Module Seven: The Local Church

OVC Essentials Fall 2021 Module Seven: The Local Church

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    • #76594
      Leah St. Pierre
      CAFO Staff

      In what compelling ways have you seen an “Everybody Can Do Something” culture lived out? In what ways can you imagine your church creating and living into this culture? If you were to take a step towards encouraging those in your faith community to engage the issue of orphans and vulnerable children, what is your first or next step?

    • #76737
      Sarah Alfieri
      Participant

      One thing I love about my church is that the “everybody can do something” culture is deeply ingrained in the church body. For example, before COVID-19 started we launched a capital campaign to raise money for the land where we are hoping to build our own location in the next few years. Some of the people in our church are extremely wealthy and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others used their talents to create graphics, online campaigns, flyers, and t-shirts. One women’s small group didn’t have any money to give, so they cooked the meal for the congregation the day we launched the project. And the children’s ministry brought in all the loose change they could find in their houses. It was amazing to watch the child’s coins, the meal, and the fliers all be valued as much as the thousands of dollars!

      I would love to see my church adopt this mindset regarding foster care and adoption, as I haven’t seen that integrated before. The framework of culture is already present, and I think it would be an awesome addition. At my church, we have so many life groups who often adopt certain causes to support- home repair ministry, food ministry, missions, etc. One tangible way I could help encourage people to do this is to bring my life group into the world of OVC and we could brainstorm ways to support foster care and adoption (and the families already doing this).

      As Christians (and as people), we should always be learning and growing, and this is an area I want to help my church community (and myself) grow in!

      • #76763
        Meredith Smylie
        Participant

        I love this picture of people coming together and offering what they have, Sarah! Thank you for sharing!

    • #76762
      Meredith Smylie
      Participant

      My church just started a foster care/adoption “small group” as a way to raise awareness and create community around those in our church who are actively or considering getting involved somehow. I am excited that this has begun, and am looking forward to where it heads in the future!

       

      In this group, we have people who have adopted numerous times, a couple who mentors a child in foster care, and a young bilingual couple who are looking for ways to engage with children whose first language is Spanish to bridge a cultural/language gap for them as they navigate the treacherous world of child welfare. I am glad to see the early diversity of this group, and see my role as one that demonstrates that it doesn’t necessarily take bringing a child into your home to be a part, as this is what I do for work. I think I can share with others that the way I am involved is different from a foster or adoptive parent, and their involvement could be just as different.

       

      I am also hopeful that we can connect with other area churches that either have a foster care or adoption ministry or are interested in getting involved, so that we can partner across churches as well!

      • #76789
        Sarah Alfieri
        Participant

        Meredith, I love that your church has started that small group and it is incredible that there is already diversity between skill sets and levels of involvement in that small group! As we learned, proximity to people who do have children in their homes helps us find ways to serve and also be involved. When churches can partner together, the incredible impact can happen. It really does take a village to raise a child… and it takes a village to support families who are raising children from hard places! Thank you for sharing!

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