Hub

Right now I am wrItng this post at my church’s TriPoint Center for Life.  A few years ago people in our church, such as Tom Hill, had a dream to develop an abandoned Albertson’s Grocery Store into an active community center.  It’s really a neat place.  Over 800 people visit the community center and YMCA…that’s pretty awesome.  Actually that’s about the same number of people who worship with us on Sundays.  It’s not the same people…but it makes you step back and examine where people are searching for community.

The Mayor of San Antonio used TriPoint to kick-off and conclude his San Antonio 2020 experiment because this place was for “all the people of San Antonio,” unlike the corporate convention centers and hotel ballrooms found all along the Riverwalk. There is a YMCA on one side of the building, a coffee shop on the other, public restrooms, and a free computer hub with 5 computers for people to use who live in this community and need a place to connect.  There is also 3 smaller meeting rooms for local organizations, non-profits, and companies to rent out to have meetings and interactive presentations.  In the back of the building is the Grantham Center, a large meeting space, where our church hosts Skate Church every Wednesdays from 4-8pm, and The Crossings worship experience every Sunday morning at 10:45am.  The Crossings is a place were broken people like me can go to worship God and experience the lavish love of Christian community.  We all are in the same boat…and need the Body of Christ.

Okay, I will stop with the plugs. Back to “The Hub” (with our free computer and receation room), and Grace Coffee Cafe at TriPoint.  For me, this is what makes TriPoint stand apart from many other community centers.  The other day, I had a meeting with a President of renowned Texas bank and other community leaders in the same area where homeless people where gathering to catch up on emails and seek community.  This was not forced…it was the place we all happened to meet.  There are not many places other than bars that can attract those two types of people.  Yesterday, Tom Hill and I were meeting and saw another CEO from San Antonio having a meeting with colleagues just outside the Hub where about 10 homeless people were watching YouTube videos, making phone calls, and listening to music.  That’s a beautiful image of Jesus Christ.  A CEO and a homeless person drinking the same cup-of-joe at TriPoint…I love it!

Many people, including myself, have a hard time managing how we serve the homeless in a community center such as TriPoint.  How can we serve all types of people at the same time?  It can be awkward, challenging, and painful.  How do we balance safety, Christian hospitality, programs, and flow without limiting the freedom of all community members?  I would love to know your thoughts!  There are all kinds of responses to this delimma.  Share your thoughts on this board or email me at gavin@trinitybaptist.org.

6:30 came early again.  And the trains are still very loud.

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7 thoughts on “Hub

  1. What an interesting concept for a community center!

    “How can we serve all types of people at the same time? It can be awkward, challenging, and painful. How do we balance saftey, Christian hospitality, programs, and flow without limiting the freedom of all community members?”

    These are great questions and really have me thinking.

    I agree with the awkward, challenging, and painful at times. But I wonder does it have to be awkward or is that something we’ve brought to the experience. I’ve been learning this year that sometimes the sufferer doesn’t feel nearly as awkward as the other. I’m referring to totally different circumstances however, it COULD be similar. Not sure if that made sense!? This would be interesting to hear the Homeless-side and their opinions and suggestions on current programs!

  2. Enjoying reading your posts Gavin. What are some amenities or comforts you miss the most and may appreciate more now? And what things in our lives seem unnecessary or lavish now that you are spending time out of your home? Peace.

  3. thanks for sharing with us gavin. i will continue to pray for you as you participate in this incarnational experience. you are going places that many are afraid to go, but i imagine that you will come away from this transformed. God loves all God’s people…thanks for sharing this love with the people in your community. be safe, my friend. i love you.

  4. Gavin,
    I am so in awe of your witness to Christian hospitality and solidarity with people who live in poverty! I’m also really impressed by your church as they point to the reality of the Good News through TriPoint.

    You’re my second-place Lenten hero. (Jesus is first.)

    -Todd

  5. Gavin,
    Thank you for allowing us to come on this journey with you. I really look forward to reading your reflections and having my own stereotypes pulled apart. Hope you don’t mind if I share this with my churches…? Praying for you, and praying with you.
    – Blair

  6. Reminds me of the time a great friend of mine was homeless and the Mayor came for an event and my friend was volunteering that day and served the mayor. What an image of Christ. The Homeless SERVING The Mayor. That is TriPoint and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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