God is good, and so are these stories

“We could definitely use a little good news today,” Anne Murray sang in a #1 country hit in 1983.

Nearly four decades later, negative headlines abound: mass shootings. The war in Ukraine. Closings of churches.

Even when the news is bad, The Christian Chronicle strives to shine a light on Christians living their faith in inspiring ways, as you’ll notice as you turn the pages of this month’s edition.

Yet, to quote Murray, “One more sad story is one more story than I can bear.” So I asked other Christians to share a little good news:

• The Wetzel Road Christ Church in Liverpool, NY, celebrates two baptisms, said minister and elder David Owens, and hosts a mission group from the Stillwater Church of Christ in Oklahoma.

• The West Ark Christ Church in Fort Smith, Ark., holds its first Vacation Bible School for people with special needs, said member Jordon Brown.

In 2017, I covered this church’s “Night to Shine” prom for God’s Children with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other special needs.

In 2017, “King” Austin Peters basks in the spotlight on “Night to Shine” as he and his volunteer pal prepare to board a limo.

• The Oxford and rivers hill congregations – both in Oxford, Miss. – collaborate with an organization called RIP medical debt. The goal: “raise $5,000 to relieve half a million medical debts” for residents of three counties in the region.

“If we can raise $10,000, we can alleviate a million in debt.”

“If we can raise $10,000, we can ease a million in debt,” said Les Ferguson Jr., preaching minister for the Oxford church.

• The Creekside Christ Church in Greenville, Texas, hosts its annual First Responder Appreciation Luncheon.

“This event is special because it invites the community into our building,” said Michelle Gilbert, one of the coordinators. “It really is an intergenerational program.

• The Matsudo Church of Christ in Japan is adding service in English, said Leslie Taylor, a missionary with his wife, Sara.

“We are able to do this because a Japanese American who was baptized in January joined and because his girlfriend from Lithuania, who is a Christian, is moving here,” Taylor said. “For a small church that has been around for 60 years, this is big news.”

• The Christ of Ventura Church in California is rebounding from a pandemic downturn. “New people are coming to church, calling our church home and being baptized,” said Minister Andrew Hill.

Related: Faith and COVID-19

• Speaking of COVID-19, the Christ Church of North Tuscaloosa in Alabama praise God for the recovery of member Danny Mills. Heather’s husband and father of five “finally left the hospital after 330 days and a lung transplant,” said Calvin Cockrell, the church’s young adult minister.

• For the first time in three years, the Soldier Creek Christ Church in Piedmont, Okla., made his annual mission trip to the Navajo Nation, Minister Ken Richter said. The youth group worked with the Fort Defiance Church of Christ in Arizona, where Terry Laurence preaches.

“The reservation has stricter COVID rules, and we still had to do the whole Vacation Bible School outdoors,” Richter said. “We also spent a day chopping wood in the forest, as many older Navajos still warm with log fires.”

• The McDermott Road Christ Church in Plano, Texas, sends Caleb Kirkwood to Estonia to work with Camp Balchyoca (Baltic Christian youth camp). Kirkwood is resident director at Oklahoma Christian University.

“This is his third year and probably 10th year that McDermott has worked with the congregation in Tallinn, Estonia,” said Lisa Kirkwood, Caleb’s mother.

• The Rochester Christ Church in Minnesota is making “birthing packs” for Malawian women, said Patti Sikes, wife of Minister Steve Sikes.

Last year, a Malawian woman began studying with the church – best known for her Hands of Compassion ministry to Mayo Clinic patients. “We now serve the women of Malawi in different ways and offer a course called ‘WOW! Women Opening the Word – Bible 101,” said Patti Sikes.

In Chernivtsi, Adi Voicu from Romania and Dennis Zolotaryov from Ukraine load Ukrainian and Russian Bibles from the Eastern European Mission for transport to Romania.  Bibles will be given to Ukrainian refugees.

In Chernivtsi, Adi Voicu from Romania and Dennis Zolotaryov from Ukraine load Ukrainian and Russian Bibles from the Eastern European Mission for transport to Romania. Bibles will be given to Ukrainian refugees.

• John Walker Moore, Minister of Church of Christ of the East in East Hampton, NY, said, “The small congregation I serve has already donated a significant sum to Ukrainian refugee work, decides to donate to a Ugandan orphanage/school, and of course will be looking for another designated country soon. by the main letter “U”.

• The Collegiate Church of Christ in Cookeville, Tenn., is launching a ministry training camp to model vocation ministry. “It will be in the same vein as the preacher boot camp at Pennington Bend Church of Christ in Nashville that has been held for many years,” said Minister John Nichols.

• Charlie Johanson, Minister of Brentwood Oaks Christ Church in Austin, Texas, said, “The Spirit has actively led us to connect with a local elementary school and serve the surrounding community in new and original ways. God is on the move. We try to hold on. »

Nearly 4-year-old Bennett Ross takes a swing at his first T-ball game.

Nearly 4-year-old Bennett Ross takes a swing at his first T-ball game.

On a personal note, my 1 year old granddaughter, Norah, has just taken her first steps. My grandson, Bennett, almost 4, just played his first T-ball game and said a really sweet prayer over breakfast the other day.

BOBBY ROSS JR. is editor-in-chief of The Christian Chronicle. Join it at [email protected].

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