We did three house decorations for families in need of support across our city. One family we connected with, in Clifton, were so thankful for our input. We helped decorate the son's room with a Dr Who theme as well as create a space for mum to be able to relax in as well. Grandma was in tears by the end of the day, overwhelmed that we would want to do this for them. There is power in coming and loving on people, they see the heartbeat of God and it communicates powerfully what we are about as a church.
We ran three-day trips across the week, one to Sundown Adventure Land with Company, our church parent and toddler group and two to Skegness in partnership with our friends at the ‘Syrian Society of Nottingham’. We took over 150 people away across these three days, showering people with generosity and giving a great day out for dozens of families. From our trips to Skegness we already know about three dinner invitations, where volunteers have been invited over for dinner by those who benefited from the trips We have been so encouraged by stories like these where people from Heart Church have made lasting relationships with people they met at Heart Week events. This is what Heart Week is all about, not just one off ‘acts of service’ (although these have great value) but helping us as a church make connections with people in our city who we might otherwise never get to connect with. Many such connections were made across the week.
Jericho Road Garden Renovation
We helped to transform the garden at the ‘move on house’ for our outreach partner the Jericho Road Project. We had hundreds of pounds of free horticulture donations from a business where one of our volunteers works. Incredible garden plants and beautiful pots donated to create a safe, beautiful environment for women who have experienced such hardship. This is our ABC of Wow paradigm in action, “atmospheres and environments; restoring dignity, awakening the soul, speaking to our potential”. Please continue to pray this space will bring healing to those who get to benefit from it!
Emmanuel House Celebration
At the Emmanuel House party, we expressed the pulse of Heart Church with excellence on display across the event. Amazing Indian food on offer, Pudding Pantry coffee and cakes and a pamper room! Many of our volunteers dressed up in Indian attire and we had so much fun- we’re serious about it! The guests were so touched that we would provide such excellence for the homeless and vulnerably housed in our city. We love that as a church family we could give excellence and provide fun to those that so often are ignored and marginalised in our city. It displays the heart of our Father!
We had two Community Days in Bestwood and one in St Ann’s. The Community Days in Bestwood saw 330 people attend on day two. WOW!!! Some of the children were crying when the event finished because they so didn’t want it to end! And one child commented it was the “best event they had ever been too!” We love being able to make memories for people in our city and show them the love of God through taking the time to put on events with passion, excellence and love at their core. Families who attended the event in St Ann’s commented that they are consistently so impressed with the events that Heart Church put on for the community, saying they are of a quality that they don’t experience anywhere else. We love this, giving people WOW encounters!
For the second year running we put on a partner meal as part of Heart Week. The heart behind this event is to say thank you to the staff of our outreach partners. Many of which rarely get thanked for the amazing work they do. We hosted the meal at Pudding Pantry and the guests were so thankful that we would take the time to put on an event for them, with delicious food and drink. We again think events like this express our heart as a church, to shower people with generosity and express the love of God with six-star service. Pastor Malcolm came and encouraged the partners that the best is yet to come and that we are believing for Heart Week to grow in its impact and influence in this city.
We went and joined with two senior’s groups in our city, providing lunch and entertainment for the guests, some of our Heart Church youth came and sang and we organised a Sound of Music quiz! The host organiser commented “it has been so lovely to see you all come and serve and love these seniors. You have all worked so hard and blessed us by being the hands and feet of Jesus to a group of lonely and sometimes vulnerable people. They have loved it and been intrigued in some cases by which church has done this for them!”. One of the volunteers found out one of the seniors lives near them and is very isolated, she is now trying to engage with this lady and bring her along to church. We love stories of ongoing relationship!
Thank you to everyone that got involved and served so passionately. We have made a huge impact on our city through Heart Week 2018. We estimate over 850 people’s lives have been touched as a result, with over 260 people from Heart Church serving in some way. We believe many more testimonies are to come as the relationships established across Heart Week continue. Please continue to pray for these relationships and that those we engaged with across the 18 events would further experience the heart of God towards them as they reflect on their experiences.
Pastor Malcolm spoke the Sunday before Heart Week about this just being the beginning, we are so excited for Heart Week to continue to grow and develop. Maybe attracting other churches, businesses and schools to get involved as well. If you would like to get involved in Heart Week 2019, either by suggesting an event or by getting your business, school or employer involved, please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, HEART WEEK 2019 dates are already released, Monday 19th until Sunday 25th August 2019, get the dates in your diary now!