We had such a great night together celebrating TEN YEARS as an organization. Inherent to the work of belonging is that we all have something to give, and we all have something to receive. Capturing Joy 2018 was an incredible evening centered of both generous giving, of time and resources, and generous receiving–of stories, laughter and encouragement. One of our favorite stories that was shared was of Mati, one of the young men we’ve had the privilege and honor of knowing for quite some time! Check it out here!
The backpack drive is pretty much over!
It’s been a whirlwind. Ace staff has been busy, maybe too busy, as we have officially EXCEEDED our goal of 300 FILLED backpacks! The outpouring of generosity by our church and corporate partners has been beyond encouraging. While we’re still gaining last minute collection numbers from a few of our partners, it appears as though we might even exceed 360 backpacks!
Now check this out?!?!
Ace in the City has long been the recipient of the generosity from larger, more established organizations. We are where we are in part because of this. With the excess of backpacks we’ve collected this year, we’re BEYOND THRILLED to be helping a new church plant in North Minneapolis (Lighthouse) as they desire to equip their students for the new school year by hosting an event much like the one we’re coordinating in Powderhorn.
Jesus says something about treasure hoarding and building bigger barns to hold it. Instead of creating space and keeping these backpacks for another year, we’re pretty excited to be giving them to our brothers and sisters on the Northside. To be on the giving end of things is refreshing and God-honoring and we’re humbled to be in this position.
Prayers for a strong finish with the Bash would be great! Pray for a great turnout, great weather, great execution! If your Saturdayafternoon is free, swing on by Powderhorn Park. We’d love to see you there!
Ace in the City continues to grow in staff and scope and reach in the community. All good things, and we thank God for them. As we grow, however (as any organization grows), the danger becomes losing sight and alignment to our vision and mission. Which is why values are so important. Values tether you to vision and mission, help you keep aligned.
While we have operated and expressed ourselves within a general framework that’s seemingly been pretty consistent across staff and programs, we’ve never actually done the good and hard work of putting values on paper and in front of us. But we did it, and it’s beautiful.
Our work will be guided and informed by our beliefs and commitments to the following things, and we’d love your accountability as we keep the course:
- Humility. We ask questions and listen first, learn second, and only then do we pursue a response, always looking to collaborate alongside others.
- Generosity. We are good stewards with what God has given us, believing through simple living and lavish giving things work to be made right.
- Dignity. By equipping and empowering, we affirm the worth of all people, believing we all have something to offer and something to receive.
- Presence. We place people over programs, believing safe spaces and healthy relationships are created and sustained through consistency.
- Delight. We find joy in laughing together, believing playfulness, curiosity and fun are things that should never outgrow us.
Thanks for walking with us, friends. Have a great week!
March is here, spring is around the corner!
Registration now open for our 3rd Annual Ace Golf Classic set for Monday, May 22nd at the beautiful Indian Hills Golf Club in Stillwater. Early Bird specials now through the first week in April!
Register and gather more details here.
I was reminded over the weekend and today of the gift of life and friendship and being in the moment, for the moment, with where God has each of us. Thanks for all the love and support
Months of planning and prepping, hours upon hours of work led into Saturday’s Fellowship Dinner. And then, just like that, it’s over. Incredible how that works….Ace staff did a tremendous job executing the vision for the evening, and it was so fun to see so many of you there. Again, thanks for praying, supporting, hosting, attending, setting up or tearing down. We even EXCEEDED our goal of $55,000 to cover direct program costs. Couldn’t have pulled it off without you. BIG THANKS!
The theme for the evening was “Grow with us.” We are continually humbled at all God is doing in our community, grateful for the opportunity to serve and be served, invest and be invested in, for the greater Kingdom good of everyone involved. There’s work to be done, and we are walking away from this event encouraged and more equipped for the road ahead. Together.
Our team has some further debriefing to do, some thank you’s to write, then we celebrate and then we rest. Excited for the latter end of this list:) You all are such a source of support and encouragement for me personally and Ace organizationally. THANK YOU!
It’s the time of year again. Programs are in full swing which means we’re also preparing for our 5th Annual Fellowship Dinner set for Saturday, November 12th. We are blessed to be hosting the event again in South Minneapolis at the Colin Powell Center.
We’d LOVE IT if you would join us for an evening of vision and stories, great food and fellowship! Details and registration can be found here: http://www.aceinthecity.org/fellowship-dinner
Grow with us!
We are getting back into the swing of things as fall approaches and with school already here. We’re excited to be launching some revamped programming beginning next week in the Powderhorn Community.
Historically, Ace | Readers, our literacy program, was held on Monday evenings for students Kindergarten through 3rd grade. On Wednesday’s, Ace | After School, our more general-focused program was open to students Kindergarten through 8th grade.
We’ve learned quite a few things over the last few years and, in light of this learning and the significant growth we’ve experienced, have made a few changes this fall:
To create a bit more rhythm and consistency between our Monday and Wednesday programming, both these nights will be for students K-5th grade. While Monday will have a heavier literacy focus, both nights will also now have literacy elements interwoven within.
We’re learning most middle school students would prefer not sharing a program with first graders☺. Consequently, our middle school students get to do their own thing on Friday evenings! Something relevant to where they are in life, school, relationships and faith.
Prayers encouraged. Pray for prolonged energy for our staff. It gets to be a fun yet demanding year for our leaders. Pray for our volunteers who make our programs run. Pray for more volunteers as we plan to launch new programming in two new locations come January! Pray for our kids—they they’d grow in literacy, confidence, empowerment and faith.
This week is a BIG WEEK for our Powderhorn community as a majority of schools open their doors for our students! HUGE thanks to all of you who contributed towards our Back2School Drive a few weeks back in helping to prepare 250 of our students for their first day! Thank you!
Beyond the tangible need for school supplies, the beginning of the school year marks the fall launching of our weekend meal distribution in partnership with Sheridan Story and Folwell School. Food insecurity continues to be a huge issue in our neighborhood and while we’re not able to fully address all the issues surrounding this reality, we are committed to play our part.
Ace in the City is again sponsoring 50 students with weekend meals every Friday of the school year. We have also recruited a few local churches to add to the totals, bringing our number to 65 students walking home for the weekend with meals for their family!
This program has accelerated our partnership with Folwell School. They see Ace in the City as an organization who can be trusted and with their students as our highest priority. Thank God!
We grieve about these food insecurity issues. Yet we celebrate the small and humble, good and powerful, work of this program as it addresses something very real and relevant in our neighborhood. And we press on to sponsor more students, deepen our collaborative efforts and love and serve more like Jesus.
As many students go back to school today, this season also marks for us our Powderhorn fall kickoff and the launching of youth development programs and new initiatives.
What we are most excited about as we enter this fall season, and the thing we’ve been dreaming about for years, is the hiring of our first Ace student intern. Graciela has been part of Ace programming in Powderhorn for four years. Graduating from high school this past spring, we’ve had the privilege of growing with Graciela, seeing her develop into a strong, caring, capable leader in the classroom, community, workplace, on our Juarez trips!
Part of the model of Christian Community Development is redistribution. While this word carries some baggage, the foundation of the concept in its most basic form seeks to keep assets local and build up from within.
Ace in the City hasn’t arrived, but we are arriving. Graciela’s first day on the job is September 1st and with it will come another milestone—A HUGE ONE—and one we will celebrate. We have some of the most tremendous leaders in our midst and we’re beyond THRILLED to continue building platforms for these student leaders to grow in their abilities with Ace in the City and in our community.
This is truly good and valuable.
We are still recovering from an amazing Saturday at our 4th Annual Back2School Bash. So much time, energy and resources were poured in by Ace staff, our volunteers and church partners.
By the numbers:
– 240+: Backpacks into the hands of students
– 95%: Smile rate of students walking out the door with backpack over their shoulder
– 40+: Volunteers who invested a GORGEOUS Saturday afternoon to execute this event (and flawlessly)
– 8: Church partners who contributed supplies, prayer and volunteers
– 4: Students who were once part of Ace programs who volunteered at the event
– 3: Stylists from MarcDaniel Salon who provided free haircuts
– 1: Massive slip and slide (enjoyed by students and Ace staff alikeJ)
In a world and culture that idolizes bigger is better, we’re starting to celebrate the unsophisticated obscurities—yes, eraser tops, scissors and crayons—as things of eternal significance. Sometimes it’s in the small things that the greatness of God is best seen at work. Like in a widow’s mite, five loaves of bread and two fish, or with a simple command: “Follow me.”
Thanks for following with us to some small corners of this world, oft overlooked yet abundantly rich and beautiful.