Children's Ministry - what started out as a summer bible club in the park on Grand Avenue has grown into weekly Saturday Kids Club throughout the school year. During the summer months we transition to a daily Monday - Friday lunchtime Summer Meals program in collaboration with Foodlink to provide not only biblical nourishment, but a healthy lunch and nutrition and exercise lessons to promote wellness.
Teen Club & Mentoring - a natural outgrowth of our Kids' Club to provide continued engagement as our neighbors grow older. The entire group meets every other Friday afternoon and periodic field trips promoting discipleship, deepening relationships, leadership, and community service. On the alternating weeks students meet with their mentors to work on academics, spiritual growth, and to just have fun.
Beechwood Community Garden - our neighborhood is a food desert which means our neighbors do not have ready access to fresh produce, many do not have their own transportation and navigating public transportation can be a daunting task. In an attempt to respond to this situation in May of 2016 we established the Beechwood Community Garden on the corner of Parsells and Stout. Raised garden beds are available on a yearly basis for families or individuals, we also have smaller beds close to the sidewalk on Parsells to make available to any neighbors passing by. Not only has the garden provided much needed fresh produce but we have been able to offer gardening lessons and nutrition classes as well. Laboring together is an amazing way to develop relationships and build community.
Summer Farm Stand - again in our response to the lack of ready access to fresh produce 441 partners with Foodlink to provide a weekly opportunity for our neighbors to purchase at greatly reduced prices as well as periodic cooking and nutrition classes. In the near future the farm stand may be replaced by Foodlink's Curbside Market until we are able to establish a permanent non-profit market in our neighborhood.
New City Cafe - The role of the New City Cafe in working toward the fulfillment of 441 Ministries Mission of seeing hope - healing - holistic development through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Beechwood neighborhood is multi-faceted. The establishment of the cafe has brought an element of hope to this underserved neighborhood. The commitment and creativity of the larger Body of Christ in coming together in providing time, talent, and treasure to see the realities of neighborhood teen employment, career guidance, and certainly an alternative to the street corner cannot be underestimated. So far we've been able to employ five teens. For far too long many urban neighborhoods have been left behind not only by those in government, but unfortunately in some cases by the church as well.
While a coffee shop in itself may do little to lift up the community around it, God's people intentionality living out the gospel in the day to day, moving in, investing in, and interceding for their neighbors may achieve eternal benefits. Providing a gathering place for the community to come together, developing and deepening relationships, and walking alongside one another in life, has the potential to bridge many of the divisions our society suffers from. Our two music and art events held so far have provided us with a glimpse of what neighborhood transformation can look like. Neighbors of every age, ethnicity, and socio-economic background have joined together to enjoy great art, smooth jazz, and most importantly, community.