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The Vision
Zion Projects upholds the traditional creedal statements of the faith of the church of Jesus Christ in history. In this sense, it is conservative in terms of doctrine. That being said, Zion Projects believes that good doctrine without good practice is of no effect. Orthodoxy should always lead to Orthopraxy! Zion Projects therefore believes that the Holy Scriptures of the Christian faith (the Bible) are the key to understanding the revelation of God through Jesus Christ, his only Son. It is by His Holy Spirit that Our Father in Heaven builds His church on the earth. Jesus Christ, as the eternal Son, is drawing a people unto Himself into the heart of His Father by His Spirit.
Release of Kingdom Tasks into the Region

Street and School Pastors – the first “nodes” of kingdom task

To continue the relationships forged through the festivals, Zion Projects initiated contact with Les Issacs and the Street Pastors Movement the Ascension Trust).

The Parish of Fair Oak and Horton Heath was the first semi-rural delivery of the Street Pastors' Initiative in the UK. Rather than emphasising crime reduction, as in urban contexts, the opportunity to build community cohesion through the Street Pastor Initiative was a great success. Following on from this example, the Area Co-ordinators for the Fair Oak and Horton Heath pilot were then appointed by the Ascension Trust to oversee the training of Street Pastors for Bishopstoke, Eastleigh Town and Chandlers Ford (Hedge End, West End and Botley have also joined together (as “HEWEB”) for Street Pastor delivery). (Street Pastors link at this point).

During 2009, negotiations with local schools also commenced to once again become a pilot for the School Pastors initiative (School Pastors link at this point).

Zion Projects was able to act as “incubator” for the emerging Street and School Pastors, who formed their autonomous Management Committee which has then enabled it, in turn, to become a charity in its own right, which has now “flown” from the Zion Projects' "nest".

From this experience, Zion Projects saw that it could be an incubator of charitable endeavour for the tasks of the Kingdom of God, which could be offered to the church of Eastleigh.

ARK-Eastleigh – the single “Hub” to deliver the “nodes” of Kingdom Task

One of the fellowships in the region, St. Thomas', Fair Oak and Horton Heath, began to receive referrals from the local schools to assist with situations of deprivation and vulnerability. (Link St.Toms website here)

In 2010, ARK-Eastleigh was formed and, once more, incubated within Zion Projects, awaiting the day when it will become an independent charity in its own right.

Learning from the Street / School Pastor delivery experience Zion Projects believes that national Christian Kingdom ministries and initiatives are credible in UK culture and should be delivered locally, where possible. Zion Projects therefore believe that we “should not reinvent the wheel” locally but deliver locally within a national oversight.

The ARK therefore delivers “Kingdom Kindness” through unique “hub” activities, which include Befriending, Sunday teams looking after children, breakfast and lunch meetings for the children of families in need, works on property and grounds where some of the most vulnerable and needy people in the community have help from no other source.

Various “nodes” of Kingdom task are then available to the ARK-Eastleigh “hub”, as required when referrals occur. (Link ARK website here)

The Present (2011)

At present, these “nodes” would include the following, in varying degrees of readiness for delivery:

The ARK HUB – the point of referral

A “Funnel” to contain care with:

- Befriending
- Provision of household care
- Acts of Kingdom Kindness
- Sunday ARK Teams
- Baby walking
- Lad’s Breakfasts
- Practical works of service

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Utilising NODES of Kingdom Task that can be delivered as part of the ARK package of Kingdom Care. National initiatives delivered locally through the ARK HUB – a funnel of locally-focused love delivered in a bespoke manner.

CVM – NEET’s care / National Citizen programme / Men-men help: young and old (Web Link)
Street Pastors – Care on the Streets (Web Link)
School Pastors – Mentoring / Bullying prevention / Home Link (Web Link)
Trussell Trust / Basics Bank – Food Bank (Web Link)
Peaceworks – Community Mediation (Web Link)
Lilies – Pregnancy Counselling (Web Link)
CAP – Debt Counselling (Web Link)

National Initiatives being presently pursued to give “cover”

KBI – Private Sector Business sponsorship / Apprenticeship / National Citizen programme
The Orchard – Care for the traumatised and most vulnerable

Recent applications to join the nodes:

Christ Counsel – Pending
Addicts Anon – Pending
Jobs Club UK – Pending
Parish Nursing – Pending
Credit Union - Pending

The Future

As the ARK hub develops more and more nodes of delivery, it is anticipated that it will become a single, multi-facetted Kingdom vehicle for delivery of voluntary Christian service initiatives and ministries throughout the Eastleigh North region.

Zion Projects are anticipating ultimately to move from referral-based reaction to building an offer proactively to the Local Authority, whereby the church of the region in each of its fellowships can identify with the Kingdom tasks through the ARK hub to achieve mutually agreed targets, in partnership with the authorities.

In this way, it is hoped that true unity of the Church in the region will be declared through activity and love in Jesus' name, through Kingdom Tasks and amazing life-changing measured outcomes in needy peoples lives.

The Sunnybank Vision

For the medium/long term, Zion Projects have been working since early 2003 on the Sunnybank – Centre for Wellbeing project. (Reference can be made here to other info – latest powerpoint).

Zion Projects believe that once ARK has built relational and professional trust the movement of people in the region, impacted by compassion, felt-benefit and wellbeing – what Zion Ptrojects would refer to as the shalom of God – the region will need a building to accelerate and demonstrate the values of the Kingdom.

Zion Projects believe the facility can then be funded by the opportunity for National Health Service, Social Services, Education and Voluntary Sector to work together for the benefit of wellbeing. In particular, child wellbeing enables the generations to come to be prepared to make creative change themselves and are therefore the prime focus.

It is anticipated that presently projecting a commencement of construction at the back end of 2015, the ARK Initiative will form the Christian-based offer of the Kingdom alongside all people of goodwill. The words of Jesus at the commencement of His ministry "Turn round, change your mind, the Kingdom of God is right next to you" will become a reality. Indeed, it will become normal in the Eastleigh region to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Once more, the theological underpinning for Zion Projects is always paramount. Given the understanding, as outlined above, of the three spheres of life - unclean, clean and holy - it is anticipated that the unclean activities of life will disappear from our communal experience, leaving only the transfer of the clean towards the Holy for all those who would like to take-up the Kingdom offer of the Lord Jesus Christ through His church in the region.
The Theology of Zion
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In noting the way in which the Lord builds on earth, a pattern has been identified:

1. Holy of Holies
2. Holy Place
3. Outer Courts
4. Nations

more info to follow