Tag Archives: Serena Ellens

California Pastor Operates ‘Hospital’ for Those Hurt by the Church

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By Serena Ellens

“Everyone who comes to the center is a broken believer. Most of them quit the church, caught in one church fight or another, and hurt by the results. This was their church, and was supposed to be the body of Christ. Everyone who comes here wants a relationship with God, but doesn’t want the church anymore.” These words, from Pastor Daniel Steigman of the Believer’s Spiritual Recovery Center in Corning, California, epitomize one of the greatest struggles the church has ever faced. How can we reach those who have been hurt by the church, and no longer trust in this essential community of believers? Continue reading

Urban Missions: Ohio Church Buys Two Inner-City Homes, Commissions Residents

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By Serena Ellens

What does it mean to be a missionary on the home front—on our very own American soil? The church often hears about missionaries that travel to exotic locations and third-world countries to spread the gospel. While their work is absolutely vital, sometimes we as Christians in the United States forget the importance of mission work in our own nation. As present trials continue to ravage the country and draw people farther and farther away from the church, the emphasis on home missions is becoming increasingly imperative in our efforts to spread the hope of Christ. Continue reading

Joy Comes in the Mourning: Houston Church Finds Hope Amid Loss

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By Serena Ellens

“…The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21 NKJV). Often cited in times of trial or difficulty, these famous words perfectly embody the attitude of Houston First Church of God during the past few months. The trials began with severe flooding in the church, which was due to the heavy rainfall and resulting damaged drainage pipe that burst in the roof above the youth room. Filling the church with one to three inches of standing water, the flood damaged numerous areas of the building and required that much of it be gutted and completely redone (drywall and insulation included).

Then the church was struck again, this time with the traumatic and sudden loss of their lead pastor, John Miller. After suffering a stroke on June 2, Miller passed away a few days later, leaving his congregation behind while he went to be with the Lord. Continue reading

The ‘Art’ of Reconciliation: Church on the Street Gives Garbage a Second Chance

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By Serena Ellens

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” or so the ancient saying goes. But realistically speaking, how often is trash literally collected, repurposed, and beautified into a stunning new creation? Meet “The Art of Reconciliation,” a new art project recently designed by the Church on the Street ministry based in Atlanta, Georgia. Continue reading

The Empty Pew Project

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By Serena Ellens

The Empty Pew Project, a new ministry opportunity developed by North Avenue Church of God in Battle Creek, Michigan, was created to give members the opportunity to serve in their community instead of simply sitting in church every week. The Empty Pew Project defied the negative connotations associated with empty pews and instead transformed this negative image into an incredibly positive and engaging ministry event. Continue reading