We recently found a great church in Ventura that we are connecting with. Our biggest draw to this church is what they are passionate about, as evident by their "Kingdom Center" project. And here's what it's about: Around 30 local churches joined to buy a run-down, vacant motel building in the middle of the city. It's undergoing major renovation, each room becoming a transitional living home for a homeless family/individual. Ventura has a huge homeless population, many of whom simply got laid off & couldn't make their rent/mortgage payment. This transitional living will involve case management etc in order for the person(s) to get back on their feet and is intended to empower them; it's not just a free room. They have to meet a lot of requirements while going there.
Heather and I have been working on "our" room (each church paints/decorates their own room & supports that family); everyone doing work there is a volunteer or is homeless or doing community service. It's been great to be a part of something that's bigger than church denominations & economics; bigger than ourselves.
Shane Claiborn states that the great tragedy with the Christian middle/upper class is not that they don't care about the poor or give money here & there, it's that they don't know the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized. He says when you know the poor, you know the people God is most concerned with; you find where God's heart is.
Here's a link to a quick video the church put together. You can even find us near the end of it. The guy you see in the red sweater is homeless, but spends nearly every day there, working. Check it out:
Above is a picture of the tiny room one set of people will call home some time soon. That's our "accent wall". To the right & bottom is walking into room #9; "our" room.