Jordan B. Davis
Church Relations Officer
If you read this blog regularly, you might have caught on that I love ministry that moves beyond the walls of the church building. This week, the story is very similar and I highlight it because right now I think we could all use a glimpse of God’s love and grace moving in the world around us. I pray that the story of Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church brings you hope and peace in the midst of fear and turmoil.
When I was welcomed to Oak Ridge Presbyterian on Sunday, one of the members graciously offered to show me to the office across the parking lot. As we walked, he began tell me about one ministry that he and his friends started for a young member in the congregation. This particular young lady suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and is one of roughly 30,000 who are commonly overlooked when it comes to research funding. My “church guide” explained that he wanted to help in some way, so he and his friends started “Brews and Barrels for Belle.” This is not a ministry directly sponsored by Oak Ridge, but it was started in-part by a member and the other members back it whole-heartedly. This past weekend, members of Oak Ridge teamed up with the community to raise roughly $16,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research. Together, church and community brought light and hope to a young girl and her family.
Later that morning, another member of the congregation spoke briefly about a seasonal mission project, “Summerfield Christmas Store.” This “store” allows families in need to shop for items for their children that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Oak Ridge, in partnership with several other congregations in the community, will bring Christmas to roughly 180 children in the form of new clothes and toys this year.
This week I am participating in Interim Ministry training through Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Leadership Institute. We have spent a great deal of time asking questions like “What business is your church in?” Oak Ridge is in the business of caring for God’s people through love and grace. The members have been empowered and share this love and grace both as a congregation and on their own. In a world with war breaking out and walls building up around us, that is the business we need.
What business is your church in?