2011 in Review: Look What You've Done!

This post was compiled by the RISE Core Team.

Can you believe its 2012 already? 2011 was a year of many dreams-come-true at RISE. Check out all of the ways that the RISE community lived into God’s dream last year.

In 2011, by God's grace, we ...

  • Hosted our first ever Mac and Cheese-Off, which brought in countless canned goods for the food bank and raised over $250 for local organizations doing good work in our community.
  • Hosted more than 30 HARTS guests who experienced homelessness during the winter months.
  • Celebrated the first baptism in the RISE community.
  • Sang our hearts out at our first Flash Mob in Panera Bread.
  • Sent 12 courageous friends to Orlando, FL for a week of gleaning with the Society of St. Andrew
  • Launched Bible Fight Club, an opportunity for anyone and everyone to engage in lively discussion on controversial, biblical topics.
  • Hosted the Buzzkill Challenge and raised nearly $2,000 for Nothing But Nets.
  • Participated in Relay for Life and donated more than $2,000 to the American Cancer Society.
  • Spent Maundy Thursday scrubbing toilets, cleaning frat houses and washing windows.
  • Celebrated Easter with a sunrise service at the JMU Arboretum.
  • Participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
  • Hosted the first ever Chocolate Walk and raised more than $1,800 for the Collins Center.
  • Began our Love Wednesday events, where we shared random acts of love around Harrisonburg in the form of Christmas in July, spontaneous birthday parties and bottled water delivery during the heat wave.
  • Distributed more than 80 dozen muffins to students during the first week of classes at JMU, EMU, Mary Baldwin College and Bridgewater College.
  • Hosted two Stop Hunger Now events, packaging a total of 30,000 meals to be sent to communities in need around the world.
  • Brought on our first team of interns who continue to develop as young leaders and support our various ongoing ministries.
  • Launched Embrace Groups – a chance for friends to connect with God, each other and the community on a deeper level.
  • Launched our Love Packs ministry, which provide much-needed weekend meals for 15 students at Spotswood Elementary School.
  • Celebrated our first birthday!
  • Created the now world-famous Chalk Wall as a way to offer community dialogue. 
  • Completed our strategic planning process (results to be unveiled at our “We Have a Dream” Town Hall Meeting on January 15)
  • Hosted an Alternative Gift Market where friends in our community supported both local and global organizations in lieu of material gifts for the holidays. Nearly $800 in donations were exchanged during this event.
  • Shared in a simple, meaningful Christmas Eve worship service and a delicious Christmas morning breakfast with more than 150 friends in our community.
  • Served 60 children in our community through our Brother2Brother and Sister2Sister mentoring ministries.
  • Distributed over 5,000 hygiene items to 600+ people through our RISE & Shine ministry.
  • Collected food, shoes, winter coats and hygiene items to be redistributed to those in need of such items in our community.
  • Donated $600 to the Healthcare for the Homeless Suitcase Clinic in Harrisonburg.
  • Began a dance ministry with three college students and three girls in our community who bravely performed a liturgical dance on Palm Sunday.
  • Laughed, cried and experienced countless moments of hope, grace and transformation.

Wow, we were busy! Miss something in 2011? We’ll be doing many of these events again in 2012. Click on the links to learn how you can join us this year ...

You are a gift!