Page 12 - 2016 winter Vine
P. 12

and not surprisingly frequently occur in   membership, and active involvement in   affordable housing options being avail-
        my own life as well.”                promoting the welfare of others.     able in the Third Ward neighborhood.

        To achieve the scope and depth of    It is important to realize that other fac-  Each week St. John the Divine prays for
        transformation alluded to above, Agape   tors are affecting transformation in the   Kirk and Amanda Craig, their family, and
        employs a wide range of programs     Third Ward. Redevelopment is underway   the work they have committed to in
        addressing the needs of children, teens,   and is already changing the look and feel   the Third Ward. In addition to prayers,
        and adults that include recreation, edu-  of the area. Earlier this year the Houston   the parish supports Agape fi nancially
        cation, preparation for employment, and   Chronicle ran several articles dealing   through grants administered by the
        guidance in improving life skills to name   with income inequality, economic segre-  St. John’s outreach committee. Yet the
        just a few.                          gation, and the impact of redevelopment   assets that are always in short supply are
                                             (sometimes referred to as gentrifi cation)   volunteers to help support and staff the
        Agape’s comprehensive approach       on affordable housing within the 610   many programs and activities of Agape
        includes a residential program that   Loop. (See: The Divide: Income inequality   Development.
        facilitates the transition from the late
        teen years into adulthood. Some of us   in America's most economically segregated   A number of St. John the Divine parish-
                                             big city, and Inside the Loop, affordable
        were blessed by being raised in a stable   housing giving way to high-dollar develop-  ioners are or have been involved with
        family environment where adult behav-  ment by Monica Rhor). It is all too easy   Agape Development over the years either
        ior, educational achievement, kindness,                                   as board members (Ann Cochran and
        caring, love, and self-discipline are not   to ignore the issues called out in these   Lori Gobillot), as volunteers assisting in
                                             articles. The terms and phrases, "income
        only valued but consistently modeled.   inequality", "gentrifi cation", "economic   one of a wide variety of youth and adult
        Yet even in these circumstances, under-  segregation" will raise different thoughts   programs, or as participants in short-
        standing and stepping into adulthood   and feelings in people of different   term projects. Only recently, a St. John
        with all the attendant responsibilities   economic and political persuasions. To   the Divine team led by Brett Hamilton
        and expectations can be challenging.   all I would point out a comment made   completed a substantive home improve-
        Assisting young people to make this   in one of the Houston Chronicle articles   ment project at one of the Gateway
        important transition is the purpose of                                    houses for women. In addition, Men’s
        the Agape Gateway Program and the    that caught my attention: "Gentrifi ca-  Life has worked on several Saturday work
                                             tion tends to isolate the poor from the
        associated Gateway Houses. The resi-  affl uent and disrupt ties and relationships   projects at Agape over the last few years.
        dential program assists 18-25 year olds   that can be critical for upward mobility."   Brett Hamilton commented: “I always
        make the transition to healthy adulthood   The issue of economic segregation that   meet a new person in the Agape pro-
        by assisting with housing, utilities, and                                 gram or a new parishioner from St John’s
        transportation while also providing coun-  can occur with redevelopment has, I   when participating in one of our service
                                             believe, far reaching social, economic,
        seling, job preparation, and guidance in   and ultimately moral implications. To   projects. Serving together helps foster
        pursuing continued education. Beyond   address these concerns, Agape and   relationships within the parish and in the
        the goal of assisting young adults to   its Board of Directors, as well as RCC   community served.” Others have been
        become independent adults, the pro-                                       involved in assisting with after school pro-
                                             leadership, are developing a strategy
        gram orients the young person outward   that will infl uence and hopefully result in   grams, providing transportation, assisting
        through community service, church                                         with neighborhood-focused projects, and













     12
   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17