What is Sunshine Gospel "BridgeBuilders?"
BridgeBuilders helps to connect people from different backgrounds to promote a shared understanding of the challenges facing inner-city communities. Those from an outside context typically hear and see mostly negative portrayals of the inner city, often contributing to unhelpful labeling and misguided interactions.
We believe the giftedness of the community is more clearly seen through fostering healthy, meaningful experiences that combine learning with active engagement.
Shalom & The City: This lesson focuses on the Biblical concept of Shalom
and the history of racial injustice in Chicago.
The Poor & Their Savior: Who are the poor? In this lesson, we seek to
expand our definition of and response to poverty with a Biblical mindset rooted in Micah 6:8.
Just Mercy: This lesson explores the past and present of policing in the United States, focusing on various cases of police brutality and racial profiling.
American Son: This lesson defines terms surrounding discussions about race, as well as providing a space to process personal experiences.
The experiential-learning aspect of BridgeBuilders is crucial to our
program. Each experience is designed to help guests understand the history of our neighborhood, giving clear historical context to the present realities of poverty and systemic injustice. Over the years, we have fine-tuned each learning experience with the dual goals of dignifying the community and educating participants. We ask groups to pay close attention during these experiences, noticing details and patterns we may not always look for at home.
BridgeBuilders allows groups to meaningfully connect with the neighborhood through various service projects with community partners. Our service mindset emphasizes that group members are guests, not missionaries. Outsiders who come to the community for one week are not and cannot be the saviors of a community that is not their own. Many organizations, initiatives, and individuals already foster the year-round flourishing of our neighborhood, and we joyfully invite you to glimpse and contribute to their work for the brief time you’re here.
BridgeBuilders is designed to have a lifelong impact. The program’s teaching and learning experiences apply directly to Woodlawn and Chicago, but give participants tools to take home that can be applied everywhere they go:
-The ability to examine communities through the lenses of beauty and brokenness
- Knowledge of what the Bible says about injustice, advocating for the oppressed, and seeking shalom for your community.
- Awareness of the power of being a guest while traveling to new places.
- How to see past stereotypes, appreciate cultural differences, and see others first and foremost as image-bearers.
- A holistic engagement of the gospel that illuminates the importance of seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly.
- Practical knowledge of the history and current presence of racial injustice.
HOW LONG IS A BRIDGEBUILDER TRIP?
Our standard program is a week long, with groups arriving and leaving during the weekend. We also offer weekend-only experiences, and are flexible regarding timing and trip length.
To view YouTube promotional video CLICK HERE
WHEN WOULD OUR GROUP ATTEND?
You can book a trip during the spring or summer, whichever season works best for your group. We typically host high school youth groups in the summer and college students during their spring breaks.
HOW MUCH DOES A TRIP COST?
Our trips are $75/day per person, or $375/person for a standard five-day trip.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE COST?
The trip cost includes housing, three meals a day, amenities, and all the materials needed for our programming. Groups must organize their own transportation to Chicago. Parking is free in our neighborhood.