Bridge Street Development Corporation Brings 50 Congregations Together for Empowerment Sunday
April 18, 2010
Empowerment Sunday served as a follow-up to the Clergy CIBS hosted Breakfast where by clergy members from a wide cross section Central Brooklyn's ecumerical community discussed the ever growing foreclosure crisis. In addition to foreclosure, the participating congregations also focused on individual and community wealth building.
At Empowerment Sunday, Congressman Edolphus Towns preached the Word at the First Calvary Baptist Church. Stating “Saving our neighbors and our community from the ravages of foreclosure requires our combined efforts, and joining forces with the ecumenical community is a great step in spreading awareness.
As part of Empowerment Sunday, parishioners in need of foreclosure counseling received information on programs and services to help them proactively save their homes. “We want people to know that help is available, and one of the best ways to reach people is through the community of the church” said Rhonda A. Lewis.
“Helping our members is a top priority for our ministry,” said Reverend Earl Jones of First Calvary Baptist. “For parishioners who are unemployed and, in many cases, facing foreclosure, we are working with BSDC to help them keep and maintain their homes.”
These families are not alone, and their numbers are growing. Among the five boroughs of New York City, Brooklyn had the largest number of homes in foreclosure for the fourth quarter of 2009, with 2,603 homes listed. As of January 2010, 694 households in Brooklyn were hit with default or foreclosure notices. Even worse, according to the New York Times, the foreclosure upheaval in the New York Metro area is largely affecting Black and Latino homeowners. Of all households in foreclosure, 50% are African American and 20% are Hispanic. The devastation of foreclosure is not isolated to families but impacts entire communities and CIBS is committed to stopping this tidal wave of foreclosure.
Many participating congregations have asked BSDC to present wealth building and foreclosure prevention workshops for their parishioners, including Antioch Church of Christ where the message of individual, family and community wealth building was incorporated into the sermon on Empowerment Sunday.
For more information on foreclosure or homeownership visit "KnowTheFactsBedStuy.org or call 1-877-SAVE-183.