Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

 

It brings me great joy as I look forward to celebrating Christmas remembering God’s faithfulness in opening The Commons this year in our neighborhood! Hundreds of times a week we have neighbors stop in to do their laundry, grab a warm cup of coffee or simply share stories of what Mack Avenue used to be and their hope of what it will be again one day.

As a MACC Development supporter, you know how hard we fought over the last five years to turn what was once piles of dust and old furniture into a place reborn as a beacon of hope and faith.

That is why I am writing to you today. While The Commons has been welcomed with love and support from customers and generous supporters like you, it has not been without some difficulty. Since opening our doors we have unfortunately experienced two separate power surges that not only caused us to close our doors for a few days but also damaged valuable equipment. As a small business operating in a neighborhood where few would dare open a business, these losses in revenue and large, unplanned maintenance costs have put The Commons in a difficult financial position.

While we have used your support thoughtfully and opened the first new business on Mack Avenue in 30 years, hired 100% of our staff from the community, and won various design awards for our beautiful, inclusive space.

We need your help.

You can help us by sending an urgently needed contribution. Our goal is to raise $15,000 ($4,500 which will repair the five broken washing machines, $5,500 to install a surge protector that will safeguard us in the future and $5,000 to help The Commons regain its financial stability). Your investment of $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000 or more will directly support our efforts to create a beautiful community space for neighbors and newcomers from across the region.

Your contributions help to make so much good happen at MACC Development – from sports to literacy to legal services. Thank you. I hope you will continue your commitment to The Commons by making a generous gift to MACC Development today. All gifts are tax deductible for this year if received by December 31, 2018.

 

Grace be with you,

Ezekiel Harris

Executive Director

The Commons Winter Update

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In a new, small business, there is rarely a week that goes by that isn’t spectacular. The Commons has won awards, had a power outage that crippled the business, and been able to serve thousands of customers over the past few month. As a staff, we take the most joy in the small moments such as when our customers run into classmates they haven’t seen since high school, or others still walk into the space for the first time and marvel at the peaceful and welcoming atmosphere. Being that space where MACC Development interfaces with the community means that we get to walk through life with many of the regular customers who come through. 

In October we were one of ten new businesses in Detroit honored with the Commerce Deign Award, showcasing business that not only were design-forward, but also that reflected and promoted its surrounding community. While many of the winners are located in Midtown or Downtown, we were in the minority by being out in the neighborhoods, which is more rare of successful development in Detroit.

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Also in October we experienced a power surge that cut power to the building for a few days and damaged five of our washers. Since then we have started a Crowdrise campaign to raise the funds to fix the washers and purchase a surge protector for the building. Through this effort we have been blessed by incredible support, and are still working toward our goal of $15,000. We plan to reach this through a fundraiser Christmas party on December 21, as well as ongoing online donations. This can be found at www.thecommonsdetroit.com/donate

Through the month of December we’ll be offering our festive peppermint mocha - yet another reason to visit The Commons and experience everything that is happening in our community first hand.

MACC Lit Winter Update

It's hard to believe that 2018 is coming to an end. Our MACC Lit students are preparing for Christmas Break and we're getting ready for the beginning of a new semester. In 2019, we'll usher in the start of P.A.C.T. (Parent And Child Together Time) and Play + Learn. 

P.A.C.T. is for children newborn to 2 years of age. Parents and children attend this fun-filled hour, together. Age appropriate and self-directed learning centers. Reading, crafts, playtime and snack provided. Preschool readiness, training, and resources for parents.   

Play + Learn is for preschoolers 3-5 years of age. Children do not attend this program with a parent as Play + Learn works to foster social development and help children learn to relate to one another. We believe that children experience so much through play and creative approaches to learning. We'll come alongside them and pair teacher-directed learning with developmentally suitable curriculum, snacks, crafts, and reading. 

We'll also open our doors, in 2019, to parents and children who would like to use our children's library or drop in for story time. Hours will be posted, in January. 

We are eager to partner with you, in prayer, as we look toward the start of the New Year and get our programs off the ground. Please pray for the MACC Lit staff and volunteers, as we seek the Lord's direction, and pray for the children and families who are served by our ministry.

Thank you for your continued support. 2018 has been filled with blessings!

I pray the Lord blesses you abundantly.

Alyce Hartman

Program Manager, MACC Lit

Mission Teams Winter Update

This November we hosted a team come from Toronto, Canada! Christian Centre Church spent two days with us. They did an amazing job helping clear out three alleys in Pingree Park and cleaned the entire Mack Avenue Community Church building. They all had such servant hearts and were awesome to be around. What I am most excited about is that Christian Centre wants to partner with us in some capacity in the new year as well. Pastors Olu & Trevor from Christian Centre Church are very passionate about continuing this relationship. I have shared this Pastor Leon and have discussed a possible trip to Toronto to visit the church and their community in the hope of strengthening our bond and encouraging each other in the faith. 

We have also been building a relationship with Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Matt Wallace who teaches at Cornerstone and is associated with Friendship Sports International is friends with Pastor Eric and Sarah Russ. Matt and his family really believe in what MACC Development and Mack Ave Community Church are doing here in Detroit. He has made it his mission to get Cornerstone Students out off their comfort zones and show them what we are doing here as well. Matt Wallace, his family, and students from Cornerstone University have been making day trips here once a month since the Spring. He is hoping to build momentum so that perhaps during Spring Break or Summer of 2019, Cornerstone will send a group of interested students to Detroit for a week-long missions trip. 

If you are interested in schedule a day, weekend or week-long trip with MACC Development simple send me an email at charles@mackave.com.

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MACC Lit Fall Update

Summer is coming to a close and fall is quickly approaching. The leaves are changing colors, the sun is setting sooner, and the mornings are growing cooler. 

This change in season ushers in new beginnings at MACC Lit. It signals the end of another successful summer camp and the start of a new school year. 

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Camp was a lot of fun for our young campers, interns, mission teams, and staff. We played endless games of TAG, ran countless relay races, went on big adventures, and survived weeks of temperatures hitting the upper 90's. 

This year's theme was the MAKER FACTORY where we learned just how fearfully and wonderfully made we are and that we were not only created by God, but we are built with a purpose!

We hung out at the Detroit Zoo. We explored the Michigan Science Center. And we discovered the many wild animal habitats, located in our city, at DNR Outdoor Adventure Center. We climbed the rock wall at Planet Rock and participated in daily activities that helped us tap into our creativity. 

Before we knew it, our campers were headed back to school and we were planning MACC Lit's Fall 2018 Semester.  This summer was a whirlwind. It came and went so fast. But, we felt the presence of our God in all we did. 

Tutoring begins Tuesday, October 16th and is located at 7900 Mack Avenue. Sessions are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-6 p.m. We're excited and looking forward to seeing new and returning students. 

Literacy tutors are needed and will be trained to work with students in K-5th Grades. Availability both days is not required. 

Contact Alyce Hartman at alyce@mackave.com or (313) 732-9302 ext. 702. for more information or come join us, for coffee, on Wednesdays, from 5-6 p.m. to learn more about the program.

Please keep the MACC Lit staff, tutors, and students in your prayers. Pray for our safety and that the Father provide the continued resources and volunteers. 

Many Blessings, 

Alyce Hartman

Program Manager, MACC Lit


The Commons Fall Update

The Commons is being established as a peaceful, welcoming place where the whole community can gather. Its been a blessing to see folks still excited when they enter for the first time. We’re also pushing forward by adding more signage on the outside of the building, adding items like bagels to the menu, and offering coffee and food catering to groups that are using the upstairs event space. We've even left the building a few times in order to serve coffee at community events.

As we move forward, pray that The Commons would see an increase in foot traffic to both the laundromat and café, and that we could continue serving customers well with the resources we’ve been given.

Check out this Detroit Public Television piece on The Commons!

Mission Team and Interns Fall Update

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This summer was a wonderful learning experience for me in my new role as Director of Missions & Recruitment. I had two amazing Interns in Roland & Mattie who I can honestly call friends. As much as they learned from me, they also taught me. From our time I have seen how I can make our internship program better. I want to make sure we as an organization help them grow interpersonally as well as spiritually.

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With the help of the interns, MACC Development hosted two mission teams this summer. Cleveland Chinese Christian Church from Cleveland Ohio and Grace Life Community Church from Bristow Virginia were the first groups to stay in our new missions room. They had a great experience being in our community for a week. They really enjoyed being able to spend more time with those from the community during dinner and during our teaching/discussion times.

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I am now prepping for next summer by recruiting churches and other organizations to choose MACC Development and Detroit for their Missions Trip destination and recruiting interns. 

In Him,

Charles Johns

Mission Team Summer Update

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We are gearing up for the Summer Mission Team Season. As a precursor to the week-long Summer teams, this Spring we have hosted one-day mission trips from High Schools, Colleges, and churches. Some from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids MI and the University of Michigan from nearby Ann Arbor, MI. Some have come as far as Kings High School in Seattle Washington and Christian Centre Church in Toronto, Canada.

We have had a total of 88 people from 5 different organizations do Missions here in Detroit. This will set us up to have an awesome Missions Summer. We are also excited to have two interns coming this Summer. One is a student at the University of Michigan and the other is a high schooler from Virginia. 

If you looking to get involved this summer with MACC or MACC Development through are many volunteer opportunities just visit www.mackave.galaxydigital.com it's our new volunteer website that makes it fast and convenient to serve along side us!

MACC Lit Summer Update

MACC Lit Summer Camp is right around the corner! We have a busy summer planned for our MACC Lit Campers! This year's camp is based on the Maker Fun Factory - Created by God Built for a Purpose. 

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Campers will learn how God made them for a purpose, while also expressing their own creativity through various projects, lessons, and games and by participating in our summer reading program. Each Thursday, campers will go on a field trip to a city or regional attraction!

Camp is open to kids who have just completed Kindergarten - Fifth Grade and takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am - 3 pm at 7900 Mack Avenue.

Session 1 begins July 10 - 26 and Session 2 begins August 7 - 23.  

Please pray for our staff and ask the Lord to provide the additional help needed - interns, volunteers, and an additional staff person - and please ask Him to send the kids to camp!! We have 15 spots, waiting to be filled, per session.  We're praying that all will go smoothly as we continue to plan our big adventure and are trusting that all of our needs will be met!

 

God Bless, 

The MACC Lit Team

The Commons Summer Update

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The Commons laundromat and coffee shop is in full swing! We’ve been working diligently over the months towards this moment, and its exciting to have finally opened our doors to the community. Its encouraging to see folks from all walks of life getting drinks and fresh food, using the washers and dryers, and using the space to work and to meet with friends.

Our grand opening on May 12 was high energy with many families and friends coming through to enjoy the space and celebrate the accomplishments of MACC Development. The staff, all of whom are either lifelong Detroiters or live in the surrounding neighborhoods, are setting the tone of the space by being welcoming and inviting to everyone who comes in, as well as making some of the best coffee in Detroit (from what we’ve heard from our clientele.)

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It would be easy to talk at length about the last few months, but this space is something that needs to be experienced. If you haven’t yet, we welcome you to visit The Commons. As we enter the summer season, pray for effective marketing and increased traffic as we continue serving the neighborhood.

MACC Sports Summer Update

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It is mid-season for MACC Sports Spring Soccer. There are 12 teams, 14 coaches, and 138 participants this season. It is a blessing to have so many families participate this season. The shipping container that is housed on Pingree Park has been a great asset to the program and made set up and tear down easier.

Please pray that the families will come to know Christ as Lord and Savior and that coaches will lead with humility, joy, and grace. Pray that as we open registration for On Goal Soccer Camp and Volleyball Camp, that finances and transportation would not be a hinderance for any interested participant.

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MACC Housing Spring Update

Saving Our Homes in the 48214. Neighbor to Neighbor, Block by Block

MACC Housing recently completed a massive outreach to 1,671 homes in the 48214 to provide resources and information for homeowners and renters behind in their property tax payments and/or facing foreclosure.   Our door to door canvassing started in December 2017 and completed March 2018.  The outreach effort was supported by  The Neighbor-to-Neighbor Tax Foreclosure Prevention Grant and training from the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), .

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Edythe Ford, our Director of Community Engagement and a team of 48214 residents hit the streets to talk one on one with our neighbors.  We shared information about lower-interest payment plans, renters’ rights, and the Property Tax Exemption available for low-income homeowners.  We also had the opportunity to discuss the new home buying plan for renters who are facing eviction because of tax foreclosure by the property owners.  All residents where directed to UCHC or U-Snap-Back for further assistance and legal help.

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We had the blessings to talk to over 800 long-term residents and get an assessment block by block on the services needed for our neighbors.  We talked to many renters who had no idea their landlords where delinquent on property taxes.  The majority of our neighbors, homeowners, and renters expressed gratitude for the information they received, many did not know there are options for them to stay in their home. Most residents where already on a payment plan or had successfully completed it.

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One of our canvassers Debra Perry stated, “this was a great opportunity to connect with neighbors and old friends.  People need information, encouragement, and prayer to stay in their homes, the help is out there if you are informed of the resources.”

We are grateful to the UCHC for supporting our residents with resources and information to help them from being displaced out of their homes, we cannot afford to lose one more neighbor.  The experience helped us learn how important it is to take time and talk to people one-on-one, we are happy we haven’t lost that culture in the 48214.  Although going door to door may seem like a small act, we have learned it’s the fuel which binds neighbors together and creates unity and civic pride.  The 48214 still stands strong with long-term residents, our friends and neighbors sticking it out to keep their homes.

Don’t move, reach out, there are resource to help.

Romans 15:2 ESV “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

MACC Sports Spring Update

Over the last few months we prepared for and kick off our 2018 MACC Sports Basketball League for the second year in a row. It has been such a blessing to host the league at People's Missionary Baptist Church. With over 30 participants and 7 coaches this season it has been a success. The Detroit Pistons donated money to purchase brand new basketball hoops. It is delightful have quality equipment to promote value and worth in our participants. 

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Although MACC Sports Basketball is only halfway through the season, preparations for the spring soccer season have begun. All new equipment will be purchased for the upcoming season with grants and donations since the MACC Sports trailer was stolen last October.

Quicken Loans and Project Evergreen are also working with MACC Sports to continue renovations to Pingree Park. It is believed that the park can be transformed into one of the best parks on the east side of Detroit. The second round of renovations will begin in June.

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Please pray that families will be blessed by participating in MACC Sports and see staff and volunteers who model Christ.

The Commons Spring Update

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These past three months have been a wonderful time of learning for me as I prepare to lead a team, run a business, and serve a community. It has also been a time of transition from primarily sitting behind a computer planning the systems and creating spreadsheets, to preparing the space and meeting all the folks who poke their heads in. With each visitor I’ve been able to share in their enthusiasm about a laundromat and cafe here in our neighborhood. Its difficult to sum up all the change that has taken place over the last few months, as well as all the amazing people who have contributed their time, resources and creativity to this project. I invite you to experience it first hand as we open our doors to our community and the world!

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Please continue to pray for The Commons to be a profitable business and to spark other neighborhood-focused businesses along Mack Ave. Please also be in prayer for the staff of The Commons, that we could care well for everyone who comes into our space, and that God would be glorified through our actions.

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MACC Lit Spring Update

Praise God for another successful camp and a program that's growing in leaps and bounds!Over Winter Break, we held our second pop-up camp based on the Magic School Bus book series. We spent 3 days learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles through books, experiments, games, and crafts. Our little scientists made geodes using eggshells, Borax, and hot water. They got a kick out of the tornado in a jar and discovered they could make it rain. We all had fun!

Our students are making great strides as young readers. Teachers and parents are commenting on their improvement. We're even watching some turn into bookworms right before our eyes!

We hope you will partner with us as we pray for our tutors, parents, teachers, and students and as we transition into our new space. We're asking the Lord to continue to direct our steps and bless the work of our hands.

Due to an influx of new students, we are in need of tutors and currently have students on a waiting list. MACC Lit is a great way for students of all abilities to enhance their reading skills, receive homework help, learn important Bible lessons, and further their physical and motor skill development through games and exercise. Please consider joining us as a tutor. For more information about MACC Lit, please contact Alyce at alyce@mackave.com or (313) 732-9302 ext. 702.

MACC Lit's Magic School Bus Mini-Camp Update

Over Christmas break, MACC Lit had 9 kids participate in our pop-up camp based on the Magic School Bus book series. We spent 3 days learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles through books, experiments, games, and crafts.

The first day we focused on floating and sinking. Campers made predictions about whether various objects would float or sink, observed how a can of Diet Coke floats while a can of Coke does not due to the sugar in the Coke, learned how a peeled orange sinks and an unpeeled one does not, and made an egg float in saltwater.

Drawing on our water theme, we also talked about what it means to be a “fisher of men,” learning that we need to tell others about the Good News of Jesus. Our game was also called “fishers of men,” and kids took turns seeing how many paper cut-out people they could pick up in one minute using only a straw and their mouth. We had so much fun!

On day 2, campers studied flight. We made catapults out of popsicle sticks and had a contest to see who could launch a mini marshmallow the farthest. The contests continued when we split up into teams to see which team was the most accurate aiming finger rockets at a target. This proved to be quite challenging! Campers also made various types of paper airplanes and decorated rockets during craft time.

Our Bible lesson was called “Flight School.” We learned about how planes need a propellor to pull us forward and that similarly we need God, His Word, and prayer to keep pulling us forward so we can grow as Christians.

Day three was very exciting as campers learned about kitchen chemistry. We talked about the different ingredients that react to make a cake, worked together to make some cupcakes, and decorated them for our parents. We inflated balloons using vinegar and baking soda, cleaned pennies using vinegar and salt, and attempted to make a Diet Coke fountain using a can of pop and mentos - this was rather anticlimactic but funny nevertheless. We also made our own ice cream and some Oobleck (a non-newtonian fluid that's both a solid and a liquid) to take home.

Chemistry was also used to illustrate our Bible lesson about how Jesus’ blood purifies us from our sin. Campers observed as water, iodine, and bleach were combined in a particular order to show that it is only Jesus’ blood that can make us clean.

Overall, camp was a smashing success. The kids had so much fun, and we did too! It was a great way to spend a few mornings on a vacation from school.

MACC Lit tutoring starts this coming Tuesday, January 16. It runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at 3735 Harding. MACC Lit is a great way for students of all abilities to enhance their reading skills, receive homework help, learn important Bible lessons, and further their physical and motor skill development through games and exercise. It’s going to be a great semester, and we hope your child will join us! For more information or to register, please visit maccdevelopment.com.

If you have any questions about any of MACC Lit’s programs, don’t hesitate to contact Alyce at alyce@mackave.com or (313) 732-9302 ext. 702 or Grace at grace@mackave.com or (313) 732-9302 ext. 705.

Thanks for involving your child in MACC Lit. We enjoy getting to spend time with them.

MACC Sports December Update

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In the last few months the Lord has shown that He will continue to advance His Kingdom in the midst of tragedy. The MACC Sports Trailer, which houses all of our soccer equipment, was stolen. With all of our equipment gone, we will be unable to offer a Gospel-centered soccer league for the kids in the community during the Spring 2018 season. However, we have launched a campaign to raise funds to replace the equipment. We also have received contact from several organizations, companies, and individuals who want to help either financially or by donating items.

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During this season, we are also busy preparing for MACC Sports Basketball League. We are hoping to partner with a church located about 5 minutes from Mack Avenue Community Church that has an amazing gym space. However, the space does not have basketball hoops. As we consider our options, we are hoping to be able to raise funds to purchase hoops for our upcoming league.

 

Please pray that we will be able to solidify a contract for a gym space soon, raise funds for basketball hoops, raise funds to purchase new soccer equipment, and that the families that participate in the basketball league would come to know Christ.

- Ashley Albright, MACC Sports Program Manager

MACC Lit December Update

 

Fall Semester is coming to a close, it's getting cold, snow is dusting the ground, and it's beginning to look.... and feel.... a lot like Christmas! In celebration of our students and as a thank you to our volunteers, we are hosting a Christmas Party on Thursday, December 14th from 4-6 p.m. with dinner, cookie decorating, crafts and fun!

Our volunteers have been working hard and our kids are making great strides. Winter/Spring Semester begins Tuesday, January 16th. Online registration is now open to students in Grades K-5.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays MACC Lit is mobile. Nichols Elementary has welcomed us back for another year. We tutor 16 students in Grades K-3.  What a joy it is to spend time with our Nichols family - reading, playing games, and laughing.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Tutor at Nichols Elementary on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3pm or with MACC Lit on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6pm, please contact our MACC Lit Program Manager, Alyce Hartman, via phone at (313) 732-9302 ext 702 or email alyce@mackave.com.

Please continue to pray for our MACC Lit volunteers, students, and staff. We also ask for you to pray for the teachers and students at Nichols Elementary. As a staff, it is our desire to exemplify the love of God, build Kingdom, and point others to Jesus.  

Thank you. 

- Alyce Hartman, MACC Lit Program Manager

The Commons December Update

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Its been an exciting few months shaping and creating The Commons. The newly-formed staff got together before Thanksgiving to share a meal, get to know one another and tour the building. Zeke and I set out to assemble a diverse and welcoming team to serve the community, and I’m pleased to see that team coming together and taking time to learn about one another. Final suppliers and service providers are falling into place, and one last community engagement event is being planned prior to our grand opening.

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And have you seen the beautiful tile and woodwork being done by JJ’s House? They’re bringing some true beauty into the space.

The next few months will see the launch of The Commons, and a period of time where Zeke and I will discover ways to activate the upstairs community space in ways that will benefit our families and our neighbors. I would appreciate prayer for wisdom as The Commons opens and perseverance through all of the long work days as I seek to care for my staff and bless the community through the establishment of a new business on Mack Ave.

- Jesse Bandfield, General Manager of The Commons 

On Goal Soccer at Pingree Park

In the last few months, the Lord has continued to be faithful! Through MACC Sports, we have been able to host On Goal Soccer Camp for the 2nd year in a row and began preparing for MACC Sports Volleyball Camp 2018. We are now preparing for our fall soccer league where we anticipate roughly 80 participants.

Please pray that the Lord would provide, coaches, volunteers, and players for this fall soccer season. Pray that the coaches would share the Gospel boldly to their players during practice. And, pray that as there are many tasks to be done, that MACC Sports Staff would remember the ultimate goal in representing and sharing Christ with others.