“Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.”
- David Spangler
One of the major roles of the Crown Point Community Foundation is to act as a community convener or community connector.
Community foundations are in a unique position to bring together community leadership to discuss community issues. Community foundations are apolitical. We are good listeners.
Community foundations help solve community problems through discussion and partnerships that can create a dynamic for change. So we convene. We ask community members to come together to learn more about the work each of us are doing. By getting to know each other, we develop deeper relationships, so when problems arise, we know who to call.
On July 31, the Crown Point Community Foundation asked church leadership and other community connectors to attend a meeting at the foundation office. This introductory meeting brought more than 20 ministers to the table.
Other partners included a representative from the medical center, the Center Township trustee, a member of the Crown Point City Council, a school representative and a nonprofit service organization member. I would like to thank Tony Suitor, the pastor at Hillside Community Church, for helping to facilitate the focus group session.
The discussion focused on various programs offered by the church organizations and other groups. Churches talked about their mentoring programs for young people, they identified the ongoing needs of food pantries and continued shortages at all locations. Another group identified the need for outreach to eldercare, seniors and the homeless.
As the meeting progressed, several insights were identified:
- There are many programs serving our community. Identifying and building awareness of these programs needs to be a priority.
- A local community resource guidebook for programs and contact information is needed.
- The need to develop one major community project or event that would be a visible Christian sign - a presence of UNITY in our community.
The Crown Point Community Foundation is excited about the prospect of coming together to discuss the strengths and the challenges, as well as the resources, here in our community.
This sharing of information and the opportunity to better know the individuals serving in all these positions strengthens the bond of connectivity and our knowledge base of community resources.
The focus group will reconvene Oct. 23 to continue the discussion. If you would like to participate in this discussion, please contact me at the foundation office, (219) 662-7252.