Dear ABCOPAD Pastors, Stewards, and Congregations.
Recently, we here at Wayne Park Baptist Church in Erie, PA, received a grant from the ABHMS for a program entitled “The Harvester's Initiative”. The program's is centered around youth in our area, with a particular focus on those who through circumstances and choices have been ordered to pay back to the community. Any youth ages 10-17 are invited and encouraged to join us in “harvesting”, however.
The goal of the program is to transforming the idea of community service into “kingdom servanthood”, The Harvester's Initiative hopes to foster not only biblical practices– methods for knowing God, but relationship – experience of knowing God! The way that will be accomplished is by using all three facets of the human experience: mind – critical thinking and emotional understanding/control (emotional management); body – taking energy being used negatively and redirecting that energy, creating positive and satisfying outcomes for themselves and the community (service); and soul – interpersonal relationships between each other and God (discipleship).
It is hopeful that a foundation will be set in which they will not only begin, but continue steadfast in life with a relationship with Christ, becoming the bright future city on a hill the world so desperately needs. They will learn and develop love for God, others, themselves, and how to steward the creation God has called them to take care of. They will come to experience the love of God, a love not like the world. The transformative love creates good works. Not because of works themselves, but the work that was done within them.
Another goal is that through the community service that is provided, we will foster relationships with neighbors, the community, government, and organizations that we assist to help spread the love of God and the Gospel of the Kingdom in ways those who may not know the Lord will be able to witness first-hand.
And while we have the grant, I was also encouraged to encourage you, the members of ABCOPAD, to participate with us as we move to institute this ministry, which will be starting in early spring. There are a variety of things that we will need to get this program moving, as well as to maintain in the future. Here are a list of things we are looking for, and encourage you to reach out to your congregations to see if any of these items can be donated:
- Safety Jackets/Straps
- Garbage bags – construction, recyclable, etc
- Gloves – plastic/vinyl Gloves – Material (field/const. Work)
- Hazard Cones
- Garbage Cans
- Behavior training Material (videos/courses)
- Enclosed Trailer w/2 wheels (for storing/transporting)
- Lawn Mowers (new or gently used)
- Weed whackers (new or gently used)
- NLT Bibles (New – good start for un-churched youth)
- Hammers / Screwdrivers / Paintbrushes
Also if any congregations in the Erie area have people willing to volunteer, that would be a great way for us to get to work together and grow together, as we are called to. Any financial donations would be greatly appreciated as well. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach Wayne Park Baptists Church at 814-452-3529.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Thank you for your consideration and prayers for this ministry. May God continue to bless you as you move to glorify the One True Living God and advance His kingdom in these trying times.
Pastor Dennis Horne
Wayne Park Baptist Church