Putting love into action.
This is the driving value that has led Grass Valley United Methodist Church to support the Nevada County Habitat for Humanity mission for so many years – and has also led them to become designated as the first Nevada County Habitat for Humanity HomeBuilder Faith Community.
“The people here are builders,” says Pastor Becky Goodwin. “They love to build. Whether it is building homes, relationships or community partnerships, we are committed to putting God’s love into action. We have a deep relationship with Habitat for Humanity, so it makes complete sense that we become a Habitat for Humanity HomeBuilder Faith Community. We are home-builders!
“More to the point,” she says, “Supporting the Habitat mission is a way of making permanent change. Becoming a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity can transform a family. They no longer have to uproot their family every time there’s a rent increase. They become stable, empowered and vital families not only fulfilling their dreams, but establishing a legacy for generations to come.”
Launched in February, the Nevada County Habitat for Humanity HomeBuilder Faith Community program is an inter-faith means of helping to solve Nevada County’s affordable housing crisis. The program builds upon the rich faith tradition that led Millard Fuller to found Habitat for Humanity in 1976.
Fuller built the organization upon the “Theology of the Hammer”. This action-oriented concept is “designed to bring a wide diversity of people, churches and other organizations together to build houses and establish viable and dynamic communities. It is acknowledging that differences of opinion exist on numerous subjects – political, philosophical and theological – but that we can find common ground in using a hammer as an instrument to manifest God’s love. “
Ultimately, the Theology of the Hammer proposes that we can agree on building and renovating simple, decent houses with and for God’s people in need using biblical economics (no profit, no interest, using what resources are available to house those with less means).
To become designated as a HomeBuilder, a faith community agrees to: 1) designate a representative to serve on the Faith Community committee; 2) Allow an NCHFH representative to speak to their congregation, presenting the HFH mission and providing a report on current activities and future vision; 3) Commit to praying for the NCHFH mission, families, volunteers and staff; and, 4) Make a financial commitment to NCHFH (there are a number of ways to accomplish this).
In return, NCHFH will provide the faith community with public recognition of their commitment as a HomeBuilder Faith Community on the NCHFH website, at ReStore and in other ways throughout the year. As a member of the Faith Community committee, representatives will help shape and direct the way local faith communities can take a more active role in helping to create permanent homes for deserving local low-income families.
“We’re building upon the rich spiritual framework of Habitat to provide an opportunity to people from all backgrounds to give expression to their faith,” says Don Lee, a retired Methodist pastor and member of the NCHFH Board of Directors. “Most Habitat affiliates have some type of organized program for faith communities. We wanted to create a meaningful and inclusive way for people of faith to get involved.”
“If you want your people to live love in action to the glory of God,” says Pastor Becky, “Become a HomeBuilder Faith Community.”
Do you think your faith community might be interested in putting love to action by becoming a HomeBuilder Faith Community? Just contact Jim Phelps for more information at 530-274-1951.