INVESTING IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Our church has made a commitment to invest tens of thousands of dollars in our local community. How do we plan to spend that money?
The Governing Elders appointed a “Bless Bannerman” Team to figure that out. In turn, that team held two in-depth meetings with various representatives of our local community to explore options.
In the course of those meetings, the Bannerman Afterschool Program emerged as the leading candidate for support. The Bannerman Community League cooperated with Bannerman residents and other community partners to create this program. They value it deeply. It gives kids who would otherwise be unsupervised after school a constructive outlet, and it has proven to be an important asset for the school.
Our team felt that we should apply the money where our community wanted it most; so, we proposed to the Governing Elders that Bethel Church match the Community League’s support for this program of $5,000 per year for five years. The Governing Elders endorsed that proposal.
However Bethel’s Bless Bannerman Team had even bigger dreams and the Community League agreed to partner with us in them. Together we are pursuing grants that will allow us to hire someone full time to serve our community. Our goal is that this person will serve Bannerman’s most under-resourced members, linking them to government resources as well as programs already being offered by the various community partners (like Bethel’s “Make Tax Time Pay”, Bethel’s summer sports offerings, the E4C’s Mom and Tot’s group, the Community League’s annual activities, and many more).
Amazingly, within a week of our conceiving the idea, two different local nonprofit organizations responded. They said (independently of each other) that they liked the idea so much they would seriously consider giving a half time staff person for the project. If our efforts are successful, it is possible that the remaining “Bless Bannerman” funds from Bethel will be used to fund efforts initiated by the this community worker.
The amazing story continues. One of the half-time staff who will likely be assigned to this project turns out to be a Christian. He joined us this week at our Wednesday morning prayer meeting!
All of these plans assume, of course, that pledges from the All-In campaign will be honoured—and we are fully confident that Bethel will do so. (Donors have till August 31 to get pledges in.) We will have a full discussion of our plans for the Bless Bannerman funds at our upcoming congregational meeting on June 6.
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