Welcome

The Cross Orlando is a congregation of people living under the reign of God. We gather together regularly, we're working in all sectors of our city and are always looking for ways to better care for each other. But a great first step in meeting us, is to check out these blogs that our folks manage.

terazzo, coffee, and kids

Eat Something

by Ben

As we gathered on Sunday, we looked at the story of a woman Jesus encountered at an old well in Samaria. Many people argue that she’s the best evangelist in the life of Jesus. It’s a pretty beautiful redemption story to see, in one encounter with Jesus, the woman go from shunned–visiting the well in … Continue reading Eat Something

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

Kerith Ravine

by Ben

As we gathered together virtually last week, we considered two stories. The first was about how God miraculously provided for the prophet and a widow. Elijah in the Kerith ravine and the woman baking bread with supplies that didn’t run out. Both of those sound pretty nice to me. I’m not sure of the specific … Continue reading Kerith Ravine

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

time at home

by Ben

I’m not sure if the policy that went into effect last night makes things different for you or not. Restaurants are allowed to be open, so I’ve been keeping the coffee shops open as long as they’re still able to pay baristas. I spent most of yesterday on Zoom calls. It was kind of nice. … Continue reading time at home

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

music and memory

by Ben

Earlier this week I got started listening to some music from my middle and high-school years. I ended up on an album that I probably haven’t listened to since those years. Almost immediately I could remember exactly what my room looked like and where my boombox was. I could remember what it felt like to walk … Continue reading music and memory

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

No Shame

by Ben

I’ve started noticing every little cough and questioning every tinge of a headache. It’s a normal time of year for me to have symptoms like that, what with pollen lying around on the ground like sand and no rain for weeks. Still, I’m noticing it a lot more. I’m praying a lot more too. I … Continue reading No Shame

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

crazy times and prognostications

by Ben

Crazy times and unpredictable futures. Though, I suppose, the future has always been unpredictable to us. It probably seems more shrouded than normal, but truth says, the future is always the purview of the God. Times like these we can feel challenged by just how few answers we have. Yet ignorance about the future can give way … Continue reading crazy times and prognostications

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Polis Institute

Hiring Residents: Community Building as Career Building

by Chris Ramos

Hiring Residents: Community Building as Career Building Social service non-profits form to serve particular populations but can miss the most direct forms of addressing the need they exist to meet. For instance, it took many years for advocates for people experiencing homelessness to convince the rest of us that what people that are homeless need...

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Polis Institute

MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH POWERFUL DATA

by Andres Florez

Polis Institute’s research and evaluation team gives you powerful data insights to build stronger more effective social solutions. With over 70 years of collective experience, our team of experts are passionate about giving foundations, non-profits, and government agencies primary data driven insights that create meaningful results. MEET THE TEAM President and Chief Data Officer, Dr....

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Polis Institute

WHY METRICS? (with Julie Thomas)

by Rova

We at Polis Institute recently partnered with Orlando Nonprofit Alliance (ONA) to lead a workshop on “Harnessing the Power of Metrics.” The purpose will be to help nonprofit organizations understand why and how to use metrics to improve their work. Julie Thomas, MNM Data and Reporting Analysis Consultant for Polis, will moderate the June 28th,...

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Polis Institute

COLLECTIVE IMPACT (Part 2)

by Rova

Businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, foundations, and social enterprises. While different in structure, these institutions and the leaders behind them share an essential belief — society needs truly effective high impact change that moves the needle on critical issues like health equity, poverty reduction, and educational justice. For more than a decade, dedicated people from many...

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Polis Institute

COLLECTIVE IMPACT (Part 1)

by Rova

Oftentimes, multiple organizations work in isolation to address problems. Collective impact brings people together, typically from different sectors, and applies a structured approach to solving complex social problems. It is more than just collaboration. It is a unified plan and vision with shared accountability across all the participants. There are five core conditions of Collective...

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Polis Institute

The Power of Stories

by Rova

We all have our own stories that shape the way we are, the way we think, the way we behave, and the way we live our lives. Every chapter of our lives shapes the people we are and the people we will become. And each of our own journeys is meaningful regardless of our background—worth...

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Polis Institute

PLACE-BASED APPROACH

by Rova

Over the last few decades, the fast-moving urbanism in America has dramatically shaped new dynamics in community well-being across the country. A few factors that illustrate this are longer hours at work, non-family-friendly environments, domination of the media, and behavioral changes. These things greatly, negatively affect the population, particularly families. The government and other organizations...

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Polis Institute

SOUTHWESTERN SOCIAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING

by Rova

In late 2018, Southwestern Social Science Association (SSSA) held their annual meeting in Orlando, with Polis Institute community development experts and University of Central Florida (UCF) interdisciplinary public affairs doctoral students among the panelists. The meeting—run by SSSA, a social science association dedicated to promote knowledge and understanding of today’s world—gathers professional scholars, graduates, and...

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Polis Institute

Save the Date

by Andres Florez

Join us for PI Day 2019 Mark your calendars now for Thursday, March 14th at 6pm when we’ll be celebrating our annual fundraiser, PI Day! We’ll be sharing insights from the year as well as our 2018 annual report. Join us for a time of pie, refreshments, and networking with fellow change-makers in the Metro Orlando community! Click below for more info...

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Polis Institute

DIVERSE WORD

by Rova

In this broken world, taking the time to learn about each other is pivotal for our health, both as individuals and a society. Hearing one another’s stories and growing in understanding of them allows us to connect with them and the world around us better. Sharing, too, is an act of bravery, an art people...

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

organic

by Ben

  I’ve learned that systems take more energy than dreams. But that’s OK, some things are worth working for. Last week I ended up in a meeting where a dude who consults with churches to help them clarify and execute a vision was presenting to me and some friends. Sort of off hand he said … Continue reading organic

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

alternate reality

by Ben

We’re living in a world where Jesus is alive. So much more is possible. In a world where we so often feel limited by money or pain or cruelty, it’s hard to remember what’s real: for the people of God, Jesus defines reality. The God of the universe is in your corner. He went into … Continue reading alternate reality

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

Number2

by Ben

  This past weekend, I took our Number2 kid to the movies, there was a scene with the main girl growing up. The reality of the perpetual motion of life hit me. Life moves. Things go well and things go poorly, but either way they go. Forward. Today becomes yesterday, and yesterday fades. People get … Continue reading Number2

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terazzo, coffee, and kids

A New Year

by Ben

There’s nothing divine about our calendar dates. So, in one sense,  New Year’s Day is just another day to be faithful to God. But in another sense, it’s a new start. I’ve been really feeling that this year, that it’s an opportunity to start again. That’s probably part of the reason I want to share … Continue reading A New Year

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