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Justice Advocacy Compassion

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JAC’s vision for 2013 was “Relationships.” We wanted to focus our efforts and energy into creating lasting partnerships within our local community of Englewood instead of spending most of our time shifting from one event or program to another. We wanted to live out our desire to build community through our programs instead of making these programs our end goal.


We also made the crucial decision to focus JAC on three critical areas—Arts, Education and Sports. These were prayerfully selected after speaking to various leaders in the community and learning more about the specific needs that the residents have in order to establish credibility and a presence in Englewood.


In 2013, JAC was able to successfully launch and complete various events and programs that took into consideration both our longitudinal and relationship-focused framework, as well as these three areas of Arts, Education and Sports.


These events and programs included, but were not limited to:


  • A week-long Summer Arts Camp, Music Recording Classes and Athletics Classes for Englewood students, in partnership with Parks and Recreation
  • Two cycles of Computer Classes for adult residents of Englewood, in partnership with the Bergen Family Center
  • One cycle of Jobs for Life curriculum for those in our own congregation who are currently seeking employment or seeking to increase his or her marketability as a candidate for a position
  • Two cycles of “Art Expression” classes for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students at McCloud Elementary School’s new after-school program
  • One cycle of SAT Prep classes to high school students at the EAGLE Initiative, as well as Dwight-Morrow High School


In addition to these programs, JAC also took steps to further connect our church to our local community by:


  • Taking ownership of two plots at the Englewood Third Street Neighborhood Garden
  • Completing a Mackay Park Art Project for the beautification of the town of Englewood
  • Providing luncheons for the staff and teachers at Grieco Elementary School
  • Sponsoring snacks for Grieco Elementary School students during statewide testing weeks
  • Funding and providing volunteers for Center for Food Action’s Weekend Snack Pack Program that provides snack packs to low-income students in Englewood


JAC continued to participate and host various special events throughout 2013 with the purpose of being Jesus’ hands and feet for the least, the last and the lost. These events included:


  • Eighth annual Livin’ It Up banquet for 200 homeless families and individuals
  • Twelfth annual Englewood Back-to-School Supplies Block Party, in partnership with other community churches
  • Second annual Metro Health Fair, offering various medical services for the community


We continued to support our existing partners who do amazing work with oppressed and marginalized populations by:


  • Partnering with Restore NYC to continue providing volunteers for the first NJ safe house for trafficking victims, as well as hiring a survivor as our JAC intern
  • Partnering with Bergen Family Promise to provide dinner and overnight volunteers during the Summer and Winter cycles
  • Exploring a partnership with Open Door NY/NJ and providing volunteer ESL instructors
  • Received legal referrals from Bergen Family Center which were given representation by our own JAC Legal Team


JAC also placed a focus this year on fostering development and competency in our volunteers. We wanted to increase our volunteers’ awareness of relevant justice issues and challenge them to action, while also building fellowship and community within our volunteer base. Some ways through which we sought to accomplish this were:


  • Launching a JAC Book Club
  • Incorporating a JAC Underground Group
  • Partnering with other churches to attend Ron Sider’s “The Good Deeds of the Gospel” workshop
  • Inviting guest speaker, Shane Claiborne, to speak on Justice issues
  • Assembling a group to attend the Justice Conference