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Across the Nation: Connecticut ‘kindness challenge,’ Hawaii helpers, California merger and more quick takes


Across the Nation is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ across the U.S. Got an idea for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected].

Featured photo (above)

Connecticut children accept a big challenge — to be kindChildren at the Manchester Church of Christ in Connecticut celebrate the completion of a “kindness challenge.”

Thirty-three boys and girls agreed to do at least 15 acts of kindness over a three-month period and record them on a chart, church member Mary Brown said. “Many of them exceeded the 15!” Brown said.

Some of the kindness rocks painted by children at the Manchester Church of Christ in Connecticut.

On a recent Sunday, the children marked the end of the project by painting rocks that will be used for a “Kindness Rock Garden.” After lunch, the boys and girls made cards to be delivered to someone who might need encouragement.

All of the children, including those unable to attend the celebration, were given a certificate of completion. Church member Lynn Stewart had the idea for this event and organized it with a group of helpers.

Spotlight

Hawaii helpers: During the school year, Sam and Macy Elander work as educators in Arizona.

But over the summer, the young couple headed to Hawaii — not to vacation but to help various Churches of Christ and Aloha Christian Camp.

Macy Elander cleans and puts protective enamel on the sign at the Maui Church of Christ in Wailuku, Hawaii.

Macy Elander cleans and puts protective enamel on the sign at the Maui Church of Christ in Wailuku, Hawaii.

“They cleared pathways and beaches, helped restore a preacher’s home, repainted church signs, served food to the homeless, played soccer with the kids, helped with Vacation Bible School, worked at the camp — you name it,” said Julie Elander, Sam’s proud mother.

Sam and Macy Elander, who attend the Bullhead City Church of Christ in Arizona, are graduates of Harding University in Searcy, Ark.

Quick takes

CALIFORNIA

TULARE  — “It looks like the Lord built a fire under us,” one church member quipped.

“It looks like the Lord built a fire under us.”

After a fire made meeting at the Tulare Church of Christ impossible, a nearby congregation — the Mid Valley Church of Christ — opened its building and hearts.

Now the two churches have decided to unite and become one, said Joel Coppinger, one of the elders for the combined congregation.

“Everyone is joyously anticipating being together in the beautifully restored and remodeled church facilities on Blackstone (where the fire occurred) by the end of the year,” said Jerry Sisemore, minister for the combined church.

GEORGIA

HENTOWN — Just off U.S. Highway 27, the Hentown Church of Christ averages Sunday attendance of 45.

“Just like most small country churches, we are losing our young people because of college, jobs and generally wanting to leave a rural community.”

“Attendance has been higher, but just like most small country churches, we are losing our young people because of college, jobs and generally wanting to leave a rural community,” church member June Winkler said.

But recently, the congregation celebrated “75 years of service to the Lord,” Winkler noted.

The church still meets in a building constructed on land donated by the husband of Chloe Effie Harper, who moved to the community in 1943 and had no church to attend.

“If the Lord wills, we will be here still in 75 more years,” Winkler said.

LOUISIANA

BOSSIER CITY — The Airline Drive Church of Christ’s work in foster care since 1984 was honored recently with an Angels in Adoption pin from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

The church operates Bossier KIDS, which has three group homes and actively recruits parents to foster children in their own homes, minister Ben Brewster said. The ministry has cared for 360 foster children, resulting in 32 adoptions.

Matt Hollis and Ben Brewster visit with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

Matt Hollis and Ben Brewster visit with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

Brewster and Matt Hollis from the Airline Drive church traveled to the nation’s capital to accept the honor.

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., nominated Bossier KIDS for the award.

MASSACHUSETTS

EDGEWOOD — The Edgewood Church of Christ is finding a calling in disaster relief.

“A little bit from a lot of people makes a big difference.”

A team recently traveled to a coastal North Carolina area devastated by Hurricane Florence to help, deacon Anthony Linden said.

This follows a relief trip to Houston after Hurricane Harvey last year.

“A little bit from a lot of people makes a big difference,” Linden said


Willie Williams III, left, minister for the North Colony Church of Christ, north of Dallas, sings at a #Justice4Botham event outside the Dallas County courts building. Williams, a former Abilene Christian University football player, organized the social media campaign.

Willie Williams III, left, minister for the North Colony Church of Christ, north of Dallas, sings at a #Justice4Botham event outside the Dallas County courts building. Williams, a former Abilene Christian University football player, organized the social media campaign.

Quote of the month

“The walls of Jericho didn’t come down because they fought. The walls of Jericho came down because the people of God got together, and they shouted, and they praised God.” — minister Willie Williams on “praise as protest” after the shooting death of Botham Jean. Read the full story.

Filed under: Across the Nation National

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