We are moving into this week with high hopes and grateful hearts after Issachar’s Annual Fall Fundraiser last Thursday, November 2nd.
Because of the help of generous donors and sponsors, our young leaders will continue to bring good news to our city. Over 170 supporters, friends, families and partners attended, and we are happy to announce that we raised $21,500 which was 43 percent above our goal! These funds will be used to provide scholarships, academic support, and wrap-around discipleship and mentoring to our students.
Last Thursday was more than just a charitable evening; last Thursday was a celebration of a community that will continue to develop and invest in the next generation of leaders.
Beginning the night with a silent auction, the entryway was set up with profound art pieces donated by local artists. Beautiful decorations, the smell of street tacos and the sound of music and laughter filled Denver United Church, bringing a sense of community to life.
Opening remarks made by Scott Lundeen, program director of Issachar, kicked off an evening of generosity and encouragement with the Issachar mission and this year’s theme, “Beyond Bold.”
To be a leader who goes beyond bold, one must:
- Learn how to engage the issues of our day with compassion
- Develop one’s voice to lead with conviction
- Go beyond peacekeeping to be peacemakers who bring restoration
- Understand that with a faithful foundation in Christ, bold leaders endure the times.
“A small group of people who understand the times and know what to do can have a great Kingdom impact,” said Robert Gelinas, lead pastor of Colorado Community Church. As one of the founding voices in Issachar, Gelinas said Issachar has become more amazing than he ever imagined. “It’s been an incredible experience to see the next generation of leaders rising up to boldly follow Christ in the midst of our culture,” said Pastor Gelinas.
By engaging with the issues of our day and using our talents in bold discipleship, we are following the call to go beyond bold.
The beauty and strength of Issachar comes from everyone having a seat at the table. “The intentionality of different backgrounds coming together is a mirror of His Kingdom,” said Moyra Stiles, long-time partner and friend of the Issachar community. “The relationships in that room are hard-fought for and hard-won. Our relationships are authentic and grounded in God.”
This kind of work and relationship is, in itself, bold and courageous.
The evening included speakers and performances, a live auction of six beautiful art pieces, live fundraising, and ended with a twist: an electric bicycle donated from GoodTurn Cycles. The last person to bid $50 won the $2,000 bike. One bidder jumped in, and after the first two bidders then came another three and another six. Before you knew it, people from every table of the room were throwing up their bidding cards for the chance to win a $2,000 bicycle for only $50. Those final 45 bids raised a total of $2,250 to support the work of Issachar.
“I loved being in that room,” said Stiles. “I only wish I had invited more people.”
Excitement and laughter buzzed throughout the room. Audience members were raving about how fun the fundraiser was and said seeing new and familiar faces was one of the bigger highlights. “Amazing, amazing, amazing! Anyone would have wanted to be there” said Pastor Gelinas.
Issachar was created for those who are willing to engage in hard conversations and build off of a deep foundation of peace and faith. Because of every member of the extended Issachar community investing in the lives of young urban leaders, Issachar looks forward to another year of bringing good news to our cities.
It is a privilege to be in this together. Thank you and God bless you all.