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Across the Nation: Special-needs camp, church growth workshop 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)

Chickens, dogs, goats and rabbits, oh my!Adrein Ricci, 2, checks out the chickens at a Forever His ministry day camp sponsored by the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, Tenn.

Chickens, dogs, goats and rabbits, oh my!

More than 100 volunteers gathered to love and minister to the campers, said Kim Higginbotham, an organizer of the recent event for children with special needs.

“With the theme ‘Down on the Farm,’ we had a member bring several live animals for the kids to see and touch,” Higginbotham said.

The animals included chickens, dogs, a miniature horse, goats and rabbits.

Spotlight

‘Revive Us Again,’ workshop urgesMore than 500 Christians from eight states attended the recent “Revive Us Again” church growth and evangelism workshop, hosted by the Faith Village Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Home Mission, a domestic mission effort directed by John Orr and a team of evangelists, sponsored the four-day workshop.

Jason Hawk

Attendees “devoted their week to discussing ways to grow the church in America,” said Faith Village minister Jacob Hawk, who with Orr directed the workshop.

Among the topics addressed were ministering to millennials, evangelizing through listening, community outreach programs, technology and how to begin, continue and finish Bible studies.

Hawk moderated a panel of church leaders each afternoon, addressing key issues such as social justice and racial unity.

A Friday night barbecue dinner cooked by Faith Village volunteers drew more than 400 people.

A Saturday youth day involved groups from Texas and Oklahoma, and children’s classes and programs were also offered each day.

“Revive Us Again strives to encourage and equip churches for the glory of God,” said Hawk, noting that the Faith Village church plans to make the workshop an annual event.

Children perform a biblical skit during the “Revive Us Again” worshop.

Children perform a biblical skit during the “Revive Us Again” worshop.

Quick takes

CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES — The Culver Palms Church of Christ, a congregation known for its ethnic diversity, is marking its 75th anniversary.

On a recent Sunday, 332 people worshiped and celebrated how God has worked in and through the church, minister Mark Manassee said.

The service was led by former ministers Doug Cole, Dan Knight, David Skates and Matt Soper, along with Manassee and the congregation’s Chinese minister, Shifan Man.

Amy Bost Henegar reflected on growing up at Culver Palms, and Eleni Melirrytos, one of the church’s Greek ministry partners,  prepared — with a team of helpers — a feast of Greek dishes and recipes she learned from refugees.

The Culver Palms Church of Christ gathers for a group photo as the congregation marks its 75th anniversary.

The Culver Palms Church of Christ gathers for a group photo as the congregation marks its 75th anniversary.

FLORIDA

ROCKLEDGE — The predominantly white Rockledge Church of Christ and the predominantly black Fiske Boulevard Church of Christ worshiped together on a recent Sunday night.

“It was important … to show our community that Christians in the Lord’s church are united regardless of skin color or politics or opinions.”

The congregations, about 2.5 miles apart, conduct joint worship assemblies once a quarter.

The unity effort began with a call by Rockledge minister Kerry Burkey to the other church.

“I thought it was important for the two churches to show our community that Christians in the Lord’s church are united regardless of skin color or politics or opinions,” Burkey said.

Randy Cole Sims Sr. serves as minister for the Fiske Boulevard congregation.

Rockledge minister Kerry Burkey and Fiske Boulevard minister Randy Cole Sims Sr.

Rockledge minister Kerry Burkey and Fiske Boulevard minister Randy Cole Sims Sr.

MICHIGAN

FLINT — Steve Cunningham, minister for the Bristol Road Church of Christ, helped organize a recent community “prayer tour.”

The tour coincided with the National Day of Prayer.

“Along the way, we’ll be asking people to pray over specific areas of Flint,” Cunningham told ABC 12 News, mentioning the police department, public schools, addiction recovery centers, homeless shelters and community outreach charities.

OKLAHOMA

WOODWARD — The Woodward Church of Christ is helping with disaster relief after recent wildfires in northwest Oklahoma.

The church hosted a dinner and informational meeting on how to help victims work through insurance claims and questions, minister David Heflin said. The families who attended were given Wal-Mart gift cards.

In addition, the congregation is directing special financial assistance to five families in the community, Heflin said.

“It is our hope … that we will be able to build long-lasting relationships and make a difference spiritually in their lives while helping them get back on their feet,” he said.


Seaman 1st Class Henry Glenn Tipton

Seaman 1st Class Henry Glenn Tipton

Quote of the month

“I believe all prayers are answered. Thankfully, most don’t take 76 years before the answer comes.” — Ken Tipton, on the decades that his family prayed for his brother — a Church of Christ member killed when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor — to be identified. Read the full story.

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