Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sunday Rewind: Mark Carpenter

ImageMark Carpenter, left, downtown with Mark Jenkins

I have been involved with Urban Purpose for about a year and a half now. It is a great opportunity to take my kids and let them see the great need to show people God’s love. This past Sunday, as I was walking around picking up trash I had the opportunity to talk a little to several different people. At least two people came up to me asking about the needs list and showed me their shoes with holes all in them. Basic things that I take for granted are real needs that these people have. I don’t think about where my next meal will come from or if my shoes have a hole in them I just go buy another pair. God has blessed me in so many ways and all He asks me to do in return is help out people in need (Luke 3:10-11). Urban Purpose is an easy way to get out and share the love of Christ with others who need Him.   -Mark Carpenter

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Recap: Urban Purpose 5k

The Inaugural Urban Purpose 5k & Kid’s Mess Fest took place on Saturday, September 7th and was a huge success. We cannot say thank you enough to Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Joelle Akridge, our corporate sponsors, volunteers, and runners. It was humbling to sit back and see so many people involved in this event that raised over $20,000 for Urban Purpose. That’s $20,000 that will go to help fight for the broken and needy here in our city while sharing the love of Christ with them. It will help provide food, clothing, shelter, employment opportunities, drug and alcohol recovery, psychological needs, and much more.

-Over $20,000 were raised

-212 race participants

-Over 100 kids participated in Kid’s Mess Fest

Take a moment and watch the video above and check out some of the awesome photos below. It was an incredible event and we can’t wait for next year’s 5k to be even better!

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Thank you to Heather Durham Photography for providing us with some great race day photos!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Danielle Groves

Eric and Danielle 2012Danielle and her husband, Eric.

 

Name: Danielle Groves

Occupation: I’m an RN in the Coronary Care Unit at Brookwood.

How long have you lived in Birmingham? My husband and I have lived here almost two years now.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Union Grove, AL, but I usually tell folks I’m from Arab- where I went to school.

Favorite place to eat in Birmingham? Place to eat (other than Chick-fil-a) would have to be a toss up between Mugshots or Newk’s. Urban Cookhouse is good too…

What is your favorite book? I love to read, but don’t have a lot of free time right now to read for enjoyment. I would have to say anything by John Grisham, Karen Kingsbury, or Francine Rivers. My favorite book I read recently was “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman.

How did you get involved with Urban Purpose? I was initially intrigued during GIC week at Shades Mountain Baptist Church earlier this year. A few weeks ago our Sunday School class prepared the meal and served it at Urban Purpose, which also happened to be the day after the Urban Purpose 5K, at which my husband and I volunteered. It was the perfect opportunity to go and really find out what it’s all about.

What has your involvement taught you about serving others? Serving at Urban Purpose, I have learned that we are all God’s children and He loves us all equally, no matter what. You know, that’s something you’re taught as a child in Sunday School, but as an adult you start to see the world differently. It can harden your heart if you let it. Helping to provide a meal to someone who cannot afford one has taught me that I could easily be the one in the line. Phillippians 2:3-4 tells us that we are to “consider others better than ourselves, not looking to our own interests but to that of others.” That’s truly the lesson I’ve learned, to be more “self-less”.

What have you learned in your time with Urban Purpose? My eyes have really been opened to what reality is like a few short miles away from where I live. It has taught me how little I know about what others really go through and how sheltered I have been.

Why would you encourage someone else to get involved with Urban Purpose? There are so many good ministries available to be a part of and volunteer with. Urban Purpose is one in which you get to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It only takes up a few hours on Sunday afternoons, and you don’t have to sign up ahead of time– all you have to do is show up. Whether you are filling a plate with food, handing out bottles of water, picking up trash, or engaging in conversation, you are able to do something that has an impact on the life of another.

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Meeting a Need: The Scoop on Sunday Meals

When it comes to Urban Purpose, Sunday meals are often the front door to relationships. Providing a Sunday meal is a simple but meaningful way to serve.  Our fall meal calendar is wide open and there is a huge need for meals to be provided!  

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Here’s a word from Elizabeth Vann, member at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, on her recent experience with her Sunday School class providing our Sunday meal…

 It was such a joy that our Sunday school class had the opportunity to prepare and serve food to the homeless downtown with Urban Purpose.  This was a way for our class to grow together while helping serve a great need in our city.  Many volunteers talked about their experience from going downtown, and all had great praises of the ministry and what is happening each week.  Several class members expressed how the trip changed their view of the homeless from a cloudy statistic to a name and a face – an individual, someone to pray for.  I know from my own experience, working with Urban Purpose has made me look more closely at my own life and how I can better serve others.  I count it such a blessing to be involved in this ministry and would highly encourage anyone (small group, Sunday school, individual, etc.) to go and experience it first hand, because this is an awesome way to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our own city.

Sunday meals are a great way to be involved whether it is with your small group, church or organization. A big thanks to Deerfoot Baptist for providing our meal this past Sunday! 

Click here for more information or to sign up to provide a meal. This is a huge need right now and we appreciate your willingness to serve with us! 

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Meet Emily Grace, Urban Purpose’s Newest Staff Member

Jim and I are excited to introduce Emily Grace Thomason as the newest staff member of Urban Purpose. We are looking forward to how God is going to use Emily Grace in this new role and help us continue to reach the broken and needy of Birmingham for the gospel. Take a second and hear from Emily Grace about her background and call to work for Urban Purpose…

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I’m from Birmingham where I grew up with an incredible family that taught me to love Jesus from day one.  I went to school at Mississippi College where I studied English-Writing and Teaching English as a Second Language.  God really used my college years to grow my faith and shape my call to ministry by the experiences he placed me in and the people he put in my life to challenge me and help me grow.  After graduation, I moved back to Birmingham where I worked at Shades Mountain Baptist Church.

My story of moving into this position with Urban Purpose is one of the Lord’s faithfulness in my life and I’m excited to dive into this ministry.  I am joining Mark and Jim in full-time ministry and am eager to build relationships with the women that they work with through Urban Purpose. In addition to ministry, I am looking forward to using writing and communication skills to serve in a way that is dear to my heart in a ministry that I am passionate about.  This is week one on the job and I am excited, prayerful, and expectant to see the Lord continue to lead! 

Check back in a few weeks and EG will share about her experiences the first few weeks on the job.

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Help a Family in Need

There’s a family we’ve been working with for the past few years that could use your help. It’s a single mom with two young boys that’s doing great in so many ways, but their monthly budget is incredibly tight. We wanted to throw out a few items you could provide to help ease the strain of each month. If you would like to help with any of these items, you can contact Mark Jenkins at mark@urbanpurpose.org. Thanks so much.

– gas cards
– diapers (size 5) and wipes
– Aldi gift cards
– funds for monthly medications (we’ll handle the use of the money)

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