Relationships Change the World: Conversations + A Dream = Greater Good Advancing!

Serve Spot Lakewood: Included in this group are representatives from the Lakewood Faith Coalition, The Council to End Hunger in Lakewood, and the Lakewood Service Organization Coalition

In 2014 the Mayor of Lakewood, Colorado reached out to Lakewood Connects Director, Reg Cox with a Big Idea! For 9 years Reg had supported a network of pastors from various Christian faith communities who connected to each other monthly for prayer, support and partnership. The Mayor’s dream was to build upon this example of unity among Christian churches by expanding to invite all faith communities and form another organization, a “Faith Coalition” and connect them to the Mayor/City Manager’s office in order to forge a service partnership, so that together, Faith + Government could advance Greater-Good Projects in the city!

Dreams become Greater-Good Catalysts when they’re shared with others! In 2014 Reg was a Senior Pastor at a medium sized neighborhood church in Lakewood. He didn’t see his church or the church network as a big deal at all. He would tell you that the mayor’s invitation to partner on a big dream was exciting and a bit intimidating! This dream stretched and challenged Reg, but that’s exactly what advancing “Greater Good” initiatives are all about! You can’t do breakthrough greater-good until you’re Stretched! “Stretched” means we ask; “Can we take our Resources of Energy, Money and Time and Merge them with others in order to Exponentially do more good than we could ever accomplish all by ourselves?” We believe this spirit of collaboration and partnership is the key to improving our world and this idea is at the heart of what Lakewood Connects is furthering both here and across the country!

In 2014 the Mayor of Lakewood created the “Lakewood Linked Initiative” starting with the Faith Coalition which merged Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Latter Day Saints, Catholic and Jewish faiths as a Collaborative Community Service Force. Soon this dream expanded to include Coalitions connecting supplemental Food assistance groups and Service Clubs like the Kiwanis and Rotary in order to build Service Programming Partnerships like the Faith Coalition.

Recently, Chairmen of these three Coalitions had another Big Dream! They realized that by becoming one organization they could enhance their “Greater-Good” Impact Potential! “Serve Spot Lakewood” (SSLW) was formed merging these three Coalitions into one and is currently building a website that will tell stories, recruit volunteers and help transform the culture of the city! What started out with one Coalition has now become a larger movement that will accelerate Partnership and Greater-Good Philosophy, Programming and Power to every corner of the city!

Relationships change the world! When Greater-Good Conversations take place Dreams are born that advance Greater-Good Plans and Programs! It all starts when we talk to each other and build trusted partnerships…when this happens we can dream larger dreams and find ways to make “Impossible”…Possible! This is our hope…we pray that you join us in advancing this philosophy and dream!

Relationships Change the World: Become a Compassion Catalyst

Lakewood Connects uses a few inspirational sayings that summarize our core values and convictions. These mantra’s guide our focus, influence and programming. One favorite is “Progress moves at the speed of relationship.” That mantra anchors us on the fact that information and data doesn’t build trust or inspire action! The power of compassion is released when we sit down with another person over a cup of coffee! Face-to-face we can share stories, find common ground and seek a compelling vision of “what-might-be-possible” together!

Recently a tragedy impacted our community involving a fire in an apartment complex in an underserved neighborhood. In the ensuing days several government, education, nonprofit and faith groups all rallied to support and help victims. Sometimes a local tragedy reveals the gaps that exist in our community that can separate healing intentions from helping action. Although all of these sectors had resources…what they didn’t have was fresh connections with each other. Here’s a fact: when relationships are disconnected it can inhibit compassion action.

How do we create a compassion catalyst? In the neighborhood affected by the fire Lakewood Connects has been supporting local church and compassion outpost, “Mountair Christian” for over a decade. They lead many valuable projects and programs. We also work with, “Molholm Elementary” and their leaderships. The church and school have worked together for years and recently Lakewood Connects facilitated new depth in their relationship making coordination between them easier during the tragedy. When the other support organizations jumped in to serve, the church and school were ready to navigate the compassion energy strategically.

The fire caused the loss of life and displacement of over 30 families including a Molholm student and mom. The church and school aimed Lakewood Connects support to precisely fit the needs of that family immediately. Compassion requires timely, strategic and uninhibited action!

Concern + Connections = Compassion Catalyst! There is often a lot of concern for challenges in our community…but until connections are made compassion is stymied! “Relationships change the world” is not just an invitation to make friends, it’s a challenge to create the kinds of connections that remove the goodwill and healing barriers that often exist unnoticed in our culture! Just think, you are just a conversation away from becoming a partner with someone else so that together you can lead positive change in your community when tragedy strikes! Don’t wait until bad things happen! Make that compassion catalyst relationship connection today!