Why children’s homes matter to this editor
ORLANDO, Fla. — Children’s homes hold a special place in…
‘We sure could use a little good news today,” Anne Murray sang in a No. 1 country hit in 1983.
Nearly four decades later, negative headlines abound: Mass shootings. The war in Ukraine. Church closings.
Even when the news is bad, The Christian Chronicle strives to highlight Christians living out their faith in inspiring ways, as you’ll notice turning the pages of this month’s edition.
Still, to quote Murray, “One more sad story’s one more than I can stand.” So I asked fellow Christians to share a little good news:
• The Wetzel Road Church of Christ in Liverpool, N.Y., is celebrating two baptisms, minister and elder David Owens said, and welcoming a mission group from the Stillwater Church of Christ in Oklahoma.
• The West-Ark Church of Christ in Fort Smith, Ark., is organizing its first Vacation Bible School for people with special needs, member Jordon Brown said.
In 2017, I covered that church’s “Night to Shine” prom for God’s children with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs.
• The Oxford and Rivers Hill congregations — both in Oxford, Miss. — are collaborating with an organization called RIP Medical Debt. The goal: “to raise $5,000 to relieve half a million in medical debt” for people in three area counties.
“If we can raise $10,000, we can alleviate a million in debt.”
“If we can raise $10,000, we can alleviate a million in debt,” said Les Ferguson Jr., the Oxford church’s preaching minister.
• The Creekside Church of Christ in Greenville, Texas, is hosting its annual First Responders Appreciation Lunch.
“This event is special because it invites the community into our building,” said Michelle Gilbert, one of the coordinators. “It’s truly an intergenerational program.”
• The Matsudo Church of Christ in Japan is adding an English-speaking service, said Leslie Taylor, a missionary with his wife, Sara.
“We’re able to do it because a Japanese-American who was baptized in January has joined and because his girlfriend from Lithuania, who is a Christian, is moving here,” Taylor said. “For a little church that has been here for 60 years, that’s big news.”
• The Ventura Church of Christ in California is bouncing back after a pandemic downturn. “New people are coming to church, calling our church their home and getting baptized,” minister Andrew Hill said.
• Speaking of COVID-19, the North Tuscaloosa Church of Christ in Alabama is praising God for the recovery of member Danny Mills. The husband of Heather and father of five “finally left the hospital after 330 days and a lung transplant,” said Calvin Cockrell, the church’s young adults minister.
• For the first time in three years, the Soldier Creek Church of Christ in Piedmont, Okla., made its annual mission trip to the Navajo Nation, minister Ken Richter said. The youth group worked with the Fort Defiance Church of Christ in Arizona, where Terry Laurence preaches.
“The reservation has stricter COVID rules, and we still had to do all of Vacation Bible School outdoors,” Richter said. “We also had a day of cutting wood in the forest, as many elderly Navajos still heat with log fires.”
• The McDermott Road Church of Christ in Plano, Texas, is sending Caleb Kirkwood to Estonia to work with Camp Balchyoca (Baltic Christian Youth Camp). Kirkwood is a resident director at Oklahoma Christian University.
“This is his third year and probably McDermott’s 10th year to work with the congregation in Tallinn, Estonia,” said Lisa Kirkwood, Caleb’s mother.
• The Rochester Church of Christ in Minnesota is making “birthing packs” for women in Malawi, said Patti Sikes, wife of minister Steve Sikes.
Last year, a woman from Malawi began studying with the church — best known for its Hands of Compassion ministry for Mayo Clinic patients. “We are now ministering to women from Malawi in many different ways and offer a class called ‘WOW! Women Opening the Word — Bible 101,’” Patti Sikes said.
• John Walker Moore, minister for the East End Church of Christ in East Hampton, N.Y., said, “The little congregation I serve has already given a significant sum to Ukrainian refugee work, is deciding on a gift to a Ugandan orphanage/school and will, of course, soon be seeking another country designated with the lead letter ‘U.’”
• The Collegeside Church of Christ in Cookeville, Tenn., is launching a ministry training camp to model vocational ministry. “This will be in the same vein as the Preacher’s Training Camp at the Pennington Bend Church of Christ in Nashville that took place for many years,” minister John Nichols said.
• Charlie Johanson, minister for the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ in Austin, Texas, said, “The Spirit has been actively leading us to make connections with a local elementary school and serve the surrounding community in new and fresh ways. God is on the move. We are trying to keep up.”
On a personal note, my 1-year-old granddaughter, Norah, just took her first steps. My grandson, Bennett, almost 4, just played his first T-ball game and said a really sweet prayer at breakfast the other day.
BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].
Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.
Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.