September 26th, 2007 07:54 EST
Alliance Churches Impact U.S. Communities
Christian and Missionary Alliance congregations around the United States are taking new approaches to ministry, moving beyond just talking about Christ's love to actually showing it. Medford Neighborhood Church in Medford, Oregon; Crossroads Church in Perry, Iowa; New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Maywood, Illinois; and Acts 29 Fellowship in Hamtramck, Michigan, are causing their communities to take notice.
Medford Neighborhood Church hosted a "Meet and Greet Your Public Servants" night, featuring a free barbeque dinner. Pastor Lee Gregory described the event as a way of saying thank you to those who provide public services to the community. The mayor, city manager, sheriffs' deputies, and city council members attended, along with police, search and rescue personnel, and firefighters. Police Chief Randy Schoen told one local TV news reporter, "This type of event builds community. It makes [our city] a better, safer, and more fun place to live, so I encourage [these kinds of gatherings]."
Crossroads Church Pastor Rick Gates shampooed carpets at a local school. Other church members cleaned windshields at a grocery store and distributed complimentary water bottles at community functions. Since these outreaches began, many civic groups and individuals have solicited the church's help.
At New Beginnings, Pastor David Torres met with the mayor of Maywood and several other public officials from nearby Chicago suburbs to discuss how the church can best serve the community. Of the 80 churches in the city, the mayor told Torres that none has ever offered its services. "He was excited about working with our church and agreed to shut down the church's street for a day to hold a back-to-school festival," says Torres.
Acts 29's outreach to Hamtramck, a suburb of Detroit, involves numerous programs. From hosting summer camps for inner-city kids, restoring dilapidated houses, teaching English to Middle Eastern immigrants, and offering after-school homework classes, the church has earned the respect of residents and community leaders alike.
The Alliance is a fellowship of evangelical believers joined together in local churches, dedicated to fulfilling Christ's command to make disciples of all nations. The Alliance has a thoroughly evangelical doctrinal statement and encourages believers from diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite to complete Christ's Great Commission.
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