Partner Profile - Renaissance Church

Published 06/19/2017

Renaissance Church has been a partner with CAPP for many events over the years beginning in 2012. The relationship began when Elmwood Community Center Manager Lihna Agostini and Pastor Scott Axtmann met and began talking about how their organizations could work together to benefit the community.  During the time when the relationship began, Renaissance Church was located on Reservoir Ave and the building was a good space but not as accessible compared with the current location on Broad St. Pastor Scott wanted to partner with CAPP to be able to reach out to the community and increase awareness as well as providing a positive impact for the community. “What makes the sweetness of the partnership is that it is a win-win-win for Renaissance Church, CAPP and the community,” says Pastor Scott. Similarly, Lihna wanted to increase awareness of CAPP’s programming at ECC including the Food Pantry, Senior Services, and case management. Since then CAPP and Renaissance Church volunteers have collaborated on a variety of events for the community including:

  • Holiday Toy Distribution – Renaissance Church provided fun activities for families participating in the Holiday Toy Distribution including a Wii station, games, and activities
  • Open Mic Events – Members of the community presented belly dancing and other artistic expressions
  • Mother’s Day Brunch for Seniors receiving services at ECC - food provided by Renaissance Church was prepared and served by the Head Chef from Johnson & Wales University
  • Easter Dinner with refugee families receiving services at ECC

“It impressed me that the leadership volunteered also, not just the members,” said Ms. Agostini. “Renaissance Church is always dependable, I can count on them.” She described volunteers painting walls, helping with the Food Pantry distribution, serving the Seniors food once or twice a week, and co-hosting a variety of events. “It created an environment that was welcoming and home-like. This helped to build trust and relationship with the community,” she said. They both acknowledge that the relationship can be challenging when a non-profit secular organization works with a religious organization, and described a high level of open communication that made the partnership successful. “It’s a fun synergy,” said Pastor Scott, “it can be messy, one of the keys is friendship at the director level, mutual trust and understanding.” He stressed that the members of Renaissance Church don’t go in and preach, but rather let people get to know them through volunteering. “Two organizations working together promotes an energy that is exponential.”