Welcome to Unity in the Community

Our desire for this site is to connect you to others who desire to see the Near East Side community in Ft. Worth transformed. The calendar below is full of weekly, monthly, and annual events that you can participate in. Feel free to click on an event that interests you for details & contact info.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Women & Children's Shelter Christmas Party!

We had such a blast! If you haven't served these precious kids yet you've got to team up with Hot Dogs & Hope or Intentional Gatherings. From brining donuts, and playing with the kids every Saturday, to annual Christmas parties, these two ministries have truly reflected the love and grace of Christ to these little ones. Check out these pics and videos from the party...

This day was a blessing. Ronny Dudick from Hot Dogs and Hope said this at the end of the party, "Man, this is what Unity in the Community is all about." He is right. On Saturday different members of the body of Christ served together. Unity was created, and people were reached in a more effective way than if done alone.
And all the Glory goes to the Father! Thank you Jesus for who you are to us.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Check it out!

We want to say "Thank you" to everyone who came out to Unity Park this past weekend to help Feed By Grace put on their annual Christmas Celebration. This event was such a success! Neale, and many others were able to clearly communicate the message and purpose of Fee By Grace, which is to empower people help themselves. Many were presented with the opportunity to participate in the Jobs for Life program, which may be a key factor in seeing the streets transformed. Thanks for your efforts!

We have a couple of key things that we want you to take notice of this week:
First, on Saturday morning at 11am we will join Hot Dogs & Hope as they throw their annual Christmas party at the Women & Children's shelter. Details are on the calendar.
Second, Feed By Grace is having a planning meeting for the May 3rd event on Sunday at 1pm. If you have a desire to be a part of this event you need to be at this meeting. Details are also on the calendar.

We have put together a tentative schedule for our Unity in the Community Network meetings in 2008. They are all on the calendar above, and will be held every six weeks. We hope that you will join us as we continue to join together as the body of Christ to see the city transformed. You will want to be at the meeting in January as we discuss some amazing things that are in the works for 2008.

So far we have seen some great progress as organizations team up and serve together. Several of you have done so. A beautiful union is taking place in Ft. Worth as the Body of Christ begins to work together. If you have not experienced the power, freedom, and beauty in serving with A MINISTRY OTHER THAN YOURS we beg you to do so. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Faith of a Child...

~ A Baby's Hug ~

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was
quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands
on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he
wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at
half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and
unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi
there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'

Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with
my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know
peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for
the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet
him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he
speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he
might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before
I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total
trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears
hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and
stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine.
He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man
said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering
why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no
judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding
a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is
really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel
about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at
all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

"Behold the maidservant of the Lord !
Let it be to me according to your word."
Luke 1:38

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Adopt a Child for Christmas!

Hello to all. Hope you are having a lovely holiday season!

My wife Melissa, works for Cornerstone Assistance Network, helping
provide housing for homeless families. Cornerstone is doing an
Adopt-a-child-for-Christmas project to provide Christmas gifts for their client's children. Please prayerfully consider participating with your
family in this project.
Here is a message from Melissa:
Turkeys are coming out of hiding and the jingle of bells can be heard in
the distance. It's that time again! Christmas is upon us!
Cornerstone is planning for the holidays and we need your help! Here is
the info:

3CP Adopt-a-Child-for-Christmas Program
Cornerstone will provide children's info and wish lists (30 children).
Volunteers are needed to:
Adopt children @ $100 each; deliver gifts to Cornerstone's main office
on Glenview in NRH or the 3CP office on E. Lancaster or arrange to have
them picked up by December 10.
Option #1
Sponsor a child by donating $100
Option #2
Adopt a child, receive his or her wish list and go shopping for the
Option #3
Volunteer to be a shopper. Using the money donated in Option #1 and the
kid's wish list, you can shop 'til you drop!
Please share this opportunity with your family, friends, Bible study
group, frat brothers, sorority sisters, club members, Sunday school
class, bunco group, office buddies, etc. Feel free to forward it to
everyone you know!
For those of you who aren't aware, Cornerstone Comprehensive Care
Program provides housing and case management for formerly homeless
families and individuals. We have approximately 25 families and
singles in our program now. There are about 45 children in those
families. Every quarter we hold a workshop to inform our clients of
pertinent information and life skills. This fall we had a holiday
tradition work shop to teach them how to make a traditional Thanksgiving
meal and tips for starting family holiday traditions. In addition, we
try to alleviate the burden of the season by helping provide gifts for
our clients children.
If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact
Thanks a bunch and Happy Holidays!
Melissa Hatcher

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Success!

Hey guys!

This was UITC's first Thanksgiving in existence. It was exciting to receive phone calls from people in the community who had a desire to serve. They heard about UITC through the grapevine. We simply directed them to this site where they checked the calendar for ways to jump in and serve. We want to say thanks to those of you who were a part of serving this past Thursday on Thanksgiving. Please know that the people you served don't go away after Thanksgiving is over...they are still out on the streets night and day. They need us! We hope that you developed some relationships last week that will cause you to come back to the E. Lancaster area. We have discovered that one-on-one relationships are what these people need. That's where YOU fit in. So, Please make it a point to come serve at least once per month/week...or DAY! Here are some pics below from Unity Park, where N. Main Street Church of God teams up with Feed by Grace to hold a monthly service...
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Please check back periodically for updates from Thanksgiving. As organizations send stories/pics/videos from their Thanksgiving outreaches they will be posted here!

Keep serving.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Streetlight Building Report

Lighthouse Update: Michael Hatcher
Here is the Streetlight Building Report: Norman (Met Man) has jumped right in and made two friends (Satfon and Ray) on Lancaster Street. Last week Ray gave Norman a tour of the community. As they walked the streets they laughed, talked and shared stories. Ray even showed Norman some of the homeless campsites hidden in the bushes on the hill. Ray helped Norman process some of the things happening on Lancaster. The two friends look out for each other. Ray and Normom caught up with Stefon and three of them went to A-1 (The Corner Store) on Lancaster to enjoy the famous"Ghetto Burger". Norman said, the burger he ate that day was one of the best burgers he has eaten in a long long time, and he plans to come back.

While these Brothers in Christ ate lunch Norman went over some of the paperwork that he brought for Stefon from the U.S. Patent Office and some notes he made for Stefon. Stefon believes he has an invention that will revolutionize the toy world. Move over, BIG WHEEL. Norman also blessed Stefon with a few writing and drawing supplies. The fellowship between the two men was awesome.

Mike Wallace, Dan Zue and Pastor Hatcher are putting the finishing touches on a three dimensional animated presentation of the structure and remodeling of the building on Lancaster. Whatever happened tostick drawings? Pastor Dustin said there's a possibility the women ofthe Met Church would like to make a contribution to the building fund. Rusty, the Mission Pastor from North Richland Hills Church of Christ,and Pastor Hatcher attended a Harvest event at NRHC that will contribute money towards the purchasing of the building on Lancaster street. Mike Wallace donated three air conditioners, four inside units and track lighting for the building. And Mike got a call from an unknown source who has agreed to install the air conditioners. Ronnie, from Morgan electric, has installed the electrical work in order forus to obtain our C.O. certificate. And Richard, an I.T. specialist, has committed his time put in our wireless computer system. We have a phone system with thirteen phones to go inthe building. Hank, a homeless war hero, gave sixty cent towards the building. He said he believes in what we are trying to accomplish because it's a war out here. In fact, Hank attend our Unity In The Community Meeting. I hugged Hank and thanked him for his contribution and support. I was reminded once again, it's not about the money or the building It's all about loving God and loving people unconditionally.

Therefore, keep loving people and keep your contributions coming toward us owning the building so we can put hammers, saws, screwdrivers and paint brushes to work.

Keep us in your prayers and visit our website 1lighthousechurch.com. At 9:00 AM Saturday November 24th we will be walking the streets and building relationships (Soul Cafe). At 6:00 AM there will be ThreeUnity in the Community ministries joining together to serve coffee and a morning meal on the streets. You are welcome to join us at 6:00 AM or 8:30 AM for the walk. Very soon we will own the building and there will be a lot of physical labor for you to do. So, don't put your hammers away to soon and don't give up on us as we walk through this phase to transform the inner city of Fort Worth. Until next time, God bless!

-Pastor Hatcher

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Great Meeting...

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***Thanks again to Church on the Slab for providing Lunch!***

We want to say thanks again to those of you who attended our "Unity in the Community" meeting on Saturday. We received lots of positive feedback from the meeting, and feel that this is the beginning of something beautiful that will take place on the streets; the ministries serving ONE ANOTHER! (Imagine that!=) Here are some extremely important things to remember that we touched on at the meeting:

-Frequent THIS website to stay informed about what's going on, AND to submit what your ministry is doing.
-Submit your upcoming events, pictures, videos, etc. in a reply to THIS email address, and we'll post it on the site!
-Check the calendar NOW, and let us know at unityinthecommunity@gmail.com if anything is missing, or needs updated/corrected.

***Remember: the most important thing we wanted you to walk away from the meeting with is the realization of how important it is that we begin to serve one another. As we do this, Unity will happen. We challenged each of you to COMMIT to picking ONE other outreach, event, etc. to participate in that is separate from your ministry. Check the website/calendar, choose what you want to do, and DO IT! Make sure to tell the ministry that you are a part of UITC***

Below is a list of the ministries/organizations that were present Saturday, who have shown interest in being a part of this network:

-Church on the Slab
-Salt of the Earth Ministry
-Near East side Neighborhood Association
-Working Together Coalition: W.T.C.
-Intentional Gatherings, Inc.
-Lighthouse Community Church
-Feed By Grace @ Unity Park
-Veteran's Affairs: V.A.
-Gentle Beginnings Birth Center
-Hot Dogs & Hope
-The Met Church
-North Main Church of God
-Richland Hills Church of Christ
-New Beginnings International Church

Submit your stuff, and we'll post it asap!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hot Dogs & Hope

Nearly 12 years ago, Hot Dogs & Hope began their work on East Lancaster with two goals. They would provide food, clothing and core needs to people on the street every Saturday. And they would bring God's hope to people through prayer and encouragement.

Today, the 8-20 volunteers and their friends pass out over 650 hotdogs and over 20 gallons of juice every week in addition to their nation-wide clothing drives and holiday events. You can learn more about this group that works across denominational lines by visiting their website
and you can join in by contacting them with the information below.

Hot Dogs & Hope, Inc.
8353 Spence Dr.
Richland Hills TX 76180
(817) 235-1689

Friday, November 9, 2007

Unity Park

Feed by Grace, a great group led by Neale Mansfield, has a real heart to give the people of East Lancaster more than just food and clothing. Unity Park is one great expression of that. Located on 401 E. Presidio St. in Ft. Worth, the park is open for anyone from 8am-2pm every Saturday (and more often as volunteer staff levels allow). It offers a green space with recreation, something to drink and a place to rest with other people in peace.

We encourage you to read more on the Feed by Grace website and volunteer to spend some time in support of this great service to the East Lancaster Community.

Lighthouse Church/Intentional Gathering Center

Here's a great look at one of one project in the works. Contact Michael for more information.

We're Here!

Welcome to Unity in the Community on the web. We're happy you're reading more about upcoming opportunities to serve the people of the East Lancaster community in Ft. Worth. When it's all said and done, they are the ones we hope this will benefit.

What are your next steps?
  1. Contact Michael or Aaron and talk through how you can get involved. Michael and Aaron have built some friendships with many people in the area and would love to connect you to any one of a number of ministries and outreaches in the area.
  2. Send us an e-mail, asking us to add your event to the calendar. This calendar is intended to highlight events and opportunities to serve the people of East Lancaster so that we can work in harmony. Getting your event on the calendar helps us avoid waste.
  3. Stay in touch with the site We'll be adding news about upcoming events, highlighting meetings that will bring ministries together and sharing stories of the people of East Lancaster we all value so much.