Pastors to Host Block Party at Ann Shirrells Park
By Dianne Anderson
If nothing else, maybe a chance to win that 50 inch TV or a free fridge or bikes might bring out the throngs of the Westside to yet another blockbuster pastoral party, but more than likely they would have come out anyway.
Reginald Young, the administrative pastor for Pastors United, said their quarterly block party events are always a big hit, drawing upwards of 1,000 participants, often more.
On Saturday, September 16, Pastors United is inviting the community out to receive services, or to give to others in need from 2-5:00 p.m. at Anne Shirrells Park.
He said the community is welcome to come out and drop off any nonperishable items they would like to share with others, such as canned foods, clothes.
The pastors are also seeking volunteers to help in the celebration. The event is coordinated through the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County, and partners include the ROCK Church and Water of Life.
“We coordinate with them, that’s our focal point to get the resources and we hope to have some housing and job vendors at the block party,” said Rev. Young, also lead pastor of Treasures Of The Heart Ministry in San Bernardino.
There will be hot dogs, tacos, drinks and chips, groceries, clothing, health and wellness services, jobs information, and plenty of face painting and jumpers for the kids.
It’s all free.
Many in the community became most familiar with their efforts for their crisis response team, a united front of pastors, who go out to help the people during times of disaster.
“We had the shooting, we notified all the pastors and sent them to location,” he said. “We did that for Northpark and we had a great response for our pastors being able to help out at Cajon High School.”
The program’s three pronged approach works with the community engagement team, led by The Way Outreach Church with Pastor Marco Garcia and Pastor Robert Cuencas. Their other lead churches include Victory Outreach with Pastor Rick Alanis, jr., and Ecclesia Christian Fellowship where Pastor Joshua Beckley is senior pastor, along with several area churches in the effort.
He wants to ensure the community has groceries to take home, and also make the most of the jobs and housing referrals.
“And of course, the Gospel message. This year, Pastor Raymond Turner is the host church bringing the message,” he said.
Altogether, San Bernardino Pastor’s United consists of 16 churches. The group always welcomes more.
Stopping crime is always the most immediate objective, but also to increase neighborly love.
“We want to let the people know that we’re here for them, if you need something come and tell us,” he said.
He said their last three events, one at San Bernardino High School and the other at Jefferson Hunt Elementary School, were both powerful with thousands in attendance for resources, both spiritual and physical.
Especially with the community still so disconnected from local resources on a daily basis, Rev. Bronica Martindale Taylor said these types of activities are fundamental. The pastors are pushing flyers in hope that the community will take advantage of it.
“Hopefully, both of those things match up,” she said. “The prayer is we get the word out and the resources will be utilized for the benefit of the people and the children.”
On the Westside, she said there is a need for intensive community outreach because so many types of programs don’t get into the hands of the people. She said they’re in survival mode now, and overwhelmed.
“You’ve got to walk people through, people need to be educated,” said Rev. Martindale-Taylor, also president of California Gardens Neighborhood Association. “When you’re in survival mode, you don’t know [where] took for other resources, you’re mind can’t get off survival.”
Martindale Taylor, a health education assistant with the county Department of Public Health Nutrition Program, expects to host a nutrition booth. She said these kinds of events provide a good way to outreach holistically, as it offers so many one stop services for a community where every day is a struggle.
At the same time, she is also encouraged to see that more local people are starting to get into a mindset of giving.
“And that it’s not all about them, but it’s about the community,” she said.
Lawrence Carter, who sits on the board of the nonprofit HOPE Culture in San Bernardino, will also host a vending booth with free information resources that their youth program offers. It’s his second time attending the event, and he said the sheer variety of programming is a big help to the area.
Nonprofit vendors will bring access to cash aid programs, nutrition, and the way to turn the lights back on.
“It’s basically an outreach into the community, and let’s stop the violence, altogether with fun for the kids, and a whole bunch of different aspects,” he said.
Carter, a graduate of Cajon High School, is currently an after school teacher, instructing kids on performing arts, while he also pursues his degree in education, and the credential program.
He said the event is hosting nonstop giveaways, all free for the taking.
“If they want to,” he said. “You can’t force someone to accept an opportunity.”
To learn more, pre-register atsbpastorsunited.org or call 909.353.7977