Many of you have heard bits and pieces about an upcoming ministry event called Convoy of Hope, which will be taking place in September 2016. Until recently we haven’t had much to share since the event is so far away and many details still remained to be seen, but that is no longer the case. We now have a much clearer picture of what to expect regarding Convoy of Hope Racine 2016. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Who is Convoy of Hope?
Convoy of Hope is a non-profit organization that specializes in community outreaches and disaster response around the world. One of their primary areas of focus are community events, which are simply called Convoy of Hope events. Grace is partnering up with Convoy of Hope to sponsor a community-wide event on September 17th, 2016 here in Racine, WI.
What are Convoy of Hope community events all about?
The event will be a one-day, community-wide effort to provide thousands of struggling people in our community with groceries, health and community services, family portraits, haircuts, prayer, and games and activities for children—all free of charge to each guest.
Why coordinate a community-wide event in the first place?
To be perfectly honest, this is new for us. We’ve never coordinated a community-wide event which involves widespread collaboration with many different organizations and churches. Of course, there may be challenges that come with a process like this. With all that said, though, we feel that the greatest impact this Convoy of Hope event provides for is a concentrated opportunity for our members to invest in the lives of others within our community–for the most part, people they would otherwise never meet or get to know. We see this as being valuable, 1.) we hope it will help our church take another step forward in obedience to Christ’s command to make disciples, and 2.) it also gives us an opportunity to care for many people in our community who are need, demonstrating the biblical truth that all people are created in God’s image and, therefore, carry with them a unique sense of dignity and worth.
As with anything new, we will learn from this experience, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of ministry. And in all of this, we trust that God will work through our efforts to bring glory to himself and to cultivate a personal sense of passion and calling for each of our church members to “go where people are,” invest in the lives of others, point them to Jesus and his gospel, and make disciples.
When and where will Convoy of Hope Racine take place?
Saturday, September 17th, 2016
at Walden III School
9am until supplies last
Who else is partnering with Grace to pull this event off?
This is truly a community-wide event that will require a great deal of collaboration to pull off. We are grateful for a number of very important partnerships, even early on in this planning process…
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare was eager to get involved and has already been a huge help! Julie Hueller, of WFHC, is serving as the Community Services Team Leader for Convoy of Hope Racine, working with local community service providers to add value to the event. Wheaton also sponsored a recent Vision Casting Luncheon, where we were able to share the vision for Convoy of Hope Racine with around 60 local business/community leaders. Thank you, Wheaton Franciscan!
Walden III School (RUSD) is excited to be a part of Convoy of Hope Racine as well! They’ve agreed to host the event on their school property and are also eager to get their students and families involved. Thank you, Walden III School!
Our Convoy of Hope leadership team is also in contact with a number of other churches, schools, and organizations that are beginning to discern the best ways to get involved.
How can I be involved?
Right now there is still quite a bit of leg work that needs to be done by way of behind-the-scenes coordination. Remember, the event is not until September 2016—at this point, over 10 months away. In the months leading up to the event you will hear about a number of ways you can be involved and serve. Our hope is to serve between 3,000-5,000 guest on the day of the event, which means that we will need to mobilize around 1,000 volunteers. Stay tuned! And in the meantime, block off September 17th, 2016 on your calendar so that you can be available to serve.
Will this be a recurring/annual event?
No. While we do see this as a great opportunity to connect with people in our community, our intentions are not to coordinate a Convoy of Hope event each year. Convoy of Hope is a one day, community-wide event that takes the better part of one full year to coordinate. Since all of this coordination takes place above and beyond the regular demands of ministry and leadership here at Grace Church, we feel that it would not be best to sponsor and coordinate an event like this on a recurring basis. Instead, we will continue to focus our attention on our Local Partnerships which provide our members with a wide variety of ongoing opportunities to invest in the lives of others, build relationships, share the gospel, and make disciples.
With that said, it’s not uncommon for other participating churches to get behind the Convoy of Hope event and decide to take on the role of sponsoring church in subsequent years. If that does happen we would certainly be open to getting our members involved in future events, but we do not plan on serving as the sponsoring church for Convoy of Hope on a recurring/annual basis.
If I have more questions, where should I direct those?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org