Where to begin? In choosing to be a missional church without borders- First Christian of Kennett is a hard congregation to nail down when trying to determine the types and numbers of mission projects that they are engaged in. That being said, that doesn’t mean that they are not fully engaged- because they are. However, by choice- they have chosen a path less focused on specific projects- earmarked and done annually; and more directed on meaningful service in the community- in whatever way that should be manifested.
One such community based organization that they are currently working in partnership with is Helping Hands. It is a group administered by the local Ministerial Alliance. They provide emergency food boxes, clothing, housewares, and other items to families in need. One of the food items most requested by the director of Helping Hands has been- a continuous need for peanut butter. Thus, in the month of December 2017 alone, First Christian Church collected over 130 jars of peanut butter and 40 boxes of crackers. The church is doing the same this month (January 2018), along with its monthly financial commitment to the organization. One person at Helping Hands has affectionately called First Christian “the peanut butter Church.”
Another organization the Church has partnered with is The Delta Children’s Home- which operates two foster homes in Kennett and which has been changing the lives of children in Southeast Missouri for many years. Back in October of last year, the youth created a piece of art which was auctioned at their Delta Children’s Home Bake Sale and Auction. A month later, the Church women collected crib sheets for the same group.
And in cooperation with the local high school, the Church has been a regular supplier of toiletry items for a project called “Indian In-N-Out,” which allows students come and take whatever they need from a caring cabinet, without the embarrassment of having to tell others about their predicament and enable them to focus on their studies.
As was said earlier- where to begin! Over the last several months- First Christian of Kennett have helped both financially and materially to NightLight, which addresses the issue of commercial sexual exploitation- especially in the Tri-Lakes area; a Chemo Care-Kit Drive (the collection of fuzzy socks for those individuals undergoing chemotherapy); collecting baby supplies (diapers and baby wipes) for Virgie’s Place- a community based organization helping new mothers; conducted a Children’s Sabbath worship service- conducted by the youth of the Church (centered on empowering young people), varied Christmas outreach endeavors as well as….countless other projects both locally and beyond.
In 2017, the First Christian Church also saw its giving to denominational special offerings- Week of Compassion, Pentecost, Reconciliation, and Christmas grow dramatically- in many cases, more than 100 percent. One of the things shared by many of the Church’s members- is the fact that the greatest percentage of mission dollars, donated for mission is used for mission by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Our national organization already has the infrastructure to both administrate and distribute, and doesn’t spend a large amounts of mission dollars for the advertisement of mission programs.
Sometimes, at First Christian they can say "we sometimes know what God is like" ....in seeing the Good News…..of lives being changed through mission…God mission.
Please check the following web-link for additional information:http://www.kennettchristianchurch.org/outreach.html
Thanks to Interim Pastor Rev. Jim Wilson
for this story and photos.
Edited from original version 1/22 8:40pm.