2017 has been a year of great blessings and growth at The Hartford Project (THP).
We ran two Summer Outreach Weeks and our third annual FallServe Weekend Outreach. During these events, we served 390 participants from 27 different churches – including ten new churches! Students from these churches partnered together to serve with over 20 local non-profits and ministries, engaged questions of social injustice, prayed over our city, and grew in their relationships with God and one another.
This year, THP hired Jacquelyn Perreault as the organization’s first full-time Program Director and filed as a non-profit organization. Having a full-time Program Director has enabled us to reach out to new churches, inviting them to experience and share God’s love in Hartford!
We also implemented smaller Sub-Committees within our Planning Team – better valuing everyone’s time and talents and doubling the size of our Planning Team from fifteen to thirty members. This allowed our teams to provide better programs for our students and increased church collaboration - with sixteen churches represented on our 2017 Planning Team.
As we reflect on this year, we are overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness in this season. And as we look towards 2018, we are excited for all God will accomplish as His Church continues to unite together to experience and share God’s love in Hartford!
As THP continues to grow, we also face new challenges and increased costs. Your end-of-year donation will help us finish the year strong, and allow for even greater ministry opportunities in 2018.
As someone who has witnessed the impact of THP in your family, church, or community, would you consider partnering with THP by making a one-time donation, setting up a recurring donation, or joining our prayer team?
We are excited to see how your increased partnership will enable The Hartford Project to further inspire unity in the Church while blessing the Hartford community! Thank you!
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.
Today I will be introducing our Administration and Kitchen Management intern, Catherine Schultz. Catherine is graduating from The Master’s School this spring, and she is excited to see how God will use her as she interns this summer! He is already speaking to her through this time of transitioning from high school to college:
Catherine attended The Hartford Project for the past two summers, where she was able to give back to the community. She shares:
As she prepares for this internship, Catherine looks forward to further investing in the city of Hartford, while also growing in her faith:
Fun Fact // Catherine collect spoons from all over the world!
Favorite Verse // Isaiah 42:6 // “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.”
Post written by Jenna Adendorff.
This summer we have a stellar group of six interns and we can't wait for you to meet them.
First up, let me introduce you to Jenna Adendorff. This summer, Jenna will be interning in Communications and Discipleship!
Jenna is a third-year college student at Colorado Christian University, majoring in Communication and minoring in Leadership Studies. She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Simsbury, CT, where she attended The Master's School. Jenna participated in The Hartford Project as a high school student with Wellspring Church, and is excited to give back to other students as a summer intern! About her experience as a THP participant, Jenna shares:
There are so many great reasons to intern with THP. Jenna felt God leading her to apply, and is looking forward to combining the two things she loves most - communication and outreach!
We asked Jenna what she hopes to accomplish through this internship. What will she learn? How will she give back? Jenna shared:
Fun Fact // A player for the Miami Dolphins once asked Jenna if he could borrow a dime to buy a pretzel!
Favorite Verse // 2 Timothy 2:13 // "When I am faithless, he remains faithful."
Next Up: Jenna will be introducing you to our other five interns!
Post written by Jacquelyn Perreault.
Jacquelyn here, Program Director for The Hartford Project!
I'm excited to introduce you to THP's new blog! Here you can receive updates about THP, find fun things to do in Hartford, and hear from the many people who make THP possible!
For this first post I'd like to share an exciting *sneak peek* at this year's WINNING design from THP's T-Shirt Design Competition. You ready??
Artwork by THP Participant, Emily.
Congratulations to the artist, Emily of Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford!
You'll have to wait till THP to see the finalized design on our Love Wins shirts!
Next Up: Meet Our Interns!
Post written by Jacquelyn Perreault.
Written by the many voices of The Hartford Project!