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Across the Nation, December 2013

The Elmore Church of Christ’s elders lead an initiative to plant congregations in four counties of northeastern Pennsylvania.
The Antioch Initiative aims to “take the nation back by taking Jesus to the nation.”
For more information, see www.elmorechurchofchrist.com.
The Northside Church of Christ’s English- and Spanish-speaking groups were joined on a recent Sunday  by the predominantly black Johnson Street Church of Christ.
“It was truly a multiethnic, multicultural mingling that resulted in beautiful praise and a recommitment to unity,” said Jim Gardner, Northside’s preacher.
The Northside church planted the Johnson Street church as a “mission point” prior to the Civil Rights Movement, Gardner said.
“As the lines of division based on race continue to go away, it is my hope that, one day in the future, there will be one church where there now exists two,” he said.
FORT SMITH — It’s 2013, so collecting 2,013 pairs of blue jeans for the needy seemed like a fashionable goal for the West-Ark Church of Christ’s recent “Blue Jean Sunday.”
In fact, 2,133 jeans were donated for The Hope Chest, a nonprofit that began as a West-Ark ministry in 2005.
“To God be the glory!” said Jeannie Cole, secretary for The Hope Chest board of managers.
An annual giveaway draws dozens to the Carbondale Church of Christ.
Members donate items such as clothing, books, electronics and furniture. People flock to the church to receive them.
Minister Stephen Shaffer told WSIL-TV that the giveaway is an opportunity to reach out and meet new people.
 “One of the things that I love is just walking around and geting to know their story, finding out where they’re from, what’s going on and all those kinds of things,” Shaffer said.
Elmer Pacheco,  preacher for the Spanish-speaking Church of Christ in Silver Spring, uses YouTube to reach out worldwide.
Pacheco has placed about 140 video sermons on the church site and documented 30,000 viewers in 79 countries.
The Hispanic congregation in Silver Spring started 25 years ago with two families worshiping in an apartment.
The congregation has grown to about 180 souls and shares a building with the English-speaking Silver Spring church.
Although the groups meet separately for worship, they comprise one body, and a Hispanic member was added to the eldership, Pacheco said.
Through a project dubbed “Sole to Soul,” the 10th and Grant Street Church of Christ collects “gently used but still wearable” shoes.

The 45-member congregation gave away 150 pairs at a recent giveaway and has collected 250 additional pairs for an upcoming distribution, member Linda Lindell said.


RALEIGH — For years, the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ has hosted a spring carnival for children with special needs and their families.
OLDHAMNow, the church organizes a separate yearly resource fair for the special-needs community.

“Since the carnival is a day of fun, and children would be pulling at their parents/caregivers to let them go to a bounce house or get their face painted … we knew we needed a separate event to allow these families access to resources that they are so desperately looking for,” said Melinda Oldham, who coordinates the church’s special-needs ministry.
For more information, see www.specialatbrooks.org. OKLAHOMA

Small churches can do big things, Cougan Collins says.
Collins, minister for the 70-member Lone Grove Church of Christ, has recorded dozens of sermons and devotionals for the church’s website.
“Though this is a smaller congregation with a limited budget, we are making a difference in the Kingdom that reaches well beyond our community,” Collins said.
For more information, see lgchurchofchrist.com/videos.
Flood victims received free food, water and mattresses from Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort after recent flooding. The items were distributed through the Montwood Church of Christ

KERRVILLE — “Operation Starkey” is a mentoring ministry started by the Riverside Church of Christ at Starkey Elementary School, a quarter-mile south of the church building.
The church offers after-school tutoring and recently hosted a lunch for Starkey teachers, minister Jacob Hawk said.
“We plan to host a Thanksgiving meal at our campus for underprivileged families as well as a Christmas adoption program where Riverside families will ‘adopt’ underprivileged Starkey families,” Hawk said. “We also plan to contribute coats, shoes, etc., as needs arise for students who need financial assistance.”

Filed under: National News

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