Math Night at Buchanan

In March, Christ Church had the privledge of working at Buchanan Elementary School as a part of their Math Night.

Math Night is a great event where kids at Buchanan Elementary School and their parents come back in the evening for food, games and learning exercises all geared towards strenghtening their math skills. Christ Church brought over 20 volunteers to help show the kids and their families that we care for them.

  Click on either of the pictures above to see the whole album on our Flickr page. 

Click on either of the pictures above to see the whole album on our Flickr page. 

Our volunteers helped revive the world by playing math games, working through problems together, serving food, checking kids and their families in, and so much more.

After the event, Christ Church received many thank-you notes and cards from teachers and students.

Check out the pictures on our Flickr page.

 Click on either of the pictures above to see the whole album on our Flickr page. 

Click on either of the pictures above to see the whole album on our Flickr page. 

One EGG-stra Special Event

Bunnies, eggs, and candy galore, this year’s Community Easter Egg Hunt brought many families out to enjoy a morning of fun prior to Easter weekend. On March 28, 23 volunteers and around 46 families gathered at Christ Church for a family-friendly event featuring more than just a big egg hunt. Kids could travel to a variety of different stations including two different crafts, egg dyeing, face painting, cookie decorating, storybook reading, bingo, relay races, games, and pictures with the Easter bunny. Needless to say, kids stayed busy as different groups headed out to the side yard to hunt eggs. Thanks to the support of the congregation, we were able to hide 2,700 eggs out for the children to find. There was certainly no shortage of chocolate!

I cannot say “thank-you” enough for all of the help and support that everyone provided in making this fun event possible. From sorting and filling eggs, to donating juice and cookie dough, to showing up early Saturday morning to serve, it was definitely a team effort! Through this event we were able to reach many children and families both within and outside of our congregation. We provided a safe environment for them to have fun in and were able to hand out many informational packets about our church along the way. I’d say that’s pretty egg-straordinary!

**Photos can be found online at on our Flickr page.

All those Extra Hands: National Volunteer Appreciation Week

While help received at Christ Church is always appreciated, April brought an opportunity to bring a bit of extra recognition to those who assist in making our programs run and all those who are putting in extra hours both on the church grounds and out in the community. April 12-18 was National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and speaking as someone who relies on the assistance of volunteers on a regular basis, let me tell you, you’re more than appreciated!

Around 30 volunteers, from youth to older adults, help run our nursery, Kid Start children’s programming, and Endeavor youth group. That’s a whole lot of extra hands! Extra hands that show up early and leave late; that put out crackers and pour drinks; that pick up crayons from the floor, change dirty diapers, and build towering skyscrapers out of tiny lego blocks. Extra hands that are present and ready to assist however they may be needed. I appreciate all these extra hands helping me, and I certainly could not do what I do without all that extra help!

However, I know that for all of the volunteers that I get to witness in action during children and youth programming, there are many others who go unseen. Whether it be picking up trash outside or serving meals at a local shelter, I know it takes many to help our community remain the vibrant place that it is! So whether seen or unseen, know that your help is significant and your “extra hands” hold great worth!

On Sunday, April 12, I hope that most of your “extra hands” got a chance to dig into the special cake we shared at church, but if not, take a moment now to reach up behind yourselfself a big pat on the back because let me tell you, your extra hands are much appreciated!

Community Partner Spotlight: Fairmount Pines

In last month’s newsletter, you had the opportunity to read about the Valentine’s Day Party we hosted at Fairmount Pines. This event was just one in a string of events we’ve been privileged to host at the apartment complex’s community center. This ongoing relationship is a great one, and one that I certainly hope we can continue to strengthen as time goes on. As you all know, a partnership takes the work of two entities. While we’ve been blessed with many volunteers and resources on our end to help make these events happen, it has also taken the work and commitment of the Fairmount staff, mainly Randy Coleman. Randy has been a great community partner, and for this reason I wanted to give him a chance to introduce himself a little further, and for you all to get to know him better. Check out his letter to Christ Church!

**Hi, I’m Randy Coleman, the Service Coordinator at Fairmount Pines. I assist the families in becoming more independent and less dependent. I aid the families with community resources, volunteer opportunities, mentoring the youth, job searches, and after school activities—just to name a few. The passion that I have comes from what I believe is my purpose work. Not only did I come from the same economical background, I also have a strong emotional tie with youth and families that live in certain conditions. Understanding that setbacks sometimes weigh us down, I feel that I am able to serve as a beacon of light to the families here. The laughing, smiling and excitement of the children is what amazes me. When they are playing the games, doing activities, indulging in the snacks and food, it’s a great sight to see them so engaged and happy. It’s also pretty cool to have so many volunteers that are willing and ready to engage with our community and kiddos. This is a community that is often shunned and stereo-typed. Its nice to see the volunteers from your church show no concern of that. I continue to hope that we can build on this healthy, strong relationship. We would love to be able to see Christ Church provide activities at Fairmount Pines for youth and families and to host us at your facilities as well. I do want to say that we are grateful for Pastor Mike Janes, Annie, and the Christ Church body.

**Randy

Editors Note:

** Fairmount Pines is part of the Davenport-based Ecumenical Housing Development Group. The complex has over 115 units and is a Section 8 complex, meaning that it is for low-income families. Over 90% of the tenants are single-parent, low-income families with kids. Most of the moms work one or more jobs. Our partnership with Fairmount Pines is helping provide programming for those children and families to help keep them out of trouble, establish community and give them a successful future.

Progress

Christ Church has been involved in Haiti for almost 5 years, pursing a vision to educate orphans in hopes of creating leaders who can transform Haiti. On this spring’s mission trip, our team drove past a church school that Christ Church built in 2013. At that time, 40-50 students were enrolled in the school at the church. Now, over 200 students are enrolled and two more classrooms have been added. On that same trip in 2013, I preached in a church with tarp walls (pictured below). This year, Pastor Mike Morgan from Marion preached to the same congregation. As you can see (pictured below), their facility has improved! We even built a building next door to accommodate the ever-growing number of children in the congregation.

When the team returned, Ryan preached a sermon in which he challenged us to focus on lives on the process more than the outcome. God’s timing hasn’t been what I expected. The outcomes of our involvement in Haiti are not what I expected. They’re better. More kids are hearing about Christ and receiving an education than I ever imagined. The process is taking us where we need to go and, once I let my timeline die, God could raise up HIS better outcomes. This kind of death and resurrection shows me what Easter is all about. Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Mike