The Community Ministries division of 6 Stones continues to blossom across HEB. This all began with a phone call from a caring police detective from the City of Hurst. He wanted to meet us as soon as possible to discuss the concerns he had for a community just a few blocks from his home. That first meeting defined the beginning focus of our ministry, and is still one of the foundational components of our Community Ministries today. A very short time after that first meeting, we received a phone call from a church in Hurst that was looking for a way to expand their service to the community. They asked me if we knew of any place in the area that would be a good place to establish an ongoing relationship of service—and we knew just the place! That first neighborhood gathering took place in Bellaire Park on a chilly, misty day in January of 2011 when, in spite of the weather, we had a crowd over two hundred people from neighborhood families.
From that first community gathering, the ministry in Vivagene Copeland/Bellaire Park has expanded to a Kid’s Beach Club for elementary age kids, with over seventy kids gathering each week on Tuesday night. In addition, the Cross Roads Youth Group meets on the same night, with over thirty teenage students attending. A fine young couple, Sean and Mindi Bone, lead the Tuesday night gathering, along with a team of dedicated volunteers from First Baptist Church Hurst. These Tuesday evening events serve over one hundred people each week, all coming together to share—and receive—a message of Hope.
The weekly impact in partnership with one caring church has blossomed into a collaborative effort of many community partners, joining together to be a catalyst of hope in the Bellaire Park area. This past fall, we had a great time celebrating community, as over 1,000 people came out for the National Night Out party we hosted in partnership with the City of Hurst and many ministry partners. Our commitment is to be in the park every night of the week, meeting the needs of ALL of the people. With that in mind, our next ministry launch will be a second night of gatherings for the people on Thursday night. Plans are to have the new night up and rolling by the summer!
We are excited to host the 3rd Annual Good Friday Family Fun Picnic at Bellaire Park. Last year, we had over 750 residents and volunteers, and we expect an even greater turnout this year! We will have free hotdogs, chips, water, cotton candy, and popcorn; bounce houses and a live band, celebrating in both English and Spanish.
One lasting memory that stands out regarding the Good Friday gathering is that of a father sitting back on the lawn, with his kids on a blanket—just relaxing and enjoying the evening. What a picture of how the caring of efforts of literally hundreds of volunteers is making a noticeable difference in the community! As people are encouraged and brought UP, crime and sadness goes down in ways that are being recognized not only by the Hurst Police Department, but by each person involved in some way with Community Ministries.