Memphis would look very different without Christ Church.
The church, in any place and in any form, doesn’t exist for itself but for what God would do through us for the sake of justice and peace in our world. So to recognize that we are making a difference is not to pat ourselves on the back, but rather to celebrate that we are being engaged in God’s kingdom work in our city. Praise the Lord!
But, there is much more for us to do and to become, and we look back on this past year to be encouraged and inspired as a new year begins.
So many worthy highlights from this past year have been featured on the Blog. Feel free to click through and see what you missed. Here’s a few new updates as we get ready for 2016!
- Cornerstone/Lester Prep is halfway through its first academic year educating 700 students in grades pre-K through 8.
CUMC member, founder, and Executive Director Drew Sippel:
As the first half of the school year comes to a close this week, I just wanted to say “thank you” for the support you have given us. We could not do this important work without you, so I am so grateful for your willingness to share your resources with us.
I also wanted to share two pieces of information with you:
- A recent article in the Commercial Appeal regarding the plight of black students in Tennessee stated that “only 4 percent of black students in Tennessee who graduated from high school tested as college-ready in all four ACT-tested subjects — a jarring gap included in the report released Thursday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.” Thanks for supporting us as we work so very hard to improve these outcomes for students in Binghampton.
- We are thrilled to report that our students continue to grow significantly in reading (on average more than 1.35 grade levels per year) and continue to show growth rates that consistently exceed 75% of the national norm.
Thanks again for all you have done for us and the families of Binghampton.
- SOS Builds (which was helped launched by 2ndMILE: Binghampton) is an after school program at SOS for middle school students at Lester Prep School in which they design and construct a project for the community. After completing and unveiling their Clubhouse at the Carpenter Art Garden earlier this year, their current project is building a structure to provide shade and rain shelter at The Hamp football field on Tillman Street.
- Just last week, thanks to donations from CUMC and Christ Methodist Day School, 73 families were able to provide Christmas gifts for 226 children at the Binghampton Development Corporation Greatest Gift Christmas Store.
The BDC’s new Executive Director, CUMC member Noah Gray, shares in the newly-released 2015 Annual Report:
As we wrap up the BDC’s twelfth year and pause to reflect, I am humbled to look back and see another year of God’s faithful love and provision … The end of our fiscal year also marked [CUMC member] Robert Montague’s transition to start Tech901, where he will again make a resounding impact. I join with many others in thanking him for his sacrificial service and steady commitment to the Binghampton community. … Although we glance in the rearview mirror to see where we have been, we fix our eyes on the road ahead and stay the course. … Thank you for your continued partnership! We are grateful for your prayers and support as we work together to demonstrate God’s love by bringing justice, restoring hope and building capacity.
2016 holds great excitement as we see further developments in the development of the Binghampton Gateway Center, which will provide a grocery store and shopping center at Sam Cooper and Tillman. Read about it in the Annual Report.
- Also just last week, around twenty folks from CUMC celebrated Christmas Dinner with the
community of Jacob’s Well, with meal donations coming in from even more. There was more than enough turkeys, hams, and side-dishes, so thank you to all who donated! Read about how amazing 2015 has been for lives transformed by the gospel at the Well.
These are wonderful updates we celebrate, but as we enter a new year, remember that it is the little yet large ways that you are embodying faith, hope, and charity in your life that the kingdom comes.
A happy and blessed 2016!