May 20, 2015

Church Organizes Summer Lunch Program for Children in Community

As a new pastor to this town, I decided to visit with the city leaders to find out where the gaps were that a church might fill.  The mayor and school counselors and superintendent gave our church many ideas of how we could plug the gaps in our community.  They encouraged us to take care of the poor in town and work with the children.  After hearing the needs, I made a list of all the possible ways our church could be in mission to our community.  It turned into 3 pages of ideas.  We met as a congregation to hear the ideas and dream together about what we wanted to do.  More ideas were added to the list.  We left that meeting encouraged to pray for ten days for discernment about what God wanted us to be doing.  Ten days later we gathered again as a “dream team” and each individual marked with sticky dots their top three projects.  It became visually clear what projects to pursue.

I took those projects and began to do the research required to pursue them.  We wanted to provide food for the children during the summer.  Over 200 children receive free or reduced lunches during the school year.  Those financial needs do not disappear during the summer.  So we decided to work with the Kansas Food Bank to provide nutritionally-balanced meals every noon hour Monday thru Friday.  It would cost more than our congregation could handle by ourselves.  So I wrote for grants.  We are grateful that the WDC “Loaves and Fishes” Grant came through with $500.  A church member went door-to-door to the businesses in town asking for support.  The newspaper wrote an article about our project.  Now every day the mail contains a check supporting what has become our city-wide project.

We look forward to serving the at-risk children of our community in our church this summer!

     –submitted by Pastor Norma Duerksen (pnduerksen@aol.com, 620-947-3824)

          Trinity Mennonite Church, Hillsboro, KS

WDC SEEDS is a weekly communication for WDC churches announcing what’s new and good in Western District Conference. Please forward this to congregational members.  Pastors are invited to submit one paragraph summaries of kingdom initiatives that will encourage the networking of best practices across Western District Conference. WDC Seeds is also available at:  www.mennowdc.org.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org

Website:  www.mennowdc.org