Celebrating and Encouraging Our Affiliate Partners
Every year, our Program Team hosts two big convenings for our affiliate partners. Each convening is time that allows our affiliates to be refreshed and reenergized together, and to make connections with one another (sometimes for the first time!).
In Fall 2021, we resumed our Fall Convening in person, for the first time in about two years. Pastor Kareem of Graffiti and Andrew Mann of Graffiti 2 led a time of worship, and representatives from three affiliates (The Bowery Mission, The Open Door, City Relief) shared prayers. Our team and our affiliate partners enjoyed catching up, and it was also a special time for reflection and updates.
Recently in June, we held another Convening at the Hope for New York office in Times Square that focused on celebration. Breakfast was provided, along with handwritten notes of encouragement from HFNY staff to our affiliates. We also gave special candles from Charlestina Candles, a husband-and-wife duo who began creating candles during the pandemic and donating proceeds to Hope for New York affiliates in the city.
One half of Charlestina Candles, the Rev. Charles Chung of Redeemer Downtown, provided a short homily on how steady faithfulness will bear incredible fruit and fill up each affiliate (and their communities) to fullness. He also shared how he stayed committed to our City, HFNY, and his church community during the pandemic—by praying more, observing Sunday Sabbath, serving locally, and staying in the city.
Albert Lee, a dedicated volunteer from Exilic Church also shared a few words on how serving affiliates through his church's city outreach ministry, and dedicating time to City Relief, allowed him to grow more in empathy, understanding, and faith. One sentiment was clear throughout the event—not only are we thankful for our affiliate partners for being resilient throughout the pandemic, but their ongoing work indicates: God is alive and well in New York City!