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Across the Nation, December 2011


LITTLE ROCK — For the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ youth group, mission trips all over the U.S. are a summer tradition.

During a recent three-day break from school, however, the teens focused on ministry opportunities closer to home.

About 35 young people slept in the church’s teen room, showered in the gymnasium and ate at the building, youth minister Casey Rine said.

The youth group helped at a food bank, painted a house for an organization that serves the homeless, visited the residents of an assisted-living center and worked with a medical supply project.


SIERRA MADRE — Girl Scouts Jennifer Rokus, 12, and Kendall Biard, 13, each received the Church of Christ Good Servant Religious Award.
Each girl spent more than 25 hours teaching children at the Sierra Madre Church of Christ. They created Bible lessons and an education and attendance program that encourages children to pay careful attention to Bible lessons and attend church as much as possible.
Jennifer and Kendall served others, both inside and outside the church, by visiting the elderly, cleaning the church’s classroom building and organizing gifts and supplies for the children of missionaries in South Africa. In addition, Kendall volunteered as a youth counselor at the San Marino Twilight Girl Scout Camp while Jennifer wrote, organized and led devotionals in her home.


CASTLE ROCK — After studying “missional theology,” the youth group at the Castle Rock Church of Christ decided to put the concept into practice.
During a prayer walk downtown, the teens decided to adopt a floral business to bless, minister Matthew Morine said. At the shop owner’s request, they landscaped the front of her building.
“Over 20 teenagers worked in the hot sun to create a presence for Christ in someone’s life,” Morine said. “This has been a huge success, as the owner went from shock to disbelief to appreciation.”

CROSS CITY — With a Sunday attendance of only 23 or so on “a good week,” the Cross City Church of Christ still manages to serve in a big way, member Donna Brooker said.
The church distributes food to the needy and helped 300 people during its most recent monthly giveaway, Brooker said.
“We are too small to offer a VBS, but the food pantry allows all of us to be involved, from sorting and handing out food to cleaning up after the event,” she added.

— The newest church plant in New Jersey began in the center of a community still mourning the loss of many residents in the World Trade Center attack a decade ago.
The first service of the Gateway Church of Christ, about 20 miles south of 9/11’s ground zero, drew 83 people. The congregation meets in township-owned facilities that it expects to rent at least through the end of the year.
“This new church planting is a dream come true for several of our members, who have anticipated this strategic church location (for many years),” lead evangelist Carl Williamson said.

MEMPHIS — On a recent weekday, 26 children gathered for a Bible study at the Autumn Ridge Apartments.
Percell Duckett, an elder for the Ross Road Church of Christ, taught on the topic of “The Creation.”
All the children received Bibles, compliments of the congregation.
The lesson and gifts were part of the community outreach efforts of Powerlines Community Network, led by Agape Child and Family Services, a nonprofit organization associated with Churches of Christ.

ALEDO — The Aledo Church of Christ is trying to do its part to knock out bullying.
The church hosted a recent seminar to provide parents with strategies for preparing their children to handle bullying situations.
“This is an issue which our children and grandchildren seem to be dealing with on a more destructive level than I can remember when I was in school,” church elder James Norman said. “We wanted to do something as a church family to help our community family overcome this growing problem.”
Kimberly Buch, wife of minister Ron Buch, organized the seminar.
PALESTINE — Court Drive Church of Christ members collected hundreds of teddy bears for wildfire victims of Bastrop, Texas.
“Bears for Bastrop” was inspired by a local program that supplies blankets and bears to children who have experienced traumatic events, church member Jessi Jones told the Palestine Herald-Press.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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