Into The Waters
THP June 2017
One church, one body,
Diverse yet together in love,
Denominational barriers broken,
By Father, Son, and Spirit above.
testing the waters
In the Trinity there is unity,
Oneness in purpose and plan,
Jesus prayed that we would be one,
As He and the Father began.
stepping into the waters
Many churches from all around,
Together in prayer, hearts are knit,
Red and yellow, black and white,
To Jesus, our hearts we commit.
wading in the waters
We are one in the bond of love,
Can’t tell the difference among all,
As the power of God is released,
We embrace God’s unity call.
ready to jump
Together we are growing closer,
As one body, hand in hand,
Hope for the world from God’s view,
For the glory of Jesus we stand.
jumping into the waters
Together, working for Jesus,
Impacting the region for good,
Spreading the good news all around,
Loving one another as we should.
swimming in the waters
Completely submerged in the river,
His love flooding us deep within,
Touching the city of Hartford,
Seeing His glory and watching love win.
© 2017 ELICIA ROY
written for THP - The Hartford Project on 6/27/17
Poem written by Elicia Roy, Week One Leader, Westfield Evangelical Free Church
My experience at Week One of The Hartford Project was amazing. It stretched me further than I thought I could go, and although it was long and difficult at times, it was well worth it. As interns, we get minimal sleep, and are constantly going all day. Sometimes we are complimented on how smoothly things are running, which we really appreciate, especially because it’s our job to make sure no one notices the absolute chaos going on behind the scenes. In the midst of this chaos, it was the quiet moments that really stuck out to me - when I was able to sit back and listen to all that was going on around me.
One experience that was particularly impactful for me happened Monday night when we went to the Citadel of Love for dinner. On this night, a police officer was passing by and asked us what was going on. We explained the event to him, and he shared that he too was a believer and would love this opportunity to speak to the youth. He began by speaking about his life as a police officer and what that looked like. He answered questions about his experiences- the things he had seen and done as an officer in Hartford. He also encouraged us to pray for Hartford, and gave us specific ideas of what some of the pressing needs are in the city. He especially highlighted the youth- saying they really need prayer: prayer to stand up against peer pressure and to respect their police and teachers. He told us different stories about how easy it can be to be negatively influenced by others, and what it’s like to see things from the youth’s perspective. Something else that grabbed my attention was when he said that living in a small city makes it easy to run into family members or friends on the job. As a police officer, he has to put his job first. We could all imagine how difficult that would be. I really appreciated him taking the time to speak to us and pray with us - and it seemed everyone else did too!
It was incredible to see the youth from all our different churches praying for the youth in Hartford. There was a lot of unity there in that moment. I think the kids realized that we all have struggles and hardships- sometimes they are the same, and sometimes they are different. Either way, we all need prayer and support.
The theme this year at The Hartford Project is Stories, and it was incredible to me how hearing someone’s story opened my eyes to understand people better. When we heard this police officer’s story, it gave us a glimpse of his own, and many others’, perspectives. It also made me realize that we all have our own stories to tell- stories that need to be heard and stories that will help others understand us. In the same way, it was important to hear the stories of that police officer and of the many interactions he had in order to understand the experiences of other people. Once we can hear the stories of others, it’s a lot easier to be unified. When we realize that it’s actually good that everyone has different stories- it’s actually something beautiful, we can learn to love those around us well.
I’ve always loved stories, and this past week I got to hear a lot of them- from students, from speakers, and from people we encountered- like the police officer on Barbour Street. I learned that stories are important. In a world with a lot of chaos and noise, sometimes it’s hard to know what to think or believe, but if we can just take the time to get to know someone - to listen to their story, it helps us to have more peace and clarity. Jesus told stories too- and this week helped me to realize how important it is to tell our stories, and to listen to others’ stories as well!
Written by Jenna Adendorff.
Everyone ran for shelter (the interns found shelter under the tables) while it rained. When it started pouring a number of people rushed into the church, while others crowded under tents. And then, it started hailing, and just about everyone ran into the church! We all were in there drying off and bonding over our soaking, squishing sneakers, when outside, the hail cleared up, and a beautiful double rainbow appeared.
running for shelter, and since we were stuck inside, we all got to talk and meet new people.
Isn’t it true that when we go through “storms” in our own lives, God uses them to bring us closer to those around us? God can use the “storms” in our lives to bring people to us that we can lean on. We can quickly bond with those around us when we are going through something difficult. It helps us recognize our need for each other. That’s what happened that night in the storm.
The coolest part, was that when all was said and done, God had placed a double rainbow in the sky. Everybody loves a rainbow, but isn’t it amazing that as Christians we can look at rainbows as a promise from God? After the storm, there’s a rainbow. A promise. How beautiful is that?
So maybe our block party was rained out, but God still used it to move in incredible ways! We got to make new relationships, bless others, and be blessed, all the same. And even in the storm, we got to see a beautiful double rainbow afterwards, and it made for some pretty good stories!
Post written by Jenna Adendorff.
Written by the many voices of The Hartford Project!