We held a meeting on Thursday of this week that brought us one step closer to realizing one of our dreams as church. The meeting consisted of representatives of Bethel Church, the principal of Bannerman Elementary school, the president of the Bannerman Community League, and an area Social Worker. The topic was: “Could we do more for the Bannerman community if we worked together in closer partnership?”
The excitement around the table rose over the course of the meeting as we discovered areas where a little cooperation would go a long way:
· The Community League has learned that there are seniors who lack connection with others. The school’s principle needs people to read books to her children. If seniors could be enlisted to help, they would be a perfect fit.
· We do a school supplies drive each year for community children who attend Kids’ Club. The school principle was surprised and delighted to learn this. She is willing to give input into this effort from the school perspective, and the Community League said they would be happy to contribute money toward supplies. These connections could end up making the program even more effective!
· The Community League, through the Abundant Communities initiative, is gathering neighborhood information that could be helpful to us in our ministry planning, and they were able to tell us how to regularly get valuable census data that could help us in the future.
· The school provides snacks for kids who come each morning hungry, but both of their refrigerators crashed just this week. We offered to advertise the need to our church community.
Other areas of possible cooperation were explored, and the group set a date to meet again. Words like “timely,” “helpful” and “worthwhile” were offered by various attendees to describe the meeting.
As hosts for the meeting, we felt we had contributed something positive to our community, and it brought us closer to a goal expressed two years ago in A Dream for Bethel:
“[Our connection with the Bannerman Community] will involve ongoing personal relationships with people from the area and will have the character of a true, partnership in which we work side by side with our neighbors to make this community a little more like the Kingdom of God.”
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