News Briefs: Local Church Initiatives Making Headlines

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CHICAGO, IL (August 14, 2012) – Local Evangelical Covenant Church congregations capture the attention of their local news media from time as they serve their communities through a variety of ministries. Following are a few of the more recent examples.

Bethany Covenant Church – Bedford, New Hampshire

An entry in the Bethany Covenant newsletter inspired three individuals to join in a project to renovate a bedroom for the New Life Home for Women and Children in Manchester, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.

“When she saw a notice in Bedford’s Bethany Covenant Church bulletin asking for a volunteer coordinator to renovate a bedroom . . . Suzanne Rankins thought it seemed like a reasonable project to take on,” the article begins.

New Life Home offers housing, rehabilitation, education and care for women struggling with addiction and their children. The transitional home, where the renovation was scheduled to be completed, provides a place where women who have “graduated” from the initial phase of the program can live with some support.

The space in question was in tough shape, according to the report. “It needed some loving care,” said Rankins, adding that “there was no budget for it.” Rankins, along with Kimberly Buckner and Alice Jenkins, solicited support from others in the church – and support came quickly.

There’s no question it was hard work, she told the newspaper. But, she marvels at how quickly the project came together. In two weeks, the work was completed and the room ready for occupancy.

Click here to read the full newspaper account.

Bethesda Covenant Church – Rockford, Illinois

The 30th annual Alley Walk will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 8 to raise funds for mission trips and other events, reports an article in the Rockford Register Star.

A broad range of items will be offered for sale, with food available for purchase. A bake sale also will be part of the activities.

Click here to read the full newspaper account.

Hope Covenant Church – St. Cloud, Minnesota

Some cynics might suggest that folks living in areas bound by snow, cold and ice for good portions of the year understandably yearn to be in the outdoors to enjoy more climate weather.

Such may be the case for members of Hope Covenant Church who gathered for a special outdoor worship experience recently, reports the St. Cloud Times newspaper.

“The group . . . was a diverse one,” the newspaper article notes. “Friends, family and strangers conversed. Some came from just down the street while others made their way from as far as Germany, and whether they walked, ran or rowed to St. Cloud’s Wilson Park, their intentions were all the same – they wanted to familiarize themselves with their faith and their community,” the article continues.

“I think it’s looser and less formal – it makes people feel like it’s almost like a picnic,” the article quotes Dan Kellander, youth pastor at the church. “It’s not that formal church feel – it’s just a bunch of people getting together in the park, but the common thread is that we all love Jesus.”

“Hope Covenant has been hosting the outdoor service for years and the change-of-pace event makes good use of its proximity to the Mississippi River,” the article continues. “Generally, a handful of service-goers will swim across the Mississippi – they take plenty of precautions – to attend the service and members use the day for outdoor baptisms.”

Outdoor services come with their own unique set of complications. Just ask the pastor, Kevin Meyer. More than once, the article notes, the pastor “has had to try to deliver his sermon over the roaring engine of a passing helicopter, rain perpetually threatened to put a damper on activities and even the annual float across the river was whittled down to just two participants this year . . . In the end though, the rain held off, the noise faded in the distance and hundreds were able to soak in the day’s message of faith.”

Click here to read the full newspaper account.

Evangelical Covenant Church – South Bend, Indiana

Last Saturday, the Evangelical Covenant Church in South Bend played host to a school supply giveaway today in conjunction with its Second Saturday Cinema outreach program, reports the South Bend Tribune.

The supply giveaway provides students, parents and guardians an opportunity to choose school supplies based on their school needs – and provide yet another opportunity for the local congregation to reach out to its surrounding community.

Click here to read the full newspaper account.

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