A worthwhile project

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By Editorial Board

Ember Church isn't just building a house, it is helping build opportunities.
Pastor Kevin Taylor spoke before Chester County Council Monday night to explain a new program the church has initiated. The church is paying for the materials needed to construct a new house, York Technical College students will build the house and it will be delivered to a location in East Chester next year. According to the church's website, "God sent Ember Church to East Chester to listen, learn, serve and partner with people who are ready to see a transformation." Affordable housing is the first part of that equation.
The house will not be given away, it will be sold. That way, a new owner is fully invested in the project and will work to make sure the home and property will be something of which the community will be proud. While the house is constructed, the church will be working to train and qualify individuals on the possibility of being a first-time homeowner. Once the house is sold, hopefully, the entire process can start over. Slowly, one house at a time, nice, new homes can take the place of blighted ones or of unused lots. Neighborhoods can transform, attitudes can transform and a sense of community pride and identity can transform. More people will become homeowners and even more than that will learn how to become one. In that way, the church is providing hope...a different kind than is offered in the pews on Sunday obviously, but hope nonetheless. Many churches provide local ministry and missionary work, but this is a step further. This is an example of a church leading the way and making a significant impact on its community. Ember isn't the only local church in Chester to undertake an effort to battle a societal problem, just the latest.
The other noteworthy point of this project is the spirit of cooperation and working together that is taking place. The church raised the money to buy the materials needed for construction, York Technical College will do the building, both the City of Chester and Chester County have been involved as has the Forfeited Land Commission. The York Tech students get real, hand-on experience and properties that are currently sitting idle will be put back on the tax rolls, so the benefits of the project spread in a number of directions. So, the public sector, the private sector, the faith community and educational entity are all invested and working together. In a place where there is often strife and argument on councils, acrimony between departments and as many instances of people not working together, we think this program shows that good things can happen when everybody is pulling in the same direction. We need more of that.