Grace Church, Pasadena, is helping the needy in Anne Arundel County by providing food to the North County Emergency Outreach Network (NCEON). A local grocery store donated bags to the church and members distributed them throughout the community asking neighbors to fill them with non-perishables to be picked up later in the month.
New Hope Church, Baltimore, hosted the ABA annual meeting on Oct.12. The church set the hall up in café style with tablecloths on the round tables and baskets of treats. The New Hope praise team led the music and worship time. Director of Missions John Brittain shared highlights of the past year, rejoicing in what was and is and challenging church leaders to grasp what could be.
Brittain said the association is shifting from a church health to a missional church strategy. He introduced “God’s Plan for Sharing: Arundel,” the Association’s vision for using the SBC’s GPS initiative in and around Anne Arundel County. Brittain repeatedly used the phrase, “outside the walls” and continually encouraged churches to move through their churches to reach out to their communities and beyond.
Brittain also encouraged messengers to be trained as “yellow hats” in the SBC’s disaster relief ministry and to encourage other church members to also be trained and involved.
Kendall Miller, pastor of Weems Creek Church, was moderator for the meeting and led messengers through the business session.
Messengers and guests watched a video showing New Hope’s ministry and the church’s new plant in Curtis Bay. Brittain praised God and congratulated New Hope for their successful ministering in the area.
Messengers and guests gave over $300 to New Hope for Curtis Bay.
Middle River Church, Baltimore, had a note burning celebration on Oct. 25.
North Point Church, Dundalk, is preparing for the holiday season. They’ll have a Thanksgiving Praise service on Nov. 25 and their annual Christmas Cantata on Dec. 20 and a special concert by well-known singer/songwriter Bill Itzel on Dec. 27. All of the events begin at 7 p.m.
The church is still celebrating their summer successes. Members worked with a mission team from Stony Hill Church from North Carolina, through a partnership with Embrace Baltimore, to have backyard Bible clubs in the North Point Village neighborhood in Dundalk. Twenty-three children attended and several of the children accepted Christ. The mission team also helped promote VBS for the following week, which drew an average of 32 children each night. North Point members gave out 35 bags of school supplies on the last evening of the VBS to help needy children in the neighborhood. On closing night parents and friends attended a “Family Night,” which included snacks, refreshments and a performance by Christian children’s entertainer, “Apple John.”
Members of the North Carolina mission team also put a new roof on part of North Point Church and they installed ceiling fans and lights in the fellowship hall.
Salem Gospel Church ministers to many refugees from war-torn countries. Recently the church received over six families with more than twenty children who arrived from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The families lived in a refugee camp in Tanzania for more than seven years and were recently resettled in Baltimore. Adrian Ngudiankama, pastor of Salem Gospel Church, said the families need clothing, shoes and some household supplies. The church also needs volunteers to teach English and to help with after school care for the children. To volunteer or contribute to this ministry, contact Adrien N. Ngudiankama, at (240) 595-2127.
Woodbrook Church is ministering to the needy in a variety of ways. The church is hosting “Operation Joy” to benefit the Baltimore County Public School’s Office of Homeless Education program. Church members, friends and those in the church’s “Wee” School, Woodbrook’s preschool, are bringing new clothing, toys, gift cards, toiletries and other items to be distributed to the county homeless shelters. Church members are also collecting gently used blankets and winter clothing for needy people in the Appalachia area.
In an effort to raise awareness and money for world hunger, the church had a hunger banquet. Allison Stone, who coordinated the special lunch, said members and friends sacrificed what they would have spent going out to lunch and instead donated the funds to the Assistance Center of Towson Churches and to Heifer International.
Lunch featured meals of rice, beans and chicken. Throughout the afternoon there were tents set up with facts about organizations that dealt with hunger and poverty.
Blue Ridge Association
First Church, Frederick, partnered with a local elementary school in October to provide food to struggling families. They loaded backpacks with food needy kids could take home. The church also helped the school’s staff to provide gently used clothing to the families.
Church members worked to bless the staff by writing thank you notes to teachers and other school workers for the services they provide. On Oct. 31, members washed the school staff’s cars.
Delaware Association pastors and lay leaders met for the association’s annual meeting on Oct. 2, at First Southern Church, Dover.
The evening began with a picnic style dinner with sandwiches, salads, fruit and cupcakes. Afterwards, First Southern’s praise team led in worship. Clayton Clark was the moderator and introduced interim director of missions Mal Utleye.
Utleye said the association is continuing its search for a permanent director of missions. He also updated church leaders about the Association’s missions involvement in Moldova.
Blake Hardcastle, campus ministry director ministering at the University of Delaware, told messengers that students are not only growing, but also learning to disciple others.
Mitch Dowell, executive director of Embrace Wilmington, spoke of the wonders of light and challenged messengers to truly let their lights shine. Dowell encouraged church leaders to come and join in partnering with Embrace Wilmington, explaining that Embrace is seeking to come alongside the churches and help them and partner with them to advance Christ’s kingdom.
Messengers signed commitment forms to prayerfully commit “…under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to Embrace Wilmington and all those in the Delaware Association who might be touched by this ministry.”
Allen Memorial Church, Salisbury, will have a comedy night at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 featuring Christian comedian Michael Jr. The comedian has appeared on late night TV including “The Tonight Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Tickets are $12.50 and can be purchased at the church, Jack’s Religious Gift Shop or at The Gospel Store.
First Church, Cambridge, hosted “Fun in the fall for senior adults” last month featuring “The Marshmallow Quartet” and “Funny things happen to us on our way to heaven.”
Bethel Church, Ellicott City, will host the music group Calling Levi at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1.
Columbia Fellowship will partner with St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church to present “Communication Skills for Extraordinary Marriages” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1.
Mason Dixon Church, New Freedom, Pa., had a special men’s night last month. The guys enjoyed a dinner then heard guest speaker David Wheeler, professor of evangelism, student ministries and homiletics at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
Mid-Maryland Association has moved its office. Their new address is 1036 Circle Drive, Suite 104, Eldersburg, Md.
With the move, the association office will also become more virtual. The Association will still maintain a field office, but the ministerial staff will work from home offices, providing greater mobility and saving resources.
Kensington Church collected clothing to help tornado and flood victims in Burkino Faso.
Greenridge Church, Boyds, had a men’s sporting clay fun shoot last month for a time of fellowship and outreach. Participants each got fifty targets at ten stations. Afterwards they enjoyed “potbelly” sandwiches.
Church members participate in local missions each month by providing, preparing and serving dinners at the Frederick Rescue Mission.
Hughesville Church will have a fall festival and deacon chili cook-off on Nov. 1 at noon. The event will feature games, prizes, food and a chili contest. Admission is a canned good item for the church’s Thanksgiving baskets.
Lexington Park Church has self-defense classes for seniors. Those 55-years-old and older meet from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Thursdays. Students learn about financial fraud, online security, managing medications, emergency preparation and physical defense. The physical techniques are designed to help a victim escape and include such methods as striking using a claw hand to the eye or face or kicking to temporarily stun the attacker.
“The goal for the seniors’ classes is to improve personal safety through proactive strategies,” Darlene Gentry, a member of Lexington Park and the class instructor said. Gentry explained that seniors are often targeted for property crimes. They’re also at higher risk for injury during robberies.
Classes begin with prayer and members of the church’s women’s ministry, Women of Promise, are on hand to give encouragement and pray for those seeking extra help. Fellowship is a large part of the classes’ ministry as the participants get to know each other and share their experiences and fears.
Gentry teaches self-defense classes for all age groups throughout the year. Last summer she taught a class for a group of seven teens ready to go off to college.
“This is an opportunity to show the love of Christ by attending to this basic need,” Gentry explained.
Sometimes, she said, people come to the class after a traumatic event. Gentry remembers one woman who drove two hours to come to a class after she was robbed. Other students were attacked by boyfriends. Many victims are traumatized.
Gentry began teaching self-defense after one of her students in a Chemistry lab class at St. Mary’s College approached her for help after being date raped. Gentry found that these types of assaults were common on college campuses. She spoke with a counselor who advised Gentry to begin teaching some self-defense classes.
“I had been studying martial arts for a long time,” she said. “It was something I could do.” She developed the classes with the help of the counseling center and Maryland Coalition against Sexual Assault. Later, she became certified by RAD Systems, Rape Aggression Defense.
Gentry said the classes provide some assurance that students know people care about them and that they’re not alone.
Prince George’s Association
First Church, Crofton, is participating in an Angel Tree program, collecting Christmas gifts to be distributed to needy families through Christmas stores sponsored by Baptist Family & Children’s Services.
On Nov. 22, church families will bring their favorite foreign foods to an international missions potluck dinner. After dinner, there will be a presentation about the years’ past missions trips and the upcoming missions opportunities.
Kettering Church, Upper Marlboro, celebrated its 40th anniversary with revival services with guests David Keyser, pastor of Potter’s Place Christian Fellowship in Leonard and Reynold Carr, Prince George’s Association director of missions.
Bucas Sterling, III, pastor of Kettering brought the final message. The church also had a celebration concert featuring a variety of special musical guests.
First Church, North East, had an operation Christmas Child motorcycle rally last month with food, music, a silent auction and games for the family. The guest speaker was John Cook, Founder/Director of Indigenous Ministries International.
Church members and friends brought filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Children helped decorate and wrap the boxes, which will be sent to Samaritan’s Purse to be shipped to needy children around the world.
All the funds from the rally were sent to Operation Christmas Child. Shoeboxes will be dedicated on Nov. 15.
Oak Grove Church, Bel Air, had a family Olympics day with food and games such as “corn hole” toss, horseshoes, races, and more. Local businesses donated award prizes.
“The idea is for youth families to get together with other families for fun and support. We hope these events will eventually grow into a student ministry support structure for each other,” Ralph Batykefer, minister to students, said. Local businesses donated prizes.
Thomas Winborn is the new pastor of Welsh Memorial Church, Frostburg. He and his wife, Carol, moved to the area from Enterprise, Ala.
Second Church, Cumberland, will host an international mission study on Dec. 5.
Inner Harbor Ministry is preparing for its annual Thanksgiving Day feeding ministry. This year’s ministry is being organized so that volunteers have specific jobs including preparation, serving, cleaning-up, clothing disribution and other services. Churches and individuals that want to help should call Monica Good, (410) 978-7286 or Mark Good, (410) 292-1824.