Meet Victoria: Creating Contexts For The Church To Transform The City
There has been exciting growth at Glimpse, Maple’s after school program. A brief conversation can never capture the entirety of God’s movement in the five years since Glimpse started.
Simply outlining the activities would not adequately explain how Glimpse has been a conduit for community transformation and church discipleship. While children are receiving homework help, the after school program has been a context for the local church to experience the tangible Kingdom of God. It’s a place where the Church has an opportunity to live out its faith, a chance to be the gospel in action.
That is hard to capture in quick conversation.
Glimpse is serving as a bridge for the Church to love her city well. Designed for genuine relationships to develop, this program uniquely connects the Church to areas of suffering in Fullerton. Seven months ago, Solidarity hired Victoria Mursia as the Glimpse Lead. Victoria grew up in Whittier in a similar neighborhood, graduated from Point Loma University, and desired to find a job that made a difference in the local community.
“When I was hired I did not realize how much this position would impact my life. I am a pastor’s kid which means that I have been involved with the church for a very long time, but I felt we needed to do things differently. Yet, I did not know how to go about doing that. At Solidarity, I began to witness what the church actually being the Church really could look like.”
Victoria has humbly grown to know her students, their anxieties, and what makes them tick. She has also has facilitated intentional and meaningful use of program time by adding three new contexts for the church to engage city transformation.
- Reading Program: Only 30% of Glimpse students were reading at grade level and Victoria desired to see that change by connecting the church to this specific area of suffering. Reading program is dedicated to 1:1 reading, vocabulary development, and comprehension exercises.
- Career Month: Career Month introduces The Glimpse students to professionals who share the nuances of their occupations. Students are exposed to new interests while professionals in the Church are using their passion to inspire young people.
- S.T.E.A.M: Local high school students are leading a STEAM workshop challenging Glimpse students to create rockets and small motors. For the first time, these Fullerton high school students are engaging low income neighborhoods and experiencing the academic disparity in their own city.
Through the creation of these three new contexts at Glimpse, Victoria began to see her role in a different light.
“Working with Glimpse students was more than helping with homework, it was about building relationships and being transformed by those relationships. I thought I was coming to Glimpse to change kid’s lives, but I ended up being changed. My view on Christianity has changed, my view on service has changed! I now have the privilege to work with volunteers seeing how much this program changes them as well."
Victoria has breathed life into Glimpse during her time with Solidarity. She has created practical and tangible ways for the local church to participate in city transformation. As she’s facilitated these dynamic relationships between the students and local believers, God has used both to refine and transform Victoria.