Saturday, June 22
The Presbytery of Middle Tennessee
It had been a rough week struggling against poverty, drugs, and hunger in the lives of the kids at Westwood Elementary. Two teachers and their pastor were brought together by crisis and the Spirit’s movement through the Word proclaimed.
“God is calling us to do something for these kids.”
“You’re teachers; you already do so much.”
“No. We’re sure there’s more.”
Called to deepen their congregation’s connection to the children, they drew on the gifts of their small congregation, long engaged in community ministry. They found two guiding images: Jeremiah 32 guided the congregation to make history’s worst real estate purchase ever but promised God’s provision in spite of staggering odds. Acts 4:31–37 showed the power of prayer in the Holy Spirit. They prayed for boldness as their 75-member congregation stepped out. God did not disappoint, meeting their $12,000 need with a dizzyingly generous community response via multiple churches, businesses, banks, nonprofits, and individuals.
The new ministry would be called All God’s Children and would provide breakfast and lunch during the summer, when the kids went without school meals. They served 8,400 meals, and when it ended they thought it was time to rest . . . until God called them to begin an after-school program. There has been much growth in the years since, including a computer lab, arts workshops, clothes closets, school supplies, ecumenical vacation Bible schools, ice cream socials, trunk or treat, and English classes.
First Presbyterian Church in Manchester shares stories with All God’s Children, stories of kids streaming in daily to eat and learn, names on the honor roll, deepened friendships, new church members, and nourished bodies, minds, and spirits.
The Presbytery of Middle Tennessee serves 18,636 members of 89 congregations. NaCoMe Camp and Conference Center is within its bounds.
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Warner Durnell, executive presbyter
Therese Howell, stated clerk
Barbara Howell, hunger action enabler
Jen Thomas, operations manager
Young Adult Volunteers
Will Hendrickson, Janna Kenney, and Kelsey Santamaria, community development interns, Nashville Epiphany Project
Let us pray
Lord, bless us with renewal. We pray our community would be blessed with one mind and spirit in feeding your flock. By your Holy Spirit, inspire and enable foolish moves leading to the flourishing you have promised. Jesus, you call us to feed, by the power of your Holy Spirit. May we answer. Amen.