In the Community, for the Community by Ann Classen

“In the community, for the community.” That's what my dear lifelong friend Sherry
came up with as we began our second walking loop around Northside Park. In our 30 years as friends and walking partners, we have literally walked somewhere just shy of 30,000 miles. I guess that means we have walked around the world together.

Of course, we solve the world’s problems as we walk, but we also seek to bring our thoughts and words under the Lordship of Christ and see them through the lens of the Bible. We have hashed and re-hashed Christian marriage, parenting (and its huge range of issues from babies sleeping through the night, rebellious teens to marriage), Christian versus public schools, social media, how to limit and monitor cell phone and computer use during high school, social media, pornography, grandparenting, colleges, sermons, books, podcasts, prayer, prayer requests, Bible study, local and global missions and the occasional decorating dilemma. These are a few of the issues covered. I did mention social media, right?

We often discuss College Church's ministries, local and foreign missions, and in particular, Twice is Nice Resale Shop. All the while contemplating how we can live out our faith in a way that makes a difference to people around us and bring glory to God.

It was during one of these conversations that we ended up talking about Twice is Nice and why we love it and how to communicate that love to others when Sherry came up with “in the community, for the community."

Twice is Nice (TIN) is one of two resale shops College Church owns and operates. The proceeds from TIN go to support the Outreach Community Center in Carol
Stream that's within a mile or two of where the store is located.

Outreach Community Ministries' (OCM) mission is to, “restore hope and provide opportunities for people to become all that God intends them to be; partner with the local church to put Christian faith into action through service to the community.” I am honored that my church, our church, College Church is partnering with OCM to provide opportunities for us to put our faith in action in the local community.

The Outreach Community Center (OCC) and TIN are located in southeast Carol Stream. This area has 7,000–plus people living in apartments. Of that figure, 55% are ethnic minorities and approximately 35% of these households live below the poverty line. Of the people Outreach Community Center serves, 88% are below the poverty line and are from 36 different countries.

This is our collective community—our Jewel, our Northside Park, our Home Depot and our schools. Your donations are wonderful and always welcomed, but
for Sherry and me, it’s our interaction with people in our community that matters.

Many of our customers are from the neighborhood and speak limited English; others are “resale junkies," antique dealers and bargain hunters who know that the proceeds go to OCM. We have a lot of regulars we know by name, whom we greet with a hug, offer counsel and pray together. We build relationships with court–ordered community service workers, the eight STARS who work in our
store, OCC summer interns and volunteers from church many of whom we never
would have rubbed shoulders with if it were not for TIN.

We also keep open eyes and ears and hearts for ways to connect the store to College Church, and to speak the name of Jesus and the hope of the gospel.

Come and volunteer or shop or donate. After all, Twice is Nice is in the community and for the community.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)