Merciful Presence: Noticing the injustices around us and playing an active role in serving the victimized.

Guided by Isaiah 58:1-10, Jesus’ relational priority of the “least of these” is expressed by the Body of Christ through mercy toward our neighbors. The beauty of the Gospel is that it is the only story big enough to make sense of life’s complexity and simple enough to be expressed powerfully through tangible mercy toward neighbors.  We endeavor not only to tell a beautiful story and respond to it in Spirit, but to live that story through merciful action.

To see this vision become a reality, our ambition must be to humbly and tangibly extend the love of Christ, especially to the overlooked.  Those who are systemically marginalized in North Brooklyn must find that in every expression of this church they are honored guests with reserved seats at the table.  And, those captured by the Gospel story must go on telling that story by welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, noticing the forgotten, and serving the orphan and widow in distress.  This is a vision that speaks to the deepest longings of every New Yorker:  A cosmic story to make sense of life, expressed in transcendent simplicity before our very eyes.

We seek to come alongside organizations that are serving those in need. We encourage our members to serve in some way at least once a month. Our Justice & Mercy Partners include: Rikers Debate Project, The Bowery Mission, St. Nicks Alliance, North Brooklyn Angels, New Sanctuary Coalition, JustFix, Williamsburgh Library, City Harvest, Puerto Rico Resilience Fund, and Nomi Network. Learn more about each organization below.

To stay up to date on Justice & Mercy opportunities, please sign up for the email list below.


Justice & Mercy OPPORTUNITIES

Full Justice & Mercy calendar here. Direct any questions to Deacons of Justice & Mercy, Holly and Sara.


Justice & Mercy Partners

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Rikers Debate Project

The Rikers Debate Project (RDP) teaches competitive debate skills — including communication, conflict resolution, and public citizenship — to students held in Rikers Island jail. A criminal record makes it hard to find a job, and communication skills are invaluable to overcoming this challenge. Volunteers do not need to have any previous debate experience to help facilitate these classes.

Serving with RDP
When: Saturdays (11:30 AM - 2:30 PM or 1:00 - 4:00 PM)
How: Sign up here. A leader will reach out to you a few days before with a brief packet for the week.
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Mariya Abdulkalf who is a regular volunteer and our TGC Williamsburg point person.


  Photo courtesy of Simon Morris

Photo courtesy of Simon Morris

THE BOWERY MISSION

TGC Williamsburg leads a morning worship service at the Bowery Mission, one of NY's oldest homeless shelters. The Bowery Mission provides three free meals a day, and prior to each one they put on a service in their historic chapel, run by different churches from across the city. During the service we worship alongside the community there, pray for, and get to know the folks who attend.

Serving with The Bowery Mission
When: First Saturday of every month, 7:00 - 8:00 AM
How: All are welcome, no sign up required. Sign up for the email list for updates and reminders.
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Simon Morris who coordinates the service and is a member of TGC Williamsburg.


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WILLIAMSBURGH LIBRARY

The original branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, built in 1903, Williamsburgh Library serves as a community education center with access to books, computers, and classes for everyone in the community. Volunteers can teach classes, help with after-school tutoring, do storytelling, and many other opportunities.

Serving with Williamsburgh Library
When: Opportunities to fit any schedule!
How: Explore opportunities and apply to volunteer here
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


 Image courtesy of North Brooklyn Angels

Image courtesy of North Brooklyn Angels

North Brooklyn Angels

North Brooklyn Angels is a grassroots group of neighbors helping neighbors with challenge faced in our community. They run the Angelmobile, a mobile food truck that serves hot lunch 5 days a week at various locations around the neighborhood. Meals are prepared at the Mt Carmel Parish Hall. Volunteers prep, cook, and serve lunches.

Serving with North Brooklyn Angels
When: Opportunities throughout the week, but highest need on Tues, Thurs, and Fri.
How: Sign up here and a coordinator from North Brooklyn Angels will be in touch
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Mike La Rosa, a regular volunteer and a member of TGC Williamsburg.


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NEW SANCTUARY COALITION

The New Sanctuary Coalition is an immigrant's rights organization based in New York City comprised of an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and individuals standing publicly in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation. Volunteers can attend accompaniment training then come alongside people during hearings and check-ins. Other opportunities like case workshopping and letter writing also available.

Serving with New Sanctuary Coalition
When: Opportunities during the day throughout the week and in the evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
How: Sign up for a training here and after that you’ll be able to sign up for accompaniments
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


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JustFix

JustFix provides digital services to New Yorkers in neglectful housing situations and the housing advocates who support them. Volunteers help canvass neighborhoods to connect tenants with services and offer resources.

Serving with JustFix
When: Training to be held in the fall
How: Sign up for the email list and we'll update you when we have a date set
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


 Photo courtesy of St. Nicks Alliance

Photo courtesy of St. Nicks Alliance

St. NICKS ALLIANCE

St. Nick's Alliance is a community development organization in North Brooklyn focused on serving low and middle income families in the neighborhood. Offering an array of services from elder care to youth programming, St. Nick's seeks to cultivate a community where everyone can thrive. Volunteers will be called on to help with community events, data collection for advocacy, senior care, and and allyship at marches.

Serving with St. Nicks Alliance
When: Both ad hoc and regular opportunities
How: Sign up for the email list and we'll share opportunities as they arise
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


 Photo courtesy of City Harvest

Photo courtesy of City Harvest

CITY HARVEST

City Harvest rescues food from restaurants and markets around the city and re-distributes it in high need neighborhoods. Volunteers are needed to help out at Mobile Markets (closest one is in Bed-Stuy) and as Nutrition Educators.

Serving with City Harvest
When: Frequent opportunities throughout the week, no recurring commitment
How: Sign up for an orientation here and a City Harvest coordinator will be in touch
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


 Photo courtesy of Kieran Murray

Photo courtesy of Kieran Murray

Puerto Rico Resilience Fund

Puerto Rico Resilience Fund helps those who were affected rebuild and restore their homes, communities, environment, and lives in ways that make them stronger for not only climate change, but disaster capitalism. The fund offers some short-term assistance while concentrating on the long-term recovery of Puerto Rico’s sustainable food and farming initiatives. Former TGC member, Kieran Murray, is currently living in Puerto Rico and working with the Fund.

Supporting Puerto Rico Resilience Fund
How: Donate here and stay updated by signing up for Kieran's email updates and following along online (IG: @northstarboi).
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


 Photo courtesy of Nomi Network

Photo courtesy of Nomi Network

Nomi Network

Nomi Network is an economic development agency fighting human trafficking in India and Cambodia by providing training and job opportunities for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking, workforce and community development services. Former TGC member, Jasmine Summers, is currently serving a year-long fellowship as the network's first fashion fellow.

Supporting Nomi Network
How: Donate here and follow Jasmine (IG: @missjazz_mine) or sign up for her newsletter for updates.
Church Contact: If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Holly Dowell, deacon of Justice & Mercy.


Border Families

Over the past few months, we have read the reports of families crossing our border and being separated. Parents are being put into the criminal system and children are being sent to detention centers. While the executive order signed on June 20th ended this policy, there are still over 2,000 children separated from their parents, and there will continue to be more asylum-seeking families trying to enter our country who need help. 

Below are some organizations on the front lines, ways to actually serve in NYC and closer to the border and ways to make your voice heard.

Organizations accepting donations

-Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project: Fighting against unjust deportation through legal aid, community building, and policy reform advocacy

-Catholic Charities of RGV: Providing care and support to refugee families and are in need of donations. Their site has an Amazon wish list as well as a list of items+ an address where to send them

-Cayuga Centers: Hosting the children who were brought to NYC, these centers have an Amazon Wishlist you can contribute through

-Immigrant Families Together: Raising money, one family at a time, to pay bond and reunite separated families

-LUPE Rio Grand Valley: Community organizers in the Rio Grande Valley, holding vigils and organizing action 

-RAICES: Offering free and low-cost legal representation of families and unaccompanied minors at the border

-Texas Civil Rights Project: Offers policy advocacy and legal support at the border, working directly with families affected

-Together Rising: Fundraising and vetting organizations, helping to coordinate actions

-The Young Center: Serving as allies for unaccompanied migrant children, actively working on their behalf in their best interests and seeking family reunification

Volunteer/Serve

-Cayuga Centers: Contact the shelter that is hosting 239 children here in NYC who have been sent here away from their parents are in need of Spanish-speaking foster homes (718-860-1656) You do not have to be MAPP certified to fill this need. There is a shortened orientation available and you must pass a background check.

-New York City Councilman Mark Levine's office has put together a list of recommend organizations to contribute to and links to volunteer at the centers currently housing the separated children in NYC.

-The Florence Project:  Volunteers needed in Arizona for legal aid, interpretation, medical, and admin. 

-RAICES: In need of translators who speak Meso-American indigineous languages (e.g. apotec, nahua, ma'am, quich'e, maya, mixe, mixtec). Can be done from anywhere! Email volunteer@raicestexas.org

-Texas Civil Rights Project:  In need of people with paralegal/legal assistance experience who speak Spanish, Q'eqchi, or K'iche to help with intake in McAllen, TX. They are also looking for legal intake volunteers in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso, and Alpine.

Speak Out

-Pray: We have a compassionate and just God who hears our prayers and honors our lament. Take time to pray for the families at the border - that they may be comforted and reunited. Pray for those on working with these families on the front lines- give them strength and wisdom. Pray for our policy and decision makers - that their hearts be moved to compassion. 

-Call your representatives: Take a moment to remind your elected representatives that family reunification matters to you. Even if your representatives are already supporting family reunification, calling with thanks and encouragement is also crucial. The Stance app allows you to record your message in advance so you can clearly state your message. Think local (like the mayor) and request action for children brought here to be reunited with their families. You can also encourage family members in other states to contact their representatives.