From Present in the City


Present in the City: Grace

Wednesday March 14, 2012 – Wednesday March 14, 2012

Fellowship Bible Church NWA

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The Cobblestone Project & People of the Second Chance invite you to gather for an evening that promises to radically transform your understanding of grace and second chances. Please plan on joining us on Wed, March 14th at 6pm as we gather as a community and raise a banner of grace.

(click to download “Present in the City:  Grace” printable announcement posters)

Mike Foster

We are lucky to have Mike Foster as the keynote speaker for Present in the City: Grace. Mike is a speaker, author, and consultant helping people live and tell a better story. Mike is the Co-founder of “People of the Second Chance” a radical grace movement made up of activists, artists and imperfectionists. He serves on the Executive Team of PlainJoe Studios and is the author of “Gracenomics: Unleash The Power of Second Chance Living” He lives in Southern California with his beautiful bride and his 2 young children.

People of the Second Chance

People of the Second ChancePeople of the Second Chance is a global community of activists, imperfectionists and second chancers committed to unleashing radical grace everyday, in every moment, for everyone. We challenge the common misconceptions about failure and success and stand with those who have hit rock bottom in their personal and professional lives. We are a community that is committed to stretch ourselves in the areas of relational forgiveness, personal transparency and advocate for mercy over judgment.

for more information, please contact


Idea Camp Orphan Care

Idea Camp Orphan Care is coming to NW Arkansas on Feb 25th & 26th!

The Idea Camp Orphan Care is coming to NW Arkansas on Feb 25th & 26th and Cobblestone Project is proud to help bring this event to our community.

The world is full of people with great ideas. Unfortunately for many, they will take these ideas all the way to the grave without ever actualizing them. Whether it’s an idea for a song, book, organization, business, ministry, family or even plans to make the world a better place, these dreamers, many with noble intent, will never see their passions realized.

The Idea Camp was birthed out of a simple hope to help people move closer to implementing their God-given ideas by creating a healthy environment in which everyday people are able to share ideas, sharpen each other’s thoughts, and collectively move together to benefit humanity.

The Idea Camp Orphan CareThis particular Idea Camp will focus on the topics related to Orphan Care and the Church.

The Idea Camp will facilitate a safe and transparent environment of learning, sharing of insights from the respective fields of focus, and practical insights and examples of holistic care.  As a faith centered conference, there will be an on-going focus on the importance of living as God’s loving expressions of grace and hope to the world through tangible acts of care in this area.

We will facilitate fresh, honest and transformative conversations with leading thinkers on topics including adoption, foster care, child sponsorship, community development, US & International care, trafficking & orphan care, special needs, cross-cultural & religious boundaries, and many more.

Using an interactive platform and collective of leading thinkers and practitioners from the field, participants will be able to learn from leading experts as well as one another, share best practices, and work toward collaborative efforts. In addition, those following online will be able to experience the conference via the latest tools in social media. All of the general sessions and a handful of workshops will be streamed live and recorded to be used as future resources online.

Registration Link:

Speakers and Orgs who will be represented:

Tom Davis, Children’s Hope Chest
John Sower, The Mentoring Project
Jedd Medefind, Christian Alliance for Orphans
Frank Garrott, Gladney Center for Adoption
Charles Lee, Ideation
Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback
Chris Marlow, Help End Local Poverty
Jonathan Olinger, Discover the Journey
Rob Morris, Love 146
Mark Moore, MANA Nutrition
Kristen Welch, & Mercy House Kenya
Gary Schneider, Every Orphans Hope
Matt Mooney, 99 Balloons
Esther Havens, Humanitarian Photographer
Greg Russinger, Just One
Dan King
Johnny Carr, Bethany Christian Services
Dan Cruver, Together fro Adoption
Jason Kovacs, ABBA Fund & Together for Adoption
Jason Locy, Five Stone Creative
Heidi Cox, Gladney Center for Adoption
Josh & Amy Bottomly, From Ashes to Africa
Aschalew Abebe, Kidmia
Nicole Wick
Mark Bray, Cobblestone Project
Mike Rusch, Cobblestone Project
Moody & Emily Alexander, Ethiopia Smile and Glimmer of Hope
Alan Hunt, World Orphans
Melinda Nicholson, Cherish Kids
The CALL of Arkansas
+ many more that we will update on website

Special Musical Guests include: Aaron Ivey Band, Stephen Miller and Seth Primm


NW Arkansas
First Baptist Church of Rogers
3364 West Pleasant Grove Road
Rogers, AR

More Info at:


“Why the issue of Fatherlessness?”

On Nov 2nd, the Cobblestone Project is hosting our second “Present in the City” evening together.  For this gathering, we have chosen to focus on the issues of Fatherlessness and have invited Dr. John Sowers, author of “Fatherless Generation” & President of The Mentoring Project, to be our guest.

But some may ask,

“Why a night to focus on the issue of fatherlessness?”

“What does this have to do with serving the under-resourced in our community?”

“What kind of impact could this make?”

“Is this really an issue in our community?”

These are all honest and much needed questions.  These are the exact same questions that we have asked of ourselves in preparing for this gathering together.

Here are our thoughts…

Within the framework of the Cobblestone Project it is our desire to work towards “a community without need” by “identifying needs, connecting needs with resources and fulfilling those needs with sustainable solutions“.  In this pursuit, many initiatives have come to life to meet the physical needs of the poor in our community by creating spaces and opportunities to meet those in need on equal footing in a very personal way.  And, they are truly beautiful spaces.

In these spaces and in these initiatives, it has been impossible to deny that the breakdown of support structures and the breakdown of the family has an devastating impact on a person’s ability to provide for themselves, stay in school, hold down a job and ultimately lift themselves out of their circumstances.  In fact, within all four of our Our Step cases so far, there has been one common story.  It has been the breakdown of family support structures that have led to domestic violence, poverty and homelessness.  In each case we have worked to place single parents into homes.

While we must continue to work in our efforts to alleviate the symptoms of poverty, we must also work towards breaking these cycles leading to poverty, domestic violence and homelessness.  So, where do begin in the effort to truly break these cycles?

Consider these statistics referenced in John Sowers’ book “Fatherless Generation

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from a fatherless home
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from a fatherless home
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from a fatherless home
  • 75% of all adolescents in chemical abuse centers come from a fatherless home
  • 80% of all rapists motivated with displace anger come from a fatherless home
  • 85% of all youth who exhibit behavior disorders come from a fatherless home
  • 70% of all juveniles in state-operated institutions come from a fatherless home
  • 71% of all pregnant teenagers come from a fatherless home
  • 63% of all youth suicides come from a fatherless home

To say that there is a strong connection between the issue of fatherlessness and the effects of poverty is a huge understatement.  Take a minute to consider this video…

Therefore, we are inviting our community to come, gather together and begin to learn how the issue of fatherlessness is having an impact on our community.

David Blankenhorn (author and researcher) states it this way…

“Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation.  It is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our society.  It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child sexual abuse to domestic violence against women.  Yet, despite its scale and social consequences, fatherlessness is a problem that is frequently ignored or denied.”

For more information including time and location of “Present in the City – the Fatherless“, please visit the Cobblestone Project website and please consider picking up “Fatherless Generation” by Dr. John Sowers.

Present in the City “The Fatherless” with Dr. John Sowers, President of The Mentoring Project (Tues, Nov 2nd @ 6 pm)

“The story of Fatherlessness is being written into the heart of our generation. Quite often it is a story of shame, loneliness, and rejection” (  However, we believe there is hope.

On Tuesday, November 2nd, we are honored to have John Sowers, President of The Mentoring Project, join our community to share his personal story of growing up in a fatherless home, and how the issues of fatherlessness affects our families and communities.

In his role with The Mentoring Project, John seeks to respond to the American crisis of fatherlessness by inspiring and equipping faith communities to mentor the fatherless.

John’s work with The Mentoring Project is creating a national platform to understand how the issue of fatherlessness is central to caring for our communities.

In September, John’s book “Fatherless Generation” is being released and we encourage all to pick up a copy of the book before John’s visit.  Visit for more information.
Special thanks to KeyPoint Church for hosting our second “Present in the City.”  KeyPoint is active in serving the fatherless in our community & we are thankful for all they do.

“Present in the City” with Greg Russinger (Video & Connection Info)

A special thank you to all who shared “Present in the City” with us on March 14th.  It was a special evening to share with a community or people seeking encouragement & strength as we walk this road together.

Thank you to Seth Primm for sharing his gift of music with us to start things off.  Each initiative team had the opportunity to share the latest news and share some inspiring stories.  Thank you to those who truly make Cobblestone Project come alive.

We had the honor of sharing “Don’s Story” with those present with us.  Don is the first person to benefit from the Our Step initiative, and his story is a powerful one of hope.

We had a special guest all the way from Portland with us for “Present in the City.”  Greg Russinger, founding member of Just One, shared with us what it truly means to be present in our city.

If you missed the evening, we did record the evening, so please enjoy Greg’s words.

Coming Soon…click here to download the audio (mp3) recording of the Greg’s talk

During Greg’s time in NW Arkansas he had an opportunity to visit with Samaritan Community Center, Seven Hills Homeless Center, see the Cobblestone Project DC & first Fayetteville Laundry Love location and spend a little time in Fayetteville. 

We were also honored to have Josh Stolier from Portland and Just One Hub leaders Max Fincher (Dallas) and Andy Houltberg (Kansas City)

Thank you to the team from who were present with us & who are supporting the “Our Step” initiative through their efforts.  When you purchase one of their “Homelessness t-shirts” a portion of the proceeds go to support finding housing for those without.

We do owe the biggest thank you for bringing us all together for the evening to Katelyn Graves.  She is truly our hero behind the scenes and we are so thankful for her continued efforts to support Cobblestone Project.  We could not do any of this with out her!

If you would like to find out more information on Cobblestone Project, any of the initiatives or volunteer to help, please visit our Cobblestone Project Home Page for more information.

“Present in the City”

We would like to invite everyone to a special gathering of the Cobblestone Project.  It will be an evening to pause, to celebrate and be a community that is present.

We are finding that being “Present in the City” may be one of the most difficult things to do; however, we know that loving and serving our Community begins with being present.

Our Guests

We have invited Greg & Michele Russinger to be our guests for the evening and share their story of what it means to be “Present in the City”.  Greg and Michelle are Founders of Just One and currently live in Portland with their two children.

Just One is a non profit organization that was formed to stimulate greater global awareness about extreme poverty, and to provoke compassionate ideas and intelligent giving in order to provide sustainable relief. Just One is a collective voice for the victims of social injustice––the one(s) living in geographical and situational poverty; the one(s) orphaned through death, disease and desertion; the one(s) trafficked into slavery throughout the world.

Just One is also responsible for the creation of Laundry Love, One Voice to End Slavery, A Trash Can can make a Difference, On Bike with Love and a number of other incredible initiatives.

Evening Details

(There is no charge for the evening; however, a roll of quarters or a box of laundry detergent would be accepted if you decided to bring one)