Friday, December 12, 2008

local newspaper story about The Community Fellowship and GIVE BACK

Our local newspaper, The Martinsville Bulletin, printed an article today, Friday, December 12, 2009 about our GIVE BACK challenge.  Here is the article:

Friday, December 12, 2008

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Members of a local church will parlay $2,000 into acts of random kindness to benefit local residents in need through a "Give Back" challenge.

Pastor Michael Harrison of the Community Fellowship Church in Collinsville said 70 money-filled envelopes were distributed Sunday to parishioners, who were asked "to take the challenge to give back to the community" by finding a need and meeting it.

Money for the project came from the church's general fund, and envelopes were filled with either $20 or $50, Harrison said.

Parishioners who received envelopes were told the funds could not be given directly to individuals but could be used to help people in the community by paying a bill, buying a gift card or dinner, or some other act to help, Harrison said.

Participating church members also agreed to report back to the membership on how the funds were used to help someone in the community, he said.

All of those responses will be posted at the church's online blog at

There is no time limit on the project, Harrison said, but one church member wrote on the blog that the money was used to get a money order which was sent to an inmate who will be in jail during the holidays.

"I hope this will be enough to let this person know that they are not forgotten and that they are loved and that there are people praying for them. God is Good," the entry stated.

The fund dispersal is part of a series the church began a few months ago called ARKS — Acts of Random Kindness — and ties into the church's creed for 2009: "Love More, Expect Less," Harrison said.

With a mission statement to "demonstrate the love of God to our community," Harrison said the recent fund dispersal program is like many other programs the church sponsors.

The church began in September 2006 and held an official kickoff in January 2007.

"From the very beginning, we said we would sow back into our community," Harrison said.

Community Fellowship has operated a clothes closet almost from the start. It alos helps fund mission work and had a "Mother's Day Makeover" in 2007 in which the basement of someone in need was redone, Harrison said.

"We're doing a kid's room makeover this Christmas" and also provided free oil changes to commemorate Mother's Day 2008, he said.

The church bought school supplies for about 300 children in August, with a goal of serving 500 next year, Harrison said.

The church is located in a storefront building in the Collinsville Shopping Center. Harrison described it as "a different kind of church."

The music is contemporary and louder than in many other places of worship, he said.

Most, if not all of the differences are aimed at accomplishing a single goal, he said.

"We're trying to get the attention of our community and then, while we have their attention, tell them about Jesus," he said. "It's just what we do."

start to pray

Psalm 42:8    NLT But each day the   Lord   pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs,   praying to Go...