Loving and Serving
The Whole Person and the Whole Community.
Who We Are
The Heart of the City, a mission of Grace Chapel, is a place for partnering nonprofits and other organizations to reside, share meeting space, and join hands in the effort to maximize each others' work toward maximum impact for the Wilsonville community as well as Clackamas County, the greater Portland area and even throughout the world.
The Heart of City allows a holistic approach to caring for people. We are eternal beings with three primary parts: our soul (or spirit), our mind, and our body. Each part needs to be nourished and cared for, and each part feeds the other; they are interdependent. We need to collectively listen to, care for, and exercise our soul, our mind, and our body.
Why We Do This
In response to the community need and our call to serve the whole person and whole community, Grace Chapel is founding The Heart of the City. This mission, through a shared facility and support system, is a mission that addresses the mind, body and soul of each person. It will meet its purpose through connecting people, promoting health and wellness, expressing compassion and care, and providing personal development by maximizing resources via strategic partners
Every city is made up of many neighborhoods; thriving cities, in particular, are made up of healthy neighborhoods. All too often, neighborhoods can be filled with strangers instead of neighbors. The Heart of the City seeks to provide a safe place for relationships to foster and grow. Our goal is that this space will provide an accessible community gathering place for activities, meeting spots and life enhancing programs that will foster connections with friends and families. The Heart of the City will create an ethos of strengthening and uniting the community by bringing together its diverse, multi-generational and ethnic expressions.
Health and Wellness
We believe in a holistic approach to wellness - the importance of a person’s interior and exterior health. Through sports, fitness, and recreation, these initiatives help develop a positive use of leisure time and reduction of stress. Athletics and recreation can enhance health and wellness by increasing daily physical activity, teaching good nutrition, developing healthy relationships, learning social and interpersonal skills, and providing family centered activities.
Compassion and Care
The Heart of the City will serve as a hub of social responsibility for those in need. Whether hunger and poverty or abuse and recovery, The Heart of the City is created in response to social challenges and will function as a lifeline in our city and to communities around the world. We understand the challenges that keep individuals from reaching their full potential. We hope to respond with services and support that help people to be self-reliant and productive contributors to the community, while maintaining dignity and respect. We plan to provide support through services focused on critical needs such as a food distribution, medical clinics, child welfare, advocacy, addiction recovery, grief care, clothing, senior assistance, and benevolent resourcing. In addition, The Heart of the City will host a Counseling Center providing a caring environment for spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. Services will include support for those struggling with life issues, emotional trauma, substance abuse, behavioral problems, divorce recovery, as well as marriage and parenting workshops.
We believe that every person carries intrinsic value and has the potential for great things. We also believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for life. Living and thriving requires the opportunity to learn and grow in basic skills of life. The Heart of the City will seek to provide development programs, counseling services, transitional housing and educational opportunities including: adult basic education modules (math, reading, writing, social studies, spelling, vocabulary development), GED preparation, and college preparation assistance. It will also offer computer literacy, career employment skills education, resume writing, job search, and job training to help prepare individuals for the increasingly vigorous task of obtaining employment.
How We Do This
We will focus on leveraging what we have and giving ourselves away
This focus directly impacts how we create and manage all aspects of our operations. Whether we have a large or small space, an abundance or lack of funds, a large volunteer base or small, we will use whatever we have to be generous in meeting the needs of the whole person and the whole community.
We will focus on healthy relational partnerships
With so many needs how does one choose to partner with some organizations over others? We believe God has already gone before us and guided the development of our current relational partnerships and impacts whether they will be a part of The Heart of the City. Though organizations might be meeting tangible needs or have some aligned missions, we will not partner based on this factor alone.
We will focus on local first
The local and immediate community will be the inital focus of The Heart of the City. As we look at partners we will evaluate them based on the work they are doing in our local community. This does not limit a partner having a bigger scope (regional, national, international), however, our focus will be on the local community work and impact.
We will focus on the most vulnerable
The Heart of the City will serve a diverse range of people. Amongst those we will commit to serve the most vulnerable first (mind, body, soul). We seek to do the hard work of identifying, pursuing, and meeting the needs of those who are truly vulnerable and marginalized
We will focus on partnership health
We desire that The Heart of the City is a healthy environment for all partners. This means we will not sacrifice partnership health for increased program scope. Although delivering as much service as possible is important, we want to make sure that we always have a healthy foundation before adding programs and/or other relational partners.
We will focus on the dignity and worth of every human life from conception to death
At Grace Chapel and, by extension, at The Heart of the City, we believe that every person is precious and created in the image of God. We believe the measure of an institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. We acknowledge and celebrate that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of the moral vision for society as well as our community. We believe that life must be respected, appreciated and protected from conception until natural death. As such, we affirm that every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency.