and four other members are interested, and people from two other congregations--one in Kansas City and one in Memphis--are planning to go, too. So one focus for 2011 will be learning more about India and also helping raise funds to support the trip. In November 2010, our most successful all-church bazaar netted over $1700 for the Compton Cares debt retirement effort (see stats in the sidebar at upper right.) Our prayer shawl knitting circle turned out a record number of shawls and lap blankets, and these were donated to several members and also friends of the congregation who were facing illness and other physical or spiritual challenges. The circle members also made a lot of scarves for the bazaar, and those left over added to the annual Tree of Warmth, which was positively overflowing on the third Sunday in December. All of the items were distributed to clients of Isaiah 58 Ministries.

Compton folk also gave generously to the 6 special offerings we hold for outreach every year and stretched to fund two more appeals. In January we sent an over-and-above offering to Week of Compassion of more than $1150 in response to the Haiti earthquake, and in the summer we collected more than $800 for response to the flooding in Pakistan. We also held two drives to collect items for hygiene and medical kits for Church World Service.

This year we welcomed new members, including Scott, David, Bud and Nancy. The choir is growing; we have adapted our educational ministry to better serve children with autism and Asperger syndrome; Happy Friday continues as our street outreach every week; and there is much more that probably should be mentioned. Finally, we eagerly await new challenges for ministry in 2011.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bazaar is a Resounding Success!

The first-ever bazaar on Dec. 5 was successful on many fronts. Above all, it provided several fellowship opportunities during the ornament workshops, setting up and taking down. Thanks to a generous donation of Fair Trade gift items, plus the handicrafts made by our members, sales were brisk. Many Compton folk appeared to be doing their Christmas Shopping. There was a picture with Santa, delicious chili and hot dogs for lunch, oodles of tempting baked goods. The quilt drawing netted $175 and the quilt was won by Jane C., who bought her ticket from DebE at a weight watchers class. Some Compton neighbors came to shop, too, and a few friends from other churches. We would love to have more "traffic" if we do it again next year, and we will try to plan a date with fewer conflicts for other churches. As it is, we are grateful for every visitor and sale. Bottom line: the bazaar earned $1,362.65 for the Compton Cares debt retirement fund. Thanks to everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Bazaar is Coming!

Compton Heights will hold its first bazaar (at least in a long time) on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can shop for:
  • Handmade gifts, including scarves and accessories knitted by the Prayer Shawl ministry group.
  • Handmade holiday ornaments for the tree or decorations for the home.
  • Free trade gift items from crafts people around the world.
  • Free trade coffee, tea and chocolate from Equal Exchange
  • Unusual glass, pottery and art items, including some of Lana L's abstracts.
  • Potato baking bags and Gypsy Bags in many new designs.
  • Holiday cookies and breads, home baked.
A light lunch (hot dogs, chili, beverages) will help you ward off hunger while you shop.

The quilt shown above will be awarded to the lucky winner of a drawing to be held at 4 p.m. Tickets are available from church members and on the day of the Bazaar. The quilt, "Let Freedom Shine" is a sofa-sized 54x60 inches; the blocks pieced by members of the Flower Valley Quilting Guild and assembled and machine quilted by a Compton Heights member.

All proceeds will benefit the Compton Cares Accessibility project and be applied to reduction of the final $30,000 remaining on our construction loan. The bazaar will be held on the accessible level of the building!

For more information about the bazaar, please call the church office at 314-771-5071. See you on the 5th!

So Much More than Just a Sign

Nov. 8, 2009-- After worship, everyone trooped out to the sidewalk for a dedication of the new church sign. During our disability access construction, a resident in the Shaw neighborhood became interested in what our church was doing. Julia Krovicka is an artist, and she offered to make a sign for us that would more closely reflect the Compton Heights community and ministry.

Pastor Jacque Foster led the dedication. The frame for the sign was made by Dave B., and several members helped dig holes, pour concrete, and place the new sign at a slight angle, so it can be seen more easily from the street. While we gathered, we reminded that Compton truly is a "sanctuary in the city" as life rolled by at 35 miles and hour, including an ambulance answering a call somewhere to the south. The congregation appreciates Julia's gift of her talent so much. She attended the dedication, but demurred when asked to pose for a photo.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off to India

Our Pastor, Jacque Foster, as well as members Jan K. and Marsha Mc., left Thursday on a People to People mission trip to visit Family Village Farm and other sites in India. They will be gone for about two weeks so we pray for their safe travels and for an inspiring and enlightening journey. Since Compton is in the process of becoming a Global Mission Congregation, the trip is quite timely. We will be hearing about India for a long time to come and we eagerly await the return of our ambassadors!