February 2015

What's Sprouting?
This Issue:
- A Beloved Community in the Midst of Violence
- Big Day of Giving and Kids at Heart Coming Up!

Coming Events:

 - Mar. 30-Apr. 3rd: Spring Break "ABC" Kids Camp
 - Tuesday May 5th: The Big Day of Giving
 - Saturday, May 30th:  Kids at Heart 2015

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Creating a cross-age, cross-race, cross-class Beloved Community in Gardenland/Northgate:   GreenHouse teens, staff, and volunteers at a going away party for Ameina (center) and her little girl Rosaria last month.

"Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As you may have heard through news media, there was a fatal shooting on January 19th (Martin Luther King Jr Day), right in front of Ninos Park.  From what we've been told, a young man from the South area set up a gun deal in front of the park that went awry.  Now, one young man from our neighborhood (age 18) is facing prison time, and another young man (age 21) is dead.  A handful of GreenHouse kids and other neighborhood kids actually saw the shooting, and many more have been very shaken up by the incident. 

Our hearts have been broken for the pain that the families of both of these young men are going through.  Our hearts ache for all the violence that kids in this community have already seen; far more than most of us will see in a lifetime.

It has hit The GreenHouse and this community especially hard, because Ninos Park is where GreenHouse kids play every day to "blow off steam" before homework time.  Ninos Park is where The GreenHouse was launched with family "play days" over 14 years ago.  Ninos Park is where GreenHouse teen leaders successfully worked with the City of Sacramento to install a new soccer field last year.   
         Ninos Park translates, literally, to "Children's Park."

How are God's people called to respond in the face of (seemingly) random violence?  What is the invitation to people of compassion, of presence, of proclamation in a world that seems so filled with hurt and broken lives?  What is the invitation to parents and youth in this neighborhood to take a stand for their community, and to respond out of faith rather than fear?

As an organization we've been reeling, but also doing our best to respond

Over the last month, we've brought in chaplaincy resources for kids and neighbors to help them process the event.   We've had trainings for staff in how to look for signs of trauma in children.  We've invited speakers to talk with our teens about violence prevention and how to be a leader in their community.  We've invited pastors, parents, teens, and church partners to come and pray for the neighborhood, and specifically over the site where the young man was killed.  Our youth leaders have helped with "Take Back the Park" events to honor the lives that have been lost, and to demonstrate to the community that the park is a place for children and families. 

We know that we are called to renew our efforts in the good work of The GreenHouse, that began with our inception in 2001.  We believe that this good work is in the spirit of Dr. King's vision of God's "Beloved Community", right here in this neighborhood; a multi-ethnic, multi-class, multi-age COMMUNITY of parents, staff, kids, volunteers, and neighbors that is centered around a vision for young people living out their fullest potential

In 1956, at the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of this Beloved Community in these terms:

"The end [goal] is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men."

The GreenHouse is a 14-year testament to that same vision: That radical love can bring about miracles in the hearts of people.  We are seeing miracles daily, big and small.  Let us all continue in the spirit of Dr. King, living out lives of reconciliation and redemption, rather than violence and petty hatreds.  We are grateful for you and we are grateful for your partnership in this GOOD WORK.
Above: Kids at Ninos Park last November in celebration of the new soccer field put in by the City. Below Left: Pastors, parents, teens, and church partners pray for the neighborhood, at the spot where the young man was killed last week.
Below Right:  "Club 56" youth leaders guided the younger kids in a candle vigil at the park. Briana (right) spoke eloquently about the importance of kids looking out for each other in the neighborhood.
Save Two Dates!  
Sacramento's Big Day of Giving is coming up on Tuesday, May 5th! 

The GreenHouse has already received a generous matching gift commitment from the Ken & Lynn Hall Family Trust.   All donations given on May 5th will be matched dollar for dollar by their match, plus an additional pro-rated match by regional funders, through the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.  More details to follow.

Kids at Heart 2015 is on Saturday, May 30th from 6-9 pm
at the Clunie Community Center, McKinley Park!  

We have all fallen in love with the beautiful Grand Ballroom at the Clunie Center.   Mark the date in your calendars and consider joining us for an evening of inspiration, good times with friends, and great deals at our silent and live auctions.  Come support The GreenHouse's work in this special community.

Thank you for your support and partnership!
The Greenhouse

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 348138
Sacramento, CA 95834

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