God calls us to feed the hungry in both body and soul, welcome the stranger, clothe the poor, and minister to those who are sick or in prison. The Board of Missions (BOM) strives to respond to this call by ministering to those in need, and in so doing, continue to grow in our faith.
The BOM encourages the congregation’s engagement in missions through promoting, developing, and implementing projects and programs, many times alongside faith-based organizations within the community, state, country, and world. At the same time, with so many important needs and limited resources, it can be extremely challenging to determine where best to be involved. However, at the present time the BOM has extra financial resources and a desire to grow the missions ministry of River Road Church.
The River Road Church Endowment Fund has made a significant grant to the BOM, with the expressed purpose: “to raise the missions involvement of River Road Church.” The BOM, in turn, wants to make these funds available to those who are willing to take the lead on a new endeavor, responding to the call to serve those in need.
The Catch the Spirit grant has been able to fund and/or support four projects, as well as some administrative costs:
- Westover Baptist Church partnership and projects, including Youth Mission Tour 2016
- Youth & Adults Maine Mission Tour 2017
- Circulo de Costura at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry
- Panama Mission Trip construction project 2018
In 2016, we entered into a partnership with Westover Baptist Church, helping them refurbish their church as the community is growing and changing around them in the Westover Hills neighborhood of Richmond. This included the Youth Mission Tour project of 2016, health screenings and supplies for community events, as well as assistance with staffing.
Over the summer, Chester Phelps led a team of over 40 youth and adults up the East Coast to Farmington, Maine to work at a Farmington Conference Center. The grant was able to provide housing for the team on their nearly two-week trip.
Circulo de Costura at CrossOver, read below
Panama Mission Trip 2018, Construction Project
In its seventh year, the Panama Mission Trip added an element to their medical and dental services: construction. The team was expanded and with the grant, they were able to buy the supplies for their Panamanian project.
There are still funds remaining in the grant. You’re invited to bring your creativity to River Road Church, and help the BOM and congregation catch the spirit of your passion. How can you help RRCB get involved?
If there is a missions project or program in which you wish River Road Church would be involved and are willing to take the lead in make this effort happen, please contact the church office or to Bob Shoemake, Chair of the Catch the Spirit Special Committee.
Written by Steve Larson & Bob Shoemake
Thanks from Circulo de Costura
In July 2017, with a grant from the Board of Missions Catch the Spirit Special Committee, the Circulo de Costura, or sewing circle, started meeting at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry. On October 30, 2017, nine women completed the first session. They had learned how to use a sewing machine and completed projects of progressive difficulty. However, more important than sewing skills, were the relationships which formed within the group. Our students learned that we truly cared about them, not just the lesson of the evening and how well it was completed. We shared their lives for two hours each Monday evening. And for those hours they knew that they were safe and valued for themselves. There was a lot of laughter – so much so that people from the clinic came over to see what was going on. And there were tears as we learned their stories and shared their pain, frustration, and loneliness. I believe that during these hours, they have hope; hope that they can have better lives, hope that people see them as people, and hope that they matter.
We met January 22, 2018, to start our second session. Some of our graduates are returning to learn more and to assist the newcomers. Once again, this is a step in faith because we do not know who is coming. However, this time our expectations are different. Yes, they will learn to sew, but we know that we will be meeting new friends, sharing God’s love, and helping them believe that there is hope. Thanks to the members of River Road who have made this possible.
Written by Margaret Phelps
Originally published in the 2018 Spring Quarterly Explorer