Community Development

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7

Christian community development is a long-term, community-driven, people-centered process of participant involvement that results in transforming, measurable, individual and community change based on Christian values. It is the opposite of dependency. It is people learning and taking responsibility for their own lives and standing on their own two feet, supporting their own families. But it is not independence, it is interdependence – in community – in which people live as gifted and called children of God looking beyond their family’s needs and serving the community. It is about mutual transformation of all involved in the work of community development. The church has an important role to play in community development.

If you would like to know more about Peace Lutheran Church Community Development ministries, please contact the church office at plcadmin@peacetacoma.org.

What direction is Peace taking in community development?

A few years ago, a Community Development Team was formed to consider how God is calling us as a congregation forward in community development – walking with individuals, families, and our community and offering a hand with dignity and justice, more than a handout, toward greater wholeness and health. Our first partner in this work is the Peace Community Center. The team reviewed current outreach ministries according to our mission, vision and values, and through the lens of community development principles. In mid-2014, as the congregation was engaging in prayer and discernment around future directions in affordable housing, two houses went up for sale across the street from the church. A new team, the Affordable Housing Team, was formed to guide us in the purchase of the homes and forward in affordable housing. Through a Missional Sustainability project, we began the ongoing work of engaging Hilltop neighbors, our congregation, and community partners in a listening process to discern assets and needs. A Community Resources Ministry was born to extend Community Meals to a dinner every Friday evening with representatives of local social service agencies present to help individuals access community resources. In 2019, a new ministry began in the form of the Community Resources Ministry, offering a free community meal every Friday evening throughout the year. This Friday meal is paired with community resources made available through social service providers present and available to speak with any that stop by. This ministry supports individuals in need toward a more sustainable livelihood. The goal is to walk alongside and equip individuals struggling with economic poverty to take positive steps toward greater economic sustainability.

What guides our decisions toward community development?

Community Development Strategy Screen:
  • Mission-oriented: A solid fit with and advances the mission, vision, values of Peace Lutheran Church.
  • Empowering: Empowers (hand up) more than enables (hand out), emphasizing dignity and respect.
  • Relationship-centered: Journeys alongside individuals in authentic relationship for the long haul.
  • Meets felt needs: Responds to the felt needs of the community/neighborhood.
  • Asset-based: Uses gifts of the Peace community and Hilltop neighborhood and focuses on collaborative partnerships.
  • Holistic: Ministers to the whole person (physical, mental, emotional, social, economic, spiritual).
  • Transformative: Offers genuine encounter with God’s grace and instills hope for positive transformation.

KEEP IN TOUCH

2106 South Cushman Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98405 

Phone: (253) 383-1317

Fax: (253) 722-2228 

Email: plcadmin@peacetacoma.org

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