Urban Ministry

Relational Ministry

Carolina Cross Connection has been providing hope repairs in Western North Carolina since 1988. In recent years, CCC has taken its mission into an urban context, serving with the homeless population of Asheville NC. Urban Ministry is a program founded in 2011 to meet much deeper needs than handouts or loose change.

What It's About

Urban Ministry is a life-changing week serving among populations of God’s children who frequently go unseen. Campers will engage in both hands-on service and transformative relationships. Through the course of a week, campers will meet and befriend many, housed or unhoused, and learn what it’s like to see everyone as a child of God.

 

It is our goal that Urban Ministry would help dismantle stereotypes and barriers between wealth and poverty, and to foster genuinely, Christ-centered relationships. We strive for students and adults to experience unconditional love within a community which the world may say has nothing to offer. And above all, we look for opportunities to share the joyful hope that comes from the love of Christ.

Partnering with Local Churches

We partner with local groups and organizations, including the Haywood Street Congregation of Asheville NC, a unique church of housed and unhoused alike. Urban Ministry is an immersive experience to learn from and work alongside groups such as these who foster mutually redemptive relationships.

Urban Ministry's History

Like many efforts at CCC, Urban Ministry, formerly known as HOME, started with a group of students. A group from Fletcher UMC partnered with the Haywood Street Congregation to create a unique mission trip to Asheville. They learned about homelessness firsthand as they helped out with food banks, conducted meals and worship, visited the areas where the homeless gather, and developed friendships with them. They knew that the experience should continue and be shared by others, so Carolina Cross Connection partnered with both churches and Urban Ministry Asheville was born.

 

After serving in Asheville for five years, CCC began to think of taking what we’ve learned of relational ministry into a new city. In 2016, Urban Ministry expanded to Charlotte, NC with hopes of learning what community looks like in this metropolitan area and with prayers of unity for those in inner-city Charlotte.

 

Below are some testimonies from past experiences.

 

“Of all the trips our group has participated in this was the best! We worked side by side each day with those we came to serve. Our eyes and hearts were opened to the beautiful reality that in serving others, we too, are served.” – Joy Moss, Youth Director

 

“HOME has challenged me to see others as God sees them, fellow brothers and sisters made in His image.”– Allison Spruill, Youth Director

 

“Fantastic camp primarily due to staff, content, camper interaction. The word made flesh comes to mind. Great mix of action and worship, both complimenting each other. I saw lives changed and stereotypes challenged, hopefully conquered.” -Adult participant, Charlotte

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Urban Ministry – Asheville

Urban Ministry – Asheville is an unforgettable week serving with the homeless in the heart of downtown Asheville. It is an opportunity to meet and truly befriend those who are without homes or marginalized and to attempt to understand life in a different context. It is an opportunity to break down stereotypes and barriers between material wealth and poverty, and in their place, to find genuinely deep, Christ-centered relationships.

 

CCC has partnered with local groups and organizations of Asheville, chief among them, the Haywood Street Congregation, a unique church of homeless and housed alike. At Haywood Street Congregation, people eat together, work together, and worship together and it seeks to be a welcoming place where everyone is invited to participate in fellowship and family. Your week will be spent working, learning, and living alongside the people involved and impacted by this ministry.

 

Diversity in Asheville is on more levels than just racial or religious. There is a stark contrast between the rich and the poor and how they interact in this city. Watch the video made by Pastor Brian Combs and the Haywood Street folks to get a glimpse of what the situation is like.

Urban Ministry – Charlotte

Urban Ministry – Charlotte is a week spent in uptown Charlotte learning about different organizations working with populations that often go unseen. There will be heavy emphasis on building relationships with people experiencing homelessness. The week is focused on bring light to injustices that those experiencing material poverty face daily in an urban environment.

 

CCC has partnered with nonprofits and ministries local to the area to gain a wide array of knowledge on the realities of homelessness for both adults and children. Some of these organizations include: Urban Ministry Center, Supportive Housing Communities/McCreesh Place, and QC Family Tree. Our host church, First UMC, in uptown Charlotte, permits the use of their front steps for our weekly community parties that include painting and ice cream sundaes.

 

The following are statistics regarding homelessness specific to Charlotte, NC: “20% of NC’s homeless live in Charlotte. 1 out of 5 homeless children in NC live within 8 miles of uptown Charlotte. 1 in 380 people in Charlotte are homeless.”                        – Urban Ministry Center

  • Meals, devotions and worship with the Haywood Street Congregation
  • Serving in the community garden, kitchen and clothing closet
  • “Walk of Awareness” walking tour of Asheville or Charlotte
  • A week without comfortable amenities
  • A week full of community, laughter, tears, and compassion
  • Testimonial sharing with individuals who are homeless

Fees and What's Included

We try to keep our costs reasonable. The cost for Urban Ministry-Asheville is $340 and Urban Ministry-Charlotte is $300. The first payment is required to begin the registration process and is non-refundable/transferable. Substitutions are allowed but please contact the CCC Administration prior to the trip. Fees cover all aspects of the trip excluding parking in Charlotte for vehicles larger that 9 feet. NOTE: a portion of the fee for Urban Ministry-Asheville goes as an offering to the Haywood Street Congregation.

Fees

Payment

Schedule

Asheville –

$340 per person

Charlotte –

$300 per person

First Payment

$100

by Dec. 15, 2017

$100

after Dec. 15, 2017

Second Payment

$120

by March 1, 2018

$100

after March 1, 2018

Third Payment

$120

by May 15, 2018

$100

after May 15, 2018

 

 

What's Included

Fees cover all aspects of the trip. A portion of fees for Urban Ministry-Asheville will be given as an offering to the Haywood Street Congregation. You may wish to bring some extra money for CCC merchandise and buying snacks throughout the week.

2018 Dates

Only 24 spaces are allowed for Urban Ministry weeks on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call 704-721-0033 if you have any questions.

June 17 – 23

June 24 – 30

July 1 – 7

July 8 – 14

July 15 – 21

July 22 – 28

Week Walkthrough

In order to keep numbers manageable and encourage close relationship building, there is room for only 24 participants on an Urban Ministry trip. The trip begins on Sunday between 2 – 3 pm and ends Saturday morning by 10 am. Registration is first-come, first-served, so be sure to sign up early to reserve space and have a greater chance of being assigned the week you want!

What does a week at Urban Ministry look like?

  • Daily devotions and meals with Haywood Street Congregation
  • “Walk of Awareness” – walking tour of downtown Asheville or uptown Charlotte
  • Worship
  • Living without your usual amenities
  • A week full of Christian community, laughter, tears and compassion
  • Working in the community garden, clothing closet, and repair projects at a local nonprofit organization, ministry or church
  • Ice Cream Socials
  • Hearing stories from individuals who have experienced homelessness

Requirements

YOUTH.  CCC Urban Ministry participants must be at least rising age 12 or older and be willing and able to stay the entire week. No late arrivals or early departures please.  We encourage you to bring a variety of people, as bringing a good balance of ages, genders and experience helps us achieve the balances we seek in our camp community. Only 24 can participate in Urban Ministry on any given week.
Please note that members from your church will be divided into different Christian Mission Groups (small work teams) with members from other churches.

 

 

ADULT REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL CAMPS.  CCC takes the safety and spiritual development of those participating very seriously.  As a group leader, we depend on you and your church to also take these seriously and ask that you carefully choose and inform the adults coming to all CCC programs.  You must bring at least 1 adult for every 6 youth coming with you, feel free to bring more adults if you wish.  Also have at least one adult of each gender if your group is co-ed.  All adults should:

*Of good Christian character     

*Willing and able to participate in all activities            

*Stay the entire week                           

*Be suitable to work with youth & be a role model                    

*Have a National Criminal and Sex Offender Background Check done by May 1, 2017

 

ADULT DRIVERS. While most of your time in Asheville is spent walking, you will need vehicles for some field trip outings, and adults over the age of 25 who can drive. Please bring 1 vehicle for every 12 people you are bringing.  CCC cannot provide vehicles for groups.  Your group is responsible for all vehicle expenses at CCC, including gas. Passengers are not allowed to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, nor any vehicle without a safety restraint system for all passengers.

 

VEHICLES. CCC is not able to provide vehicles for groups, so you must bring your own or rent a vehicle(s). All vehicle costs including gas and parking are on you. There should be one vehicle per every 6 participants, and legal safety rules must be followed, including wearing seat belts and no passengers riding in the back of pickup trucks. Each vehicle should be able to carry tools and equipment, as well as a 5-gallon drink cooler and lunches for the workers and those they are serving. Passenger vans or mini church buses are ideal, but SUV’s, pickup trucks, minivans are also allowed. You can also haul a trailer if necessary.

 

REGISTRATION. Make sure that everyone in your group is aware of the camp requirements and what they will be doing during the week when you register. It is in your best interest to give us accurate numbers of how many will be attending, and to get payments from your participants as you submit your payments to us. Once we get your registration forms (which should include your top three preferences on dates) we will send out a confirmation that contains your  camp week assignment. You will later receive payment reminders and prep materials. If you sign up after March 1, 2017, please contact the CCC office first, to make sure spots are still available.

 

FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE. Spots are first-come, first-served basis, so register early if you know that you want to come! Also, the earlier you register the more likely it is that your group will receive your first preference for what week you will serve. If your registration is unable to be accepted, your deposit will be refunded. If your registration is accepted, then your deposit and all other payments are NON-REFUNDABLE and non-transferable.

 

CHANGES OR CANCELLATIONS. Groups up to 24 people are welcome, but please call if you want to bring 15 people or more. Group numbers must be finalized by March 1, 2017. You will receive a Group Commitment Form to return with the second payment to note any changes that take place. There are late fees for any persons who wish to register after this date. Please call first, and keep in mind that our camps only have a certain amount of space. If your group cancels after March 1, you forfeit your previous payments and are responsible for paying the balance due. Group cancellations must be submitted in writing.

Your group must pay for the total number of people who registered by March 1, even if your numbers drop after that date. Also, if your second payment is late, we reserve the right to decrease your number of slots reserved by half, until the second payment comes in. This prevents us from paying for camp spaces that will not be used. If you think your payment might arrive late please let us know so we do not decrease your number of slots.

Planning Your Trip

We are excited to spend a week serving with you! We want you to come prepared for the spiritual and physical work that you will be doing. Below are handouts that we have prepared that you can go over with your group to be ready for what you will experience when you arrive. If you have any questions feel free to call our office.

In addition to the CAMPER PREP below, we also ask that you review some basic First Aid such as

We also highly recommend Urban Ministry participants review Mental Health Crisis Readiness.

Urban Ministry Week FAQ

Who can come?

Carolina Cross Connection is an interdenominational Christian mission.  The only requirements we have are that you MUST be a rising 7th grader (or 12 years of age), or older, and that you are willing and ready to serve God and people in exciting ways! You do not have to be a Christian to participate, but we ask that you be willing to spend your week hearing about the love of Christ and eager to help those around you.

 

Can I leave camp early, arrive late, or leave and then return during the week?

We ask that if you are committing to serve during an Urban Ministry week that you stay the entire week.  The CCC experience functions off of creating a tight community that lives life together for the week. If you are unable to commit to this, and to arriving on time, then we ask that you wait to serve until you are able to devote an entire week to the project.

 

Who is in charge of CCC?

We are a non-profit organization that is headed by a Board of Directors and full-time staff. During the summer, our Urban Ministry expedition is led by young adults who love serving God and others!

What do we do throughout the week?

Every week is different, but activities planned by our staff can include serving meals, gathering clothing, gardening, having worship services, playing games, and serving ice cream to the homeless. The main focus of the week is building relationships, gaining compassion for those without a home, and getting to know those who live on the streets and hear their stories.

 

Will there be construction or painting labor?

If the need arises we are prepared to do these kinds of projects, but you do not need any prior experience to be able to help out in these areas. This is not our main focus during our Urban Ministry weeks but we try to meet the needs of the organizations that we partner with as they are presented to us.

 

How demanding is the physical aspect?

The most demanding part of the trip is walking throughout the city. The Urban Ministry experience is intended to give you insight into the daily life of someone experiencing homelessness, including walking up to four miles a day. While not overly strenuous, just be prepared to be on your feet a lot throughout the week.

 

What is the week like emotionally?

Seeing homelessness up close is intense and can bring up a lot of emotions to be processed. At the end of the day we meet back at our base camp to discuss what we did throughout the day and provide a place for you to ask questions and learn from what you have been seeing.

 

How are we divided into work teams?

Group sizes vary from day to day, depending on the activity. Sometimes we break out into small groups and sometimes the entire camp works together. At any given point there will be at least 1-2 adults per group. You may also be working with people from other churches as we mix up groups and ages.

 

Will students be safe?

Every place we go and every project scheduled will be led by our trained staff. Our volunteers are trained in basic first aid and mental health safety. Every group will have adults with it and we make sure that students are paired up with each other so that no one is ever working alone. We do our best to make the week a safe experience for both you and your group.

What does it cost?

Fees cover all meals and activities for the week. We recommend you bring extra money for snacks throughout the week. We do not encourage you giving out cash or handouts to those we are meeting. Youth will go through an orientation at the beginning of the week regarding this and other topics.

 

What are the facilities like?

Our HOMEBASE for Urban Ministry-Asheville is at Reeves Chapel UMC in Asheville and for Urban Ministry-Charlotte is at First UMC in uptown Charlotte. Males and females are placed in separate rooms for sleeping and have separate bathrooms. THERE ARE NO SHOWERS! We do not provide beds or bedding, you will have to bring your own sleeping bags, cots or air mattresses, blankets, etc.

 

I have a question that hasn’t been answered…

Please contact us if you have further questions or concerns. Email laura@carolinacrossconnection.org or call 704-721-0033.

Urban Ministry Registration & Forms

Urban Ministry Forms

CCC Medical Consent Form

(Bring 3 copies to camp)

Adult Self Screening Form/Covenant

(Group Leader turn into CCC office by 05/2018)

Ready to help us serve? Register today!