Elevation Outreach

LOVE Week from behind the lens

by ALLISON FOWLER

It’s amazing how God will use you if you just ask.

As a photojournalist, I’m blessed with the opportunity to tell stories with my camera everyday. No matter what I’m documenting – a family in their home, a wedding day, an Elevation Church worship experience – I find great joy and value in bringing people’s experiences to life visually.

Looking back on my journey as a photojournalist, Love Week 2013 stands out as one of the most pivotal times of growth and direction for me both personally and professionally.

Last Love Week, I was part of a team tasked with gathering images & stories to share on social media on behalf of Elevation Church. With 600 events happening and 9,000 volunteers serving our city over the course of 9 days, I felt intimidated by the assignment set before us. As someone who is usually expected to blend in and be stealthy while doing my job, I was being asked to not only capture striking images, but to approach people, gather their stories and share them with the world.

I remember sitting in my car, frozen in fear, on the first day of Love Week 2013 as countless questions and doubts swirled in my head.

What if people don’t want to share their stories with me? What if I’m not good enough to document all that God is doing in our city and through our Church?

That morning, hunched over the steering wheel in my 4-Runner, I prayed a prayer that forever changed the way I approach my calling as a photojournalist. I asked God to let my camera lenses be HIS eyes. I asked him to put me in the right places at the right times to capture the stories HE wanted people to see and hear. I asked him to take my talent and multiply it so he could get all the glory.

The fear melted away and I gained courage as I felt the Lord guide me that day and all throughout the week. Whether it was the flutter in my heart prompting me to talk to a stranger, the desire to put down my camera and play with a child or the perfect opportunity to capture a striking moment, I knew God had anointed me to tell His stories. I still feel that anointing to this day every time I pick up my camera.

As we anticipate all that God will do during Love Week 2014, I’m beyond excited to document it. With the Lord’s guidance, there’s no limit to the images we’ll capture and the stories we’ll tell.

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How will God use you?

We’ve been blessed and overwhelmed by the beautiful stories you’re sharing from getting to serve during #LOVEWeek. As you’re out there connecting and mingling with people remember to invite them to church!

Remember, too to bring a canned food item to Friday night’s live recording – and get ready for “Stuff the Truck” at every location this weekend. Bring canned goods Friday. Bring new or gently-used items to donate Saturday-Sunday.

And in case you’ve been waiting for a great opportunity to serve, a few of our projects could use some extra support. There are still hundreds of events available for you to choose from.

Join our Special Ops Mobility (SOMO) teams and accept whatever assignment God brings your way.

 

LOVE Week Promo – eKidz serve with Water Missions International from Elevation Church eKidz on Vimeo.

LOVE Week at ROA

LOVE Week 2014 is well underway and lives are being changed across the country.  Lets take a trip to Roanoke, VA to see how Elevation ROA is transforming their community.

To kick things off, 29 volunteers gathered to landscape, clean, and beautify the Blue Ridge Womens Center.  Elevation ROA also had the privilege of presenting them with a $1,000 check to advance their organization in impacting women and children in the community.

ROA eKidz and volunteers helped pack 250 backpacks full of school supplies for our Outreach partner, Straight Street, to bless underpriveldged teens in the community.

The lives of volunteers are also being impacted through service.  Ashley, pictured above on right, was invited to serve in eKidz two weeks ago.  Ashley had never been to Elevation but loved kids and agreed to come serve on her first day as a VIP.  She loved it so much, she continues to come back.  Ashley has also served at all Love Week events so far and invited her friend Justin to serve at an event last night.  Justin is now coming to Elevation with her on Sunday!

Just like for Ashley and Justin, we are seeing the love of Jesus have a ripple effect throughout our communities. Joy is returning to hopeless situations, relationships are growing, and lives are being changed.  If you haven’t signed up, there are still hundreds of opportunities for you to serve.  Just visit our LOVE Week website and register for an event that fits your schedule and talents. Keep us updated on where you’re serving and share you’re story by tagging us at (@ElevLOVEWeek).

Share #LOVEWeek stories and photos

20140726-233503-84903261.jpgLOVE Week day one is in the books.

We built stuff, we cleaned stuff, we painted, delivered, organized, and stuffed stuff. But at the end of the day, the thing we’ll remember most is the new friends we’ve made.

Did you have a moment of connection and compassion?

How has LOVE Week changed your life?

Share pictures and stories with us at photo@elevationchurch.org

Uptown and LKN :: 5 outreach team faves

by TONIA BENDICKSON

We’re so excited about LOVE Week this year as we celebrate our FIFTH in a row going crazy serving with outreach partners all over our cities. If you get overwhelmed by choices like I do sometimes you might want some suggestions. But don’t wait too long – many great events are filling up fast.

Elevation Lake Norman, this one’s for you – An extreme makeover at Our Town’s Habitat for Humanity. This is an amazing opportunity for eGroups to create an incredible transformation for an outreach partner right in your backyard.

Second Harvest Food Bank offers lots of fun, easy opportunities to serve. The really saavy #LOVEWeek volunteers know they can serve with three outreach partners without moving their cars. Not kidding. Three partners on Spratt Street. Salvation Army Center of Hope, Crisis Assistance Ministry, and Second Harvest. Bam.

If you’re a runner, don’t miss out on the opportunity to share your love of running with a neighbor from Urban Ministry Center. Help promote healthy lifestyles and get your workout in at the same time. The event is called “Running Works.”

I’m looking forward to a new opportunity to serve with Crisis Assistance Ministry called “Concrete to Couch.” We’ll actually have the chance to come alongside someone who’s struggled with homelessness for awhile and help them move into safe, affordable, clean housing. This one’s going to be life-changing.

A neat transformation is happening in Northeast Charlotte and we’re grateful to be able to play a part. Garinger High School’s football program has struggled over the years and the locker room shows clear evidence of losing streaks and neglect. We’ve teamed up with Fellowship of Christian Athletes for an extreme locker room makeover you don’t want to miss!

That’s a quick top-three to give you some ideas in the Uptown Charlotte area.

Look for more outreach team faves this weekend…