Since its beginning as refuge for those distanced by the church, the group that turned into Ripple Church has kept its focus on caring for its neighborhood and the vulnerable living there. Its community-
focused approach means Ripple provides a community of support and place of worship for our neighbors of whom many struggle with addiction, mental illness, trauma, and abuse which is often further complicated by isolation, homelessness, and incarceration.
Ripple has met in five different locations in the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania. In each new location, the congregation needed to adjust its rhythms to accommodate the new space and neighborhood. With each move, valuable relationships were lost and leadership development was hindered.
In 2018 the congregation moved into St. Stephens Outreach Center owned by Christ Lutheran Church (CLC) in Allentown. As the relationship between the two congregations grew, so did the mutual idea of a permanent space to grow roots and become a stable presence in the neighborhood. CLC offered ownership of the building for a largely reduced price as a way to support Ripple's continuing ministry.
Mennonite Men's next JoinHands grant will assist Ripple Church, a Mennonite congregation of Mosiac Mennonite Conference, to purchase this building. Ownership of the building will provide stability for this growing congregation and allow them to put down permanent roots in their neighborhood where they currently offer ministries for children and youth, sit down meals each Sunday for those attending, a clothing closet with hygiene/food pantry, to go meals twice a week, a community garden, Bible studies, and a community of belonging for members who are often isolated. Church leaders state, "Purchasing this building will give the church a permanent home and provides a safe location downtown for many people who are not welcomed in other areas of the city."
To assist this congregation in purchasing this building in Allentown with a JoinHands grant, Mennonite Men needs to raise $40,000. To learn more about JoinHands grants or to make a gift, visit mennonitemen.org/joinhands.