Habitat for Humanity Building Day- October 15, 2011!

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Our upcoming Habitat for Humanity building day is this Saturday, October 15, 2011! As a church we have been partnering with Habitat for Humanity East Bay to build homes in East Oakland for the past year. Currently we’ve been working on interior painting the past month and there’s still a lot to be done with the houses. The Habitat for Humanity crew is awesome and fun to work with and very willing to teach volunteers new skills! No experience is necessary, breakfast and lunch will be provided by the Convergence building team leaders. Contact Ted Huynh at ted.huynh86@gmail.com to get further instructions on signing up. We’ll see you there!

Habitat for Humanity Update

September 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Pulse

Craig and Ted, Habitat for Humanity, September 2011

 

Here’s an update from the leader of our last Habitat for Humanity outing, Ted Huynh:

Habitat for Humanity is an organization dedicated to help those in need of safe and affordable homes who are currently living in undesirable and potentially dangerous housing. As part of a monthly commitment, Convergence volunteers spend time one Saturday a month to help build these homes in East Oakland, in the hope of loving others in the community through physical work and developing community that may not exist in many areas. This past month (September 2011) we continued to help build the second part of the Kinsell Commons development, which is rehabilitating a formerly dilapidated and dangerous area of Oakland. We worked on painting, cleaning, and laying down marmoleum tiling – tough work! But the conversations and work involved really allow myself to be involved with the community in a different context than usual and was really worth my time. Take the time to come check it out with us! We help Habitat for Humanity every third Saturday of the month.

 

Convergence Weekly 9/10/2011

September 10, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Dear Convergence Family,
It’s been an exciting week as we formed brand new Life Group core teams in preparation for this new ministry year! We’ll be launching four Life Groups and one new Discipleship Group in October so get ready! More information on our Life Group ministry will be coming out in the coming weeks.
Also, be sure to make it out this Sunday as we’ll be taking a break from our journey through the Gospel of John and I’ll be preaching on the vision of Convergence.  I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!!!
Grace and Peace,
Bobby

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WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS
Please read below on fun ways you can partner with us!



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TUTORING AT MLK ELEMENTARY: We are looking for volunteers to be reading tutors to 2nd and 3rd graders this year at MLK Elementary, which is right here in West Oakland!!  The proposed time for now is Mondays from 12:45-2:45, and tutors could come for for the first hour, second hour or both.  Please email Jeff Chou at jeff@convergeoakland.org if you can volunteer.  We are teaching the next generation how to read!!  What is more rewarding than that??

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SPORTS MINISTRY:  This Sunday after lunch we will be playing old school games like Red Rover, Steal the Bacon, Duck Duck Goose, etc!  If you have ideas for games, email them to Stephen Mew at stephenmew@gmail.com or tell him at church!  Otherwise, be there!!

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HABITAT FOR HUMANITY:  
Our next build day for Habitat is Saturday, September 17 from 8:30-4p.  No experience is necessary, and they teach you really handy stuff!  Please email David Luoh if you are interested in joining the team, and he will give you info on how to sign-up!    

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***CONVERGENCE TOWN HALL – Sunday 9.18.11***
Convergence will hold its first Town Hall meeting during lunch on Sunday 9.18.11.   We will spend time revisiting the vision of the church, present an assessment of our church’s health and provide an update on future initiatives.  Please join us for this very important meeting.

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Convergence Weekly 9/2/2011

September 2, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Dear Convergence Family,

It’s been a milestone week for my family as our twin daughters (Jaci and Sami) started kindergarten on Monday. Terry and I were preparing them with words of encouragement and inspiration, but when I was dropping Sami off at her class, I could feel her hand gripping mine tighter and tighter as we got closer to the classroom. No matter how much I talked to them about it or tired to prepare them for it, the truth is: they were entering into something completely new and that is always scary.

Then, all the kindergarten parents were invited to bagels and coffee with the principal. As Terry and I were entering the room, we literally felt like we were freshmen in high school all over again. There were circles of friends that already existed because they had older children who have been at the school for a few years already or had children that went to the same preschool. Ironically, I was feeling like Sami and Jaci as they entered a whole new world. I was nervous and I was intimidated because I was new.

As I spent some time reflecting on this, I realized that this is what church is like for new people. It’s scary when you don’t know anyone. And, even when someone does talk to you, it’s still uncomfortable to feel like you’re an outsider in the midst of insiders.

In light of this, I want to encourage all of you who have been part of Convergence for months, or even years now, to embrace newcomers at our church with a genuine hospitality. I want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zones and meet new people who have already made the decision to step outside of theirs. There are new people visiting our church every week and we have a small window of opportunity to welcome them with open arms. And maybe, we may get the privilege of walking with them in this journey of life and faith.

Grace and Peace,
Bobby

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WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS
Please read below on fun ways you can partner with us!
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WHAT NOW AMERICA’S BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT: On Saturday September 10th, we’ll be helping out with What Now America’s largest event at DeFremery Park, distributing much needed school supplies, helping out with activities, and eating delicious BBQ! We’re looking for volunteers in 2 shifts: 12pm-2:30pm, and 2:30pm-5pm. Please contact Jeff (jeff.chou@gmail.com) for more information or to get signed up!
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TUTORING AT MLK ELEMENTARY: We are looking for volunteers to be reading tutors to 2nd and 3rd graders this year at MLK Elementary, which is right here in West Oakland!! The proposed time for now is Mondays from 12:45-2:45, and tutors could come for for the first hour, second hour or both. Please email Jeff Chou at jeff.chou@gmail.com or reply to this email if you can volunteer. We are teaching the next generation how to read!! What is more rewarding than that??

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SPORTS MINISTRY: SAVE THE DATE! Sunday, Septmeber 11 after lunch we will be playing old school games like Red Rover, Steal the Bacon, Duck Duck Goose, etc! If you have ideas for games, email them to Stephen Mew at stephenmew@gmail.com or tell him at church! Otherwise, be there!!

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CONVERGENCE TOWN HALL – Sunday 9.18.11
Convergence will hold its first Town Hall meeting during lunch on Sunday 9.18.11. We will spend time revisiting the vision of the church, present an assessment of our church’s health and provide an update on future initiatives. Please join us for this very important meeting.

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HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Our next build day for Habitat is Saturday, September 17 from 8:30-4p. No experience is necessary, and they teach you really handy stuff! Please email David Luoh if you are interested in joining the team, and he will give you info on how to sign-up!
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Convergence & Habitat for Humanity Build-A-Thon 2011!

April 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Pulse

Volunteers move a completed wall frame towards the home it'll provide structure for.

Over the past half year or so, we’ve been a monthly presence at Habitat for Humanity’s site in East Oakland, named Kinsell Commons.  This past weekend, we were able to participate in our first Build-A-Thon as a church, which was a 4-day event to “blitz-frame” a brand new development from foundation to walls.  It’s a highly coordinated and important event that not only makes significant progress on the new home sites, but also raises funds and awareness for Habitat for Humanity East Bay.

Through the donation of our church family and friends, we were able to sponsor 3 of our congregants to participate in the Build-A-Thon on Saturday, April 16th.

Craig shows off his newly learned skill set.

For Craig, who had been in the midst of a busy season for work, it was a great time to get out an enjoy the outdoors – a stark contrast from the desk and computer screen he’d been chained to the past few months.  He particularly enjoyed even the sounds of something different.  “I had earplugs in the whole day, and at one point I took them out.  It was cool just to hear all the sounds of the construction site, from saws to hammers, as well as people coordinating to move pieces into position.  It was a great picture of the totality of what was going on that day.”

Ted didn't let his muscle go to waste.

Ted has been one of the most steady volunteers for our presence at Habitat each month.  He was particularly struck by how many first timers or inexperienced people there were on the site, and how despite this, people were willing to learn and work.  “It was just pretty cool because at the beginning of the day, we were just sitting on a foundation with hard hats and hammers in hand, and by the end of the day there were walls and stairs.”  Ted mentioned that while he started the day barely being able to hammer a nail straight, at the end he was able to hammer a nail whether it was above his head or below him on the ground, and from every angle in-between.

David cheerfully nails together a frame

David is our coordinator for our volunteer efforts with Habitat.  Besides sending out information about the events, he recruits and organizes people every month to participate.  For him, the defining moments of the day came when he would meet volunteers who have been regulars with Habitat, some upwards of 10-20 years.  Veterans who have been on the umpteenth Build-A-Thon.  “It’s just good to know there is a consistent community serving Oakland even when we’re not there,” he said.  Habitat actually waived a fundraising requirement that allowed David to serve an additional day (Tuesday 4/19) at the Build-A-Thon!

Volunteers & Helpers couldn't be more joyful at 6:45am! (From L to R: Craig, Ted, David, Jeff, & Kevin)

In addition to our 3 fundraising Build-A-Thoners, Jeff and Kevin also showed up as day-of helpers, assisting in the coat/bag checks, hospitality, and first-aid capacities.

We serve monthly at Habitat for Humanity East Bay and hope that you can get involved in the future.  If you want to receive information about this, please contact our Habitat for Humanity Coordinator, David L. at david@convergeoakland.org.

Support our Volunteers @ Habitat for Humanity Build-a-Thon 4/16

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

We have 3 willing and able volunteers signed up for the Habitat for Humanity Build-a-Thon on 4/16!  Now, for the rest of us, we have the opportunity to support them in their fundraising efforts for Habitat.  They’re each trying to raise a minimum of $200, which go toward supporting the Build-a-Thon as well as the Habitat effort in East Oakland in general for the rest of the year.

Here are the links to support them financially if you choose to do so:

 

For more details on the hows and whys we are doing this, check out the original call for volunteers below:

Hi Habbies,

Unfortunately we were rained out this past month, but I’m excited to get involved for the Build-a-thon. This annual event fills up fast, so decide and register early! But keep in mind:
* Each person volunteering is asked to fundraise $200 per day of participation. If you’re in, let me know soon so we can get started on a collective effort to get this done. With the gracious help of our church family and our other friends and family, this should be painless and fun(raising, ha ha).
* Again, the plan is to take the remaining 7-8 Kinsell houses from foundation to framed completion. To see the ridiculous progress they make in a single day, check out http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=420496076498
* We’re planning to get involved on Saturday, but it is a four day event so feel free to also get out there Sun-Tues.
* Note that we start at 7a. Yay!

Signing up:
No experience necessary!
http://eastbay.volunteerhub.com/Events/Event/Summary.aspx?EventID=390937

The day of:
We’ll be at the second Kinsell Commons site (new address!) from 7a to 5p:
970 81st Avenue
Oakland, CA 94621

Wear work clothes and sturdy, close-toed shoes and bring a refillable water bottle. Sunscreen, shades, and a hat if you’re sun sensitive. If it rains, there’s a chance of cancellation but fingers crossed. We’ll meet on site early for breakfast 6:45a and, as usual, lunch is provided.

Upcoming Habitat dates
We’ll be volunteering every third Saturday for the foreseeable future except in May, where we’re aiming for 5/14 because of Day in the Park (if you’d like to know more about this, let me know – it’s awesome). I’ll bug you again as our upcoming build dates rolls around, so keep an eye out.

Some common questions
What do I do if it’s raining?
For safety reasons, Habitat may close the construction sites in the event of heavy rain. Call the rainline the morning of at (510) 251-6304 ext. 7 after 7am to learn if the site will be open. If the message makes no mention of rain, assume the site is open. If the site will be closed due to rain, the message will say so. Because we do work through light rain, please bring a rain jacket with you on drizzly days.

Can kids come?
Unfortunately, they have a guideline where they ask for only volunteers over the age of 16. If people are interested, I’ll try arranging for babysitting for everyone with children (although I’ll need some volunteers for that as well).

Can I help out for part of the day?
Unfortunately (again), they ask for a full day commitment.

So.. what if I can’t go but want to?
If you are unavailable this round for whatever reason, fret not! Join us next time – see the note about upcoming dates above.

Feel free to send me any questions or concerns. If you’d like to be left off future emails, just let me know.

Thanks!
David

And an update!

Alright, cool kids. I’m going to ask for final sign-ups by Tuesday night. That way we have a couple days to make sure registration is all lined up. Convergence has offered to cover the minimum fundraising goal per volunteer on the 4/1 deadline in faith that we’ll make up any difference by the actual event, so don’t worry about the deadline this week as far as fundraising goes. Currently we only have one interested volunteer, so there’s plenty of space – don’t feel like your participation is preventing someone else from getting involved.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

David

Upcoming Service Opportunities March/April 2011

February 28, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Connecting with the community of Oakland is a large part of our mission as a church.  Read below for opportunities to serve in the next couple months!

Habitat for Humanity: Running on every 3rd Saturday each month, serving at Habitat in East Oakland is a chance to hone your trade skills and help build a house alongside families who have qualified for a Habitat home.  No experience is necessary.  Upcoming dates are 3/19, and 4/16.  Please contact David (david@convergeoakland.org) for more info.

What Now America: If building into the youth of Oakland piques your interest, join us as we serve with What Now America, helping out in their youth drop-in clinic on Saturdays at the DeFremery Recreation Center from 12-5pm.  We spend the time teaching curriculum, tutoring, making food, enjoying physical education, playing games, and mentoring.  No experience or preparation is necessary, just a willing heart and hands to help.  Upcoming dates are 3/19 and 4/9.  Please contact Jeff (jeff@convergeoakland.org) for more info.

Family Nights: On the last thursday of each month, we host Family Night at DeFremery in partnership with the Center and the City of Oakland.  Families in Oakland are invited out for a fun night with dinner provided, followed by themed guided activities.  Volunteers are needed in all phases of the night, including the food preparation and setup, as well as participation in activities.  Upcoming dates are 3/24 and 4/28.  Please contact Jenn (jenn@convergeoakland.org) for more info.

Convergence News 1/21/2011

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Dear Convergence Family!

I am so excited for what 2011 has in store as we continue to press on and live for Christ!  I know that with a beginning of any year, there are always resolutions made and goals set and I hope that those resolutions and goals would include a deeper commitment to our faith and living it out in our church and community.  To read some of my thoughts on change for the new year, head over to my blog: http://bobbylee.tv.

There are some exciting opportunities for you to further engage in the mission of our church:

Family Fun Night
  • In partnership with the City of Oakland and the DeFremery Recreation Center, we’ve been hosting monthly Family Fun Nights for the West Oakland community,with free dinner, followed by a time of fellowship, games, and prizes. If you want to serve and connect with West Oakland families, be a part of this dynamic ministry! For more details or to get connected, please contact: Jenn Wu at jenn@convergeoakland.org.
Mentoring/Tutoring at MLK Jr. Elementary School
  • We’re partnering with the Faith Network of the East Bay to train up a core of volunteers to host Excel Reading Clinics at Martin Luther King Elementary in West Oakland. This happens every Wednesday afternoon.  For more details or to get connected, please contact: Rebecca Craft at: rebecca@convergeoakland.org.
Habitat for Humanity
  • On the 3rd Saturday of each month, we’ve been out in East Oakland, serving alongside Habitat for Humanity and building homes, getting to know the community, and even learning a few simple construction skills.  Come on out and serve with us!  For more details or to get connected, please contact: David Luoh at david@convergeoakland.org.
As followers of Christ, there’s always a yearning to know more, grow more, and deepen our faith.  So, we’re offering two avenues for growth starting in February:

Prayer Ministry
  • Starting February 6th (Sunday), there will be weekly prayer gatherings before service (prayer starts at 9:30am).  This group will be led by Yvonne Thompson and Joe Nuni.  They will be leading by both teaching about and practicing prayer.  There are different ways to pray and opportunities for intercession as well as healing.  If you’d like to be a part of this new ministry, contact Yvonne or Joe at: yvonne@convergeoaklalnd.orgjoe@convergeoakland.org.
Discipleship
  • Jesus called ordinary people to follow him.  And, those who accepted his call were known as his disciples.  He then calls us out in the great commission to “Go make disciples of all nations…”  Hence, discipleship is something we take very seriously and consider it to be vital to our spiritual growth.  Starting this February, we’ll be launching discipleship groups which will last approximately 16 weeks.  We will have two options for participation.  Min and Esther Tak will be leading a group that will meet on Sundays after service and Bobby and Terry Lee will lead a group that will meet on Wednesday evenings.  The curriculum for both groups will be “Sonship” published by World Harvest Mission.  For more details or to get connected, please contact: Bobby Lee at bobby@convergeoakland.org.
I want to encourage you to participate in one or more of these upcoming ministries.  I believe that you can change someone’s life and I believe that your life will be changed in the process…
Grace and Peace,

Bobby

Habitat for Humanity, Every 3rd Saturday!

January 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

We’ve started serving on a project in East Oakland with non-profit Habitat for Humanity and we’re seeking to align with their vision of providing “simple”, “decent”, and “affordable” housing for over 300,000 families.

Specifically, we’ll be helping build in East Oakland @ Kinsell Commons, every 3rd Saturday starting November 20th 2010, from 8:30-4:00pm! This will be a great opportunity to serve our community and also build community within our own church family! We hope you’ll consider joining us. If you’re interested in participating, please contact David at david@convergeoakland.org.

January 2011 Update:

(From our H4H leader, David)

Habitat December 2010 Crew

Convergence has had the privilege of participating in Habitat for Humanity’s construction of fourteen East Oakland homes over the past five months. This past December, a crew of eight volunteers contributed to a huge caulking and spackling effort at the first phase of Kinsell Commons. The houses involved have neared completion and are going up for inspection soon. We’ll be moving onto a second site this new year where foundations have been laid and we might be able to be a part of the truly exciting building of the new frame of new homes!

Part of the January 2011 H4H Crew!

August 2011 Crew

As a church we’ve committed to partnering with the Habitat non-profit every third Saturday since November ’10 and it’s continued to be a place of fulfilling physical work and fellowship with both each other and other volunteers. It is our hope to serve our city in need by aligning with Habitat’s vision of providing “simple”, “decent”, and “affordable” housing for over 300,000 families.
Join us for our monthly build dates! No construction experience necessary. We’ll be out there from 8:30a to 4:30p and both breakfast and lunch will be provided. Contact David (david@convergeoakland.org) for more details and registration information.

Convergence News 12/2/2010

December 2, 2010 by  
Filed under News

(from Pastor Bobby Lee)

Hey Everyone,

The last few months has definitely been an exciting time of ministry as we’ve stretched ourselves to love our community!

The launch of “Family Nights” in West Oakland has been amazing!  It’s been great meeting new families in the community and it’s been humbling to hear their response.  Our emerging partnership with Martin Luther King, Jr Elementary School and Faith Network has been developing as well.  It’s been great to hear that our people are getting trained by Faith Network to become tutors and mentors!  60 shoe box gifts went out to via Operation Christmas Child this year! 60 children will be absolutely blessed because you took the time to create a shoebox gift for them!  Amazing!  It’d also incredible to hear that over 15 people volunteered to serve with Habitat for Humanity in East Oakland!  If you’ve joined us on Sundays for the past month, I’m sure you’ve also felt the blessing of our hospitality ministry coordinating lunch every week!  It has been so great to see everyone eat and talk with new people!  My heart is overjoyed with gladness!

Yes, I’m using tons of exclamation points because THIS IS EXCITING NEWS!!! 🙂

With all of this blessing and with all of this excitement, I am even more convicted to pray.  I’m in prayer more and am asking that you also be in prayer for Convergence.  I’m reminded that there is a spiritual battle that is present and that is about forces that are unseen.  So, pray with me.  Let’s continue to life one another up and encourage one another as we move forward for the Kingdom!

On a logistical note, I wanted to remind everyone that we’re potlucking this Sunday!  Please bring something to share and if you’re up for it, bring a dish that will compete in our monthly Ultimate Food Championship!!! This month’s theme is: “Stews and Casseroles”

Privileged to Serve You,
Bobby

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