The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, November 18, 2013

Regional Churches Doing Much to Help Communities: The Five Minute Response

Yesterday afternoon, while the Eagles trounced the Redskins on the football field, regional American Baptist Churches USA church leaders met to discuss what they were doing in their communities. It was inspirational. In these times when some feel churches don't do much other than scold others and that their influence is in decline (sadly true for many churches), these dedicated leaders and some of their most active members present spoke of another story. Among the accomplishments being made in local communities and elsewhere were:

  1. Support for local food banks helping those in need get enough to eat in their community. This included in one case creating raised bed gardens on the church property to provide fresh vegetables for the food bank. Keeping a jar available in the church for random cash donations allowed this church to, when it was their turn to distribute food gathered, put a chicken in each bag for a struggling family. This is on top of their regular donation box, which regularly fills with non-perishable food stuffs for those facing food insecurity ... of which there are far too many in this, one of the purported wealthiest nations on earth. 
  2. A variety of support and education programs aimed at addressing poverty in another community. Education is an important component in any program moving forward. Education for those who wish to help and for those who need help.
  3. Prison ministries providing ministers and Bibles in prison situations. They do more than you might imagine. 
  4. Support for the immigrant community in a former industrial town whose members are struggling to make ends meet on minimum wage (or less) and who face many trials and tribulations among us. One dedicated couple, both ministers in their 80s, spearhead this program. The gathered churches gave them a considerable gift of financial support for their vital ministries. 
  5. Youth and adult mission trips to the New Jersey shore and to Haiti to help with storm ravaged communities. 
  6. Finally, as my 5 minutes are up, outreach into communities through the combined efforts of many religious leaders and churches of different denominations and faiths. Joining hands they accomplish much more than a single church working alone.
There are more projects than I can mention here. It was inspirational. I was glad to see so much was being done behind the scenes, good works Jesus calls us to do that never make it into the news. 

That's the five minute response.

No comments: