SAVE THE DATE!
2015 Annual Ministry Celebration
April 24-25, 2015, at First Covenant Church in Salina, Kansas
Transforming Communities from Under Bridges
Dr. Bruce McGregor, Freedom Covenant Church, Kansas City, MO
Freedom Covenant, an ECC urban church birthed in 2009, has been holding worship services in a warehouse located in the inner city of Kansas City. Its congregation consists of 50 percent homeless people, 30 percent public housing families, and 20 percent suburbanites. In an effort to reach the community, this humble little congregation has partnered with Hope in the Streets, a local non-profit, in starting a new church plant.
This new church plant, affectionately dubbed the Worship Wagon
, is actually a mobile church targeting the unreached people groups in the downtown area. We have started by caring for the nomadic homeless population—those who have no desire to go to any of the established institutions for the homeless, such as local shelters. There are nearly 100 homeless people who live in the wooded area near the Missouri River. As refusal to go to any institution extends to the church, we have taken the church to them. Several churches rotate in carrying out a service of live worship, a brief sermon, and some good food. Presently, we meet every Monday night under a bridge at First and Grand. For many of those served, this has become their spiritual home and family.
Gary was standing alone in the back, away from the sound system. I went back to stand with him so he wouldn’t be by himself. We ended up having a little conversation. During that time, I learned of some of the struggles that this older, weathered man had endured growing up in the inner city. He had been homeless for a number of years. This tough life was evident in both his appearance and in the stories he told. As he shared, it became apparent that he was desperate for divine help. He indicated that he wanted to surrender his life to Jesus. I encouraged him to come up after the service for prayer. He looked at me for a moment and asked, “Can’t we pray now?” My first silly thought was, "No, because it’s not the right order of service," but then I came to my senses and said, “Of course!” I then led him in a prayer of surrender, asking Jesus to become his Lord and Savior.
Gary wept openly through the rest of the service. At the end, he was so happy about what had taken place. Afterwards, he showed me the abandoned building where he was living and asked me to come visit. I took this as a legitimate sign of trust. Gary has been coming to church faithfully ever since.
There are at least 1.5 million homeless in the United States who live like Gary. It is our hope that we can do our part to help more of the homeless in Kansas City and inspire others to do the same in their communities.
For more information call Dr. Bruce McGregor at (816) 726-0077, email firstname.lastname@example.org
and check out worshipwagon.org
Lord of the Harvest Sunday
For more than 20 years, Covenanters have made an annual commitment to pray for the salvation of those who need Jesus. We invite your church to join others throughout the denomination in asking the Lord of the harvest on Sunday, March 15. Please pray that God will lay on your heart those within your reach for whom you should be praying during this season. If March 15 does not work for your church, we encourage you to select another date that will allow you to take completed forms to the Annual Ministry Celebration in April.
Churches may order FREE bulletin inserts
from the Covenant Bookstore
The Story of Black History Month
For nearly 40 years, every US president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month--but did you know the origins of this annual celebration extend much further? As you reflect on the role of African American culture in shaping US history, we encourage you to check out the article, The Story of Black History Month
, by Covenant pastor Dominique Gilliard. Pastor Gilliard is on staff at New Hope Covenant Church in Oakland, California.