Highlights from the DublinCAN Community Connector

DublinCAN Community Connector

February 11, 2016 – Discover Christian Church

6:30 PM

Opening Remarks from Community Leaders

Brian Webb from Vista Community Church hosted the meeting.  He introduced Christine Nardecchia, Dublin Volunteer Coordinator; Heinz Von Eckartsberg, Dublin Police Chief; and Doug Baker, PIO for Dublin City Schools.

Doug Baker spoke first:

  • Dublin City Schools have welcomed 300 new students (on average) ever year since 1977. In 1976 the school district had 1,085 students enrolled. Today there are more than 15,000 student enrolled in Dublin schools.
  • Student population is 16% minority – Dublin City Schools has the 8th most diverse student population among all Ohio districts.
  • English Language Learning classes have 1,450 students enrolled – these students represent 100 countries, and more than 60 languages.
  • Dublin Schools will continue to grow in size and diversity.

Chief Von Eckartsberg spoke next:

  • The primary goal of local law enforcement is to reduce crime and motor vehicle crashes – and, in Dublin, to partner with our community. One way we partner is through our Chaplains’ Program.
  • Officer Mike Laws oversees this program (Craig Hungler started it in 1990) and serves people much like those gathered here. Three local pastors volunteer their time and talents to the program.

Christine Nardecchia spoke last:

  • Dublin volunteerism is known for big events such as the Dublin Irish Festival – but big events are a springboard to building relationships and being prepared to serve (think disaster preparedness).
  • The Irish Festival is known for its service to the community through the collection of items donated to the Dublin Food Pantry every year on Sunday of the Festival – resulting in the donation of thousands of pounds of food to the Pantry each summer.
  • Also here is Corey Hurley, Washington Township Community Education Coordinator, who is someone good to know as we serve our community.

Guest Speaker – Pavi Thomas, Lead Pastor at Heritage Christian Church and Executive Director of the Bridge.

  • There is something fundamentally broken in our world: Millions of people have been driven from their homes (mostly due to war); one of every 30 children in the U.S. are homeless
  • Luke 10 tells the story of an expert in the law who asks Jesus, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer Jesus gives is to love God and love your neighbor. “Do this and you will live.”
  • There will be a day when shalom will fill the earth – but even now you can get in on this kingdom blessing. Take Jesus at his word: Love God. Love your neighbor. Receive a taste of heaven even now. We don’t have to wait until Jesus returns.
  • So the next question is, “Who is my neighbor?” (seeking to justify himself…) In response, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan and sums it up, “Go and do likewise.”
  • Knowing the story Jesus told, the question has changed to, “To whom are you being a neighbor?”
  • Life is found when we turn our attention outside of ourselves.
  • At The Bridge, we serve people from a variety of international communities: Somalia, Iraq, Vietnam… These people are seen (often) as outsiders, feared as terrorists, and often homeless. Thomas says, “Their need becomes your greatest gift. Go and do likewise.”

Guest Speaker, Scott Marier, Westerville Area Resource Ministries (WARM), and serving on the Board of Directors for Mission Columbus.

  • Scott has taken note of the DFCP Mission: Partnering to give hope… He reminded us of the adage, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
  • Why serve the suburbs—aren’t the poor in the urban areas? There has been a true suburbanization of poverty where people are seeking job opportunities, affordable housing, better schools, and escaping gentrification (see Brookings Institute study).
  • WARM Clients—within 200% of the poverty level, the elderly or disabled (10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day – a trend that is expected to continue for the next 15 years creating a huge demand for services for people who are often outliving their resources), and those temporarily knocked off course from a crisis (medical debt, long-term illness…)
  • One in four in the U.S. are food insecure – something that is much more likely when children are in the home
  • In Dublin City Schools, the population is 15% in poverty – and growing about 2% each year.
  • The Holistic Ministry of WARM
    • BODY: Offering food, nutrition, essential household materials, emergency financial assistance
    • MIND: Building relationships, giving purpose, coaching life skills, supplying jobs assistance and life and social skills.
    • SPIRIT: Faith, hope, love, prayer
  • WARM is helping to build support systems: networking the family into the community. An effective response must hit on all these (holistic) cylinders or it will not work!
  • You’ve been commissioned to tend the vineyard in your corner of Dublin. You have an obligation to do what you are capable of doing – to serve.
  • WARM was 30 years living it’s first year capacity over and over again 30 times – until finally about 14 years ago we began following the holistic model. Now we are growing in our effectiveness and our ministry.
  • “God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine.”

Introductions to community assets from those present and serving:

Jack Parren, Dublin Lions Club – hosting the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast and collecting eyeglasses and providing resources for eye care for families in need. (http://www.dublinlionsclub.com/)

Cary Kozberg, Side by Side – life transitions coaching for seniors. Former chaplain, coaches families in long-term care. (http://choosesidebyside.com/)

Neil Edgar. Mental Health America of Franklin County – ombudsman, a one-stop to connect families with Franklin County mental health services, social services, legal services, and serving also pregnant women. (http://;mhafc.org/)

Joyce Bourgault, Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center – Free medical clinic (including walk-ins), serving clients from Dublin, Westerville, Columbus and surrounds. Serving many refugees and immigrants. (http://www.helpinghandsfreeclinic.org/)

Valerie Horton, Syntero AOD Program Coordinator – serving those facing alcohol and drug addiction. (http://www.syntero.org/programs/programs-for-adults/)

Barb Anderson, Dublin Community Church and Dublin Food Pantry – the church is part of the United Church of Christ serving the community and hosting the pantry at the church. (http://www.dublincommunitychurch.org/)

Carla Lemon, Syntero’s Coaching for College Success – serving students with disabilities who want to attend college. (http://www.syntero.org/programs/programs-for-youth/)

Lynn Hessler, Dublin Food Pantry – serving about 240 families each month including the elderly, single-parent families and those new in the community. (http://www.dublinfoodpantry.org/home.html)

Sharon Crews, Syntero’s Mentoring Program – connecting children and teens with adults who can be positive, supportive role models. (http://www.syntero.org/programs/programs-for-youth/)

Stephanie Jursek, Syntero’s Older Adults Program – helps with practical life problems, connecting people to resources and aging supportive services. Hosting a seminar on April 18 at the Dublin Public Library – all are welcome. (http://www.syntero.org/programs/programs-for-older-adults/)

Dee Marks – Ohio Parent Mentor for Dublin City Schools – working with families who have children with disabilities. (http://www.dublinschools.net/Downloads/SEAC%20Web%2015-16%20dates3.pdf)

Chris Borja, Dublin Area Networking Group – helps people connect. Networking seminar – see Facebook. (http://www.meetup.com/Dublin-Area-Networking-Group/ and Facebook)

Sheryl Hardin, Daniel Wright Elementary School – Dublin Summer Lunch Program – we hope to find groups that will manage (and supply volunteers) for a week with the kids including activities and lunches. The program is an all-volunteer effort and we need lots of summer help. (http://www.dublinschools.net/protected/articleView.aspx?iid=5YYUPI&dasi=1Y)

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