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Across the nation – January 2005

The Monette church hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner at no charge to its community. About 275 meals were served, representing about one-fourth of the town’s population, said Larry Woodward, minister.
Almost every church member helped with the meal, Woodward said.
Meals were also served to shut-ins and taken to the work place of those who worked on the holiday.
Nine women from the Culver Palms church attended the fifth Women’s Silent Retreat Dec. 3-5 at the 100-year-old Saint Mary’s Retreat Center, Santa Barbara, said Vicenta Jacobs, organizer.
Following a devotional after arriving, the women “go into silence,” Jacobs said. The silence is broken at a Sunday communion service and celebratory meal.
“Participants share what God has revealed over the weekend,” Jacobs said. “Some women are not ready to speak yet, and don’t.”
In a Nov. 1 letter, leaders of the Port Charlotte congregation thanked those who sent help after Hurricane Charley.
Members of the church provided free meals, distributed foo d and supplies and went door-to-door to find those needing help. Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort sent four truckloads of supplies.
“Who would have thought our congregation of 120 could distribute more than $600,000 in free groceries?” leaders Brice Dixon, Paul Dutile and Bennett Pendergrass said.
The 150-member Derby congregation marked its 50th anniversary Dec. 5, said John Adams, elder.
Adams said the church, founded because the nearest church was in Wichita, 10 miles away, is active in its community of 19,000.
A Kids for Christ group meets on Sunday nights, a VIP organization for older members meets periodically, and Bible studies take place on Wednesday mornings and Tuesday evenings.
Also, the church supports a native minister in Kenya, Adams said.
More than 250 people attended the 58th Mid-Atlantic Fellowship Nov. 13 at the Beltway church, said Larry Mack, director, and a Beltway deacon.
The Prince George’s church, Mitchellville, co-sponsored the event on “From Relationships to Stewardship.”
The event was multi-cultural with Anglos, African Americans and Hispanics attending the meeting, Mack said.
Richard Barclay and Carl Brecheen spoke. The event addressed the need for Christians to form relationships with non-Christians, teach them and guide them into Christian maturity and stewardship.
The 250-member Central church burned the note to its new building on Nov. 7. Arvil Hill, former minister for the congregation, preached a weekend revival in conjunction with the event, said Pat Casey, pulpit minister.
In recent months, the church bought additional property and started a Children’s Bible Hour and Joy Bus ministry.
More than 170 people from several Christian faith groups attended an a cappella Thanksgiving Eve worship Now. 24 hosted by the Collingswood church, said Mark Finn, minister.
Collingswood invited those churches whose ministers are in the Ministerium, a local ministerial alliance.
Finn, a Ministerium member, said participation gives him insight into the community’s schools, officials and events.
The service took place in Collingswood’s new 250-seat building, which was dedicated in September. The congregation has about 140 members, Finn said.
A special drive to reduce the debt of the Madison church resulted in contributions of $367,000 on Nov. 14.
The drive, called “Sock IT Away,” began with each member receiving one white sock in February, which was to be filled with “a real sacrificial gift,” said Bruce White, pulpit minister.
The church’s annual Thanksgiving contribution in mid-November was paired with the special debt-reduction drive. On Nov. 14 members wore white socks to the morning service and brought tier socks filled with contributions, White said.
Members based the drive on White, who always wears white socks.
The Dallas Morning News highlighted “Big Time,” a new children’s ministry program at the Farmers Branch church in its Nov. 19 edition.
“Big Time” is a 45-minute session between the church’s two Sunday morning services for preschool and elementary children and parents.
The programs include songs, videos, skits, Bible stories and discussions between the host and the children to reinforce the theme of the day’s lesson, said Eddie Plemmons, Farmers Branch children’s minister.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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