Category Archives: Restoration Worship Center

ROP’s Food Bank, ESL Program and P4AP Looking for Participants

This will be quick. I want to make you aware of three opportunities to partner with ROP in serving our disadvantaged community:

  1. The first opportunity is with ROP’s Food Bank. Earlier this year, we began receiving food from the South Glen Whole Foods store. The perishable foods provided by Whole Foods have been a huge blessing to the people served by ROP’s Food Bank.  We would love to add a few more people to the team that collect the food at Whole Foods and/or drive the food to ROP. If you are available around noon on Monday’s and are interested in this opportunity, please contact Tish Freeman at [email protected].
  1. Opportunity no. 2 is with ROP’s English as a Second Language program.  We are hoping to start a Wednesday evening conversational English class for those who are unable to attend our morning classes.  This will be a time for them to practice speaking and build a friendship with a native speaker.  We need 2-3 more volunteers to make this happen.  We will meet 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the ROP building.  You can volunteer every week or every other Wednesday.  Please consider joining us!  Anyone interested should contact Angie Long at [email protected].
  1. While the first two opportunities are ongoing, the final opportunity is for just one day and is coming up very soon, like this Saturday. It is an opportunity to get some exercise, enjoy some fellowship with family and friends and help ROP raise some much needed support so that we can keep offering programs like our Food Bank and ESL program. Yes, this is another shameless but brief plug for Pedal 4A Purpose, ROP’s annual bike ride and run/walk.  There are many good reasons to do this, including of course the support thing and an ideal weather forecast, but I will not bother repeating them all again here. For more information, to register or to donate just click on this link.

 Thanks for your consideration of these opportunities to partner with ROP in serving our needy community.

One Day in Support of One Community and Several Ministry Partners

Pedal 4A Purpose is coming up very soon, just This coming Saturday on September 22nd. It promises to be a special day of good fun and fellowship and great weather. Yes, my weather program is forecasting a perfect day with lots of sun, no rain and temps in the mid 70s.

But the best thing about this day that makes it most special (at least for me) is that it supports all the things that happen almost every day at Restoration Outreach Programs, and with our staff and our ministry partners, Denver Leadership Initiative and Christian Cycling.

Just last Wednesday at ROP:

• 25+ students participated in English as a Second Language class,

•70 homeless men and women received a Chik fil A lunch and some prayer and care,

•10 students were tutored in our Work Readiness program,

•8 children participated in Reading mentoring at Crawford Elementary, and

•14 children sang songs, played games and learned from the Bible as part of our evening Spark program (photo).

On other days of the week:

•8 students receive seminary level Bible training

•100 families receive food and a lot of care.

So, I hope you will consider joining us for a bike ride or run/walk on a beautiful Colorado day, but even if you cannot make it, please consider making a donation and using this special day to support a lot of special ministry that happens year-round through ROP and our ministry partners.

Thanks for your consideration.

School Supplies Bless Students, Families and Teachers of Neighborhood School

Things slow down a bit at ROP in August with both our English as a Second Language and Work Readiness programs taking much needed breaks.  But this past week was a busy one with lots going on related to our Back Packs for Crawford project.

Tuesday, we started setting up our assembly line. Since this is the first time we have done it this way, I was amazed at how many boxes we needed open to get ready for the “stuffing” team, but there were a lot.

Wednesday evening was “stuffing” time.  We hoped we could get it done in less than three hours, but our team of 15 freshman (and three adult drivers) from Valor High School did an awesome job, stuffing 492 back packs and cleaning up in just two hours.

On Thursday morning a group of 6-7 Flourish East Colfax friends loaded a friend’s trailer at ROP and unloaded it at Crawford. When school starts next week, every student will receive a back pack filled with school supplies. Our friends at Crawford are delighted and very thankful.

And so am I. Many people contributed to making this happen. Our thanks go out to all the donors, stuffers and loaders who played a part in blessing the children, families and teachers of our neighborhood elementary school.

Well done team. Project complete!

ROP’s Reading Mentoring program at Crawford starts up on Wednesday, 9/5. If you are available on Wednesdays between 3:15 and 5 p.m. or just interested in learning more about this very strategic program, please contact me (Kent) by email or phone.

Pedal 4A Purpose 2018 is  7 weeks away on Saturday, September 22nd. Click here for more information or to register. And be sure to invite others to join you in this fun event which provides much needed funding for ROP’s ministry and other partnering non-profits.

P4AP 2018 Early Registration Deadline is June 30th

For the second year in a row, Pedal 4A Purpose will be held on the third Saturday of September – September 22nd. September may still be a few months off, but our early registration deadline  is coming up in just 5 weeks on June 30th.  So if you would like to get a date on your calendar to help motivate some training and save a few bucks in the process, I encourage you to think about registering now or at least before the registration fee goes up on July 1st (from $30 to $35 per individual and from $70 to $80 per family of 3 or more). 
Pedal 4A Purpose is an important part of ROP’s annual fundraising efforts. Last year, P4AP raised more the $21k in support of ROP and our partnering nonprofits, and this year our goal is $30k. But Pedal 4A Purpose is also much more…
  • P4AP provides a great opportunity for bike riders of all abilities to enjoy a supported ride with family and friends. It offers rides from as short as you like (5.5 miles to first aid station) to as long as 63 miles (with 4,522 feet of total elevation gain).
  • P4AP also offers a run/walk alternative along the beautiful Bear Creek Green Belt for those who prefer “pedding” to pedaling.
  • P4AP provides a yummy Chick-fil-A lunch and a great venue at The Bridge Church at Bear Creek (same location as last year 3101 S. Kipling St. – Name change only).
  • P4AP offers supporting churches and other nonprofits an opportunity to partner with ROP and share the funds raised by their teams up to 80/20 with ROP. (Youth groups and short-term mission teams please take note.)
  • Finally, P4AP offers a lot of great prizes for top fund-raisers and all participants. Our grand prize again this year is a $1,000 gift certificate from Schwab Cycles. Last year, all of our riders received a prize!
To register, donate or simply learn more about this fun event, click on this link.
Hope you can join us on September 22nd, have some fun and partner with us in meeting the real needs of a lot of under-privileged people.

If you are connected with a church or non-profit that would be interested in using P4AP 2018 to raise some funds, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or Tom Adams at [email protected]

$3.1K in Qualifying Donations Needed to Maximize Matching Grant

In retrospect it was a wonderful 10th Anniversary celebration, but the evening got off to a “rocky” start when the main video system failed an hour before the dinner began – yikes!  With many elements of the program dependent on video (lyrics to praise songs, 4 ROP videos, a slideshow and a PowerPoint) it looked for a while like it could be a very short evening. But God answered our prayers and the church’s Audio-Visual technician managed to cobble together a solution which allowed most elements to work. Thank you, Lord, and thank you, Jeff.

Frankly, I admit to being more than a little stressed, but with the help of a wonderful time of worship, led by Christie Gerwinat and friends, and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I think our 200+ attendees enjoyed a beautiful evening together and, I am glad to report, so did I :-).

Many thanks to all those who chose to celebrate God’s faithfulness with us last Friday, and to all those who helped to make it happen. I also want to give a special thanks to Jenny Passchier and Keely Rochford, Principal and Assistand Principal from Crawford Elementary School, who were kind to share the evening with us and share a few words of affirmation and support for ROP. Our partnership with Crawford is a very important and strategic part of ROP’s ministry.

Of course, I also want to thank all those who chose to make a financial donation in support of ROP’s ministry. I am thankful to report that to date we have received $23.6k in donations related to Friday’s dinner, not including the $10k matching grant. At this point, we have received $6.9k in donations and commitments that qualify for the match, but of course, we would like to take full advantage of the entire $10k match. And that is still possible, and a great opportunity to double your donation for anyone who was unable to attend Friday’s dinner.
Here are the four kinds of donations that qualify for the match:*
  • Any donation from someone who has not previously made a donation to ROP
  • Any donation from a donor who has not made a donation to ROP within the last two years
  • Any monthly/quarterly donation commitment from a donor who has not previously made such a commitment. (The amount of the commitment for one year will apply to the match.)
  • Any increase in monthly/quarterly commitment from a donor who is already giving on a monthly/quarterly basis.
Thanks for your consideration and support. Click on this link to make an on-line donation and remember to write “ROP Dinner” in the comment box.
In case you are interested, the four short videos shown for the first time at Friday’s dinner have now been loaded onto ROP’s website. I hope you will check them out at your convenience. Just click on this link to ROP’s website.
* Donations to staff support do not qualify for the match.

Two Great Ways to Partner with ROP and Make a Difference

ROP is seeking a few folks to fulfill a couple critical roles with our ministry:

(1) Reading Mentors – ROP’s after-school reading mentor program is one of the most strategic programs we have. I can say this emphatically because when we help a young boy or girl (most of whom speak another langauge at home) learn how to read more effectively, their chances of succeeding academically and succeeding in life improve exponentially. This semester’s reading program starts at ROP’s neighborhood elementary school (Crawford) next Wednesday, January 31st and runs every Wednesday afternoon from 3:15 to 4:45 for 10 weeks to April 25th.

(2) Food Bank Drivers – Thanks to the help of Nehemiah Global Foundation, ROP is now able to pick up perishable foods from Whole Foods for our weekly food bank. This is proving to be a great blessing to our food bank participants and especially our refugee neighbors who are much more accustomed to cooking with the fresh vegetables and other foods provided by Whole Foods than the non-perishables we otherwise are able to provide.  The only challenge we are currently having is transportation.  The Whole Foods from which we are picking up food is located in the South Glen Mall at Arapahoe Rd. and University Blvd. which is not a convenient location for any of our current food bank volunteers or staff.  So we are looking for a volunteer or two who would probably live in the Littleton, Centennial or Highlands Ranch area and be willing to partner with us by picking up and transporting the food to ROP.  The timing of the pick up needs to be between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday. Drivers would need to have a medium sized SUV or larger.
If you are available during either of these times and feel God leading you to get involved or if you just have questions about either of these opportunities, I hope you will contact us-click here.

Building Relationships as We Partner Together in Making Our Neighborhood a Better Place to Live and Work

One of the “Voice Groups” established at our Flourish East Colfax Neighborhood Meetings is the Pride/Respect Group. The goal of this group is to increase the sense of pride and respect that our neighbors have for where they live and work. A couple months ago the Pride/Respect Voice Group hooked up with Bill Gondrez who heads up the Blockmeister program.  Bill, with the help of a grant from the City of Aurora, provides pretty much everything needed to make picking up trash as easy as possible for any person or group that commits to keeping the area around their home or business trash-free.  That may not sound like much of a commitment to most of our readers, but here along East Colfax Avenue, it is a serious ongoing challenge.

In order to help meet that challenge, ROP has invited our neighborhood organizations and businesses to partner with us in this effort. I am glad to report that all of our nearby neighbors – Boettcher Boys & Girls Club, Adventure Dental and E&J Automotive – have accepted that invitation and formally joined our local Blockmeister team (see attached photo).

One of the side benefits of regularly picking up trash along our street is that it gives us an opportunity to meet more people and invite them to come to our semi-monthly Neighborhood Meetings. It is also our hope and prayer that, as our neighbors see their streets made cleaner, their sense of pride in their surroundings would increase and they would choose to join with us in making our neighborhood a better place for all of us to live and work.

Ultimately, of course, our prayer is that working together with our neighbors would provide God-given opportunities to show the love of Jesus Christ in word as well as deed. This is a big part of what Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is about. It is not a short-term process, but we are excited about the progress we are already seeing. One step at a time. So far, so good :-).

Making Room in Our Hearts for Unexpected Blessings

The Christmas devotional below was sent to me by my friend and Director of Men’s Ministries at Cherry Hills Community Church, Mark Shupe. I am forwarding it to you in the hope that it touches your heart as it does mine.

And she gave birth to her first-born son and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7

Ever since that fateful decision by Adam and Eve to do things their way instead of God’s way, human beings have struggled with creating space in their hearts for the presence of God. It was no different when God chose to come to this earth in the form of a perfect baby. Not only was there no room in a home for a proper birthing spot for Mary, but very few people welcomed the Savior of the world into their lives.
 
Two-thousand some years later after God physically entered our world to tangibly showcase His incredible love for us, we still struggle to fully welcome the wonders and workings of God into our lives. Like so many who were around during the days of Jesus, we often miss seeing and experiencing God in the midst of our busy, hustle and bustle lifestyles. Or, we find ourselves looking for a God formed in our own mind and expectations and fail to make room for the one true God who works in mysterious and often unpredictable ways.
 
In reading the Christmas story I am reminded of how God showed up in very unexpected ways. Mary was not looking to get pregnant (especially by the Holy Spirit); Joseph did not sign up to be the father of the Son of God; the Shepherds were minding their own business and not looking for an angelic visit; and the general population certainly were not looking for a King who would be born in a manger, or a Savior who would end up humbly dying on a cross.
 
Much of life this side of heaven is filled with the unexpected, unplanned and unwanted. Life often does not go as we plan and desire. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where it says, “then someone had a great plan.” But, the Bible clearly reminds us that God does have a great plan that includes each of us. It is better than anything we could plan. God’s plan is often different than what we expect or even want. Yet, it is all those unexpected and even unwanted happenings of life that God works His wonders in our lives.
 
God’s invitation for all of us this Christmas is simply to make room in our hearts for His mysterious, wonderful and good workings in our lives. Embrace the unexpected as opportunities to see and experience the presence and provision of God and in so doing, truly welcome the Son of God into our world.

Even as we thank God for the most incredible and amazing gift we will ever receive – the gift of His son, Jesus – let us also make room in our hearts for His unexpected, unplanned and even unwanted blessings.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Early by Serving Others on Saturday, November 18

On Saturday, November 18, 2017, ROP will be conducitng our annual Thanksgiving Outreach where, with the help of more than 125 volunteers, we expect to provide food boxes with all the ingredients for a complete Thanksgiving dinners to 350 families.  We invite you to partner with us by volunteering for this special event.

The following are some of the volunteer opportunities:
  • REGISTRATION – INSIDE AND OUTSIDE – signing people in and assigning them to a Guide
  • GUIDES – escorting people around to receive their food
  • FOOD BOX DISTRIBUTION – distributing food items to recipient (dependent on family size)
  • SNACKS – plating and serving snacks and beverages to recipients and volunteers
  • MAINTENANCE – picking up trash around facility and making sure each team has what they need
  • SECURITY – Guard doors and walk around building to make sure everyone is ok – ADULTS ONLY
  • FOOD STOCKERS – Keep food distribution area stocked with food
  • TURKEY DISTRIBUTION – Collect card and distribute turkey to families
  • DRIVERS – Drive people to their homes with their food –WE COULD USE CAR SEATS FOR THIS EVENT

For more information on volunteering, please contact Vicki Ekberg, our Thanksgiving Outreach Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or 303.898.0649.  If you are interested in donating food or dollars, please get contact Tish Freeman at [email protected].

 

We Do Pedal 4A Purpose So We Can Do Ministry at Crawford Elementary and Throughout Our Community.

Last night, ROP hosted the first ever Community Dinner at Crawford Elementary School. More than 200 parents and their children attended.  For the school, the purpose of the dinner was to talk to the parents about important issues related to their kids. Last night’s issue was attendance.  But before the principal and her staff spoke, they invited us to share about ROP and even gave us an opportunity to talk to parents about their kids participating in our Thursday evening Spark program at ROP where the Bible and Jesus – along with a lot of fun – are center stage.
The invitation to host last night’s dinner is a result of a strong and growing relationship with the school that began years ago with the delivery of a few boxes of school supplies. Since that time, ROP has participated in more events at the school than I have space to list here, and for the last 18 months a team of ROP tutors has been helping Crawford kids improve their reading skills. (By the way, we have room for a few more tutors. So if you are interested and available from 3:15 to 5:15 on Wedneday afternoons, please let me know.)
We are very excited about the growing opportunities we are having at Crawford. In our upcoming edition of Urban Voices, ROP’s Children’s Ministries Director, Walter Thompson, will be sharing more about these opportunities. But I am I sharing this now because Pedal 4A Purpose, ROP’s Annual Bike Ride (Run/Walk) and Fundraiser is happening tomorrow.
What does Pedal 4A Purpose have to do with growing opportunities to minister at Crawford Elementary?  Glad you asked. We do events like Pedal 4A Purpose and write fundraising letters like the one I sent out a couple weeks ago because it takes money to sustain and grow the work we believe God is calling us to do within our East Colfax community. I know this is no surprise to anyone, but part of my job (more than I would like 🙂 is to remind people of what God is doing through ROP and ask for their/your support. Our work at Crawford is just one example. In my recent letter I shared about the new counseling ministry that ROP is helping to launch. In previous communications, I have shared a lot about Flourish East Colfax and how God is using ROP’s exiting programs to impact lives.
So there you are. I know ROP is just one of many organizations and causes asking for your support, but if it has been awhile since you made a donation to ROP, we hope you would consider one now. And even if you are a regular monthly giver, we hope you might consider a special gift at this time. A gift now would be especially timely as we have a year to date deficit through August of more than $35k. Of course, we hope Pedal 4A Purpose will help to reduce that as of the end of September, but as of right this moment, Pedal 4A Purpose has raised a little less than $14k which is well below previous year’s totals and last year’s $19k+.
If you would like to make a donation to Pedal 4A Purpose, please click on this link. Of course, if you still have the response card from my fundraising letter, that works too. The money all goes to the same place :-).
As always, thanks for your consideration.

By the way, although the weather is turning cooler tomorrow, it still looks to be a good day for a bike ride or run with the forecasted rain arriving well after all of our participants should be done with lunch and enjoying the prizes they received through our prize drawings. We have lots of good stuff ready to give away. So if you live in the Denver area and have no plans for tomorrow morning, please consider joining us at Bear Creek Church. You can register at the church. click here for all the details for the event.