RCC team at work on a Service Project Sunday.
By Carl Stagner
“In the beginning was the Word, as the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 NIV). Community was whole and pristine, at the beginning, in the Garden of Eden. But the thief, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), did exactly that. Community was ruptured between humanity and God, and between one another. Since the Fall, God has been working to restore that community, to bring people back to himself. Did you know he’s chosen to use you and me to accomplish the task? But we’ve lost our sense of community, downplayed the power of presence, and ignored the methods of Jesus. Our neighbors are crying out for hope all around us, we hear their voices, but we’d prefer to write a check to the nearest charity. We don’t want to get our hands dirty. In contrast, Roosevelt Community Church, a modest-size Church of God congregation in Bellingham, Washington, is taking back what hell has stolen and destroyed in their neighborhood. They’re boldly giving life where the enemy of our souls has snatched it away, simply by being in, for, and with their community. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Western
Tagged Bellingham, community, community toy store, homeless, homelessness, incarnational ministry, Inner city, inner-city ministry, kindness, Kurt Ingram, missional, neighborhood, neighborhood ministries, neighborly, neighbors, next-door, Northwest, outreach, PNA, poor, poverty, relationships, Roosevelt Community Church, service project, urban, WA, Washington, Washington state
Pastor Eric knows by name many who attend Jackets for Jesus.
By Carl Stagner
Sometimes we’re compelled to offer the spare change from the car console, though our default response might be to look the other way. Homeless people are a part of our towns and cities, yet even the Christian community too often turns a blind eye. Everybody’s encountered a homeless person at some point in life, but few choose to respond. Fear isn’t always the cause; it’s often simple lack of know-how. How do God’s people effectively minister to those who don’t have a place to lay their heads at night? Pastor Eric Denton and Central Community Christian Fellowship, a Church of God congregation in Riverside, California, wholeheartedly embraces Jesus’ command to love “the least of these.” Perhaps that’s why they’re willing to hang out on the streets of downtown Los Angeles every Sunday night. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged CA, California, Central Community Christian Fellowship, Christmas, community, Eric Denton, gentrification, homeless, homelessness, Jackets for Jesus, meal delivery, outreach, poverty, Riverside, servanthood, soup kitchen, Southern California, Thanksgiving, urban, volunteerism, Volunteers
Photo: Bound members at Art in the Park, Atlanta.
By Carl Stagner
Some students gather to play chess, raise support for sports programs, or promote social activities and events. Bound is different. The Anderson University student-run, extra-curricular group has sought to put a dent in the epidemic of trafficking since the 2011-2012 school year. Started by now-Global Strategy missionary to Germany, Audrey Weiger, the group was actively championing the cause for freedom before CHOG TraffickLight came on the scene. From raising awareness to raising dollars, Bound is offering more and more hands-on assistance for Stripped Love in central Indiana. Not content to simply read or hear about what God is accomplishing in the work beyond Indiana, the group recently took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to experience Church on the Street firsthand. It was an experience they’ll never forget. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, CHOG TraffickLight
Tagged Anderson University, Atlanta, Bound, CHOG TraffickLight, Church on the Street, drug abuse, Georgia, groups, homelessness, human trafficking, Merissa Milnickel, poverty, sex trafficking, Stripped Love, students, trips, urban