National Community Church in Washington, D.C., led by Pastor Mark Batterson, continues moving closer to constructing a community center designed to help an impoverished area of the city with both tangible and spiritual needs. Batterson said he believes the DC Dream Center will be the most significant thing his church has ever done.
"One of our core convictions is this: God will bless us in proportion to how we care for the poor in our city. There is a third-world country in our nation's capital," he wrote in a recent blog post. "The Dream Center is our way of saying: not in our backyard and not on our watch!"
Already breaking relatively new ground in the D.C. area by using coffee shops and movie theaters as places of worship for Sunday church services in some of its six locations, Batterson hopes the Dream Center will be a collaboration with other churches and ministries. more >>
A church in Ohio recently raised approximately $10,000 as part of an annual charity drive in order to help its neighbors pay their water bills.
Several families in Pickerington called their water company and learned to their surprise that their water would not be shut off this month because of the charitable efforts of Grace Fellowship Church. Beth Shively, spokeswoman for Grace Fellowship, told The Christian Post that the payments for water bills of those in the neighborhood were part of her church's annual "Giving It Back" campaign.
"Through this campaign, we choose a few organizations or needs and ask our church to generously respond to these needs during December," said Shively. "The mayor of Pickerington, Lee Gray, attends our church, and he brought to our attention that each month many families are scheduled to have their water turned off for non-payment. Our elder board decided this would be an excellent way for us to give back to our neighbors." more >>
Despite his previous disdain for running long distances, a Chicago-area pastor is planning to run approximately the equivalent distance of a marathon per day from the U.S. West Coast to East Coast in order to provide a community of 30,000 people in Kenya a lifelong supply of clean water.
Steve Spear, who served as a regional campus pastor for Willow Creek Community Church, will begin the running phase of his fundraising effort on April 8th. He plans to take five months to run the 3,000 miles. After a 15-year career at Willow Creek (founded by Bill Hybels), Spear left his position earlier this year to devote time to the project that is endorsed by the Christian relief organization World Vision as a partner.
"My wife and I had supported World Vision financially so I just felt like I didn't need to run a marathon to do it. I just had put a bunch of blockades to not do it," he told The Christian Post. "I finally got to the point where I really felt like I was being led by God to surrender myself to the inconveniences that I was associating with training for and running a marathon." more >>
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – It appeared that Scott "Scooch" Miller was winning his battle over the demons that plagued him as a U.S. military veteran of the Vietnam war, at least in part, thanks to his relationship with a Christian homeless ministry serving in South Orange County, Calif. However, he remained homeless, still struggling with alcoholism, while spending nights sleeping in a field next to a famous surf spot until his death two weeks ago.
At a memorial service given by the ministry last Sunday, Christian leaders at a park in the pristine, primarily affluent community of San Clemente were struggling to wrap their minds around the question of why Scooch died in the bushes at "Trestles," alone one night, apparently from the cold during a night of freezing temperatures.
During a moment of reflection at the service on the life of Scooch, the "ornery" man who began to turn soft after accepting Jesus into his life, some in attendance spoke of feeling like they could have done something to prevent his death and that something more should certainly be done for the homeless in the area – especially now. more >>
WASHINGTON – The Presidential Inauguration recognized the "National Day of Service" Saturday by promoting volunteerism with events across the country. Participants are asked to commit their time to one of the many causes highlighted. The event in Washington, D.C., featured nonprofit groups and government organizations promoting, among other things, fatherhood, nutrition, and care for the poor, homeless and at-risk youth.
Nearly 100 organizations were represented at the D.C. event. They were divided into the categories of community resilience, economic development, education, environment, faith, health and veterans. While many well-known national organizations were represented, such as the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army, it was also an opportunity to learn about the work of smaller and less popular organizations.
The event also included music by Ben Folds and Star Jones, co-host of ABC's "The View," was one of the speakers. Jones spoke on behalf of the American Heart Association. more >>
The president of the Gospel for Asia mission organization recently called the conditions for women in India "a horrendous evil that is worsening" after authorities arrested six men in the north of the country for the alleged gang-rape of a woman traveling on a bus, just weeks after the gang-rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi rocked the country.
"This just shows the wickedness of the human heart. I pray the government will take strong action to protect the innocent. We all grieve for what is happening. God have mercy on us," K. P. Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia, a mission organization working in South Asia, said in a Jan. 15 press release.
The Associated Press has reported that on Jan. 11, a 29-year-old woman was traveling via bus to visit family in the Punjab region of Northern India when she was taken and allegedly raped by the bus driver, conductor, and five other suspects. more >>