We are blessed at Cross Irvine to be located in a region that attracts speakers from around the world. The greater Los Angeles area has always been a draw for interesting people and despite its reputed darker side, it earns its name as the City of Angles.
Yes, we are a Christian Bible based Church, but with eyes wide open to the differences around the globe, we also humbly celebrate diversity. We do this mainly by inviting different speakers from different faiths to come to our little community for an evening of conversation – and sometimes debate. We believe that all roads lead to God, but naturally it goes without saying that we believe there are quicker routes than others.
From the roofing to the plumbing, from top to toe, as Christians, we believe that followers of the Lord Jesus Christ have all bases covered. Our faith is strong if we follow in the footsteps of the one true Savior. We are sure to get to the Pearly Gates as long as we practice acts of love and kindness to ourselves and others.
Irvine is one of the exceptions to the rule. It is a fairly affluent community, and there isn’t a section of town that is considered “poor”. Most American cities cannot boast the same claim. Although Cross Irvine is blessed beyond measure we are always choosing ways to share the blessing as far and wide as possible.
So when a good idea comes up for discussion as to how we can help make life a little easier on our neighbors, our Board takes it into consideration. As our readers know, our community garden project has been a big hit in a number of local and outer lying areas, so we are always asking what more can we contribute?
Recently, John Hanover, a congregant of 12 years, and a member of the Church Board brought up the idea of transitional housing. John is a roofer by trade and employs a lot of young men in his business. They come in from outlying communities and because of the nature of the work spend long, hot days doing a tough job. He hires men who are trained and capable, but also men who have had a history of time spent in prison for a non-violent offence.
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to get your kids’ names on the roster to spend 2 to 4 weeks at Cross Irvine’s Camp San Pedro del Montaña this summer. Every year we are filled to the rafters with young ones 6 years to 18 years old. The older kids take off to the mountain regions, and the 6 to 12 year old children stay closer to the central buildings of the camping complex.
The new arrivals get their camping chops with the guidance of camp counselors and older kid volunteers. It’s a huge family spread out over 640 acres of semi-civilized wilderness. Many memories have been made at Camp San Pedro, affectionately known as Pete’s, with more waiting where those came from.
Pete’s is definitely not one of those California summer camps where you show up in a stretch hummer limo carrying an overnight case. We take camping as seriously good fun, and keep true to the roots of our natural surroundings at the same time.
Cross Irvine brings people together in a number of ways, but my personal favorite is through our garden projects. Cross feeds the needy and has plenty left over to can and preserve when the gardens are at rest. We especially enjoy bringing kids into the mix.
Supervised by adults, our teaching farm as well as the seven urban gardens dotted throughout the city are tended to by dozens of kids from ages 5 years and up. Our garden projects are sustainable accomplishments that we are all very proud of. I like to think, we grow people first and fruits and vegetables second.
The drought of the past couple of years notwithstanding, we have nearly perfect weather to grow gardens just about anywhere our imaginations take us. Kerry, one of our most enthusiastic volunteer gardeners here at the Church, discovered a small plot of land mid-block between Monroe and Parkview Avenues. The plot was slated for asphalt paving to supply additional off-street parking for local businesses.