Sermon Series for Mission in Mexico

Last month First Christian Church in Mexico started what will be one of 6 mission interviews throughout 2019.

We have six agencies in Mexico that I am interviewing during the sermon time. This past Sunday We interviewed Angel Wings Clothing Closet. Angel wings provide clothing for foster families at no cost. 

Jody Dishman runs the agency and she shared her story and how Angel Wings Works. At the end of the service we had several people sign up wanting to to attend a meeting to find out more about how our church can help.

The following are the questions we are asking each agency.

  • What is your Title? What Do you Do?

  • · How does the process work?

  • · Can you explain your call to do what you do?

  • · Blessings you have received AND been part of?

  • · If we give your group money what happens with it?

  • · How can we help in ways that do not involve money? What are more Hands on things you need help with?

To see Pastor Zane’s whole interview with Jody, please view the service recording on their Facebook page. The interview itself begins at about the 26 minute mark.

Thank you to Rev. Zane Whorton for this story.

Reaching Out - One Blanket at a Time

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Ladies from Community Christian Church in Manchester gathered Saturday, January 26 to cut and tie fleece blankets for Project Linus. Each blanket is generally made with 1 ½ to 2 yard pieces of coordinating fleece.  This service project began in January, 2011, when the ladies made nearly 40 blankets. 

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The project, held in January of each year, has resulted in nearly 300 blankets being made. Most of the blankets received by Project Linus go to St. Louis area hospitals.  We hope they bring peace and comfort to those who receive them. 

Thank you to Community CC’s Beth Bean
for this information and photos.

National Avenue CC Serves Its Community

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In the summer of 2017 a local Springfield congregation, Grace United Methodist Church, began looking for partners to help meet critical needs of friends and neighbors who were street-dependent. A local organization that had once served our friends and neighbors who are under resourced was no longer running, and the church realized there was an opportunity to serve the Springfield community. After some conversation with neighborhood churches, one National Avenue Christian Church member, Susan Wheeler learned that Grace was serving meals for the community on Wednesday nights.

NACC, along with other organizations in the community were looking to do the same thing Grace was already doing in their space, and after gauging interest from community partners, the meal offerings were expanded to three nights per week, with National Avenue Christian Church committing to feeding folks every Monday night.

One of the first questions NACC Justice Collaborative asks before beginning any project is: How is this project supporting long-term efforts to alleviate needs and create a systemic change? Several members of NACC were a part of serving meals at the now-defunct Bill’s Place on a weekly basis. They discovered that showing up for neighbors who are street dependent on a regular basis was one of the ways they felt they were following the way of Jesus. By setting the table and creating a space for people to come together, something incredible happened. At the table, people had the opportunity to get to know one another. The community at NACC was extremely responsive and excited to have an opportunity to work with other congregations and prepare the table on a weekly basis.  

This past Advent season, Susan noticed that Christmas Eve fell on a Monday, which gave her another idea: What if we invited the congregation to collect gift bags for our friends? What if we collected the most practical things we know our friends need and give those gifts this year?

For the entire month of December, the congregation brought socks, foot powder, band-aids, chocolate, and more. One member asked her Order of Eagles group to offer financial support to be sure we would have more than enough bags for each friend who would be with us on Christmas Eve. The Sunday before Christmas Eve, the children came together to help package 115 gift bags. 

There are still several systemic issues to address as we consider what contributes to food insecurity and homelessness. But by being at the table and developing relationships with our friends and neighbors, we are better equipped to do this work together. It builds bridges and creates community, one meal at a time.

Thank you to NACC’s Hayley Norton and pastors Jenn Simmons and
Kevin Cravens-Koch for this story and photo.

Columbia's Disciples on Campus Visit St. Louis

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Eleven members of the Disciples on Campus college group (a joint effort between Broadway Christian Church and First Christian Church in Columbia) ventured east on I-70 last week to serve God’s people in St. Louis, January 1-5. The Urban Mission Inn at Union Avenue Christian Church served as home base for the group and allowed for fun nights of games and prayer throughout the trip.  All of the mission work was done for Isaiah 58 Ministries, a non-profit agency that serves the needs of low-income individuals in the South St. Louis area and is based out of Compton Heights Christian Church. One of their largest services is a food pantry that provides healthy and fresh foods to members of the community. 

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During the mornings, DOC organized food donations that had accumulated throughout the holiday season into boxes that could be stored until needed and participated in the fresh Friday food distribution which served more than 50 individuals. In the afternoons, we took on a difficult task of repainting the hallway into a more user-friendly system that included stripes to direct customers to the Food Pantry, Fellowship Hall and the Thrift Store.

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As always, the evenings were filled with cooking dinner, playing games and hanging out as a group. They had a great time catching up on their college experiences and recounting fun memories from previous trips and camp.  

All of the projects were completed by the end of the day Friday, so Saturday morning we slept in and went to tour the gorgeous Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. By going on a trip during the first week of 2019, the group felt we were taking on the New Year with a fresh sense of gratitude and faith.  

By Julia Bower, DisciplesOnCampus (DOC),
Sophomore at The University of Missouri, Columbia

FCC Kennett Providing Comfort

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During the month of December, First Christian Church in Kennett held a drive for blankets and small heaters in partnership with Hope International. The items were delivered weekly to the organization with a total value over $700. These items are being shared with local households to provide a small bit of comfort and warmth during these winter temperatures. 

Thanks to Linda Thompson for sending
this information and photo.

Feeding Windsor

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When Melody Wilson of First Christian Church in Windsor read in their local newspaper last summer that anybody through age 18 could stop by the school at lunch time during the summer school weeks and receive a free meal, she knew that that was a great service to many who needed such assistance. She also realized, however, that others were hungry and that they all needed help beyond when summer school was in session.

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Soon the foursome of Melody, her husband Lynn, and pastor David Mills and his wife Deb got in touch with the school superintendent and with the congregation about launching a program to feed hungry people. Volunteers stepped up and members banded together to serve a total of 419 lunches over the Tuesdays and Fridays of the seven-week period last summer.

Of course those thirty people (on average) who were served on Tuesdays and Fridays need lunch on the other days as well. For next summer, the plan is to extend the program to serve lunch at the church every weekday. With the support of the local Ministerial Alliance, other congregations are getting involved and providing food and staff for the other days of the week.

This program now represents an official subcommittee of the church Outreach team and is making a big difference in this community!

Thanks very much to Melody Wilson for this information,
photos, and this wonderful ministry!

Annual Craft Fair

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On one December Saturday every year, Abbey Road Christian Church turns its welcoming hall and sanctuary into an international crafts market. The Cape Girardeau congregation partners with Plowsharing Crafts to share the stories and sell the handicrafts of artisans in over 40 countries, providing them with fair trade income that helps pay for food, education, health care, and housing.

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The sale is promoted with yard signs, social media, and old-fashioned button-holing of friends. A caravan of SUVs goes to Plowsharing Crafts’s brick-and-mortar store in St. Louis to load up with goods. Meanwhile, at the church, other members prepare racks and display tables. “It’s exciting to see a vibrant slice of the world in our sanctuary,” says the congregation’s interim minister Rev. Doug Job. This year’s will be ARCC’s seventh annual sale, so Cape holiday shoppers have come to look forward to it. Between six and eight thousand dollars have been raised with each market.

Saturday, December 8, from 8 am to 1 pm, the Plowsharing Crafts International Fair Trade Market will be open at 2411 Abbey Road, Cape Girardeau MO 63701. Please come “buy” if you’re in Cape!

Thanks to Rev. Doug Job for this information and photos.

Note: South Joplin CC will also be holding an Alternative Gift Fair Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

CRY Cabinet Meeting/Mission

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The Christian Regional Youth leadership team met in Marshall this past weekend. They spent Saturday evening in leadership development training and meetings, preparing for a brand-new winter event. After a few hours of rest, several members of the team remained to join Marshall First Christian Church in their semi-annual S.O.S. Sunday. A brief worship service takes place prior to church members conducting Service Outside the Sanctuary, doing construction, yard work, household maintenance, and delivering home cooked meals to the home bound. Although it was cold and rainy, it didn't stop the team from raking leaves and cleaning up an overgrown yard!

The regional youth team are excited to announce WINTER FEST, a weekend winter retreat for high school-aged youth on January 19-21st in Fulton, MO. Watch the Regional website for a flyer and registration information, coming soon.

Thanks to CRY Adult Leader Kris MIlliron
for this information and photos.

Youth of FCC Maryville Doing for Others

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For the past two years, a small group of the youth ministry mission team from First Christian Church in Maryville have traveled down to Perry, KS for two different week long service missions at the Alpha Christian Children’s Home. Alpha is a ministry that houses children in need and provides them an education on campus as well during their time at Alpha. Alpha is 100% privately funded and relies on the donations of churches and volunteer labor to keep the 170-acre property going for the children and staff who reside there.

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Our first summer visit was in July of 2017. Our team worked side by side with the VIM (Volunteers in Mission) to help rebuild the main staff house (it will also serve as respite care for the children) which had been destroyed in a fire from a lightning strike a couple of years prior to our visit. Our children were taught how to hang cement board siding, install windows and doors, put in flooring and walls, and run a variety of power tools necessary for the jobs. While there, we had the opportunity to share meals and games with the children and families of Alpha, as well as prayer for and with the mission director each night during devotion. Prior to our trip, the youth had also collected a van load of food and supplies donated from our church family and matched by the youth mission team. Over 100 items and $400 was given to Alpha as a result of their donation drive. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship and a life-long love for the ministry being provided at Alpha.  

Our second trip out was this past summer of 2018. This time we worked on gutting a few rooms in a house recently being renovated on the property for one of the school staff members. The mission team tore out an old fireplace, the bathroom, and flooring during the afternoon. The mornings were spent clearing out areas around the house outside. As part of the clearing job, the team took down play equipment and moved it near the school house.  They also disassembled a goat pin and then reassembled it at the main staff house as a dog pin. Again, we got the opportunity to share a meal and evening of water games with the families of Alpha. Prior to this trip, donations were once again gathered and a $1 per mile challenge completed allowing us to bring a large amount of supplies and over $300 to donate.

Submitted by Tana Wymer
Youth In Ministry Director
First Christian Church in Maryville

Clinton CC Making A Difference

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During the month of September the church family of Clinton Christian Church opened their hearts and their wallets and donated many needed items to the local animal shelter, Clinton Animal Rescue. Here in Clinton our pets are part of our family and we have big hearts for animals at the shelter. The items donated were : 190 pounds of dog food; 206 pounds of cat food; 11 bottles of laundry detergent; 5 bottles of unscented bleach; 3 boxes of dog treats; 8 feeding bowls; 10 leashes, and 2 dog toys. These items were presented to volunteers of the animal shelter at our annual Fall Fling Flea Market held in our parking lot on October 13th. We also donate a booth space to the animal shelter at our flea markets so they can show off some of their animals that are up for adoption. In the picture are two members of our Church in Society committee (the committee in charge of the outreach project), three volunteers from the animal shelter, and 2 of the dogs that are up for adoption.

The Bigger Picture

We have a Spring Fling Flea Market on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend and our Fall Fling Flea Market some Saturday in early October. We sell booth spaces for $20 and the money raised goes to the membership committee for any outreach they want to do.  Our CWF group has a concession stand at the flea market (biscuits and gravy and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch) to raise money for any outreach project they want to pursue. The flea market has been well received by the community. This past one we had 28 outside (the church) vendors participate. We will also have church members bring items to sell and the church has a booth; usually those monies go toward our youth program. We have been doing this for 3 years now.

The Church in Society Committee (CIS) has an outreach project most every month. We collected school supplies for Festival of Sharing and sent 72 school supply bags to Tipton. This month we are collecting 950 boxes of cake mix for the Samaritan Center, our local food pantry, for their Christmas Cheer project.  CIS is also hosting a Trivia Night on Friday, October 26th to raise funds to help buy books for the Clinton Elementary School kids. Last year we raised $1000 for this project with Trivia Night.

Thank you to Pastor Tim Wessley for this information and photo.

Older Adult Ministries Workshop at Millersburg CC

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The Rickman Legacy Leadership Grant is funding the second year of Older Adult Ministry training programs across our Region. Eighteen people representing seven congregations gathered at Millersburg CC in Fulton on September 30 to explore and discover biblical perspectives on aging, ways to manage change and loss, and to explore older adult ministry models. Bible passages and personal stories uncovered some ways our stereotypes about old age can limit our perspectives. We looked at the big picture and some of the details about changes in our outlook and abilities.

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Through a devotional and discussion mode, we reinforced our hopes and wishes for growing older with a focus on God and an attitude of flexibility. Affirming that we are all interdependent, we discussed how our congregations might recognize, develop, and cultivate programs especially for intergenerational groups or specifically for older adults.

After the program, a pastor offered, “Your talk inspired me to think about possibilities of tapping into my own background and gifts in this area of spirituality. Perhaps a community focus would bring in some of those unchurched Baby Boomers who are ‘spiritual but not religious.’”  

There is a final event this year in Mt. Vernon on October 27 from 9am to 1pm. The session is free but registration is required. For more information, contact Paul Koch paul.ccma@sbcglobal.net or Jan Aerie aeriej@gmail.com.

Thanks for Jan Aerie for this information. 

Racial Justice Summit 2018

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It was an eventful weekend at Webster Groves Christian Church where faithful and insightful, young and old came together for worship, education, and koinonia. 

WGCC and the Justice Ministries Team hosted a Racial Justice Summit on October 6th, consisting of expert panels, lively conversation, and brainstorming organizing efforts. Disciples members from across the Mid-America Region joined together at this Summit, in hopes to dismantle racism in their home communities and churches. Our Regional Ministers Paul Koch, Katrina Palan, and Penny Ross-Corona were all in attendance.

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The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, former General Minister and President, started off the weekend with an inspiring and captivating sermon based on Romans 8:37.  Three members of the Christian Regional Youth (CRY) Leadership Team led worship alongside our Disciples mentor. 

Two panels, comprised of organizational representatives leading efforts on the ground, shared their expertise, answered questions, and shared recommendations.  The Summit later offered participants the opportunity to split up into one of four different groups to discuss organizing voter education, PR/AR training, water clean-up in East St. Louis, and Prop. B canvassing. The Summit concluded with a worship led by a diverse team of ministers and youth. 

The CRY Leadership Team met into the wee hours of the night, planning to lead not only the CRY Festival 2019, but also a brand new Winter Retreat for high school youth, scheduled for over the 2018 Christmas break. 

On Sunday morning they helped lead worship at WGCC, where all were excited to welcome the Rev. Dr. Jeff Moore back from his three-month sabbatical.

A special thank you to the following leaders who made this weekend and the Racial Justice Summit a success:

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, former Gen. Minister & President
Rev. Dr. Jeff Moore, WGCC
Rev. Dr. Derrick Perkins, Centennial CC
Rev. Maureen Dickmann
Laura Barrett, Coalition Director of Raise Up Missouri
Tim Gibbons, Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker, NBA
Jamala Rogers, The Organization for Black Struggle
Qu'Naya Falls, Christian Regional Youth President, Marshall FCC
Khotso Moore, Christian Regional Youth Secretary, WGCC
Shelby Parrott, Christian Regional Youth Member, Brentwood CC
Carole Hughes, Youth Spiritual Mentor, WGCC
Hospitality Team of Centennial Christian Church
Staff Coordinator Matthew Capestro

Story and photos courtesy of CRY leader Kris Milliron of FCC Marshall.

Affton CC Mission at Fisher House

Affton Christian Church (ACC) has been providing a monthly meal to the St. Louis Fisher House since 2012.  The Fisher House is a non-profit organization that provides a place to stay for military families, so they can be close to a loved one during hospitalization.  Several years ago, a member of ACC received medical treatment out of state and their spouse stayed at a home like the Fisher House. The kindness expressed to them through the gift of a hot meal after a long day at the hospital was their inspiration to begin the Fisher House meal program.



Each month, church members sign up to bring an item on the menu or make a monetary contribution towards the meal. Food can be dropped off at church or brought to the Fisher House on the last Wednesday of each month, where they can also help to prepare, serve and eat a meal with the Fisher House residents. The meals are usually “comfort food” including entrees such as fried chicken, beef stew, chicken and dumplings, and sloppy joes. Of course, there are always wonderful desserts!

A special part of each evening spent at the Fisher House is sitting down to eat the meal with the residents. We get to hear their stories and fellowship together. Recently, a family with several children arrived at the Fisher House right as we were serving dinner. They had just driven in from Washington state. The father shared that his family would be staying for quite a while because his father-in-law had just entered hospice. They were happy to have a hot meal waiting for them after such a long drive. Several ACC members answered questions for them about the area and tried to make them feel at home.

There are several residents that receive monthly treatments at the VA hospital that schedule their appointments around our meals. It is a privilege to know them and catch up with them each time we get to see them.

We are very grateful that the Fisher House has allowed ACC to volunteer at their facility for so many years. It is a blessing to be the “Hands and Feet” of Christ in this small way.

Thanks to ACC’s Deidra Woods for this story and photos.

Don't Miss Ministries With and For Older Adults Programs

Choosing a priority of focus, balance and flexibility in our mission and ministry as care-ers is exemplified by an activity with feathers in a session last year.

Older adults have a lifetime of experiences to share. By working with older adults and enabling them to be advocates for their own successful aging, we all have much to gain. Mid-America Region’s training process identifies priority social issues for older adults, and offers a forum for these views to be a catalyst for service by congregations.

The Rickman Legacy Leadership Development Fund is providing funding for the second year of leadership training for churches across the Region who wish to address their older adult population with pro-active steps. Jan Aerie is leading programs this fall at three sites:

  • Millersburg Christian Church, September 30, worship at 10:30am and continuing 1 – 3 pm

  • Monroe City Christian Church, October 13, 10am – 3pm (note this time change from previous schedule)

  • First Christian Church, Mt Vernon, Oct 27, 9am - 1pm

Each of the sessions is unique, but all explore biblical perspectives on aging and ways congregations can minister with older adults.

Millersburg’s program will emphasize tips for managing personal loss and learning strategies for facing fears and anxiety. The second section is a discussion of ministry models for all congregation sizes.

Monroe City will emphasize caregiving and care-receiving of older adults, by discussing managing worries about aging parents, and balancing priorities in the family. Then intergenerational ministry models will be explored.

Mt Vernon will delve into ways to plan for individuals’ change and transitions, and how to become wise while sharing our life’s gifts. Steps in developing ministry models will also be discussed.

A participant in one of last year’s programs reported, “I learned about how to look beyond my limitations; and the importance of remaining flexible and focused.” A pastor reported, “Older adults struggle with changes when they feel they are not needed or included.” Program participants were empowered to advocate for older adults. They found their voice in conceiving of their church’s ministry outreach while affirming older adults’ challenges and joys. 

The events are free of charge to all congregations, but registration is required.

If you are interested in holding a program or have questions, contact
Paul Koch at: paulccma@sbcglobal.net or 636.221.7065
Or Jan Aerie, aeriej@gmail.com or 216.870.1557
Register online now.

Thanks to Jan Aerie for this information and photo.

Hope Hutch: Take What You Need - Give What You Can

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First Christian Church of Mt. Vernon has partnered with the Hope Hutch to help those in their community that need a little hand up. Started as a community effort this past May, the Hope Hutch is stocked with donated hygiene products and non-perishable food items. It is located on a corner of the church parking lot and is available to all.

Members of the congregation have embraced the project and decided to designate love offerings received in July to the effort. They collected and contributed over $2,100, as well as some of the items needed to stock the hutch.

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Pictured are organizers Dennis Rodgers, Brandy Jameson, and Holly Gaddy who made a presentation at the church inviting the congregation to participate in this simple, but so effective way to make a difference.

Thank you to FCC’s Sherry Curtis for
this information and photos.

Christian Discipleship in Ghana

Regional Minister Penny Ross-Corona recently participated in a Global Ministries pilgrimage to Ghana and South Africa. She was one of six Regional Ministers and two GM staff members to visit some of our ecumenical mission partners in these two countries. 

One such partner was the Christian Council of Ghana, which has established a wonderful ministry in a fishing village on the Atlantic coast outside the capital city of Accra.

In this village, fishing is the only way of producing food and income, and the culture is such that only men can fish.  If there is no man in the household (or if he is sick or disabled), there is no income to provide for the simplest survival needs of the women and children. 

So Global Ministries and the Christian Council of Ghana worked to economically empower these women and assisted them in starting up their own business. The women now have a system in place for buying fresh fish from the fishermen and then preserving the fish (through a drying and smoking process) in order to sell them at market for a small profit. 

The fish are dried on huge racks on the ground. Then a wood burning oven is used to smoke the fish. The women tend the fire on the ground under the oven, while the fish are smoked in racks on top. Then the preserved fish are packaged and sold. Profits are small during the fishing season, but much greater when the season is over.

The group asked the women (through an interpreter) what it is that makes them want to get up in the mornings. The reply was, “I want to get out of bed, because I now have my own business…I can now support myself and my children.”   

Thank you to Rev. Dr. Penny Ross-Corona for sharing this story of our connectedness through Global Ministries. Please remember in prayer former Transitional Regional Minister Larry Colvin and his wife Debbie, who will be starting their work in Ghana in just a few weeks.

Perry Christian Church Youth Stock Food Pantry

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On Sunday July 28th, a four part series centered on John 6:35 was begun at Perry Christian Church. The Young Disciples, during their message, were challenged to remember how many people in their own community lacked basic needs such as bread. Pastor Nancy gave each a paper bag with instructions to decorate as they saw fit and then solicit the congregation and their friends and neighbors for food items for the Perry Food Pantry, housed at First Baptist Church in Perry. On the 26th of August, the bags were delivered to the Food Pantry by the Young Disciples before their Sunday school classes. They were given a tour of the pantry and thanked for their gift of giving that would benefit many people in their community. After the Sunday morning service, everyone was invited to a pizza party in the church basement to celebrate the wonderful outreach of our young people. As you can see, much more food was collected than could fit into their artfully decorated bags! Thanks to these young servants of God! 

Thanks to Pastor Nancy Kellstrom for this story.

Back to School Party at Centennial CC

Centennial Christian Church in St. Louis recently held their 13th annual Back to School Party and it was quite an extravaganza! Completely free and open to the whole community, this event sends children back to school with supplies, medical care, and loving support from the congregation. Jennifer Randle is Centennial's Communications and Technology Ministry Chairperson, and shares this account of the day's activity.

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Our Outreach Ministry chairperson, Clint Potts and event chair, Jacqueline Dyer have worked tirelessly every year to make this a premiere event at Centennial Christian Church. They began months ago by soliciting donations from community partners and businesses and, while our members donate school supplies to put in the backpacks, we also accept donations for the bikes, gift cards and monetary gifts from community businesses. This is our 13th year providing backpacks and bicycles for children in our community as well as access to community vendors. Those vendors include Faith Communities United that provide HIV/AIDS testing, CHIPS which provides student physicals, Saint Louis Public Schools, St. Louis Public Library, Urban League Head Start, Sickle Cell Anemia Association and many more.  

Additionally, 131 book bags were given away, 11 HIV/AIDS tests were performed, and 19 children received physicals.  

Entertainment included music, horse and pony rides, games, magician, free snow cones and food. Additional giveaways included gift cards and six bicycles. 

 

FCC in Burlington Junction Provides School Supplies

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On Sunday, August 12 First Christian Church of Burlington Junction blessed the school supplies that they had collected for the West Nodaway Elementary School. For the third year in a row, one of their mission outreach projects has been to supply the school with all the crayons, colored pencils, and pencils they will need for the year.

Members are shown here reading scripture and praying over the 200 boxes of crayons, 65 boxes of colored pencils, and 2,700 pencils which will benefit about 150 students this year.

Thanks to pastor Terry Robison for this information and photos.

 

Ozark Christian Church 2018 Mission Trip

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What do you get when you combine a mission trip with a local destination, and throw in 32 Ozark Christian Church members physically participating at sometime over a three day period? A very successful and rewarding experience that crossed off every item on the lengthy “to do” list, and saw over 50% participation from the residents at the location. That is exactly what occurred when OCC members traveled the short distance to Freedom’s Rest Family Violence Center in Ozark, July 19-21.

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Each morning started with the group gathering at the church for a hearty breakfast prepared by the mission trip food crew, then journeying ten minutes up the road to begin the work day.  Work consisted of skilled construction labor, yard work, painting (inside and outside), cleaning, assembling furniture, hauling away trash, as well as many other tasks. The first two days were challenging due to the tremendous heat indexes, but everyone took breaks when needed, worked in the shade or indoors when available and focused on the reason for being there.  Lunch breaks back at the church were a good way to recharge for the afternoon (especially when the food crew brought out ice cream, fudgesicles, and popsicles).

The OCC team held an afternoon kid’s camp and separate women’s activities for the residents of Freedom’s Rest. The kids enjoyed three days of lessons, crafts, activities, snacks and of course, games, involving every imaginable form of water, because everyone wanted to get wet due to the heat. In the meantime, the ladies were bonding through testimonies, discussions, crafts, baking lessons and journaling lessons, in the cool air conditioning of the facility’s kitchen. Mission trip team participants outnumbered resident participants, so several team members continued with the physical labor in the afternoon, as well. All work was completed in time to gather back at the church for a delicious evening meal, as well as a devotion and discussion time.

The team hosted an onsite BBQ for the residents and staff on Saturday, as a special “thank you” for allowing the mission trip participants to be there for three straight days. After saying their goodbyes at the end of the day, the OCC team left with a sense of accomplishment from not only the completion of the items, but from relationships built, memories made and hearts touched. The first time participants, as well as the veteran mission trippers, also learned that being the hands and feet of Christ is extremely rewarding, no matter where the mission trip takes place.

Thanks to Marna Strahl for this story and photos.
In memory of Amy Johnson, Mission Trip 2018 Destination:Ozark participant.