Two churches of the Covenant Brethren family recently participated in some unique ministries that may be something your church would want to consider for your community. The first was started by the Brick Covenant Brethren Church in 2013 as a brain child of their youth group. It is a ministry to honor the veterans of their community with a Veteran’s Day Dinner. While Brethren do not honor war, we do realize there are those who deserve our respect for their sacrifice. To this end the Brick Church decided to reach out to the veterans of the Petersburg, Maysville, WV area and let them know their service was appreciated by providing them with a wonderful dinner at their church. Each vet signs in and identifies the branch they served in. veterans become aware of the event, many traveling in from out of the area to attend. The youth of the church help to serve the veterans who attend and supply them with a take home box and card at the end, giving them an opportunity to show respect and appreciation to these vets. This ministry has given the church an opportunity to reach out to individuals around their church that may not attend services anywhere and offer them God’s love, showing them the church cares about them because God loves them.
The second church to share a ministry idea was the Brake Covenant Brethren Church. This church started a ministry to the poor and hungry of its community that takes place every “Trick or Treat” night. This program started about 20 years ago when the Jr. Youth of the church wanted to do something on that night besides dress up and go “Trick or Treating”. They decided to put an add in the local paper letting people know that the youth of the church would be coming to their doors not to collect candy but to collect non-perishable food for the local food pantry. This expanded to include the Sr. youth and eventually youth from other churches joined in. Not only did have the youth been able to collect thousands of pounds of food over the years, (this year alone, they collected 1000 pounds) but the kids still managed to get some candy in the process. The program expanded to a service project of Camp Galilee, the camp Brake’s youth attend. They too have collected thousands of pounds of food for the Kingwood, WV food pantry going door to door in pairs of two. People seem generally glad to help out this way and are encouraged to see youth out doing something to help the people of their community. This is a ministry Brake Covenant Brethren has become known for within their community. It has raised awareness that this is a church that cares about others while including youth in ministry. The local school even counts this as acceptable credit hours for student community service requirements.
There are people all around our churches that we need to find a way to reach out to and let them know of the love of God that we have so freely partaken of in our own lives. These are but a couple of ideas. Your church may have another idea you are using you and want to share. If so please send them with any pictures you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to share them.
Craig Howard – Structural and Regional Development Committee