Dear Church Family,
For the past 15 years, One Hope Tulsa–with the help, support, and prayers of our Springs of Grace family–has hosted an annual camp called Project 61 that allowed youth entering 8th-12th grade to serve their community while drawing closer to Jesus. Each morning youth would help local coaches staff a sports and arts camp as a way of expressing love to kids and communicating to them the life-giving hope of the Gospel. In the afternoons and evenings, these youth would participate in exciting games, awesome worship, and Christ-exalting teaching. The Project 61 Sports and Arts Camp, staffed by youth, One Hope interns and staff, and volunteers from our church and community, helps One Hope fulfill its mission of sharing hope and building resilience for our neighbors on the margins.
Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the recent spikes in local cases and death tolls, the high occupancy in Tulsa hospitals, and Mayor Binam’s recent mask mandate, we have made the difficult decision to cancel both the Project 61 Youth Camp and the Project 61 Sports & Arts Camp. We know that Project 61 has been a consistent place of hope for children and youth facing economic barriers and the legacy of Tulsa’s racial trauma. As much as we would love to host camp this year, we cannot put on a camp of Project 61’s size or impact without endangering the health of those attending and their families and neighbors. We grieve the loss of this tradition and this experience for our youth, as well as for the kids in our city. As we have prayed and planned, we have decided to use our traditional Project 61 week to continue to live out the heartbeat of Project 61 even during these difficult days. We will be holding a different form of Project 61 this year: our staff and Community Response Team will lead the way in completing 61 local projects from July 27th-July 31st, during our traditional week of camp.
These projects will serve to share hope, build resilience, and advance the mission laid out in Isaiah 61:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
The projects will focus on meeting community needs in four main categories:
- supporting activities for kids and youth,
- beautifying the neighborhood around the Rose Bowl,
- increasing neighborhood safety,
- and creating community connection.
Over the next few days, we will be finalizing these projects and sharing ways for you to join us in praying for our team and our community, raising funds for the projects, and helping with the projects themselves.
We are heartbroken that we cannot have our normal camps this year, but we are hopeful and expectant about how God will use this week of projects to benefit and beautify the neighborhood around the Rose Bowl in ways that will bless our neighbors as they walk through this pandemic. Please keep an eye out for more info about each project and for specific ways to partner with us for this year’s Project 61 week, and please be in prayer for kids and youth who will be processing the sad news of one of their favorite weeks of the year being canceled.
Thanks for partnering with us and praying alongside us.
Here’s a guide that details some different ways you and your family can help, if you’re interested. We have always worked together as a church family to make Project 61 come together, and this year is no different! We are excited to partner together in service and prayer next week, and this guide shares some of the ways we are envisioning everyone at Springs of Grace getting involved!