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New Mission Partnership

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We are so excited to announce a new mission partnership with a unique organization making a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

PHPC, please meet Act (Advocates for Community Transformation)!

ACT is a new model of ministry that uses the justice system to empower inner-city residents to fight crime on their street while sharing with them the hope of the gospel. Their vision is to see safe neighborhoods where crime is no longer tolerated and dignity and hope are restored. Act does not transform communities; Act empowers communities to transform themselves.

  • Act has empowered 190 clients to transform their community. That individual transformation, when multiplied, has collectively transformed neighborhoods.
  • Act, its clients, and volunteer lawyers have shut down 128 drug houses since 2009.
  • Clients in Act's two legacy West Dallas neighborhoods (Westmoreland Heights & Westmoreland Park/Ledbetter Gardens) continue to experience an approximate 50% reduction in Part I crime* since their work began there in 2009 and 2011, respectively. 
  • After Year 2 in our active South Dallas target neighborhood of Frazier/Mill City, reported Part I crime is down 14%, compared to a 2.4% increase in Part I crime in South Dallas as a whole.
  • After Year 5 in our active West Dallas target neighborhood of Cross Hampton, crime reduction is at 33%, three times lower than in West Dallas as a whole (11%).
  • Act is also intentional about sharing prayers and conversations around the gospel and the spiritual impact being made in the lives of its clients. Act is witnessing residents strengthening their faith in Jesus Christ and exercising their faith in new and bold ways on behalf of their neighborhood.

That sounds great, but what does it mean for us to be in partnership with Act?

It means that we at PHPC are intentional about supporting their mission through the myriad of opportunities that are available to us. In addition to the mission grant PHPC is providing to Act (thanks to your financial gifts to the church), you are also invited to:

  • Learn more about Act and tell your friends about them, too: www.actforjustice.org
  • Join Act’s upcoming Fall Prayer Walkson September 8th and October 20th from 9 am - 12 pm. September 8th will be in South Dallas/Fair Park and October 20th will be in West Dallas. These are both family-friendly events, so feel free to bring your whole family. You can sign up here if you're able to attend.
  • Attend the final happy hour of their Justice Summer Series approaching on September 20th at the Act office(1335 Inwood Rd. Dallas, TX 75247) from 6-8 pm to celebrate local impact on North Texas Giving DayRSVP here! 
  • Meet representatives from Act during the PHPC Mission Ministry Fair in Jubilee Hall on Sunday morning, before and after worship services on September 23rd.
  • Lastly, if you feel called to be PHPC’s liaison to Act, please contact Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell to find out what that entails.

Thank you for your heart for God’s people and the pursuit of justice out of love and compassion for one another!

*Part 1 crime includes violent and propery crimes, such as robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and aggravated assault.

Posted by Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell with

A Common Table

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by Nancy Wilson

Have you ever sat in the pew Sunday morning, listened to Matthew invite you to “wrestle with scripture” and then wonder to yourself—“How is it he thinks I’m going to do that?  Wrestle with whom?  I don’t have an assignment like giving a sermon to the whole congregation to ‘inspire’ me to work hard enough to actually wrestle in a meaningful way.”

Table Groups are one of the ways our church encourages me to dive deeply enough to truly wrestle with scripture, a topic, a book. An ongoing Table Group provides me a trusted community of other members wrestling with the scripture. I have enjoyed several Table Group experiences—two focused on race issues, and others focused more on Christian fellowship around a theme, topic or season such as Lent.

The thought-provoking books and church members who bring a breadth of experience and depth of thought and knowledge have helped me get down in the trenches and really examine what I believe, why I believe it and what I might need to change or reconsider about things I have been taught from childhood and as an adult. I have delighted in the company of other members, but sometimes self-examination has made my time with God pretty challenging. I’ll admit to spending plenty of time looking at the person in the mirror and struggling with the lessons I’m learning versus the lessons I grew up with—or with the feelings rising up from deep within me. One challenge has been trying to identify why I feel out of sync with God—is it fear?  Is it anger? Do I resent change? Do I lack the courage to step up and make the things I’m learning a real part of my daily life? There is a big difference between “getting it” intellectually and actually loving in the many ways we may be called to love—personally, politically, societally.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through involvement with Table Groups is that it takes time to work through lessons in our spiritual journey. I can’t just read the book, take the test and move on to the next lesson. The issues raised in discussion keep recurring in my everyday experiences. How can I make this scripture real in my life today? How can I react differently next time I am in such-and-such situation? I can volunteer, I can contribute money, I can get involved—those are all good and worthwhile…but I think the biggest challenge for me is to have the courage to step outside my comfort zone; to say and do things in one-on-one situations that are uncomfortable, but where the words I choose and the compassion I might be able to convey are undeniably delivered. The ideas and experiences of Table Group members give me examples of how to participate in all of these ways. As Rev. Sarah reminds us, “It is all that easy and it is all that hard.”

Table Groups meet in homes, restaurants, coffee shops, and locations around the city. Commit to one of our fall groups at phpc.org/tablegroups.

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