Celebrating Deep Roots: A Message from Missions Committee Co-Chair John Thomas at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church

Many people know the story of how Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic came to be born, how it sprang from the words of a pastor who cast a bold vision from the pulpit of the big stone church at 34th and Central. What might be less known is how the roots of the Clinic reach deeper into time, to the 1960s, when an all-white congregation refused to submit to white flight. Or even further into the past, to the 1920s, when a downtown church saw an emerging neighborhood as an opportunity for outreach. As such, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church’s seemingly out-of-the-blue decision to start a legal clinic decades later was not so out-of-the-blue at all, but rather, wonderfully consistent with its history.

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Giving Back: A Message from Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Bloxsome

In 1992, Dr. Frank Kik, Senior Pastor at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, challenged the congregation to be “a force for Christ in the heart of the city.” In response to this challenge, a handful of volunteers established the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic. This small but mighty team of passionate volunteers committed to use their time, talents, and treasures to provide those living in the neighborhood with access to quality legal services.

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Raphael Health Center: The Healing Ministry of Jesus

Sherry explains the mission of Raphael: “Our mission is to serve everyone with the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, regardless of their race, ethnicity, language, ability to pay. We care for anyone.” And because Indiana has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country, they are particularly passionate about providing care and support to new mothers and infants. “We really focus on the things we can do to keep mom and baby safe through that first year,” she says. “If we can get them through that first year, our chances of setting them up for a healthier and safer life are much higher.”

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The Lord Will Provide

In 1994, the Legal Clinic finally opened its doors to the public, but it was slow going at the start. “I don’t know how many people we helped that first year,” Lynn says, “But you probably wouldn’t have to take off your shoes to count them.” Since that time, the Clinic has expanded to serve more than 10,000 low-income people annually, with over 35 staff members, a satellite office in Ft. Wayne, numerous intake sites around the city of Indianapolis, and a team of committed volunteers.

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