Happy Friday Church Family!

This is Pastor Karissa, and I am happy to have this opportunity to write the pastor's e-note to you this week! I hope you are all doing well and have been able to enjoy the nice spring weather lately! 

This past week, over 30 people from our church attended the Topeka JUMP Nehemiah Action Assembly at Washburn's Lee Arena (along with over 900 other people), and I wanted to share with the rest of you a little bit about what happened at that event. If you are unfamiliar with JUMP, it is a coalition of 30 faith communities in Topeka that are working together to pursue justice. JUMP's four campaigns right now include: payday loan reform in Kansas, reducing gun violence and homicides in our city, establishing and funding an Affordable Housing Trust Fund for Topeka, and getting crisis beds in Valeo that will be for those experiencing a mental health crisis but refusing treatment. At the assembly on Monday, two exciting things were announced: 
1) The Affordable Housing Trust Fund is now at $1 million and can be activated, meaning that developers can apply to use it as they build new affordable housing in Topeka
2) The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) agreed to give up to $3 million to Valeo for the addition of new crisis beds. 

If you ever want to learn more about what JUMP is doing or would like to get involved, please feel free to reach out to me! I'm grateful for this opportunity that we have to seek justice in our community with other people of faith. 

In addition to being excited about JUMP, I am excited for this Sunday because I am going to share with you all about the immersion trip that I took to the U.S. - Mexico border back in March with 35 other people from the Great Plains Conference. This trip was incredibly impactful and full of learning and reflection. I will be preaching a sermon at all three services about what I learned and about how God is calling me (and all of us) to respond faithfully to immigration. Then, from 12:15-1:45 p.m., I will be giving a presentation that goes deeper and gives more detail for anyone who is interested. There will be walking tacos for those who attend the presentation. You can also watch the presentation on our website or our Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday! Have a great start to your weekend!

Pastor Karissa