Across the nation: Retired tracts master
The Davis Park Community Response Team, a ministry of the Davis Park church, helped the American Red Cross open six cooling centers during a recent heat wave. The team helped run the centers and serve snacks, ice and drinks, mostly to poor families and senior citizens.
“The team was able to live out Jesus’ words,” organizer Buddy Gray said. “People needed a drink of water, and we gave them one. People needed a place of shelter, and we were able to provide.”
Want to be an aggressive evangelizer?
How about ordering Church of Christ checks? Or what about distributing church business cards with an invitation to worship? Northside church senior minister Charlie McClendon is encouraging members at his congregation to try both techniques.
Vacation Bible School at the Northlake church was more like a “Pioneer Revival.”
Children’s minister Ike Reeser developed a VBS that focused on the Stone-Campbell movement. He created learning centers that helped give the children a glimpse of pioneer life, including a grist mill, kitchen, garden, school, doctor’s office and general store. Students also were introduced to key figures in the Restoration Movement, including Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone.
Ron Fairchild, a deacon at the Westminster church and executive director of the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, created Summer Learning Day three years ago on the second Thursday of each July.
“It has caught on and is now being observed in about 20 states and is being proposed as a national Summer Learning Day by two U.S. senators,” Westminister minister Gary Pearson said. CNN, NBC and several major newspapers interviewed Fairchild about the proposal.
The youth group and parents at the Livonia church met recently with Stacy Laho, whose young son, Cody, died four years ago, to discuss how to minister to the family of John Bowden, 16. Bowden, a member with no known health problems, died suddenly at a soccer camp July 26.
“We can’t help wondering what sense this makes,” youth minister Mark Phelps wrote in an online tribute to Bowden. “We’re not privileged to exactly how your sudden departure figures into God’s plan. We’re left to make of it what we can. May God grant us grace.”
The Collingswood church offered a “Summer of Fun!” on Wednesday nights, featuring “Superhero Sightings” for children, games, songs and an adult class.
Moon Bounce Night, Parachute Night, Craft Night, Ice Cream/Water Night, Race Car Night and Animal Night were among the weekly themes.
Minister Mark Finn said the idea was to spread a Vacation Bible School-style format over 10 Wednesday nights.
“We have visitors from the community. The kids love it,” he said. “The challenge is logistics. … During summer, key volunteers are out of town.”
“Calling All Tribes to Independence in Christ” was a theme of the Church of Christ Youth Day at the Choctaw Council House Grounds on July 29. Thirty-six teenagers attended, said Randy Gray, a minister at the Clayton church.
With the appointment of additional elders this summer, the White Station church has a 47-year age span from its oldest elder to the youngest. The 17 elders represent the G.I. Generation, the Silent Generation, the Boomer Generation and Generation X.
“Each generation brings its own unique strengths, and each generation responds to the weaknesses it perceives in the immediately preceding generation,” said Jonathan Camp, a White Station member studying the congregation’s generational pattern. “This means that the White Station eldership will provide a striking balance as it seeks God’s vision for the future of this family.”
How can you turn evangelistic conversations into a real Bible study in which you can share your faith? More than 250 Waterview church members recently signed up for training in evangelism to help answer that question.
Teenagers from the Lakeview, Orchard Street and Federal Way churches raised money through car washes, yard sales and a fellowship fund-raising luncheon to go to New Orleans and help with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. In a nearly two-week trip, 60 teens helped clear debris and tear down severely damaged houses. They returned Aug. 5.
Sept. 1, 2006