Biology is not my thing, but I do know when a living organism is healthy and growing the cells within reproduce through multiplication;(one cell be-comes two, two become four, four become eight.) If indeed reproduction is a sign of health and growth the Portland Promise Center has signs of vital life.
Over the past 18 years, Kathie and I have watched the Portland Promise Center grow by adding new people, programs and projects. For those who can re-member we began with two shot gun houses and then added the new facility in 1997 and a huge warehouse in 2005. We began ministry as an afterschool program and then added a Sunday morning worship celebration, a Celebrate Recovery program, a Family Service Outreach program with a free tax service, health-clinics and other needed human resource programs.
It has been an adventure filled with lots of ups and downs; however, the model of growth through addition has caused the Promise Center to bump into a capacity issue. We are convinced the way forward for the Promise Center is not through adding more programs but through multiplication. In 2013 the Portland Promise Center will operate as two organizations: The Portland Promise Learning Center and the Portland Promise Community of Faith.
As of October 1st I will no longer serve as the Executive Director of the Portland Promise Center. I am pleased to hand that position to Ms. Carol Baron. Ms. Baron will lead the Portland Promise Center board, staff and volunteers with a focus on education, leadership and character development of children and youth as well as family literacy and adult education.
Kathie and I will provide leadership for the Portland Promise Community of Faith and focus our efforts on building a team of people who will lead a network of missional communities that use the Portland Promise “Where House” as a hub for worship, celebration and missional focus. This is an exciting time of growth and opportunity. We believe this re-organization will help us better fulfill the vision of Portland becoming a healed land.
The support of our volunteers and loyal donors is needed now more than ever. I hope you will visit the Center and meet Carol. She will need the same level of support you have given me and Kathie over the years. We also want to invite you to come and worship with us or call and ask me what it means to be a “missional community network.” I love talking about the future! I hope you will be a part of it.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)
These are the words that the Lord has put in my heart as my journey with the Portland Promise Center begins. For 34 years I worked with the Jefferson County Public Schools as a teacher, principal, and administrative mentor. Throughout those many years, the focus was always on providing an educational experience and foundation for children to be nurtured and grow into faithful, successful and responsible citizens. However, learning doesn’t stop at the school doors. That is why I am so excited about the programs and experiences that are ahead for our children and adults at the PPC.
Our staff has prayed, conversed and renewed its commitment to the foundation that has been established at this Learning Center. Ideas to expand the current adult and youth programs are flowing and after only a week, some are already in the stages of development. However, this can only happen with the continued support from you, our partners.
The Lord has begun good work here. Larry, Kathie, and many of you have built a tradition of caring and commitment. As we move ahead, I invite you to come by and visit the center. I’d love to meet and talk to you about what the Lord has in store for the future of the Portland community and how He will use our center in His plan of “healing this land”!!! I am honored to be a part of that plan as the new Executive Director of the Portland Promise Center.
In Christ’s Love,