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Nueva Creación

ZPC has supported Iglesía Nueva Creación, a Hispanic church that meets at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Speedway, since its inception in 2008. In addition to our church’s annual monetary support, several ZPC members have gotten involved over the years. Ron Fisher serves on ZPC’s Mission Commission and as the treasurer on the board for Nueva Creación. I spoke recently with Ron about the church, his involvement, and how ZPCers can become more involved in this important ministry.

According to Latin Post, Indianapolis has been experiencing a Latino population boom (Thompson, 2015). Between 2000 and 2013, the Latino population in Indianapolis increased by 195%. Currently, according to the US Census, 9.4% of Indianapolis’s population is Latino. Speedway is in keeping with its surrounding city with about 9% of its population being Latino.

Nueva Creación came about in 2008 through a partnership between John Knox, Irvington Presbyterian Church, ZPC, and the Whitewater Valley Presbytery. Ron says the church is an important addition to the Speedway community. “Because of the growth of the Hispanic immigrant community, there are a lot of opportunities for Nueva Creación and the location of John Knox is perfect meeting place for a Hispanic congregation. There is a strong catholic church in this area, but there was not a protestant presence until the formation of Nueva Creación."

In January 2015, Nueva Creacion hired a part-time pastor, Rev. Héctor Hernández Marcial, M.Div., MAMFT. Rev. Héctor has been a great addition to the church, according to Ron. “Hector goes into the homes of those the church serves. He spends personal time during the week with families, which has helped the church grow.”

Providing services and planning events for the community are other ways the church has grown. Some examples of ways the church has reached out to the community are through a couples workshop they hosted last August with 40 people participating and an event where they facilitated a community conversation with a Spanish speaking police officer who serves as a liaison with the Hispanic community.

The church also provides events and services for the children in the community. Ron pointed out how important this connection is. “The Hispanic culture is very family oriented so when children get involved, parents get involved.” These interactions with children provide several opportunities for ZPCers to jump into this ministry. The Nueva Creación congregation meets on Sunday afternoons at 1:30. Volunteers are needed to assist with the children’s ministry during this time. “These volunteers are vital to the growth of this church, because they allow all parents to stay and participate in the service, which is important to a small church.”

Another opportunity for ZPC involvement takes place on Thursday evenings when the church hosts art and music labs. Through the Art Lab, Rev. Héctor and other artists help community children explore graphic design and art while exploring their faith in God. The Music Lab is also planned for this fall after an individual donated five guitars. Volunteers are needed to assist in both areas.

Please contact Ron Fisher for more information on how you can get involved with the wonderful things going on at Nueva Creación!

Thompson, N.A., 2015). "The Crossroads of America:" How Indianapolis has benefited from booming Latino business community. Latin Post, April 28, 2015. http://www.latinpost.com/articles/43251/20150428/crossroads-america-indianapolis-earned-new-nickname-due-booming-local-latino.htm

Posted by Sally Bias with 1 Comments

IHN Serves Homeless Families

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice Hospitality         Romans 12:13

Several times a year, ZPC hosts a group of people in our church building. Two of these times are coming up in the next couple of weeks—the men’s and women’s Great Banquets. Individuals sleep here in our building. Meals are provided in the kitchen. Rooms are made up with beds and makeshift night stands. This is something we’ve been doing at ZPC since the early 90s. In November, ZPC will have an opportunity to do this for a group of families who are experiencing homelessness through an organization called Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), a national, faith-based, organization whose mission is to provide temporary, emergency shelter for homeless families.

Mary Leman, one of the program coordinators, thinks this ministry is a great fit for ZPC. “I knew this ministry sounded exactly like who we are as Christians. It's been said, 'this is in ZPC'S DNA!' In addition, I know we, as Presbyterians may be a reserved group, but I say, do not confuse that with apathy. All you need to do is show us a need or ask for help, and we will drop everything to show God's love.”

Each week up to fourteen homeless individuals are provided with housing at network church facilities. During the day, guests stay at a day center in downtown Indianapolis, where they receive social services. Older children attend school. Between 5 pm and 6 am, local congregations serve as hosts on a weekly rotational basis, providing lodging, meals, and hospitality. ZPC will host for the first time from November 8 through November 15, 2015.

I asked Mary why she was draw to IHN. She said, “here is the opportunity to reach out to people in our community who are in need right now, and help them lift themselves up today. I was especially drawn to the opportunity to keep families together and provide a safe, stable environment for the children. I am delighted that my own children, aged 5, 8, and 10 years old, can be a part of IHN and can learn how to share Christ's love by volunteering and helping the families feel welcome.”

Volunteers are the heart of the program. As Mary mentioned, opportunities exist for people of all ages to serve including:
            >          Setting up guest bedrooms in the church
            >          Cooking and serving meals
            >          Playing with the children and helping them with homework
            >          Staying overnight with the families
            >          Providing transportation to and from the day center
            >          Tearing down guest bedrooms
            >          Doing laundry
            >          Donating food items and supplies or making a financial donation to purchase needed items
            >          Most importantly, demonstrating Christ’s love

IHN continues to work with these families after they are no longer in crisis. Mary says, “I feel great about the entire program and especially the follow up each family receives afterwards to make sure they don't fall victim to homelessness again.”

“IHN puts those needy families right before us, within our walls, where we can be the hands and feet of Christ in our own church home. In truth, I feel we are blessed that these families would allow us, complete strangers, to serve them and trust us during this difficult time in their family's life. In being true disciples of Jesus, others will see the light within us and be touched.”

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