June 2011 Archive of News and Musings
Friday, June 24, 2011
Walk and Roll 2011 Highlights
On June 11, Leadership Harrisburg hosted its first ever Walk and Roll for charity. In this event people could walk, bicycle or motorcycle for BHA or five other partner agencies in the Allison Hill Mentoring Partnership. Special thanks to Leadership Harrisburg, HACC, PSECU and all the other sponsors!
BHA Board member Bob Wintsch and many others worked hard to make the event a success, helping BHA raise over $2,000 for its work. As you can see by the pictures below, a good time was had by all!
Una Martone (center), Executive Director of Leadership Harrisburg, welcomes guests to the event
BHA Board President Josh Stroup and wife Linda register to walk for BHA with volunteer Elizabeth Schwartz
Herb and Donna Martin, with their best friend Maxi, get ready to walk
Isaac (center) looks forward to a roll while his parents Tim and Lanette Johnson handle navigation duties
And they're off!
Ann Saylor finishes her ride
It was a beautiful day for the ride around HACC's campus and Wildwood Lake
Havah lets her mom Kirsten Reinford do all the hard work
It truly was a family event. Here BHA Director of Development Chris Fitz (front) and Executive Director Steve Schwartz (rear) take a short break with their children
Posted by Steve Schwartz (6/24/2011 8:00:08 AM | link)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
2011 Golf Tournament Highlights
It was a beautiful day at the 2011 BHA Golf Tournament. On May 13, 106 golfers (our biggest event to date!) joined us for our 9th annual event.
Through their support as well as numerous sponsors, we raised $9,500 in support of our programs that help homeless families build a future with hope through the programs of BHA. Thanks everyone!
Thank You 2011 BHA Golf Tournament Sponsors
R.H. Getz Jr. Construction
All Union Signs
St. Jude Tree Farm
Rhoads & Sinon, LLP
Chris Robinson & Assoc., LLC and AFLAC
David & Barbara Teets
Kettering Concrete & Masonry
ABC Fuel Oil
Conrad Siegel Actuaries
Fredericksburg Family Eyecare
David & Cynthia Tolsma Fund of TFEC
Mette, Evans & Woodside
The Hess Agency
Town & Country Realty
Special thanks are due to our tournament coordinators: Diana Johnson and Josh Stroup. Thanks for all your hard work, Diana and Josh!
Twenty-seven teams took to the course on May 13:
It was a gorgeous day for golf!:
Our mid-course snack stand had a Hawaiian theme:
And we finished the evening by handing out prizes after the legendary pork chop dinner served by the Sauder family of ParLine Golf Course:
Posted by Steve Schwartz (6/15/2011 7:49:17 PM | link)
Thursday, June 09, 2011
YOUTH GROUPS: Join our Summer of Service!
As you're polishing plans for your youth group's summer, consider this need and opportunity: Brethren Housing Association is making way for more homeless families on Hummel Street. You can help by joining BHA's 2011 Summer Of Service!
Weekdays: July 12 – August 19
Your help is needed to Paint, Clean, Rake, Plant, Repair and Prepare housing for families facing homelessness
Come for a Day, or Two, or Three!
Brethren Housing Association recently launched its 20/20 Vision Campaign to serve more families, restore our city block and invest in new youth programs. Your help is needed to prepare for new families in need of a home. Join us to serve…and learn how together we can impact others in the name of Christ.
Suggested ages: 12+ years.
Three week’s advanced registration recommended.
Contact Chris Fitz, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 233-6016 with questions or for more information.
Posted by Chris Fitz (6/9/2011 4:35:15 PM | link)
Friday, June 03, 2011
There Is Hope, If We'll Have Eyes To See
Allison Hill has been in the news again and you would think Hummel Street is a war zone. I arrived at work on Hummel Street this past Tuesday to bullet holes in my workplace, evidence markers on the sidewalk, and a large blood stain on the street.
Like others I initially felt a combination of fear, powerlessness, and confusion. I spent time in prayer for the victims and perpetrators. I tried to make sense of what I saw. But in reality, there is no sense to tragic violence. There is no sense to be had from a man being shot seven times over a seemingly trivial dispute.
As I pondered feelings of hopelessness, I was reminded of a mentor. Once, when wrestling with the classic "if Jesus had a gun, would he kill one person to prevent the deaths of many more?" question, Lou Astuto stopped me. I was asking the wrong question. Peacemaking is much more about doing all of the things that need to be done so that that violent situation never occurs. Why had the perpetrator become violent in the first place? Let's address that.
This was a paradigm shift in how I considered my role as an agent of peace. It doesn't deny the very difficult decisions that a police officer may have to make in a heated situation. But it clarifies that my role, all of our roles, is to invest in a community that shuns violence as a way to solve problems.
My despair turned to hope as I thought about the Allison Hill I see each day. Josiah and Christine live around the corner from where the shooting took place and mentor youth and help families. Pastor Gerald Rhoades at First Church of the Brethren, where my office is located, created a curriculum teaching youth how to resolve conflict without violence. One block away is Danzante Community Arts Center, which offers tremendous after school and summer arts, music and dance programs for kids. The Joshua Farm has transformed a vacant field into a thriving organic farm, employing neighborhood youth. Messiah College has invested in the formation of the Allison Hill Mentoring Partnership, which is nurturing increased mentoring opportunities to children in the community.
Love never fails. A child's expression of love on the front door of Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren was untouched by a stray bullet in Tuesday's shooting.
The Weed and Seed program has cultivated residents and business leaders working together to breed community investment. PNC Bank opened a branch at 13th and Derry, serving as a community anchor. There are numerous restaurants for delicious ethnic food. Highmark, M&T Bank, Rite Aid and others invest grant funds in bettering the community. Christ Lutheran Church operates a medical clinic for persons without insurance. Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, Martin Luther King Baptist, Derry Street United Methodist, and many other congregations have planted deep roots in their neighborhood as centers of stability and neighborly love, refusing to move out of the city even through difficult times.
I could go on and on about the positive things going on in Allison Hill, but I'll add just one more. I live on the east end of Allison Hill and my two sons are completing their school year at Ben Franklin and Melrose Elementary schools. They have had incredible teachers and support staff. Yes, in Harrisburg School District.
We must work together to ensure our neighborhoods are safe, and take time to comfort those affected by the recent violence. But we must also not become sidetracked from the good work being done. We must press forward toward the goal.
I am also saddened that so many people do not know about the richness and vitality of life, culture and community in South Allison Hill, where I work, and East Allison Hill, where I reside with my wife and boys.
My friend Lou left Harrisburg in 2001. A few years ago when stopping by my office, he remarked how noticeably improved the neighborhood was since he left. Those fresh eyes were helpful as those who are here everyday don't always see the cumulative effect of our efforts.
I’m reminded by Dr. King that the long arc of history bends toward justice, and I would add toward wholeness. So while we see setbacks today, let's not give up the larger purpose to which we are called: to love our neighbors and invest in the next generation. They can then continue our work by making our community an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Steve Schwartz is a resident of East Allison Hill. He is Executive Director of Brethren Housing Association, which has been rehabbing homes and helping homeless families on Hummel Street since 1989. He also serves on the steering committees of the Allison Hill Mentoring Partnership and the Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness.
Published June 4, 2011 as an Op-Ed in the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Posted by Steve Schwartz (6/3/2011 10:25:06 AM | link)
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Prayer Vigil Invitation
Dear Friends of BHA,
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for BHA, First Church of the Brethren, and the Hummel Street Neighborhood in the wake of the violence this week. Please join us for a prayer vigil today at 5pm.
If you can't join us in person, please join us in spirit.
To share a couple praises:
- The man who was shot has survived and it seems he will recover.
- Two assailants have now been apprehended.
- This does not appear to be gang related. However, it is unsettling that the shooter seemed to be motivated by a slight offense from what we're hearing, and another shooting took place in broad daylight Wednesday morning at 8:50am about one block away. Thankfully the victim in that second shooting was only shot in the hand.
- The community is coming together. There already had been a move of churches working together to address gun violence. This cooperation is intensifying.
We covet your continued prayers!
Update: Local Media Coverage of the Prayer Vigil...
Posted by Steve Schwartz (6/2/2011 4:07:07 PM | link)
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