JACKSONVILLE – Eric Jaffe is excited for 2020.
As pastor of the Journey Church, he loves all the good work in which he and his congregation engaged in 2019. Now hope springs eternal for the new year.
During his sermon last Sunday, Jaffe thanked his congregation and others who were instrumental in the works of the works of the church. The accomplishments were impressive. Journey Church spread its vision of the Gospel throughout the area (Duval and Clay counties) through their many works of service and preaching of the word.
The church got the new year off to a bang by making a $100,000 donation to Mercy Support Services last Sunday.
Some of those other works were establishing middle school ministry to help grow the next generation of Christian servants and leaders and partnering with organizations such as the Clara Wright Ministry and Salvation Army to help the homeless. They collected and donated countless blankets, underwear and socks (often the most needed items) to the homeless. They helped to provide food to the needy and gave away more than $120,000 over the course of the year to the religious, governmental and other partnerships to assist in these efforts.
Jaffe knows the bar was set high and in 2020 his goal is to smash through it.
He also knows that partnerships are the way to do that.
“What we found is that no one church can do everything well,” Jaffe said. “Doing a variety of things through partnership is the main mean that we use. If it comes to something like trying to reach the families that are in need, we’re not the best in the world at that, but we perceive in Clay county that Mercy Support Services are the best at doing that particular of work. [The] Way medical clinic doing stuff for medical, or First Coast Women’s services doing stuff to help prevent abortion or help women who find themselves pregnant and in a time of need. So, what we’ve done is we’ve invited all our partners and we’re going to celebrate with them.”
Journey Church, under Jaffe’s leadership, is working to create, extend and enhance partnerships between the church, the government, nonprofit and the business community to make an impact on the city to help see it transform.
An example of this last year was teaming up with the Clay County chamber of commerce to gather supplies for teachers and do a backpack pack out and giveaway to families with students who needed school supplies. The church made a donation and volunteered to pack out and distribute the supplies to teachers and more than 250 students.
For 2020, Mercy Services (one of the partners with whom Journey works), wants to procure real estate and create housing for women and families who have dire financial needs.
That is a huge undertaking, but any project had to start somewhere. Journey helped to get the ball rolling both on the project, and on their 2020 goals spreading the Gospel through service by presenting Mercy Services Executive Director and CEO Patrick Hayle with a $100,000 donation.
Five days into the new year, Journey Church has already nearly exceeded last year’s total for charitable monetary donations.
“We have savings for numerous things and also for a new location when we move on from this building, but what good is that money if we can’t use it to help people?” Jaffe asked while presenting Hayle with the donation.
Jaffe knows that for 2020, that act of service was just the start. He wouldn’t have it any other way.