Neighborhood Transformation

Introducing Community Reconciliation

Jericho’s mission to “transform the city of Danbury for the glory of God and the common good of its people” has been founded on five objectives:

  1. Increase the number of Danbury youth embracing a biblical worldview.
  2. Increase the graduation rate of at-risk youth, while developing young men and women of honor
  3. Foster the sanctity of life on a whole-life basis
  4. Offer the transforming hope of Christ to adults struggling to overcome homelessness, addictions and mental illness
  5. Advance the physical, emotional and spiritual transformation of Danbury neighborhoods

Now, in part as a response to our nation’s general spirit of disharmony, Jericho’s Board of Directors has endorsed a new, sixth objective:

6. Reconcile all the people of Danbury to God and to each other by living the gospel of Christ and by Jericho Church Partners being closely connected to each other and to the city of Danbury, united in breaking down barriers that separate us from God and from each other.

Five Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering

We know that volunteering to serve others –  at Jericho, we call it “being the hands and feet of Jesus” – is a blessing to those who receive your time, compassion and love.

But what about the volunteer? Recent research has determined that there are some surprising benefits to the person sharing his or her time with others.

Here are five unexpected benefits of volunteering:

Nobel Winner Leymah Gbowee Visits Jericho

It’s not every day a Nobel Peace Prize winner comes to your front door.  Saturday at Jericho wasn’t “every day.” So when Leymah Gbowee came to Jericho Partnership to hear about our ministry to the city, it was truly a moment to remember.

Leymah was in Danbury as the keynote speaker at Peace Jam, a weekend conference at which middle and high-school students learn the value of social action by hearing from Nobel Laureates. As part of the this year’s conference, hosted by Western Connecticut State University, students had an opportunity to engage in various service projects around the city – including at three of Jericho’s ministry sites.

Leymah, who led a non-violent movement to help end the civil war in her native Liberia and was honored with the Nobel prize in 2011, interacted with the students who were at Jericho – painting, cleaning, and organizing. She also sat down with Jericho President Carrie Amos, who shared the many ways that Jericho serves some of the neediest people in Danbury.

Before taking Leymah on a tour of our building, Carrie was able to bring Jericho’s ministry to life by sharing the story of Jericho’s mural, which hangs in our Rose Street lobby.

More than 100 students descending on three sites where Jericho operates its ministries every day of the week: Spring Street Neighborhood Center, South Street Elementary School, and its headquarters at 13 Rose Street.

At Spring Street,  Peace Jammers prepared sandwiches and care kits for local homeless shelters, and cleaned our facility.

At South Street School – where Jericho volunteers serve as Reading Buddies through CityServe – students painted and assembled supply bags on which they wrote encouraging notes.

And at Rose Street, students cleaned, painted and organized a storage room….where they were excited to get some assistance from Leymah herself.

“This was amazing,” Carrie said. “Leymah is just a world-changer. “What she has done for a country we are trying to do for this little city. This is our first year (with Peace Jam), and I suspect it will be the first of many.”

PDYM Alum Give Back Through Football

Two Danbury brothers, whose lives were transformed by Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries’ mentoring programs, have created a youth flag football organization with the goal of developing not only area youths’ athletic ability, but their character and pride too.

Kih Best, 22, and Robert Best, 19, have started Connecticut Pride Flag Football, and are inviting both boys and girls from all over greater Danbury to a series of free clinics this month at the Danbury Sports Dome. A tournament ($10 per player) will follow; during both, coaches will be evaluating players for a travel flag football team that could potentially play at regional levels.  Selection to the travel team, will be based on attitude, improvement and athletic ability, they say.

The organization is being sponsored by PDYM, a ministry of Jericho Partnership, and the Mitchell Oil Company. The clinics, for athletes aged 8 -14, take place every Sunday: January 8 and 22 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm; January 15 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.; January 29 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

“We wanted to start an organization that was just for kids, and not run by parents,” said Robert, who along with his brother have been players, coaches and referees with various sports teams. “Every single kid that is going into this is going to come out a better athlete, but also a better person, because we are going to talk about things like that at our team meetings.”

“We really just want to give back, and bring kids together and give them a sense of brotherhood since they don’t normally play (sports) with each other,” Kih said. “They see each other at the movies and at the mall, but we just wanted to bring them all together and give them that sense of family. Flag football is one of those activities where you can be good at it even if you haven’t played football or other sports, because it’s about speed and agility.”

Both young men were mentored for years through Pathways Danbury, a Jericho program that matches at-risk boys with a mentor who helps guide them through life’s inevitable challenges. They both say their affiliation with Pathways has brought them to where they are today.

“It’s made me mature,” said Robert.  “If it weren’t for Mr. (Michael) Taylor (his mentor) and Mrs. (Clara) Perkins (PDYM leader) being tough on me, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and we wouldn’t be doing this. They always taught me to look to the future and to always think big.”

The clinics are open to athletes from Danbury, Brookfield, New Milford, and other towns. Teams are being assembled for 8-10 year-olds (co-ed); 11-12 year-olds (coed); 13-14 year-olds (boys); and 13-14 year-olds (girls). Clinics will cover introduction to flag football, basic football skills, footwork and football vision, and speed and agility. Participants must attend at least two clinics and play in the tournament to be eligible for the travel team.

To register, visit  For questions about the clinics or tournament, contact Kih at (203) 313-8119 or Robert (203) 313-7716.

Pastor's Corner: Leroy Parker

We are living during some tumultuous times in the United States of America. When we look at the political climate in our country, it has in a major way opened the vaults of racism that many people thought would never be resurrected. The issue is not the resurrection of systemic racism, but the blatant denial of it, rather than owning it and moving forward toward reconciliation.

Since the 1600’s, we’ve had issues with race in our country. There are many who are on the front lines of this issue, trying to eradicate this evil, which pervades all of our communities. If we are going to have intentional movement toward racial reconciliation in this country, it must start with the body of Christ. Even within the body of Christ, there are those who suggest that we don’t have to deal with this issue in 21st century. But the sad reality is that it is more blatant in our linguistic expression, actions and judicial system like never before. The body of Christ has to take seriously God’s admonition in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them sin, and will heal their land.”

Our vision then must be bigger than trying to bring black and white people together, but more importantly, reconciling them to the Lord Jesus Christ. It means nothing to work hard for social justice when we don’t appreciate or place value on those whom God has created in His image. He called them good. The Bible is very clear: there is no other way to look at our fellow brothers or sisters than through the lens of a loving God who sculpted them with His loving hand (Genesis 2, Psalm 139). Therefore, we are and were created in the imago dei whereby we have no right to look at the other and put ourselves above them based upon looks and socioeconomic positioning with the culture.

If we are going to see significant strides towards racial reconciliation in this country, we must honestly acknowledge the sin and repent of the sin that is constantly pulling us apart rather than bringing us together (1 John 1:9). The civil rights activist Andrew Young said, “Any racial reconciliation we’ve had in this country has not come not out of confrontation but out of a spirit of reconciliation. If we continue to practice an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth, we’ll eventually end up with a land of people who are blind and toothless.”

– Leroy Parker, New Hope Baptist Church, Danbury